Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author and book writing mentor Cassandra Farren about her career, her latest book, The Girls Who Refused To Quit, and the advice she has to inspire other writers.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am the author of 7 books, a book writing mentor, a ghostwriter and a mum.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I was at a crossroads in my life in 2012 when an intuitive coach advised me to write down my life story as apparently it was a lot more inspiring than I realised. I had no idea that this writing would turn into a book
When did you take a step to start writing?
I continued to write and was encouraged to share my story on a larger scale. I took a leap of faith, applied for some business funding and published my first book in 2014.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It was 18 months from start to finish, but if I had known from the beginning that I was writing a book I would have made the process quicker.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
The Girls Who Refused to Quit – Volume 3 was started in October 2020 and published in February 2021.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write The Girls Who Refused To Quit?
I realised there were many women who wanted to share their story but felt daunted by the publishing process, as well as the vulnerability of laying their soul bare.
I decided to publish an anthology to make it less daunting for the contributors.
What were your biggest challenges with writing The Girls Who Refused To Quit?
I was mentoring a group of 14 authors who were all writing one chapter each, as well as writing a chapter myself. We were all sharing a particularly difficult time where we had overcome adversity. The biggest challenge, and the adversity I wrote about, was that my mum was dying from dementia during this time having not been able to see her for months during the pandemic. She died 4 days before Christmas. It was an incredibly challenging time, but knowing that we were publishing our book 2 months after her death gave me something positive to focus on.
What was your research process for The Girls Who Refused To Quit?
There was no research needed and I had already published Volume 1 and 2, but for all of the books I selected women who had a strong desire to make a difference to others, as well as wanting to make peace with their own past.
How did you plan the structure of The Girls Who Refused To Quit?
Each author other shared their real life journey and then at the end of each chapter wrote a letter to their younger self.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The Girls Who Refused To Quit need?
Yes, we had an editor but the book only required a proofread to correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
Close your eyes and imagine the first ever copy of your book being delivered, hold onto that feeling whenever any fears come up and always follow your heart.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
Having published 7 nonfiction books I am now feeling guided to explore the possibility of writing fiction.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Becoming an author has changed my life as well as my business. There have been many tears along the way, but I am very proud, and it was definitely worth the effort.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Link to books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cassandra-Farren/e/B075PD8T3C?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1627383424&sr=8-1