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My Q&A with Cassi Ellen :
Jess : What sparked the idea for "Story of a Secret Heart?"
Cassi : Well I never actually intended to write a book! At 30 years old, I was living 10,000 miles away from my friends and family, when the man I planned to marry did the unthinkable and had an affair, leaving me alone and heartbroken. I started writing as sort of therapy so that I didn’t go completely mad and I guess I just got carried away. Before I knew it I had 70,000 words! I never at any point thought ‘O I’d like to be a writer’ or ‘O I think I’ll write a book’.
So I guess the idea was sparked, and I know this sounds silly, by my break up with my ex-boyfriend. It is what the book is based on, and I truly believe it changed the person I was.
Jess : Which usually comes first for you, the character(s) story or the idea for the novel?
Cassi : Well because, at first, I was writing for myself to stay sane, and not for others to actually read, I guess the character very much came first. In the beginning I just started writing down how I felt, and as things went on, and life got more and more amusing and out of control, it just turned into a book.
Jess : What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write in a novel and why?
Cassi : My favourite chapters by far are the ones towards the end of the book. I have always loved book endings anyway, but in "Story of a Secret Heart," the stories towards the end just get more and more out of control, and even now I laugh out loud when I read it back to myself.
Jess : Is "Story of a Secret Heart" basically an autobiography of you or are there any differences between you and Cassi (the character)?
Cassi : I guess I would say Cassi is a reflection of myself. Cassi was definitely who I was during that difficult time, but whether I am still the same today as I was when writing the book, I don’t think so. She was an extreme version of myself.
Jess : In regards to "Story of a Secret Heart," if you could write it all over again, would you change anything about it?
Cassi : Well it was my first book so yes I would change so many things. I would probably have paid more attention to the details, and I wish I had known at the time of writing that I would want to publish it. Editing it was an absolute nightmare because I had purely just written down my thoughts and feelings. To be very honest with you a lot of it made no sense the first time I ever read it back to myself.
Jess : How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite and why?
Cassi : Only "Story of a Secret Heart" I’m afraid. But I’m really hoping to finish the sequel, "Story After a Secret Heart," by the end of the year.
Jess : Do you have any other projects in the works? If so, can you share a little of your current work with us?
Cassi : Just "Story After a Secret Heart," and this time I’m actually really enjoying the process of writing the whole story from scratch. Before, I was so engrossed in feelings, and writing was a way of getting it out. Whereas this time around I’m enjoying planning and plotting the structure of the book. It’s a whole new world to me and so far I love it. I just hope I can try and muster up some of the raw emotion that I believe made the first book so relatable to readers.
Jess : Do you have a favorite aspect of summer that you’d like to share with us? Or have any end-of-summer plans you’re excited for?
Cassi : I love ALL aspects of summer. I love the hot weather and I am definitely a summer kind of girl! My favourite part of summer has always been just hanging out. I absolutely love to spend hot summer days sat on the grass in a park or on the beach surrounded by my friends or family.
Jess : What cartoon character best represents your personal philosophy?
Cassi : Probably Sleeping Beauty. One, because I absolutely adore animals and am always talking to them, and two, because one of favourite things to do is sleep!
Jess : List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?
Cassi : My favourite books of all time are "Jackal’s Dance" by Beverley Harper and "A Life of Pi" by Yann Martel, both I highly recommend. The most recent book I have read is "The Girl in the Ice" by Robert Bryndza, which I very much enjoyed although I didn’t like the main character all that much.
by Cassi Ellen
Author's Book Description :
- A broken heart hurts, but it can also be fun......
Be warned, this story is not for everyone! It is a very personal story, about love, life and laughter, told from the heart. Be prepared for a rollercoaster ride!
As Cassi, a 30-year old single woman, leaves a long-term, unhappy relationship, she struggles with the pain and anguish of a broken heart. When, by chance, she meets a handsome stranger, he introduces her to a world that she didn’t even know existed. As she begins to slowly forget all about her broken heart she learns to have fun again. It is then that her life starts to spiral out of control and all she can do is laugh and hang on tight. Through her trials and tribulations, Cassi has to find her inner strength and keep a smile on her face even in front of adversity.
Story of a Secret Heart is about breaking up . . . and breaking down. It’s about the roller-coaster ride of a breakup and all the dating and relationship stories in-between.
Based on a true story
This book is available to order on :
** Be sure to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads & LibraryThing! **
About the Author :
When Cassi Ellen turned 30 she was single, alone and heart broken on the other side of the globe. She started writing as a sort of therapy at the time, but after people started reading it and said it was actually good, she thought maybe others might like to hear her story too. Maybe those going through a hard time will take something away from it.
Apart from that, readers will find out so much more by reading her blog and book, "Story of a Secret Heart" …….. but …… She also loves animals, especially cats, and loves to laugh!
Book Excerpt/Teaser(s) :
‘Hi,’ I said. ‘Where are you?’
He waited only a few seconds to answer, but I knew him well enough to know something was wrong when he answered, very distracted, with the same question I had asked him:
‘Where are you?’ he said.
At that moment, something deep inside me, and I had no idea what it was, told me to lie, and so I answered with ‘still at the fundraiser, but I’m leaving now.’ Of course that was a lie, which I immediately regretted, as I was obviously standing in our open plan kitchen at home. Despite my guilt, I quickly followed up my lie with a repeated, ‘Where are you?’
His next sentence broke my heart into a million teeny tiny little pieces, and I would never forget it. ‘I’m at home,’ he said.
Book Preview(s) :
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