Carol Cassada Interview

We have the pleasure of being able to chat today with the wonderful Carol Cassada. Hello Carol and welcome to FAR. Why not take a seat in our cozy chair and lets learn more about you?

Could you begin by telling us how you start your day?

When I wake up I eat and do some reading, spend time with my family, then get on the computer to write. I vary in how much I write, some days I'll write two chapters, while other times I only get a short scene it depends on how my mood is during the day.

Carol, why don't you tell us something about your latest, Westmore. We would love to hear about the families you have composed and their lives.
Westmore was inspired by my love for soap operas; the book revolves around three families, The Greens, The Braxtons, and The Reynolds.

The Green family consist of matriarch Charlotte whose been a widow the past four years and vowed never to date again, then one night she gets into trouble and handsome detective Jim Bryant comes to her rescue. Over time they become friends, and Charlotte realizes she's in love and ready to date. Meanwhile eldest son Jack is working as a bartender, while he loves his job he longs to do more with his life. Youngest son Peter returns home with his new twenty-nine year old girlfriend, and this causes a problem for Charlotte, but she keeps quiet until her secret is let out of the bag. Scott and Alicia are singing siblings ready to take their band to the next level, once it looks like their dream is about to come true, something happens that will change their lives.

The Braxtons are a rich family, after the death of patriarch Clayton his sons Andrew and Jeff take over the publishing company. Andrew is a controlling man just like his father, and his wife Elizabeth is fed up with his behavior and plans to divorce him. Their son Wayne whose been groomed his whole life to take over the company decides to jump ship when he gets a better offer from another company. Upset, Andrew concocts a plan to destroy his son's dreams, but his actions could spell consequences for others. Meanwhile, younger brother Jeff's relationship with his wife Marie is deteriorating. Marie is upset with the fact they never had more children and blames his family for the misery they caused her. Her resentment could finally be the breaking point in the end of the marriage.

The Reynolds consists of real estate tycoon Stan who is widowed. His life is turned upside down when son Jacob begins dating rocker chick Alicia Green, who Stan disapproves of. Then his daughter Laura and granddaughter Megan return home after Laura's divorce. Laura doesn't tell her father the reason for the split and concentrates on building a better life for her daughter. Once their lives are getting back to normal, her ex Elliot shows up, threatening to reveal her secret.

At the end of the book, an accident occurs which will affect all three families.

What made you decide to come up with this set of books?
Growing up I was a huge soap opera fanatic, my dream was to be a writer for one of those shows. I had this notebook where I'd write characters, plots, and other ideas. Then when I finished my first book, I was looking for inspiration for my second one, so one day I pulled out my notebook and read through it, then at that moment I decided to turn my soap opera ideas into a book series.

When choosing a book to read, what first draws your attention, the blurb or the cover?
Both of them are important, but I'd have to say the cover's a bit more important. It's the first thing readers see and you want an image that will grab their attention and get them interested.

How do you come up with your settings for your books?
In my first book Going Home Again, it took place in Norfolk, VA, and I did research on the town before I began writing. Westmore on the other hand, is a fictional place, which is easy because I created the town the way I wanted it, from the way it looked to all the businesses, I let my imagination run wild.

What do the future years hold for Carol?
I hope to be a successful author, writing books that people love and earning a decent amount of money.

If you could go anywhere in the world for a monthly vacation, where would you visit, and would you take your parents and brothers with you?
I'd choose Hawaii, my mom and I have always loved the place and dreamed of one day going there.

In your opinion, what are the three most essential ingredients of an excellent novel?
Characters to me are the number one element of a novel. You've got two types of characters in a book, the one readers love and are rooting for, and then there are the ones people love to hate and can't wait til they get what's coming to them.

Plot is very important, especially the flow of the story. I've read books where the story goes by too fast and I'm left wondering what I missed. Then I've read books where the plot is slowed down for way too long, and I want it to hurry. I think there should be a right balance for the flow of the plot.

Setting is another important element. You want a place that will capture the reader's attention; somewhere they could escape to and picture themselves living.

Do you find it difficult coming up with a title for your books?
It is somewhat difficult coming up with title, with my books I was running all sorts of names through my head, sometimes combining words. Then I'd say them out loud and chose the ones with a nice ring to it. Then I'd go through the list say the title and my name to see which is the best combination.

Is there anything special you do to get you in the ambiance to write, such as use candles, or music, sit by a lake?
I love to listen to music while I write, especially rock tunes. I'm into the old classics like The Eagles, Heart, and Aerosmith.

Can you share your website and any other links to your books you would like to share?
I love hearing from readers and can be reached at my website or Facebook.

Carol, you wake up one morning to learn that you are a pilot of an airplane. One hundred passengers are eagerly waiting you to choose their destination, where would you fly the plane this morning for a fabulous weekend?
I'd take everyone to Las Vegas for some fun and relaxation.

If you could go back in time, what time period would you choose? And if you could take any dessert, or delicious drink or food, what would you take with you?
I've always been fascinated by the 1970s because of the music and fashion, so I definitely go back to that period. As for food and drink, I'd take my favorite dessert cheesecake and a margarita.

If you were to label yourself in a 'mood type,' of all the seven dwarfs which one would share your title?
I'd say I'm a mix between Bashful and Happy.

Thank you so much for sharing time with us, Carol. It has been a delight. Anyone interested in reading more about Carol and her exciting books, please visit her website to read more.

Interviewed by: Linda L.

Linda L.