A Peek Into Your Life Jessica Cassell

Well. Here I am. A few weeks into Rachael Harrie's Platform Building Crusade. I'm following everyone's blog. I LOVE my group, and I'm making friends from many of the other groups.

What a fun bunch of writers. (Well... we're all here for a good time after all.) 

Today, I'd like you to meet Jessica Cassell over at Cerebral Lunchbox, a fellow crusader, a group member, and a cool gamer girl. Be sure to stop by her blog, for a chat, she's full of unique ideas and always has a fun discussion going. Yup, another place to call home.

What genre do you write?I've written a little of everything through the course of time, but these days I'm mostly sticking to urban fantasy.  I'm excited about the rise of popularity in the genre, because before the genre came along I never knew what to call the things I wrote.  Some of my stories do have a stronger horror bend than others, but I think that blending genres is a lot more acceptable now.

Where are you in your writing career?I'm published, but only with non-fiction.  The more research I do, the more I'm leaning to self-publishing an e-book when I finally get to that stage.  I'm about 90% done with my first novel, which I'm hoping will be the first in a series.  I have several short stories finished and polished ready and waiting for the right market to come along.

What advice would you give to a new writer? What advice do you wish someone had given you?
I used to fear making outlines, because I didn't want to "stifle" the energy I felt while I was writing.  Now I know this: Plan, plan, plan, and be completely ready to throw it all away in the course of writing. 

To keep from stalling out, you really do need to have your ideas fleshed out, but your characters will evolve as you write, and you may need to revise the plan as you go along.  If you're willing to evolve than the writing will still feel dynamic and alive, even if you have it planned to death. I've adapted the Snowflake Method for the planning stages, and have used yWriter to help me move scenes around, etc.

What’s the strangest place you’ve ever found yourself writing? Your favourite place to write?
I guess the strangest place I've written was in class (both high school and college).  In high school, I would get in trouble in math classes, because I would be scribbling away, and then passing the pages to my friends.  Even though looking back the writing was laughably bad, it was pretty fulfilling to get instant feedback.

My favorite place to write is at my desk in my corner of the bedroom.  It may not be a room of my own, but it is my own area.  I can get much more done there than anywhere else in the house.  Probably because it's far far away from the comfort of the couch.

What inspires you, motivates, or simply pushes you to be your very best?I'd love to have something wonderful and unique to say here, but I fear my answer is pretty standard.  Two things really push me, the first is the movie in my head.  I imagine my stories and see them playing in my head, and I desperately want to capture the images and translate them to paper.  As good as my writing may be, I always struggle, because it's never as good as the reel going in my mind.

The other thing that pushes me is my husband.  We met in junior college, when I was taking a creative writing class to round out my hours so I would be full time.  I would always let him read what I'd written and he loved it.  When we moved and I was unemployed, he was the one to really push me to begin seriously writing again.  Letting him read my work and the (sometimes pushy) encouragement he gives me helps me keep going.
And... Let's take a peek into your life. Tell us about yourself.
Oh gosh, these are the types of questions that I hate!  Let's see how this goes.  Well, I have a sailor's mouth, and I live in mortal fear of letting something slip in front of my family.  I've also decided that when I publish, I'll have to keep it secret from my family, because most of them are a bit...uptight.  They probably wouldn't dig the violence, language, and most definitely the sex I sometimes include in my stories.

I have two dogs that I love (even when they destroy the toilet paper and tear up pillows).  Don't ask me what breed they are, because they're both pound puppies.  I have a strong conviction about adopting from shelters instead of buying my dogs from breeders.

I have a very hard time creating brand new ideas.  Instead, it's often just a phrase or a legend that gets me going.  I never have several stories or ideas going at once, but I tend to hold on to the inspirations until I get them just right.  One of my two WIPs is based on a short story I wrote ten years ago that has been nibbling at my mind for all that time.

Thanks Jessica!!


Richard said...

Sounds like Jessica has her act together. Having the support of her husband makes a huge difference. We writers have so much in common. Much of what she says is how I feel and think.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we'll be seeing Jessica's name out there sometime soon. Thanks to you both for the great interview! It's nice to get to know our fellow crusaders a little better.


Donea Lee said...

Great interview, ladies! I'm going to have to check out this snowflake method ~ :) *A fellow crusader just stoppping by to say "hello!"

Witless Exposition said...

Thanks for all the votes of confidence! Make sure you check out Tanya's answers to my questions today.

Deborah Walker said...

Great interview, thank you.

Witless Exposition said...

Thanks again for hosting me. I wanted to let you know that I've passed the Stylish Blogger your way. For all the details check here.

Ciara said...

Nice to meet you, Jessica. I'm a fellow crusader. Great interview, Tanya.