Please make welcome, Casey Bell. Welcome to my blog, Casey. Shall we have a chat?
My name is Casey Bell. I am a multi-genre and multi-medium writer. I have published non-fiction, fiction, children’s, teens, and adult fiction books. My latest book series, American History, is a nine book children’s book series that celebrates American inventors and innovators from diverse backgrounds.
Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
Since I could write, I was constantly writing something. I wrote my first song when I was about 7 years old. I would write in journals, I wrote commercials, game shows, talk shows, and tv shows and then perform them in my room. I would even sometimes record them on cassette tapes. I wrote skits, poems, and plays, not realizing I was a writer. I did it for fun. My English scores were low in school, so I never thought of being a professional writer. In 2002 I saw a film on Lifetime television and decided to write my version of the film as a book. Because of my lack of English skills and my lack of knowledge on publishing books I contemplated on writing it. By 2003, by faith I decided to start writing it and by 2016, “A Family of Strangers,” was written and published.
How difficult was it writing your first book?
My first book I started writing was “A Family of Strangers.” It was not my first published book. It was the most challenging book for me to write. I kept getting writer’s block. The problem was the ending is so shocking and unbelievable, I did not want to get to it quickly, yet, I did not want to take too long either because I did not want to bore the reader. The challenge was finding content in between the middle of the book and the end without it being too short or too long. I solved the problem by writing the end of the book and then writing backwards to the middle.
Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
I never wanted or did give up on publishing books. Although “A Family of Strangers” took me fourteen years to finish, I wrote and published other books withing that time. I did give up on A Family of Strangers at one point. I decided to let it go. I ended up putting the story in my other book, “Essays of Dysfunctional Families: Literary Betrayal.” I don’t know what “it” was the made me continue. I remember not being satisfied enough with the story being in another book. No matter how much I lied to myself that I was okay with giving up on the book, I was not okay. I decided to pray and ask Holy Spirit for help and I heard His voice say write it backwards. Write the ending and the rest will come to you. And that’s what I did.
Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
My parents. Then again, they have been supportive of me in everything I do.
What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
No one in specific, I heard this advice many times and am now finally using it daily and that is do what makes you afraid. Do not allow the can’ts, shouldn’ts, etc. stop you from doing what you want to do.
What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
My target audience are non-readers. I used to be one. In school most of what I had to read was boring to me. I assumed that reading in general was boring. Once I started visiting the library in my adult years and chose books that were of interest to me, I realize reading is fun, not boring. I write in simple language, I keep it fun, interesting, and enticing to keep the reader wanting more. I consider my books to be appetizers or taste testing for non-readers to realize reading books indeed is fun and worth doing daily. Hopefully after a non-reader reads my book, it will encourage them to visit their local library or bookstore and purchase some books.
Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
I designed the book cover myself. It was easy to do because the cover is the story you won’t know that until you read it.
What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
I am not working on any books now. I have four books finished. I am in the process of getting them published. One of them is called Rejected. It is a collection of my submitted poems and short stories that have been rejected by publications, contests, and/or competitions. Below is part of a poem, “Dance Again.”
When I was a child, I would dance
I’d dance every time I had the chance
I did not care who would see me
It was me I was not afraid to be
I’d dance to Gospel, country, reggae or hip hop
Disco, Electronic, Latin, or bebop
I dance anywhere, it really didn’t matter
Until my self-esteem, my peers did shatter
They would criticize, laugh, and joke
My confidence in me now was broke
I’d hear the music and would want to move
But I would hear their laughs and ignore the groove
There was a time I would dance and not care
But now dance in public I wouldn’t dare
I noticed my life was not the same
Dull, boring, and full of shame
I would try to return to the mind of a child
But it just seemed too weird, crazy and wild
But today as I sit here and wonder
Why did I allow them to still my thunder?
I have lost me in the midst of my peers
They have installed in me unwanted fears
With a renewed mind I have decided to recover
The original me, this music lover
Any last words before we wrap things up?
Thank you for this opportunity of this interview. Readers can find me at authorcaseybell.com and can find my social media information on the Social Media tab on my website. Lastly, to anyone and everyone reading this, make sure you stay as unique as your fingerprints.
Proud Uncle Casey Bell has authored two Young Adult books, three General Fiction, three Non-Fiction, two Short-Stories, one Horror, one book of Poetry, five Children books, one book of collection of Art, and has produced four Word Search books. Twenty-two books total with no intentions of slowing down. He enjoys sharing stories, ideas, and art that cause people to think beyond the box. Not only a writer, but also a playwright, graphic designer, fine artist, and fashion designer.