Meet Cassia Leo!
I’d heard many good things about Lynn and Red Adept years ago when I was just starting out and absorbing as much as I could on Kindleboards (now Kboards). When I started The Story of Us series, I knew I wanted to get it edited by the best editor I could find, because the story was quite controversial and also quite close to my heart. I was delighted when I contacted Lynn and she was able to set me up with Jessica, who turned out to be a dream.
Jessica Anderegg is your content editor. What do you like best about her editing style?
I love that Jessica understands genre conventions and my desire to break the rules on occasion. She sees things I don’t see, and she’s able to digest the manuscript from the perspective of both the reader and the editor. She’s very good at providing both positive feedback and constructive criticism, which is important. I don’t need to be babied, but it is nice when someone acknowledges you did something right.
Tell us a little about your series The Story of Us and what we can expect in the future.
Jessica is currently editing the final book in The Story of Us trilogy, which will be out August 21, 2015. It’s a tragic love story told in five parts spread out over three novels, each part corresponding to a different stage of grief. It’s a story that is very close to my heart as it does contain a lot of my personal philosophies on storytelling and how that relates to grief, love, healing, and acceptance.
What part of self-publishing do you enjoy the most?
Storytelling. There is no language more universal than the language of storytelling. Stories are a part of us, and we love consuming them, whether in the form of books, movies, TV, trips to the bar, whatever. I’m just a single thread in the fabric of the human story, but I’m excited to be a part of it.
You have some awesome covers. Who does your cover work? (Feel free to add a link)
Thank you! Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations does almost all of my covers. She did the covers for The Story of Us series, and I think she did a great job.
I wouldn’t call it writer’s block. There comes a time in almost every book I write where either I don’t know the characters or the storyline well enough to know where the story should go. In those times, I’ll usually procrastinate until I absolutely cannot procrastinate a second longer. Then I’m forced to ask my author friends, beta readers, or my daughter for help. They usually help me through whatever it is I’m having trouble with, then I move on.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Read. Binge watch Netflix and Amazon Prime TV. Cook. I just adopted a dog this week, so I’ve been going on a lot of walks around the neighborhood lately.
Name a few of your favorite authors and tell us what you like about them.
I’m arbitrarily narrowing down the list, but a few of my favorites are Jodi Picoult, George Orwell, Markus Zusak, and Lauren Oliver. I love Jodi because I’m always able to connect with her characters. Her prose has an effortless flow, and her plots keep me turning pages. George Orwell is just a master at dissecting the social consciousness and presenting it to you in a way that is so obvious yet also so surprising. Markus Zusak knows how to make me feel unlike any other author. I can’t really put my finger on it other than he seems to effortlessly reveal the kernel of truth in every emotional moment. Lauren Oliver has a way with words that always gets me excited to be both a reader and a writer. Her books are like comfort food for the writer’s soul.
What advice would you give to a new author?
Read a lot. Write more. Get a good editor and proofreader. Learn the market and get good at social media. Be good to your readers. They are the ones who will help spread your words like literary wildfire.
Where can readers find you?