Monday, November 30, 2015

Author Interview: Cassandra Piat and 5 Ebooks Giveaway: What's It Gonna Be? by Cassandra Piat

Hey Lovely Readers,

I am so happy today to bring to you the very candid Interview with Cassandra Piat.

Cassandra is the author of What’s It Gonna Be?, a sweet romantic story set in beautiful and mesmerizing Mauritius, a small Island country off the coast of Africa.



Now, having just returned from a memorable holiday there, I loved connecting with Cassandra who lives in Mauritius and has based her first book there!

I am currently reading her book and while you wait for my review. Read her Interview to get a glimpse into her book and life. There is also a cool Giveaway up ahead where you can enter to win 5 Ebooks of her book!

In the below Interview, she shares her life as well as her experiences of writing her first book which is a sweet Romantic Comedy and living in lovely Mauritius.



Q1. Tell me something yourself.


Cassandra Piat
I was born in England to Mauritian parents (my Dad was completing his medical degree at the time) then spent my childhood between Mauritius, South Africa and Australia. My family still live in Perth but I came back to Mauritius 20 years ago (Oh my! That makes me feel SO old!!!), when I met my husband. I have three kids and work as an English tutor - and now, a writer.


About me: I am always late, love pizza and books, big fan of romantic comedy movies, hate seafood, love a good laugh, absolutely love rainy days when I can snuggle up in bed with a good book or a movie…


Q2. What all have you written till date?

For the moment, my only published book is “What’s it gonna be?”

- A romantic comedy set in Mauritius which is the story of Lucy, a quirky, lovable and scatterbrained twenty-four year old who is tired of waiting for her commitment phoebe boyfriend, Matt, to propose. Her friends and family all think she should leave him, and she starts to wonder if they may be right. Then, with a little help from her wacky friend, Vic, a gorgeous Englishman, Jake, comes into the picture and Lucy’s heart is in turmoil. Add to that the sudden appearance of a creepy, love-struck stalker who pops up everywhere she goes, and her life goes haywire.


In the meantime, Olivia, Lucy’s best friend, has problems of her own. Desperate to find love but always falling for duds, she begins to lose hope. Then one day her brother registers her on an internet dating site as a joke. Furious at first, she then decides to play along and see where it leads her. She ends up meeting Pierre, a mysterious Frenchman … Is he really as charming and perfect as he sounds? Should she go to Paris to meet him?

When she’s not meddling in Lucy’s life, Vic, Lucy’s eccentric childhood friend, is at home with her three turbulent kids. Initially thinking that she was happily married, she suddenly realizes that things have changed and suspects that her husband may be playing away. Not one to sit back and wait, she decides to take things into her own hands and find out what is going on.

Filled with fun, humour and a cast of zany characters, What’s it gonna be? is a tale about friendship, growth and love.


Q3. I recently visited Mauritius and absolutely fell in love with the country. What are the five things you love about Mauritius?
The very lovely Mont Choisy Beach in Mauritius

-I love living close to the sea.

-I love the sense of family and belonging that I have here.

-I think Mauritius has so much charm and just love the traditional touches that still remain from the past.

-I love the friendliness and helpfulness of Mauritians in general.

-I just love the landscapes and natural beauty of the island.


Totally agree with you here. I, too, loved the beauty and tradition of the place and the very friendly people there. :)

Q4. Why did you use Mauritius as the location for your book, "What's it gonna be?"?

Because I’m lazy and it’s so much easier writing about somewhere you know. No seriously, as the story was loosely based on my life and those of my friends to start off with, I couldn’t imagine setting it anywhere else. But it’s true that as a new author, I have a hard time imagining how I would go about writing a story that takes place somewhere I’ve never been. Guess I’ll end up learning with time.


Q5. Where do you get your ideas? What kind of research did you do for "What's it gonna be?"

I was actually inspired by things that were going on in my life and my girlfriend’s lives at the time, situations I thought funny and that made me say, “I definitely need to write a book about all this!”

Lucy and Matt actually represent my now-husband and I, and is loosely our story J. I say ‘loosely’ because although there is definitely a basis of truth to it – a lot of it was also just made up or exaggerated or altered to make the story what I wanted it to become.

For my second book, it wasn’t anything in particular but more an idea that sort of popped up in my mind and that just developed from there.


Q6. Do you have any happy memory related to writing? Do share with us.

It’s a lot of fun making the characters be exactly who you want them to be. It’s wonderful to have the freedom and control over how the story goes – a control we definitely don’t have in real life. It’s funny because you grow fond of your characters and almost feel like you’re stepping into their lives for a while. It’s also fun because sometimes it’s unexpected as the story or the characters suddenly take you down a path or into a conversation you initially had no idea would take place! I just love the freedom it gives me.


Q7. What are the steps that you followed to get your book published?

I sent my manuscript to a freelance editor in South Africa who had guided me with regards the development and flow of the story. As for the formatting, the Amazon KDP site is actually great for self-published authors as it provides the basic book formats and all the specifications you need making it easy to set up your book professionally and ready for printing. This also applies to the cover specifications (both for e-books and paperbacks). I had the cover designed by a local designer. I didn’t contact any publishing houses as I liked the thought of doing it myself (and I just didn’t have the patience to wait for their replies). And finally, I put it up for sale on Amazon and Createspace and got it printed locally and put it in all the local bookstores around the island.


Q8. How do you promote your books and why do you prefer this method?

I’m a really useless at all the marketing and promotional side of things actually! I have a lot of trouble with it as I don’t like putting myself forward. I have done a few articles in the local newspapers and magazines in Mauritius, been on the local radio and done one book signing, but that’s about it! My sister helped me out a lot with understanding the social media side of things as I’m not much of a computer/internet person, so thanks to her I’m now present on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram and Wordpress. I have also been lucky enough to find a few lovely bloggers who have accepted to interview me on their blogs, which really helps. :) (Thanks Nikita).


Q9. Tell us ten things about yourself that no one knows.

- I’m a native French speaker although I prefer to write in English!

- I am really moody when I’m hungry.

- I can watch movies over and over and over again if I fall in love with the story (or the hunky main actor).

- I am really useless at anything womanly i.e. makeup, high heels, fancy hairstyles and when I do try to put makeup on, I usually just poke my eye out with the eyeliner or mascara and end up having to take it all off anyway!!

Image Source


- I just love the Minions quotes – they are just so many in there that are so me!!!

- My bag is always a mess; full of old receipts, used envelopes, unpaid bills, chocolate wrappings and just the oddest things possible and I can never find anything I’m looking for in it – especially my phone or my keys! Nightmare!

- My real name is Sandrine but I use the pen name Cassandra because Sandrine is a French name and is a mouthful in English.

- I am a major stationary junkie – just love stationery and am forever buying pens, notebooks, pencils etc. that I don’t need.

- I really, really hate waiting (as in waiting in line somewhere, or waiting for an appointment, or at the supermarket check-out etc.)


Damon from Vampire Diaries

- Am in love with Damon in the Vampire Diaries.

Q10. What is your motto in life?

                                                              

Q11. Had you not been a writer, what profession would you have chosen and why?
I think I would have loved to be a teacher.


Q12. If you could go back in the past, what is the one thing that you would change in your life and why?

I would definitely have stuck it out at University and completed my Bachelor of Arts degree in English. I really regret having stopped after one year and, with hindsight, I realize that it’s exactly the degree that was perfect for me.


Q13. What advice would you give to the newbie authors/ the aspiring ones?

Learn all about marketing and promotion before contemplating getting your book out there. Be patient. Do it because you love it and not for the money.


Q14. What are your upcoming books?

I have just finished my second book which I am sending to the editor this week. It is set in Mauritius and Australia and is another romantic comedy. I think it’s quite a fun read and is really colorful with lots of entertaining bits and pieces about Mauritius. Although it is light and funny, there is also a more profound side to it where I deal with an issue that touches me personally. You’ll have to read it to find out.

Am just starting on my third one which will be a bit different J More of a young adult book than a chicklit/romantic comedy, and will have a bit of suspense added to the romance and humour.


Q15. Before you go, how about a tantalizing excerpt from your book "What's it gonna be?"?

It’s so hard to choose one excerpt from a book, and even more difficult from my book… but here goes.

Excerpt :

Here I was at the movies on my first real date with Jake and my ex-boyfriend was sitting next to me!! I really should buy a lottery ticket tonight, I thought! I mean what were the chances of this happening? I picked my eyes up from around the floor somewhere and just stared at Matt, dumbstruck.

As I snapped out of my daze, I realised that he looked as surprised as I did. I muttered a quick greeting before turning my eyes back to the screen.

How was I going to survive one and a half hours sitting with Matt by my side? There was no way I would be able to concentrate on the movie. My mind was racing. Had he come with a girl? Damn, can’t see, I muttered to myself as I tried glancing past him, but it was impossible to look without it being obvious. I settled back, trying my best to follow the film. A few seconds later, I bolted when I felt his breath in my ear, “Are you going out with him?”

“It’s none of your business!” I replied curtly, before turning back to the screen, not allowing myself the time to see the expression on his face. My heart was on a roll, heavy metal concert style and there seemed to be no way of stopping it. I gave up trying.

Once again, I forced myself to concentrate on the film and watched with pleasure as Brad Pitt started undressing and we got a full view of his sexy butt.

“Have you ever seen such a cute butt? I mean EVER?” I whispered leaning over to the side.

“Not really into male butt’s myself, but I’ll take your word for it,” Matt’s amused voice replied in my ear.

Oh my God! I had leant over towards him instead of Jake. I gave him an evil glare, which broadened his smile some more as he turned back to the screen.

Oh no! This was really a nightmare.

I glanced the other way at Jake wondering whether he had witnessed all this, and saw him looking at me curiously.

“Is he a friend of yours?” he asked in a whisper.

“Um, I guess you could say that…” I mumbled feeling embarrassed. “It’s Matt.”

His eyes widened in surprise. “Matt? As in your Matt?”

I nodded, not wanting him to see the turmoil of emotions in my eyes at the mention of hearing ‘your Matt’. Before I realised what was going in, Jake had leaned over me and had extended his hand to shake Matt’s.

“Hi, I’m Jake. It’s nice to meet you.”


Thanks so much for the interview Nikita. :)


It was my pleasure, Cassandra. Thanks for taking out time from your very busy schedule to answer my questions!

Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff wishes you the very best and hope to read lots more from you in the future.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the Book:


Title: What’s it gonna be?

No. of Pages: 472

Publication Date: December 2014

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Blurb:

They all have a decision to make…
After four years, Lucy feels that it is more than time that Matt pops the question. But Matt has an irrational fear of the “M” word and just can’t say the four words she so desperately wants to hear…. Should Lucy wait, or give Matt an ultimatum? And then the gorgeous Jake comes into the picture and things get even more complicated…
Olivia has always been unlucky in love, then one day she meets Pierre online. A mysterious Frenchman ... could he be her knight in shining armour?
Vic and Sam have been married for years, but suddenly Sam’s new high profile job has him out until all hours. Will he succumb to the thrills of the singles scene?
What will Lucy and Matt do? Will Vic decide she’s had enough of being stuck at home with the children? Will Olivia give her heart to someone over the internet?
A tongue-in-cheek, fun and light-hearted look into love and relationships.


Buying Links:


Amazon IN | Amazon US

Read my #Review: Click Here


Follow Cassandra Piat here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads



~Giveaway~

Open Worldwide to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded.No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway is organized by Nikita (Njkinny)from Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff and sponsored by the Author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Ends: 12th December 2015a Rafflecopter giveaway

Receive all updates in your mailbox. Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 
Real Time Analytics