Ffamily dynamics can be tricky, especially when finances are at stake! In Casie Bazay’s first novel, Not our summer, it focuses on the relationship between two cousins with a family heritage at stake.
As a former English teacher, Casie has always had an affinity for the written word and enjoys reading and writing. She had the opportunity to focus on writing a book just over 10 years ago, after the birth of her daughter, when she made the decision to become a full-time mom and freelance writer. part time. She started the hard work of writing daily with the aim of sending her book to agents to continue traditional publishing. This goal required discipline, perseverance and many rejections before his fourth novel, Not our summer, has been accepted for publication.
TK: As a former teacher, what did you like about this profession?
Casie: I taught for Coweta and Broken Arrow Public Schools for 10 years and enjoyed working with students in the classroom. With my experience in teaching English to middle school students, I was able to share my love of reading and writing with my students and incorporate books and stories into the curriculum; always including a particular book, The donor by Lois Lowry. The award-winning book was thought-provoking and still a hit with my students.
TK: When did you decide to write a book?
Casie: Teaching definitely had an impact on my love of reading and writing. I have always enjoyed reading – especially novels for young adults. While I was teaching in class, the popularity of this genre increased with books like the Twilight, Hunger Games, and Divergent series. I started to think about writing my own book then, but I didn’t act on it. I really focused on my writing career after leaving teaching.
TK: Can you share the juggling process between your role as a mom and a writer?
Casie: My kids are older, so I respect school hours. Creating a habit and sticking to it will get you there. I write after I drop my kids off at school and when I pick them up I’m done for the day. I keep the same schedule during the summer too.
TK: What do your kids think of your writing career now that you’re a published author?
Casie: My kids are so used to hearing me talk about writing that it’s just a normal part of everyday life, and the posting process has been so long, I’m not sure they understand how it is important. But if you asked them, I’m sure they would say they are proud of their mom!
TK: What’s a misconception you had about writing?
Casie: Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. This rarely happens. I learned that the secret to making progress was forcing myself to sit down and write for an hour or two. Some days I will only complete a few paragraphs and other days I can knock out an entire chapter. Repeating the writing every day helps me progress. I consider all progress to be one step closer to my goal, no matter the amount.
TK: What did you learn during the writing process?
Casie: For me, it’s been a 10-year process. I feel like I have grown so much as a writer. I have completed five books now and am working on my sixth.
TK: How did you come up with the idea of Not our summer?
Casie: It was the fourth completed novel that I was writing. One of the lessons I learned is that you have to take risks with your writing. In my first three books, I focused on the horses in these books because that was my comfort zone. I have horses and I write for magazines and equestrian companies with my freelance writing. With my fourth book, I intentionally decided to come up with a different idea by focusing on the relationship between two characters. I spent several hours mowing a horse pasture when I got the idea for this book. I felt like I was taking a risk and stepping out of my comfort zone to write a different story than my first three books.
TK: Tell us a bit about the book.
Casie: The premise revolves around five trips, two cousins, a family feud, and a summer that will change their lives forever. The main characters, KJ and Becka, are distant cousins who come from different backgrounds. KJ was raised by a single mother and Becka has a little more stability in her home, despite her mother in her third marriage. This story follows the cousins on their journey to learn to deal with their past and to come together to earn their legacy. It’s full of real-life lessons and a dramatic plot that many find unexpected.
TK: What words of encouragement would you offer to others who want to write a book or are trying to write their first book?
Casie: Writing books isn’t just for others. Anyone Can Do It. I highly recommend going to conferences, meeting people, finding critical partners. Just learn from people who know more than you. Be prepared to learn from these people.
TK: You tweeted saying, “I think half the success in this whole writing thing is acting like you already are. Can you expand?
Casie: I tweet a lot of things that come to mind or have helped me in the writing process. What I have learned is to fool you into thinking you can. The more you write, the more your confidence will grow. Writing a book is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
TK: What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?
Casie: My biggest tip is not to stop after your first book. I interviewed over 150 literary agents who ultimately rejected my first book. It was difficult for me, because I liked this book, but I decided to put it aside and write a second book. The second book also received rejections – and so did the third. Not our summer is my fourth book and it has finally been published!
TK: What else would you like to share?
Casie: For those interested in writing, I offer editing services. Everything in your submission process: from refining your query letter to reviewing your entire manuscript. You are welcome to contact me through my website. I really enjoy helping other writers in the process.
You can pick up a signed copy of Casie Bazay’s book locally at Magic City Books. To find out more, visit casiebazay.com.
To listen to the full interview, check out Nancy Moore’s Sharing Passion and Purpose podcast on your favorite podcasting platform.