Interview with Carol Cassada
April 5, 2012
1. Who or what has inspired you the most in your writing career and in what way?
There are a lot of things that inspire my writing, the main three are soap operas, my family, and music.
Soap operas helped me decide to write for the romance genre, I'd always loved the shows because they had a mixture of romance, drama, and suspense that kept viewers like me coming back for more. Another aspect I enjoyed about the shows is they had a wide variety characters who added to the flow of the storylines.
My family also inspires most of the characters in my book. In Westmore, The Greens take after the maternal side of my family, because they like to tease each other, but whenever there's a crisis they're always there for each other. The Braxtons on the other hand are more like the paternal side of my family because they're dysfunctional and like to fight.
Music also gets my creative mood going. When I'm getting ready to write, I turn on rock music to get me in tune with the emotion of the scene.
2. Who are some of your favorite authors?
I like to read a lot of spiritual books, so you'll find a lot of Sylvia Browne's works on my bookshelf.
3. I understand that Going Home Again was your first published novel. How long did it take from start to finish to get it published?
4. You've described you latest release, Westmore, as a family saga that resembles a soap opera with romance, drama and suspense. What inspired you to write outside the box rather than following the traditional romance novel model?
5. What was the most challenging part of writing Westmore?
The most challenging part was coming up with individual plots and backgrounds for the characters. There's seventeen characters in the series and in each volume I have to come up with an original storyline for them.
6. What was your favorite part of writing Westmore?
Even though it was a challenge, I'd say writing the individual storylines was also my favorite part. The characters are different and unique in their own way, and coming up with storylines for them was kind of fun.
7. Did you have to do a lot of research for either of your books?
My books do require a bit of research. With Going Home Again, the setting takes place in Norfolk, VA, and I researched the town before I started writing to get a sense of what it looked like. As for the Westmore series, that's required more research, so far I've had to explore a number of topics including: business, health, and legal issues. Sure research can be a pain, but it also can be fun because you learn something new.
8. Where do you get the inspiration for your characters. Are they patterned after people you know in real life or strictly a figment of your imagination?
A majority of the characters are a creation of my imagination. But a few of the characters share traits of my immediate family. Most of the mothers in my books are loving and caring, want their children to be happy, and encourage them to follow their dreams, just like my mom. The Green brothers are like my own, they love to pick on their sister, but they're also very protective of her. In both of my books, the characters don't have good relationships with their fathers, which sadly is the same for me and my own dad. He's like Andrew Braxton because he's never happy and he can be a tad bit controlling. He's also like Robert Mitchell in Going Home Again because once the kids get older he doesn't have much to do with them.
By using them as inspiration for my writing, it's helped me overcome some unresolved issues and gain a greater sense of what family is really about.
9. Do you ever get writer's block, and if so, how do you overcome it?
I have experienced the dreaded writer's block, and when I do get it I usually take a few days off from writing. I relax and clear my mind; during this time I get a chance to rethink my ideas and make changes. Then when I feel ready I start writing again.
10. What are you currently working on?
Currently, I'm working on volume 3 in the Westmore series. In this volume, a big secret comes out which could destroy one of the families.
11. Since The Hope Chest Reviews is all about my passion for books, I can't wrap up without asking: What is your all-time favorite book?
That's a hard question to answer, I've read so many books and I love them all, but To Kill A Mockingbird was one of my favorites.
Thank you so much for visiting with The Hope Chest Reviews today, Carol. It's been a pleasure having you, and we wish you all the best.
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