Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Interview with Cassandra O'Sullivan Sachar and book giveaway

By Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

It's debut novelist week at CLC. Our first interview this week is with Cassandra O'Sullivan Sachar, author of "Little Miss Teacher" (reviewed here). Cassandra is originally from Pennsylvania, but studied education in Delaware and now lives there with her husband, daughter, two cats and a dog. She enjoys shopping, traveling, reading, running, baking, and watching movies. She teaches high school English, which was inspiration for her first chick lit novel.

Since we're a stop on Cassandra's blog tour this month, Samantha Robey of Chick Lit Plus has one e-book of "Little Miss Teacher" to give to a lucky reader anywhere in the world!

If you like what you've read today, follow Cassandra on Facebook.

What was your journey to publishing like?
The first word that comes to mind is painful. After working on a project for so long, and investing so much in terms of effort and love, it's rough to go through the rejection process time and time again. Once I finally published "Little Miss Teacher" as an eBook through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords, I felt exposed. Even though I wanted to share my work, actually putting it out there for anyone to criticize is scary. However, I made myself get over that. Some people might not like my book, but so what? If it makes anyone laugh, cry, feel nostalgic either for high school or for her early twenties getting started in her career, then I have accomplished something of which I can be proud.


How did you celebrate when you got "Little Miss Teacher" published?
I don't know that I really celebrated. Since I'm a full time teacher and a part-time doctoral student, I haven't had much of a chance to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I've known my whole life that I would write a book; I've been creating stories before I even learned to write! Publishing "Little Miss Teacher" is exciting but nerve-racking. I hope readers will enjoy Candace's story. I have ideas for a second book, but I'm only going to write it if readers want more of Candace.

How is Candace similar to or different from you?
A lot of people who know me and who read the novel (including students) were quick to look for parallels, since Candace is a high school English teacher, just like me. Looking back at the beginning of my teaching career, it's easy for me to relate to Candace as she struggles through that first year of teaching. Candace is like me (and most women) in that she can be self-conscious at times and question her decisions. Candace has close friends and a wonderful, loving family, just like I do. Still, Candace is a very different person from me.


If "Little Miss Teacher" were to be made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
Tough question! Whenever I read a book, I form a perfect idea of what each character looks like in my head. When the movie comes out, I love to match up my ideas with the actors' appearances. As I wrote "Little Miss Teacher," I didn't think about any particular actors (although I knew I'd want to be an extra in the movie, sitting in the background of the teachers' lounge grading papers or something!). The actress I think who could best pull off the part of Candace is Danielle Panabaker; she's smart and pretty, an excellent young actress. I can easily see Bradley Cooper in the role of Jake; he's handsome and charming in a way that could easily attract a younger woman. As for Charlie, Paul Walker would be perfect, but he'd need to be 22 again. So, I picture a 22-year-old version of Paul Walker!

What keeps you motivated when writing?
I always think about the finished product. Like most writers, I've started a thousand projects that I never finished. Sometimes, the characters just don't become real, and you have to abandon them. To avoid this, before I start writing, I like to think about a loose structure of the book- I'll identify the major events of the plot and how I want things to turn out at the end. As I wrote this book, Candace really evolved in front of me. When she was proud, so was I. When she was hurt, I felt upset, too. Part of my motivation to finish this project was to help her get through her journey of finding herself.

Who is your celebrity doppelganger?
Back when I first started teaching, the "Scary Movie" franchise was huge. Students always told me I looked like Anna Faris's character; she dyed her hair dark brown for that movie. I never saw it, though! Anna Faris and I are almost the exact same age; I think she's about three weeks older than I am. So, I think they saw young, white, and dark haired, and decided that we looked alike. I can't think of any actual celebrity doppelganger. I wish I could say Salma Hayek, but I definitely can't!

What do you like best about living in Delaware?
Tax-free shopping! Woo hoo! I also like living near the University of Delaware and not too far from the beach. Lots of people who live here don't appreciate it, but I honestly love Delaware.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you as a teacher?
Another hard question... like Candace, many of my funny moments have also been pretty embarrassing! Once I was wearing a flowing dress and walked by a fan that was on the ground. Thank goodness, I caught it in time and had only a brief Marilyn Monroe moment. If I hadn't, I think I would have had to transfer schools. I sure wouldn't want to be known as the teacher who flashed her class!

What is the first chick lit book you ever read?
I think it must have been Helen Fielding's fabulous "Bridget Jones's Diary." I absolutely love this book. I remember being unable to accomplish anything until I finished reading it; it swallowed me whole and held me captive. This is my favorite kind of book to read, a book that makes you stop everything because it's just that entertaining.

What are your plans for summer vacation?
Depending on how "Little Miss Teacher" is received by the public, I just might write a sequel! I am also traveling to Australia and New Zealand. And, of course, I will read, read, read.

Special thanks to Cassandra for sharing her thoughts with us and to Samantha for arranging the interview and providing the e-book for the giveaway.


How to win "Little Miss Teacher":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is the first chick lit book you have ever read?

2. Please tell us: Who is your favorite or most memorable teacher (of all time)?
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
6. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.


Giveaway ends June 26th at midnight EST.




39 comments:

ET said...
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ET said...
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ET said...

I'd love to read this book! I'm a big chick lit fan from Belgium!
elinetackAThotmailDOTcom
1. first chick lit novel: Jill Mansell - Head over Heels
2. Favorite teacher: Miss Saegeman. She was my teacher for Greek and Latin and was so enthousiast about it, I now do the same as her.
3. I'm a follower of this blog.
4. I posted this on twitter.
5. I already follow the Chick Lit Central on Facebook (and love it!)
Eline

BRN2SHOP9 said...

Sounds like a good book

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via GFC

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via facebook

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via twitter

BRN2SHOP9 said...

The first chick lit book I ever read was a Meg Cabot book. It was probably one of the books in the Boy Series. I am don't remember which one, but it was definitely her book. She is the reason I fell in love with reading!

BRN2SHOP9 said...

My most memberable teacher is Ms. Glick. she was one of my 6th grade teachers. She turned me into a good student. She is also the only teacher I let call me a nickname. lol I have stayed in touch with her for many years since I was in her class.

Samantha said...

Fun interview!

Jeryl M. said...

I would like to win.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Jeryl M. said...

I don't remember the first chick lit book I ever read.

My favorite teacher was my third grade teacher because after she was my teacher she became friends with my family for a number of years.

I am a follower of this blog.

I am a facebook fan.


jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Kim W. said...

My email: kewalker1972@gmail.com

1. I can't exactly remember the first chick lit book I read....but Meg Cabot's Boy Next Door sticks out as a first; Thin Pink Line also does; of course, Shopaholic also stands out as one of the first!

2. Fave teacher: Mr. Birch grade 6...he was amazing. My dad had a heart attack and he "counselled" me through a lot of tough days!

3. I'm already a follower of CLC

4. I will post this on Facebook

5. I already follow CLC on Facebook

Kat said...

Another great interview! I used to want to be a teacher.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I guess it all depends on what is considered chick lit. I read Judy Blume when I was in elementary school "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret". In high school I got into Maeve Binchy "Circle of Friends."

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Hands down, favourite teacher was Mr Russell, grade 7.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I am a follower of this blog through GFC.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I am a member of CLC.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Will post to fb.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Alison said...

Cant wait to read this. It sounds awesome.
alison.fees@gmail.com

Alison said...

Best teacher was Mrs Phox my Junior and Senior year for math.

I follow through email and GFC as well as facebook.

alison.fees@gmail.com

Gayle LIN said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Four of my five adult children are in education, and now, my oldest granddaughter also.
I follow you on Facebook.
I already follow CLC
My favorite teacher was Billie Ann Maus. She gave me an A++ on a story I wrote.

gaylelin@hotmail.com

susana said...

Please tell us: What is the first chick lit book you have ever read?
Lucy Sullivan is getting married (Marian Keyes)
2. Please tell us: Who is your favorite or most memorable teacher (of all time)?
Well, I don't know, some of them, the teacher of philosophy at my last year of high school.
3. Followed of this blog.
4. POsted in my wall at FB
5.Member of the page at FB

My mail address: smdiazz33@hotmail.com

krystal_lynn said...

I'm a Blog follower
Will be retweeting soon @krystaldorkface
Already joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook =)
Added a friend (Veronica R.) to group.

miss_kris_11ATyahooDOTcom

krystal_lynn said...

I remember buying my first chick lit book while browsing the book aisles at Target. I saw Jemima J and thought it looked like an awesome read. I was so right! It's still one of my top favorites.

miss_kris_11ATyahooDOTcom

Bec said...

Hmn probably Snap Happy by Fiona Walker as far as I can remember.

My Favourite teacher was my German A Level teacher by far. There were 5 of us studying A Level to begin with, it soon depleted to just me! Half of my lessons were on a Friday morning and in the 6th form we'd always go out partying on a Thursday. He was always lovely to me; he'd make me coffee which never happened in other lessons and he'd let me off oral work and just let me work on translating children's books when i was hungover - but also played Morrisey as background music - i think that part was punishment! A very understanding teacher and I got a good grade suprisingly!

be204ever AT hotmail.com

Jane said...

My first book was probably Perfect by Judith McNaught

My favorite teacher was my Spanish teacher, Mrs. Hall. Because of her, I became a bilingual teacher. I just retired last year after teaching for 30 years!

sk8ersmom57@yahoo.com

Jane

Sheen said...

My 1st Chick lit novel was Mr Maybe by Jane Green. Follow the Blog
wapneski@yahoo.com

Margaret said...

First book was Confessions of a shopaholic. Loved it and was hooked ever since. Thanks for the giveaway!

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

Margaret said...

Fave teacher was Ms. Coates. She was my grade 4 teacher and became my piano teacher also.

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

Margaret said...

I'm a GFC follower

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

krystal_lynn said...

My favorite teacher, definitely Ms. Glenda Morrow, the choir director who came in and completely changed our program. My senior year of high school, after 6 years being in a mediocre choir, our teacher (mariachi director stuck with the chorus) brought in a real choir director for us. It was all very Freedom Writers or Coach Carter-ish. That whole thing where the students give the teacher a hard time at first (even making her cry) but eventually come together, make great things happen and come to respect her for everything she's done for them. She came in and actually taught us, made us better, took us to real competitions, showcased our talents, booked us concerts, pushed us to do our best and totally made my last year there amazing. And she wasn't even being paid for it. I have no idea what happened to her but I wish I could find her and thank her for giving me that experience. It was great.

Nancye said...

Sounds like a book with a topic that is near and dear to my heart---teaching! I taught for 14 years before I became disabled. I miss teaching SOOO much!!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Wow! I have read so many chick lit books over the years I have no idea which one was my first one!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

One of my favorite teacher is Mr. Fox from 9th grade Algebra. He was a wonderful teacher who made me understand math for the first time in my life! The only time I EVER got an A in any math class!!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I posted this giveaway on my Facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/nancyecdavis/posts/162202183844841

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/85184283135852546

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I joined you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net