Today I'm happy to be bringing you an interview with Carol Cassada, author of the Westmore book series.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I first realized I wanted to be a writer during my sophomore year of high school when I took a creative writing class. I enjoyed writing stories and poems in which I could let my imagination run wild and express my feelings. I became so passionate about writing that I decided that this is what I wanted to do with my life.
Where did the inspiration for The Westmore series come from?
Believe it or not soap operas inspired the Westmore series. I know some people may think it’s crazy, but I’m a huge fan of the shows and I thought it’d be unique to have a soap opera book series. One of the things I love about the Westmore series is it consists of three different families and each character has a different personality and storyline.
Who is your favorite author?
One of my favorite writers is L.B. Taylor Jr, he writes about ghosts and folklore in Virginia and I have all the volumes in his series.
Do you have writing routine? A special pen, a certain type of music, time limits?
I like to do at least an hour of writing, but sometimes that’s not the case and usually I only do a couple of minutes. But as long as I do a little bit of writing each day, I’m happy. Another thing I love to do when I’m writing is turn on rock music to get me pumped up.
Do you enjoy edits/rewrites, or not?
I really don’t enjoy edits, but it’s something that needs to be done. When I’m first writing the novel, everything seems fine, but when I go back and read through it that’s when I notice the mistakes. I usually read through the manuscript at least two or three times to make sure it’s perfect, and each time I do I end up finding a mistake a missed the first time.
The Westmore series follows 3 different familes. Do you ever have trouble keeping all those different characters straight?
It is a challenge keeping all those characters straight, especially details about their history and their physical descriptions. One time I was writing a scene and I was about to put down that Melissa had blue eyes, and I thought to myself that doesn’t sound right. So I had to go back to my notebook to double check my work.
Which character in the series was your favorite to write and why?
One of my favorite characters to write was Alicia Green because she puts on this persona as a tough rocker chick, yet she has a sensitive soul. She’s someone who’s had her heart broken in the past and is looking for love. She’s one of the unique characters in the series and one of my favorites.
How do you come up with your character names?
I flip through magazines and the phone book to find names. I’ll make a list of names that I like, then later I add a first and last name together. I’ll say the name out loud a couple of times to find out how it sounds. If it’s got a nice ring to it I keep it, if not I go on to the next name.
Please tell us a little bit about your journey to publication
With my first book Going Home Again, I learned how hard the journey to publication was. I sent out numerous queries only to get rejection letters instead. After about five months, I finally got a contract with an ebook publisher called Romance Divine. Getting Westmore published was also tough. Again I tried the traditional publishing route and received rejection letters. I never thought I’d get the series published and was at the end of my rope. Then I began researching self-publishing and after a few weeks, I made the decision to become an indie author.
What is the hardest part of being a writer?
I think every job a writer has to do is hard. They’ve got to do lots of stuff from writing, editing, designing a book cover, and promotion. It’s hard work, but it’s something that comes along with being a writer.
What is the main thought or feeling that you hope readers of the Westmore series will walk away from it with?
I’ve always considered a romance novel to be like a soap opera, except with fewer characters. A typical romance novel has the hero and the heroine with minor characters. With the Westmore series there’s seventeen characters with their own storylines, romantic problems, and there’s potential for different couples. I hope readers will accept this new type of romance novels and take an interest in it.
When you're not writing, what are your other hobbies/passions?
Aside from writing I also have several work-at-home jobs. But when I’m not busy working, I love to read, shop, and play with my cats and dogs.
Are you working on any new projects?
At the moment, I’m concentrating on the Westmore series. I’m revising volume 4 and I hope to release it in early 2013. Aside from that I’m also working on a paranormal romance novel, which I hope to release soon.
Quick Fire round:
Coke or Pepsi? I like both and can’t choose.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Again I like both.
Rainy winter days or blazing hot summer days? Rainy winter days.
Hard Copy or e-book? Both
Favorite book? The Ghosts of Virginia series.
Last book you read? Your Guardian Angel and You
What's a quote that inspires you? “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt.
What's your favorite comfort food? Ice cream
About the Book(s):
Set in a fictional New England town, follow the lives of three families; The Greens, the Braxtons, and the Reynolds. The Greens: * Widowed matriarch Charlotte never thought she could find love again after the death of her husband Michael, until handsome Detective Bryant comes to her rescue. * Youngest son Peter returns home from college with his new girlfriend, who's ten years older than him, and is a problem for Mama Charlotte. * Scott and Alicia are singing siblings who are on their way to the top, until tragedy strikes one night. The Braxtons: * Andrew Braxton is a ruthless and powerful businessman who runs his household the same way he runs his company, with an iron fist. Upon learning his son Wayne plans on abandoning the family company, he'll do everything in his heart to stop him from leaving. The Reynolds: * After the divorce Laura Reynolds and her daughter Megan move back home with her father, where she plans to start life anew, but little does she know that it's not easy to escape your past
Buy the Book:
That's just the first book in the series, as Carol mentioned she is now working on the fourth volume!
Connect with Carol:
I want to say a big thank you to Carol for stopping by Melissa's Midnight Musings today. Be on the lookout for my reviews of the Westmore series in the upcoming weeks.