I freaking love author interviews, and I am so excited to host this one for Neverland Blog Tours. I'll also be getting my hands on a copy of this book to add to my never ending TBR pile. Oh the life of a reader/writer. Anyway, today I have some insight into a writers life from Cassandra as well as some information about her book Stuck With Me. I hope you enjoy!
Molly, known for her unflagging optimism and constant cheeriness, is thrilled to win an all-expenses paid vacation to Mauritius. She packs her camera and a few colourful bikinis and can’t wait to have some fun in the sun. Little does she know there’s a catch.
Adam is a journalist on assignment and his mission is to test Molly’s optimism and see how far she can be pushed before she breaks. Surely it can’t be that hard?
What happens when Molly meets the hilariously cantankerous Adam and finds that she can’t seem to shake him? How will Adam successfully complete his task when faced with Molly’s beautiful smile, quick wit and curvaceous body?
As they bicker their way around the island, Adam and Molly realise that there’s more to each other than meets the eye. An unexpected friendship develops between them which soon turns into much more. But what will happen when Molly learns the truth behind Adam’s trip to Mauritius?
A heartfelt, funny and touching story about life, love, and trust.
Hi, Cassandra, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Many thanks Rhianne for hosting me on your blog.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a 43-year-old Mauritian mother of three, I work as an English teacher in a small school for gifted kids who have problems adapting to the normal school system and whenever I have a spare moment, I’m either with my head in a book, or writing my own books. I love watching and reading romantic comedies as I’m a romantic at heart and absolutely need a happy ending.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Getting the word out about Stuck with Me is my priority at the moment, and I’d also love to get it out in print here in Mauritius like I did with my first novel What’s it gonna be? It’s such a thrill seeing your book on a bookstore shelf :-) I would also love to get down to seriously writing my third book.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
There are two main characters in Stuck with Me, Molly and Adam, who in turn tell the story from their perspective. I’ll speak about Molly today as she’s a pretty special girl. Adam gives her the nickname “Little Miss Sunshine”, which perfectly represents her. She’s always with a smile on her face, sees the positive side of every situation and believes that there’s always a reason to smile. What makes her amazing is that she’s had far from an easy life with a depressed father who died when she was ten years old and then a mother who became depressed, super anxious and prone to panic attacks. Being an only child she’s pretty much had to deal with her mum’s depression and anxiety and run the household since a young age, and the fact that she rose above all this with a smile and still believes that life is wonderful, makes her amazing.
Would you mind sharing a favourite quote from your book?
It’s so hard to choose just one quote as there are quite a few I like but for different reasons. But here’s one on happiness...
“although life isn’t always easy, you can choose to be happy. Just remember that there’s always something to smile about, even if it may not feel like it . . . Sometimes you may have to dig a little deeper to find it, and it may just be the smallest thing, but it’s there – and when you find it, hold on to it and . . . smile”
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
No, unfortunately I don’t have a trailer, but would love to have one:-)
Where do your ideas come from?
Life in general, people around me, books I read, movies I see – a whole mix of things that contribute to eventually finding a story of my own I want to tell.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I’m definitely not a plotter or planner. I’m totally a ‘write and see where it goes’ type of writer. I’m just not a planner in life so just going with the flow works better for me. Of course when I start I have an idea of the characters that are going to be in it, the story I want to tell about the characters, but I don’t know how I’m going to go about doing it. I guess I do plan and plot in my head before I get down to writing, but I don’t do charts and write it all down – it’s more like a mind map about what the general story will be. It’s only when I sit down to write, that the story comes to me as I go along – and often in ways I had never expected.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
As and when I find the time – which unfortunately isn’t too often at the moment.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
As I said above, it’s impossible for me to plan or plot anything, and also as writing is only a pastime for me, it has to come after my work, school runs, kids’ homework, grocery shopping, etc etc…
How much research do you do?
For my first two books, I didn’t have to do any research because I wrote about things that I had experienced, a country I lived in and subjects that I knew about, but for my third book I’ve started researching the topics I want to talk about which I don’t know much about. I’m apprehensive because although it’s fiction, I really hate the thought of writing too lightly about a serious subject and upsetting a reader because I haven’t dealt with the subject with enough sensitivity…
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
I haven’t so far, but I’ve only written two books. I’m sure It’ll happen one day!! But then again, as I’m an ‘as and when’ type of writer it probably affects me less than writers who have fixed writing schedules and need to write everyday no matter what.
What book are you reading at present?
At the moment, I’ve just finished the Piano Man Project by Kate French and loved it. It was funny, touching and I just loved the cantankerous main character. The characters were wonderful and the story special and original. I really recommend it for all those of you who enjoy romantic comedies.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Well, I don’t really like the idea of giving books away as you’re giving away all your hard work! But now that I have two books, it something I’ll have to consider as free promotions can potentially bring in new readers and I know it’s a strategy used by many authors. At the moment I just give away copies of my books in giveaways.
Did you format your own book?
My sister helped me out with publishing Stuck with Me and she used Vellum software to format it. It’s a great software and I was very happy with how my ebook turned out.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
A journalist for a magazine. I’d love to go out and interview interesting people, learn about their lives and experiences. I think it would be fascinating.
Are there any more ideas for future books on the cards?
I have sort of started my third book (by that I mean, I’ve written bits and pieces of potential chapters in various notebooks) but I’m not quite sure where it’s heading exactly. That’s what I love about writing - it’s only as I write that the story unfolds and takes me where it wants to go. It’s pretty exciting and unpredictable. I spend of a lot time staring into space trying to figure out the details at the moment :-)
Advice to aspiring writers?
Do it because you love it, not for the money.
Be patient – it takes time.
Don’t worry about bad reviews. It’s impossible for everyone to love your book so just focus on those who do.
***Stuck with Me is on sale at 99c/99p from Feb 18th to Feb 22nd***