Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday's Author Spotlight: Cassandra Piat

Today I’m excited to have author Cassandra Piat on the Sunday’s Author Spotlight. Cassandra writes Chick Lit’s and her first book ‘What’s it Gonna Be?’ was published in December 2014. Find out more about Cassandra in the Interview I did with her, and participate in the Giveaway for a chance to win her book.

About the Book: romantic comedy with a Mauritian twist to it!

Lucy and Matt live in Mauritius and have been going out for over 4 years. Lucy now considers that it’s more than time that Matt pops the question but Matt, a major commitment phoebe, has trouble taking the plunge despite being madly in love with the quirky and fun-loving Lucy. She comes up with various schemes to try to incite Matt to propose but when they all fail, Lucy finally decides to give him an ultimatum… Then she meets a gorgeous Englishman, Jake, and things get complicated…?

Olivia, her best friend and colleague, has never had much luck on the love side until her brother subscribes her to Match. com as a joke. And there she meets a perfect-on-paper Frenchman, Pierre… is he the one she’s been waiting for? Can a romance really develop over the internet? Is he really as wonderful as he seems?

Wildly eccentric Vic, Lucy’s childhood friend, and Sam have been married for years but suddenly his new high profile job has him out until all hours of the morning. Vic is sick of staying at home alone with the kids and more so as she begins to wonder if Sam might not be playing away. She decides to find out what is going on…

Follow Lucy, Matt, Olivia and Vic as they try to find their way to true love. Sometimes the hardest thing is deciding whether it’s worth holding on to or letting go…
Funny, heartfelt and light-hearted, with wonderful main characters that you’ll want to take home with you… not to forget the exotic edge and wonderful island feel it has to it being set in Mauritius.

This book is available at Amazon

Interview with Cassandra Piat:

Tell us a bit more about who Cassandra Piat is?

I’m a French speaking Mauritian, but I write in English because my written French is really bad! My real name is Sandrine but as it’s too much of a mouthful in English, I chose the pen name Cassandra.

I  spent my childhood between England, Mauritius, South Africa and Australia before finally coming back to Mauritius and settling down here over twenty years ago now (that makes me feel so old) when I met my husband. I’m married and have 3 children – one girl and two boys. Over the years I’ve worked as an Administrative Secretary (so bizarre considering I’m THE most disorganized and scatter-brained person you could ever meet!!!), a French-English translator, and now an English tutor and writer.

When did you decide you wanted to become an author and write your own book?

It wasn’t really something I decided to do; it just sort of crept up on me... I had always loved writing but never thought of writing a book per se. Then when I was about 26 years old, I was in a yo-yo relationship with my now husband who was a major commitment phoebe, and I began to think that I could write a story about his indecision and the situations it led us to. Add to that one of my best friends being secretly subscribed to by her brother as a joke. I have to underline that at the time, was the very first internet dating site we had ever heard about here in Mauritius, so it was really WOW! So when she started getting these hilarious replies, I suddenly thought, “I have to write a book about all this!” And so I did. And thus began my writing adventure. It took me over ten years to actually get it finished and published, but I got there in the end.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you use your own experiences?

As I mentioned above, my first book, “What’s it gonna be?”, was inspired by my life and the lives of my friends, and from there I just made up the rest, altered and changed the details to make it funnier or fit into the story in the way I wanted it to. Note: The stalker story actually happened to me for real by the way.

Tell us more about your books? How did you come to the idea of writing those stories?

I’ve already talked about how I was inspired to write my first book, so now for my second book; I guess I had always been intrigued by two of my friends who are always so positive and forever with a smile on their face. I always wondered if they were just fundamentally happy people, or if maybe they had decided to be optimistic and look at the good side of things instead of focusing on the negative side, or if they were in fact hiding behind their smile… And from there, the idea for my second book suddenly developed in my mind, and once it started it just sort of came together really quickly and I actually wrote the first draft in barely three months!

A Tiny Spoiler Alert! ;)
Although it is once again set for the most part in Mauritius (although the end is in Perth, Australia), and it is also another romantic comedy – fun, light-hearted, funny and romantic – I have tried to include a deeper side to it too by dealing with an issue which touches me personally and which brings a bit of seriousness into the story. (Not giving any spoilers, so you’ll just have to read it and see) Mauritius will also be seen through the eyes of tourists this time instead of the locals like in “What’s it gonna be?” so it makes it pretty colourful. 

What do you love most about being an author?

I don’t consider myself an author – I just love to write. What I love most about writing is the freedom I have when I write. I get to choose what happens, with whom and when, where the story goes and how it ends. In life you can’t control the outcome of most things, and I love it that when I write my story, I get to decide how things work out. It’s really fun too and sometimes unexpected when your story suddenly takes you somewhere you hadn’t expected it to. Just love it!

Can you describe your writing process? Do you have any sort of ritual you follow?

I’m chaotic all the way - I’m just all over the place. No plotting, no organization, no set times to work! I have notebooks that I write chapters in when I’m inspired, or just jot ideas down in whenever they come. Then when I have time to sit down and type, I put it all on my computer.

Are you a reader yourself? And what is your favourite book(s)?

Yes, I absolutely love reading. My favourite author is Cecilia Ahern. I love her books “How to fall in love”, “P.S. I love you”, “Dear Rosie”.  I am a big fan of chick lit/rom-coms too. I like feel-good books that make me laugh and that end well. I hate reading books with sad endings – I reckon if I want to see or read sad things, I can just turn on the news or read the newspapers. Reading is my form of escapism I guess.

What are your future plans in writing?

Just to keep writing I guess.

My second book is being edited as I write and so I’ll be working on finalizing that over the next few months – rewriting, title, book cover, blurb, marketing etc.

Also, I have just started my third book, although it’s a bit all over the place at the moment! I’m not sure where’s it’s going exactly, but that’s the fun part – when the ideas start coming in and then having to find a way to make them fall into place and fit together. It’ll be slightly different to my first two books as it will be a young adult/new adult book rather than a chicklit, and there will be a slightly ‘darker’ side to it through one of the characters, but it will still be full of humour and romance.

What would your advice be to new aspiring authors?

Take a marketing course before getting your book published. Be patient. Do it because you love it and not for the money!

Thanks so much for inviting me on your blog Maureen. It’s been a real treat!

About the Author:

Cassandra Piat is a part-time English Tutor and a full-time disorganized mother and housewife!! She spends her life trying to remember not to forget the 101 things on her Things-to-do list - but seems to fail spectacularly most of the time! Whenever she has some free time she’s either with her head in a book, or on her computer creating her own books!
Cassandra is a big fan of rom-com books. She loves books that make her laugh and that leave her feeling happy. Her favourite authors are Cecilia Ahern, Jill Mansell, Sophie Kinsella, Susan Elizabeth Philips, Judith Mc Naught... and many more.

Cassandra lives in Mauritius with her husband and three children. ‘What It Gonna Be?’ is her first book and she is currently working on her second one!

For more information about Cassandra Piat please visit her website, or visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and on My Book.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
This was the last Sunday’s Author Spotlight on Maureen’s Books. Many thanks to all the authors who participated this year and made this post so much fun.

Starting January I’m available for Promotional Services, so if you’re an author and interested in a guest post or some other form of promotion, check out my Promotional Services page.

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