Hello Cathy! How are you today? Thank you so much for letting me interview you.First up, how many books have you published so far and which is your favourite out of them?
I think here are 16 now, if you count the Daizy Star books, the non-fictions and the pocket-money Puffin Love, Peace & Chocolate, as well as the stand alones and the series! Then again, maths is not my strong point... lol!
So Cathy, where did you first start? What was your inspiration?
People are my inspiration, I guess. I made a spectacular mess of my teen years so I seem to return over and over to that time for my stories, maybe I am trying to get it right this time! I am interested in feelings and emotions, and I've always been addicted to dreaming up stories, so writing almost came naturally.
What was the first book you've published? How long did it take you to publish?
Dizzy was published in 2004. I'd been writing for a long time by then, but always features and short stories for magazines. I'd never written a book-length story before, and once I cracked the discipline of doing that the rest happened very quickly. I sent the book to an agent and a few weeks later six children's publishers all wanted to buy it...
How long have you wanted to be an author for?
Forever, I think!
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It used to be 3-4 months, but I'd say it's closer to 6 now... there are many extra demands on my time,.
How long on average does it take you to get a good idea?
Hard to say, as the ideas are constantly appearing and developing in the back of my mind. I never sit down cold and decide to think of an idea for a book - there are always possibilities brewing in my imagination. Some have been there minutes, some decades!
What is your favourite book written by somebody else?
The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger... great for older teen and young adults.
Have you had any other jobs, or wanted to have another job?
I've been a waitress and a petrol pump attendant - I was rubbish at both of those. I've been a magazine journalist, an art teacher, an illustrator, a freelance writer and a teen mag agony aunt... I loved most of those and would happily do them again.
Have you ever wanted to be somebody else?
No, but every time I create a new character I get to imagine how it would feel!
How did you cope as a teenager, I mean, how did you do with spots and stuff?
I didn't have many spots, so I was lucky there. I was painfully shy, though, and very unconfident. My non fiction book Letters To Cathy is aimed at helping today's young teens build up their self-esteem and survive the teen years more easily!
What is your most treasured possesion? Why?
Hard to choose... maybe my old teddy, because he's older than me and my dad bought him for me...
Who's your favourite author?
There are so many, but I'd maybe pick an obscure American called William Saroyan.
Why did you want to become an author?
It seemed like a good way to use my addiction to daydreaming and inventing stories.
Is Cathy Cassidy your REAL name?(:
Yes and no - it's not my married name, so I suppose I do get to have a 'secret' and more private life where not everyone knows what I do for a living!
Have you ever got any fan-presents?
Lots. I have the most amazing and generous fans. Prezzies range from paintings, bracelets, hand made chocolates, books, cupcakes iced with my name...
How many pets have you got? Have they influenced your writing in any way?
At the moment, one dog, Kelpie, two cats, Pickle and Pepper, and one rabbit, Snowy. There have been alot more but that's the count right now. Kelpie inspired Leggit in Dizzy, and the cats inspired the kittens in Driftwood.
What do you do when your stuck on what to write?
Do people chase after you in the streets and beg you for autographs?
No, but they do sometimes ask me (politely) in Tesco etc. I'm glad they don't chase!
Do you have a special writing place?
I have a writing shed which is cool.
Have you got any tips for young writers?
Sure - check out the WRITER'S WORKSHOP page on my website cathycassidy.com for all my tips for young writers and a fab writing comp.