Written by Seth Ferranti
Loves, Lies and Consequences is the latest book from urban fiction novelist Cassandra Charisse Carter, who hails from Reading, Pennsylvania but ended up in Michigan. At the age of 14 Cassandra signed a deal with Kimani Tru, a young adult imprint of Harlequin Inc. Her first novel, Fast Life, first explores the life of Kyra Jones, who again is the main character in Cassandra’s new book.Kyra lives an adventurous life and barely manages to escape the streets of Chicago with her life and freedom. But an ex-lover comes back into her life and all hell breaks loose in Loves, Lies and Consequences. Definitely check the book out but first check out this interview. An exclusive on Urban Literary Review.
Why did you become an author?
I’ve always loved to write. It didn’t matter what it was. And even though the idea of becoming an author was appealing to me, I never really thought it would happen. Growing up, I thought the only way for me to write for a living was to become a journalist. That was up until I had the dream that inspired me to write, Fast Life.
Now, I will admit, at 14-years-old, becoming a published author wasn’t the goal. I didn’t even want anyone to read what I had written – not that that could stop my family from passing it around behind my back. My grandmother was actually one of the first to encourage me to take the steps to get published. It was my family’s love and support that gave me the confidence I needed to go forward.
I was still in high school when I signed my contract with Harlequin although, truthfully, I never saw my writing as this “gift” until after I was published. For me, writing was just something I did. But now, it is so much more than that. Every time I see my name on the cover, I know this is what I am meant to do.
Describe what your books are about.
Heavily inspired by urban fiction, Fast Life is about a girl from Chicago named Kyra Jones. Drawn by the allure of fast money, designer clothes, and even faster cars, she relishes her role as a hustler’s girlfriend – until her mom receives a job promotion that threatens to pack them up and ship them out to a Caribbean island. In a matter of days, Kyra is torn from her hometown, and forced to leave everything – and everyone – she loves behind. Starting over in a new place, with a new boyfriend, Justin, gives Kyra hope that life can be different. But once her past starts to catch up to her Kyra’s only hope is to stay one step ahead of trouble.
16 Isn’t Always Sweet introduces a completely new set of characters and conflicts. At the beginning of the book, readers catch Jordan Wright just as she is transforming into the cool 16-year-old she always imagined herself to be. So when she is approached about being in the hottest rapper’s new video, she has the confidence to go for it. She and her best friend, Adrienne, try out with hundreds of hopefuls, but only Jordan makes it. Adrienne seems fine with it. But when Jordan starts getting some serious attention, Adrienne turns into a hater. And after Jordan has an innocent in-the-hall conversation with Adrienne’s ex-boyfriend, Adrienne plots to ruin Jordan’s life by spreading rumors, writing stuff on the bathroom walls and telling Jordan she’d be better off dead. Suddenly Jordan’s popularity is fading. Forget sweet sixteen. She soon discovers that what she needs most is to find the strength to be herself.
What is the main theme that runs through your work?
Well, I started off writing Young Adult fiction for Kimani Tru, so they tackle a lot of teen issues like bullying, sex, self-esteem, etc. but I think you will find love at the core of all my stories. Whether it’s about loving yourself or loving someone else, there will always be obstacles and sacrifices, as well as triumphs. I think that is what makes romance so relatable. Even if they won’t admit it, everyone is looking for it. Everyone wants to be loved.
What is the new book about?
The sequel to my debut novel, Fast Life: Love, Lies & Consequences brings Kyra and Justin back together in their early 20’s, and a lot has changed – not just their age. Set in the beautiful Turks and Caicos, Love, Lies & Consequences follows forbidden lovers Kyra and Justin as they fight to keep their love alive. Entangled in five years worth of secrets, lies, and sabotage, it doesn’t take long before insecurities arise, temptation becomes too great, and accusations start to fly. With Justin already engaged to marry another woman, and Kyra involved in her own relationship, it doesn’t take long before a simmering jealousy sparks thoughts of murder. Soon they realize that while they are in control of their choices, they can’t choose the consequences. . . And someone has to pay.
What could you say to make someone want to read it?
One thing about me, I don’t write boring books. If you enjoy a quick, unpredictable page-turner full of drama and romance then pick up any one my titles. The beautiful thing about YA/ New Adult Fiction is that it can be enjoyed by all ages. I think what also makes me so unique as an author is the fact that I am the audience I am writing for. I’ve grown up with a large part of my audience so I think that makes it seem more authentic and real.
Do your stories reflect your journey in life and why?
Yes, and no. I say that because as an author I tend to be very observant so I can’t help but take bits and pieces of different people I’ve met or things I’ve experienced. Sometimes inspiration can come from the smallest things. But even if it is based off something/someone real I try to put my own spin on it. Most of what I write comes from my imagination. That’s the fun in being an author.
What is next for you literary wise?
Right now I am working on Paradise and Promises which will be the third and final installment in my “Fast Life Series” (even though I already have some readers asking for a part 4 LOL). I already have 5 chapters posted on Wattpad @CallMeMissCarta. I also have a proposal I am working on and an urban project in development that I am really excited about releasing next summer.
In the meantime, I am just enjoying the opportunities to promote/network with new readers and authors. Now that I am independent, I can only hope to expand upon what I have built in order to write full time. It is amazing to see how many people can relate to your characters and their stories, and I am happy that I can inspire others to pursue their dreams as well.
You can follow Cassandra on Twitter or Instagram @CallMeMissCarta for all the latest in reviews, interviews, giveaways, and events!