iUniverse author Margarete Cassalina tells us about her second book, See You at Sunset, a story based on real-life experience with cystic fibrosis.
Please briefly describe your book . . .
If hospital rooms could talk, what would they say?
If true love really could last for eternity, how would you know?
What if a 13 year old girl could make sense of it all?
Grab this book, and I’ll see you at sunset.
For those who have read my memoir Beyond Breathing, they know I wrote about my life, my daughter Jena, and cystic fibrosis in a very raw and real way.
My new book, See You at Sunset, bridges the reader from my non-fiction life into the fictional world of my imagination while still adhering to my passion of bringing awareness to cystic fibrosis.
To summarize See You at Sunset I’d say it’s about a teenager challenged by cystic fibrosis who is helped through her daily struggles by a compassionate doctor, her devoted mother, and a quiet spirit whose work on Earth is not quite done. As his story unfolds, lives intersect and fate intervenes as Jenna Rutherford, the teenager, connects it all and proves that love never ends.
And can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a nationally recognized motivational public speaker, a freelance writer, and a national advocate for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I’m the author of the memoir Beyond Breathing which received the Editor’s Choice Award, Reader’s Choice Award, and Star Award.
I have spoken to Fortune 500 Companies such as American Airlines, Novartis, Vertex, and ADP. I have been interviewed by The New York Times, Hudson Valley Magazine, and Z100 NYC. I have also been seen on interviews with PBS’s “One on One with Steve Adubato” and CableVision’s ‘Health View’ and have spoken numerous times on CBS Channel 2 News.
I am most proud of being mom to two amazing children; Jena who sadly lost her battle to cystic fibrosis at the age of 13 (2006) and her son Eric (26) who battles cystic fibrosis every day.
I live in Milton, NY with my husband Marc.
Do you have any particular literary influences that have helped you develop in your genre, subject, and style? What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve always loved to read anything that I could get my hands on. As a child I even enjoyed reading cereal boxes. Anything. Writing was something I just did to get my thoughts out of a loop that played in my head. As a child I’d keep a journal, as an adult I continued that process. When my daughter Jena “moved up” to heaven in 2006, I needed a way out of the abyss I was living in, so I wrote my way out. Self-therapy I’d guess you’d say. Those emotional writings became Beyond Breathing and 9 years later, people still buy it, read it, and get to *meet* my daughter in the pages of the memoir.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
I care about what I share in my writing on Facebook (Margarete Cassalina), Twitter @MargCassalina, and in my blogs at my website:
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with iUniverse?
The one-on-one attention throughout the editing process while maintaining autonomy over my manuscript. As much as I wanted a quality product, so did each person I was in contact with.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Trust your gut, write from your heart, and when you’re scared that means you’ve got something someone else wants to read. Write.