Friday, June 3, 2011

Interview With Carol Cassada, Author of Westmore

Westmore (Volume 1)

Purchase Link: Westmore (Volume 1)

Please tell me 5 things about you.

1. I'm shy.
2. I come from Ringgold, VA.
3. I own 3 dogs and 2 cats.
4. I have an enormous sweet tooth.
5. I have a rose tattoo on my left ankle.

What are 3 unique aspects about Westmore?
1. It's the first volume in the series.
2. It's what I call a literary soap opera. I was inspired by my love of the soaps, the story revolves around three families; The Greens, The Braxtons, and The Reynolds. There's lots of romance, drama, and suspense and an accident occurs at the end of the novel which will affect all the families.
3. I wrote the ideas for the book when I was sixteen. My original dream was to be a screenwriter and I had the ideas intended for a television show, then when I was looking for inspiration for my second book I found my old notebook with the ideas written in it and I decided to turn my soap opera into a book series.

Name 5 things you wished you knew about publishing before you started the process?
One aspect of the business I didn't realize was how much work the author has to do. With my first book Going Home Again I wrote queries, sent them out, and waited for a response; that's one of the biggest problems I had; I'm impatient and most of the companies don't allow simultaneous submissions so I used to wait three months only to have them turn me down. When I did get accepted by Romance Divine, I had to make some revisions to the manuscript, luckily I had a helpful editor to point out my mistakes and offer suggestions, I had to go through the revisions a couple of times, which was tough. This time around I chose to go with self-publishing and did all of the work myself; editing, creating a cover, and setting the sales channels. Aside from all that I have to do the promotion myself, which I've been busy doing. I've created my own site ( and I've been contacting blogs about chats, interviews, and reviews. Sure it's hard, but if you're passionate about writing, then you have to accept the responsibilites that come with being an author.

Name 3 authors you look up to.
When I kept getting rejected and felt like giving up I searched the web for authors who've been rejected and on the list were some famous authors, such as Stephen King, John Grisham, and J.K. Rowling. What I admire about all those authors is they never give up, they kept on going and look at where they are today.

What are your top 5 favorite books?
My bookcase is filled with paranormal and supernatural books, mostly real life and folklore tales. It's hard picking five books because I love them all, but I'm a fan of The Ghost of Virginia series and I love Sylvia Browne.

If you could invite and 5 authors on a cruise who would you invite?
This may sound like an odd combination, but I'd invite Danielle Steel and Jackie Collins so I could ask them for advice about the romance world. Stephen King and LB Taylor Jr (The Ghosts of Virginia) because I'm a fan of their books. And the last one would be Sylvia Browne, so she can give everybody a psychic reading.

Name 3 things that help you gain inspiration for writing.
1. Watching a lot of soap operas to get a feel of romance, drama, and suspense.
2. Music helps me get my creative flow going. When I'm writing I like to put on old rock music and then I start typing away.
3. My family, I use our relationship as the setting for many of the characters in the novel. Plus I like to incorporate some of their favorite things; like music, food, and movie stars in the book, this is my way of showing dedication to them.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you as an author?
I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of my first royalty check and I kept thinking it'd be a huge amount, and when I opened the envelope it was only for about five dollars.

What's the most embarrassing author moment you've had?
Again it'd be the five dollar check.

If you were stranded on an island and could magically name 2 people, 3 things and 1 book you could have to have with you who/what would they be?
For the book it'd be the one I'm currently reading Ghost Stories of America. As for my companions I'd chose my celeb crushes Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan as the two people. The 3 things I'd have is pictures of my family, my phone and computer to try to signal help, although with Alex and Scott I probably wouldn't want to be rescued.

Do you have another title in the works?
I'm currently working on the Westmore sequel which deals with the aftermath of the accident, I hope to have out by the end of the year.

What is your favorite season?
Winter, there's nothing better than waking up to the sight of snow. For the past two years we've had snow storms around Christmas time, which made the holidays even more special.

Your dream vacation would be?
I'd love to travel all over the world one day, but the place I would love to go to is Hawaii.

Best childhood memory?
Going to Emerald Isle, a beach in North Carolina for our family vacation. My brothers and I had fun swimming in the ocean and the pool, then we'd go shopping, visit museums and aquariums and at night we go walking on the pier. I have so many fond memories of our times there.

If you were given the chance to do any one thing over again, what would you do over?
I used to get stressed out a lot and I behaved badly during those times. I'd tear up stuff and lash out at people and I wish I could go back and change that.

If you were given the chance to re-live any one moment, what would it be?
My senior year of high school, my friends and I had so much fun. I remember we took a journalism class and created a news broadcast for the school. Also I took a drama class and we did the musical Into the Woods and I did the voice of The Giant. I don't get to see my friends as much as I used to and remembering those times we had in school puts a smile on my face.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?
Aside from writing I'm gonna be doing some traveling, I'm going to a family reunion in Kentucky and everybody wants to meet the famous author.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Don't give up and follow your dream.

Thank you Carol!
You can connect with Carol via her website: or Twitter: @dramacjc

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