Sammy Cassella found her calling at the age of nine. Her teacher posted three picture on the wall, and a story was to be created around one of the pictures. Her mother had enrolled her in the Weekly Reader Program, and between these two things a writer was born. She was born, raised, and educated in the cornfields of Illinois, however, now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, which includes two dogs and a cat.
Interview with Sammy Cassella, author of ‘Just a Girl From the Cornfields’
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Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Sammy. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
I have published my novel, “Just A Girl From The Cornfields,” and a novella called, “A Happi Life.”
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
I went the self-publishing route. I was having a rather difficult time finding an agent that took unpublished authors, and publishers that would accept unsolicited manuscripts. I was kind of at my wit’s end and ready to throw in the towel. I had vanity publishers trying to eat me alive, but I could not afford their prices. It was at that point that my local librarian invited me to hear an author speak. She told us exactly how and what to do to get published. When I asked her what  ;she thought of vanity publishing, she told me that I did not need those services.
I took her advice.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
I felt like I was walking in a dream. It was so surreal. I kept thinking that I would wake up from the dream at any moment.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
Actually, I made a page on social media a few months before the book was ready to publish. After publishing, I joined as many groups as I could find to help with promotion. That has been amazing! I now have friends all over the world.
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I make sure that my readers all have the same pictures in their heads when reading my work. I am much more descriptive. I think that before publishing, I forgot sometimes that I would not be the only one reading my work, and although I knew what I meant, or could see the picture in my head, that did not mean that a reader could.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
I was quite surprised at how easy it was to self-publish. Okay, the first time, I was not sure that my hair and nails were going to survive formatting, but overall it was easy. I was a bit amazed by the amount of people that actually wanted a book in their hands, as all I have heard is that Ebooks were all the rage now.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
The most rewarding thing for me has been the reader’s responses. They are taking that emotional journey with me and loving it.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Do it! Let go of fear! In this day and age, the only thing standing in the way is you. If you have a story to tell, tell it.