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_MG_2863My next Guest Star is as sweet as an angel.

But I wasn’t about to let that bother me– I can get the nicest of people riled up in no time.

Her blog is as cool as Cannes. No problemo, pas de problème–I can rock with the hip scene. Yeah, Baby!

Just one last thing, though… She’s young.  Really young. Barely-out-of-college-but-still-looks-like-a-teenager young. That was almost a deal breaker.

Being the hard core, professional interviewer that I am, I pulled myself up by my black stiletto-heeled, thigh-high boot straps and met fire with fire. If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em..is yet another in a string of clichés I’m using this episode (making my tally 7, so far?).

I think I pulled the “young” thing off pretty well, see what you think…

HDYGT: Hi Laura, Welcome to How Did You Get There. Please tell us what you do for a living?

Laura Cassidy:         I write teenage fiction.

HDYGT:             OMG!!! That’s, like, so COOL!!!

Laura Cassidy:   (embarrassed smile)      Thanks.

HDYGT:             And I know cool when I see it, as you may have noticed from my outfit. Giorgio! (flags waiter to get her toy poodle a drink. Giorgio—whose real name is Dermot—rolls his eyes)

Laura:            (stunned, yet can’t help imagining HDYGT’s metallic-pink Wet Look leggings and black leather jacket on a villainess in a trashy romance novel)

HDYGT: Sooooo, tell me what you’re writing. Is it, like, a book or something? (blows a big bubble with watermelon flavored gum)

Laura Cassidy: (flinches from loud popping sound) Actually, yes. My first novel.

HDYGT:             A novel? That’s like Big Time. What’s it called?

Image007Laura Cassidy:         Angel Kiss. It will be published by Puffin Ireland in early 2011.

HDYGT:             Actually, that is a great title— er , I mean—RAD title. I dig it like dirt. Sooooo , what’s it about?

Laura Cassidy:  (eyeing nearest exit) It’s about Jacki King, a fifteen year-old who is adjusting to her new life in a small Irish village.  She misses Dublin city but starts to make new friends: artistic Colin, feisty Emily – and Nick, gorgeous but unavailable.  But just as Jacki is settling in she starts to suffer from recurring nightmares and frightening visions. She refuses to believe that anything paranormal could be happening, but then she hears about the unsolved murder that occurred in the village, thirty-two years before…

HDYGT: Recurring nightmares…paranormal goings on? We love that kind of thing, don’t we Prince? (HDYGT strokes her toy poodle, who’s drinking out of Laura’s glass) I call him Prince Dracula.

Laura Cassidy:         Oh.  (wondering if the bathroom has a window she can escape from)

HDYGT:             How long have you been writing?

Laura Cassidy:         I’ve been writing full-time for three years now.  Before that I hadn’t really written any sort of fiction since primary school.  I got a bit of a shock a few weeks ago when I reached for my Writers and Artists Yearbook to check something and noticed the year on the front.  I had forgotten I had been serious about this for so long.

HDYGT: Thirty years…wow that is a long time. I remember what I was doing thirty years ago.  I was…er….still in my baby crib, newborn. I remember it well.

Laura Cassidy:         Three years.

HDYGT:                         What?

Laura Cassidy:         I said, I started writing THREE years ago.

HDYGT:             THREE years ago. Exactly. That’s what I said—what did you think I said?! Is your hearing starting to go already?

Laura Cassidy:         (Smiles politely)

HDYGT: Just kidding! I would never put your premature hearing loss in the interview—but you really should have that checked.  Next question: what do you like most about being a writer?

Laura Cassidy:         I love going to bed at night really looking forward to starting work in the morning.  I think that is one of the best things ever.  I spent many years dreading getting up and dragging myself to school/college/work so I really appreciate being able to write everyday.  It can be very tiring and frustrating at times but I love it so much that I don’t mind.

HDYGT:             Well, you’re not as young as you used to be. Maybe that’s why you’re tired? Have you thought of taking vitamin supplements? They work wonders…or so my OLDER friends tell me.

Laura Cassidy:         I hadn’t thought of that. (stands, looks towards the lady’s room) If you’ll excu—

HDYGT: What quality do you feel makes you particularly suited to being a writer?

Laura Cassidy:         (sinks back into chair) I think the fact that I have a quiet personality makes me suited to being a writer.  It’s not essential but it helps.  I spend a lot of time observing other people and I don’t mind spending very long hours in my own company.

HDYGT:             Getting older can be lonely. (patting Laura’s hand)

Laura Cassidy:         Then again, writing has actually made me more outgoing.  Now when I go out I am much more likely to strike up conversations with new people, because I spend so much time working by myself.

HDYGT:             That’s the spirit, I admire how you maintain your zest for life, at your age. Is that innate or is it the wisdom of your years?

Laura Cassidy:         I’ve always had this sort of personality and haven’t always loved it but turns out it can be useful… To silently observe people, as a character study… (gives HDYGT deadpan stare)

HDYGT:                         Where did you work immediately before this?

Laura Cassidy:         I worked in a library for two summers while in college.  I was in heaven.  Being surrounded by books all day was almost as good as writing them.  I read a lot of books during those summers that I would never have picked up in a bookshop.  Libraries are ideal for exploring different genres and stepping out of your reading comfort zone.

HDYGT: Did this lead directly to being an author?

Laura Cassidy:         Not really.  I had an idea for a book and was in college at the time but didn’t feel like it was the right place for me.  I had always wanted to be an actress and I was studying Drama but suddenly I felt like I was headed in the wrong direction.  I deferred my place and decided to really go for it with the book.

HDYGT: How did you end up where you are?

Laura Cassidy:         I knew nothing about the publishing world before I started writing.  I was soon to find out that writing the book was actually the easiest part of the process.  I sent out query letters for a year and a half.  That’s a long time to be constantly checking your email.  I found it very difficult.  I got numerous rejections, but then came the wonderful day when Faith O’Grady said she really liked my book and agreed to be my agent.

HDYGT: That’s terrific– Congratulations!! Any other help or inspiration along the way?

Laura Cassidy:         I certainly wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for my parents.  They really supported and believed in me and encouraged me to write.  The original plan was to be an actress, but I like writing even better than acting because I get to create my own characters.   When I was in fourth class (4th grade for you Americans) my teacher told me my stories were great and said she would be looking out for my books on the shelves in a few years.  So I like to think I’ve ended up where I’m supposed to be.

HDYGT: I’m certain your (future) readers are grateful for that. Any memorable jobs other than writing?

Laura Cassidy:         I have had a few jobs but none were as traumatic as when I worked in a shoe shop for four hours.  On the wall there was a chart that showed everyone’s shoe-selling progress.  There were gold stars for the best employees and black marks for those who didn’t meet their targets.  I was a terrible saleswoman.  I was supposed to try and sell shoe polish with every pair but failed miserably.  The manager ran the operation like a dictatorship and I was terrified of her.  I quit after my first shift.  I’ve had other lovely jobs but I still have nightmares about that one.

HDYGT: If you had to fail at something I suppose that’s a good choice.

Laura Cassidy:         Yes, and I learned to appreciate every other job I have ever had!

HDYGT:             I certainly appreciate your Guest Starring on How Did You Get There, Laura, it has been a real pleasure, and as always, Thank You for Playing!