Friday, October 16, 2015

Diary of an Ugly Sweater review and interview with author Cassi Eubank

Diary of an Ugly SweaterDiary of an Ugly Sweater by Cassi Eubank
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One little Christmas sweater decided to write a diary about her journey from the factory to her forever home. Along the way she learns a lot about friends, family, and the power of positive thinking. Like the sweater, this book is more then it seems it is filled with great tips for motivation, positive, thinking, self-worth, love, forgiveness, dreams, and family. A big theme throughout this book is the importance of loving yourself for who you are no matter what others think of you. Some readers may be weirded out by the narrator being a talking sweater, but sometimes people do not listen to others when they try to teach them life lessons and this author found an ingenious way of making learning about yourself fun. I would highly recommend this book to everyone it is a wonderful heartfelt tale told in a very imaginative way.

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I’m Cassi Eubank. I am an author, speaker as well as creative consultant for entrepreneurs as well as international corporations.
1) What genre do you like to write?
I am currently enjoying the world of children’s books. Kids are so amazing and see things through such fresh eyes that I find it energizes me to return to that place of innocence to be able to connect with them through the words.

2) If you were to branch out from your current genre which one(s) would you like to explore?
I am a huge reader of suspense/thrillers and feel I will at some point move in that direction. It is a challenge of a different nature and it will provide great growth as a writer, which I constantly strive for.

3) How long have you been writing? What prompted you to start writing?
My first published article was at the age of 8. It was a short story/poem that appeared in the local paper, the Coral Springs Forum. Poems, odes and short stories poured out of me until I became a teenager. Then it was high school journalism, writing for the school paper and editing the yearbook. Even when I was in a band, I wrote the original songs.
I love to write because you are able to create a whole world in your story and bring it to life. And when there is a purpose to your story, whether it is to inspire or deliver a valuable lesson, you can make a positive difference in the lives of people you have never even met and that gets my mojo going.

4) What inspires you to write?
My desire is sparked by the desire to make a difference. I am inspired, however, by the universe. What I mean by that is I have been blessed to be able to retain that childlike ability to tap into the universe by getting into a meditative state and allowing the vision of the story to develop. It plays through my mind like a movie. Then, the hard work comes in to bring the mind movie I saw to the pages in a unique and profound way. At least that is the goal.
5) When a story idea pops into your head, how long does it typically take to write it (from start to finish)? 
It depends on the book. My next book is already written and I am in the process of getting it illustrated. The Angel Alliance is directed toward children ages 2 – 10 and is a picture book that will be about 30 pages. This took a week to write and two weeks to edit, making sure each word had the most impact. Diary of an Ugly Sweater, however, took about 2 and a half months to write and another month and a half to edit. Diary is almost 200 pages and character development is more important when reaching middle grade (MG) or young adults (YA).

6) What did you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?  Easiest?  
I find that I stop myself often to find just the right way to convey the thought I want to get across. Sometimes that breaks my flow and I have to go back a little to get back into it.
The easiest part of writing is the writing.

7) Of all your characters whom do you most relate to?
Sophie. She gets picked on and has some insecurities to overcome. While I cannot ever remember being called ugly, I know I felt that way. My adolescent years were a little painful at times, as it is for all kids. Sophie discovers the things I wish I had known at that age. I know how important confidence is to creating an extraordinary life and I want that for all young kids.
8) Is there one of your characters that you did not like when you started writing about them, but found yourself liking by the end of the story?
Not in this story.

9) What is your least favorite part about writing? Editing. I always edit three times before sending it to my editor for the first time.
The Most? When it is all flowing and the words just seem to type themselves. That is a magical experience.

10) When you are not writing or editing what do you do for relaxation? Love on my German Shepard Rocky, travel, public speaking and doing strategy plans and consulting with businesses and entrepreneurs.

11) What genre of books do you like to read?
Thriller, Suspense, Self-Development, Mystery, Children’s
12) What author(s) do you enjoy reading?  Why? 
Dr. Suess – he’s fun and I have a grandson
James Patterson – I love suspense thrillers and hos short chapters are such an easy read
John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark
I read numerous self-development books – Tony Robbins, Eckhardt Tolle, Deepak Chopra
John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark

13) Tell us about your books where can people find them?
Fall in love with Sophie by searching Diary of an Ugly Sweater on Amazon or Kindle.