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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Introducing Kassandra Cooper

I'd like to welcome another young adult who writes Young Adult fiction. Kassandra is still at high school, but felt the need to write this book before it distracted her too much from her studies. Welcome Kassandra.

Thank you Sue.

Something people should know: personally I don’t think I’m old enough to write adult romance. Only because I don’t have any experience being an adult just yet. However, adding that small detail to the passion I have for youth, the fact that I want to reach youth in the future with my words and being a young adult myself it made my decision easier. Now this all started when I was a freshman and went to a church winter camp and felt the Lord pressing on my passion for helping young adults/youth. I’m sure writing for high school would seem like the best way to reach them, being on their level and all that but I haven’t had a ‘normal’ high school experience and frankly high school can be overly dramatic and frustrating. I know that might sound terrible but taking into account that I attend high school on a college campus I spend most of my time around young adults/college level people. So in short, for me writing for young adults was not only easier for me but it was also the best fit for who I am.

My characters tend to take on the part of my peronalitiy that struggles with life. Why this happens I dont know but I think the meaning behind it is that I can draw on personal experiences of trauma that relate to whatever situations I put my character in. My poor characters, they must hate me. For example, Rose has been abused her entire life and is now trying to find a way out. Now while I've never been abused I have been in a less than healthy relationship which I thought I was stuck in. And then there's Mackenzie, the best friend which I based off my best friend. I gotta say I love her, she's so strong and she doesnt even realize it. She's the calm through the storm for Rose much the same way my best friend is for me. However, Mackenzie's life is more complicated that she makes it look and I know all about that. So my characters as extensions of me, and the people that know my life can see the connections as they read. It's like a hidden map behind the words.

"It wasn't that easy, Kirin." 
He knew her better than anyone with the exception of Mackenzie. She was strong enough to handle just about anything so there was no way she would allow her uncle to do this without a reason. She slid her hand across the bed to him and he took it, pulling her to him and wrapping his arms around her until their foreheads were leaning against each other. Rose took a deep breath before looking into his eyes and starting what he assumed would clear the air of confusion. 
"I had to keep Josie safe..." 
"Just listen. I don't pretend to understand their sick minds, but Jonathan and Shawn got off on my rebellion, I guess you could call it. I figured that out quick, and I knew if I could keep them coming at me they'd leave her alone." 
"So you took the brunt of it for her?" 
Rose tipped her head to look him in the eyes. "Wouldn't you? To protect Evan or Lauren, wouldn't you." He wished he could argue with her logic, but he knew she was absolutely right. If there was a chance one of his siblings could be hurt, and he had any way to stop it, he'd do it. 
"But, when your Nana reported the abuse, why didn't both Jonathan and Shawn go to prison? Didn't she tell the authorities both of them were involved?" 
"My mother," she answered simply, and Kirin arched an eyebrow. She chuckled, just a little. "She threw him under the bus more than the media ever could. She wasn't going to let him damage the perfect family image she had worked so hard to form. Shawn tried to turn state's evidence against Jonathan, take him down with him, so he could strike a deal with the D.A. But with the amount of money Jonathan could throw at a team of lawyers, and the control he had over media and various other connections, Shawn didn't stand a chance." 
Kirin looked into her eyes as she spoke, wondering how she ended up so amazing when she had this kind of childhood. She paused long enough to catch her breath and look at him. Did she think he would judge her? 
"Keep going," he said gently, touching her cheek. "I'm listening. I want to hear, but understand this, nothing will change how I feel about you. I just need to know."

Buy Link:  Desert Breeze Publishing


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Lovely to hear about a young adult writing for that market, Kassandra. I enjoyed reading about you and your book.

My daughter has always written too (she's now reached her 30s) and I think it gives you great insight into your own contemporaries.

gail roughton branan said...

Kassandra, you are amazing and blessed. You already know things that it takes a lot of writers a while to figure out; i.e., our characters are to a large extent us; our "fictional" novels are to a large extent our diaries -- just disguished a bit to protect the guilty, usually us. One of my sons commented once, "I see why writers are usually over, when you're young, what's happened to you to write about?" The earlier one opens one's eyes to what writing is all about, the earlier one can actually begin to write. You are blessed, darlin'. I expect to see your name popping up for many years to come.

S.Durham said...

Kassandra, who better to understand, and write about young adults than someone right in the midst of it! Lovely excerpt, with a wonderfully mature voice. Keep writing, you have a gift!


Sue Perkins said...

Thanks for visiting Kassandra ladies. It's refreshing to read from a Young Adult point of view isn't it?

Wendy said...

You are a mature writer Kassandra. I applaud you for beginning your career now rather than waiting till you have more experience. It's never too soon to write what you know. Congratulations.