We've had a cold and wet spring here in Southern Indiana. That doesn't mean we can't plan for those summer reads. If you've never read YA fiction, let me encourage you to give it a try. Christian YA might be something you'd love. No better place to start than Kathy Cassel's books.
Welcome to the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction Kathy! Let's get started so we can learn more about you and your writing.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing for Christian teen magazines in the 80s while I was still in college. In the early 2000s I wrote devotional books for preteen girls and then switched to YA fiction in 2019.
What is the one thing that inspires you to write?
I love reading YA books, or in reality listening to them on CD while I drive. Most of the books I'm reading have themes of depression, suicide, death and so on. The books didn't offer any real answers or hope. I felt a strong call to switch from devotion books to YA fiction to reach teens with a message of hope in God. He has a plan for them. If they walk away from the story with hope, then I've succeeded in planting a seed of faith.
What are you working on right now?
I have a third YA book titled 1,000 lies. Bailey is a typical 15 year-old girl living in a small Indiana town where her life is mundane and predictable-until the day of the field trip to a photography exhibit where an unexpected encounter with a stranger and a shocking photo exhibit throw her life into upheaval. As she and her two best friends begin digging into the past, Bailey discovers everything she thought was true about herself was a lie. This sends her on a peril-filled journey to discover her real identity.
I love it! You have another project coming up too. Tell us about it.
I love writing YA fiction, but the next book I'll be working on is an adult underwater crime scene investigation novel. I even learned to scuba dive to make it more authentic.
Do you have any other things you've done to prepare for your stories?
I've done whitewater rafting, got my conceal carry license, and a motorcycle endorsement to better relate to the characters. I draw the line at sky diving!
Your books sound exciting, and now we know why you aren't afraid to face a challenge. What has been the most challenging part of writing them?
Coming up with an ending that is both believable and acceptable. There isn't always a happy ending to the things that happen in our lives, but there is always hope. I want the readers to walk away with that feeling of hope.
Where do you create these interesting and exciting stories?
I have a cool office decorated in beach décor.
When is your favorite time to write?
My brain works best at night.
Who is your favorite author?
Mary Higgins Clark. I like her style and sense of story.
What has been your favorite vacation destination? Would you go again?
New York City and Boston (I went to the city park to see the statues of the ducks from Robert McCloskey's picture book Make Way for Ducklings). Hopefully, I'll go again with five of my young adult/grown children in 2023.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I live in the Florida Panhandle. We have eight children, five of whom are adopted, three from Haiti and two from the United States. We also have six grandchildren. I love to travel and share adventures with them!
Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
We have four rescue dogs, Travis, Caspian, Sasha, and Sadie. We also have a foster dog, Jax, who has decided he wants to stay with us. After Hurricane Michael hit, we picked up two cats abandoned by their owners.
Wow! You must be one busy lady with that crew. You told me you're not a coffee drinker, which it sounds like you should be! What is your favorite food?
I go for simple. Chick-fil-A! We also make ham and pineapple pizza in a pizza maker we found at Goodwill.
Thanks, Kathy, for sharing your vision of writing stories to give hope to your readers. Be sure to visit Kathy's website to see more of what this busy lady has done.