I’m delighted to welcome author Andrea Michael onto the blog today. Andrea is interviewing Cassidy Jones from her emotional novel about friendship, love and forgiveness – The Book of Us.
Let’s find out a bit about the book first.
The Book of Us is a story of the complexity of forgiveness and the friendships that change our lives forever. Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Jojo Moyes and Diane Chamberlain.
We’ve got some important things to talk about. It’s time.
Cass and Loll used to be inseparable. They met at university and they made sense, like two halves of a whole. They had planned their lives around each other, writing down their dreams in The Big Book of Our Life – the things they wanted to achieve, the places they’d go after they finished university. But then one night changed everything.
Seven years later, Loll receives a letter from her old friend. The coming year will be the year they both turn 30, but Loll might be making it to 30 alone. Cass has cancer. Loll had believed she would have her whole life to come to terms with Cass’ betrayal, but time is running out. Cass’ final wish is to complete The Big Book of Our Life, but has enough time passed to heal old wounds?
Now let’s move onto Andrea’s interview with Cassidy. Over to you, Andrea!
Thanks, Karen, For a brief while my new novel, The Book of Us, was called Knowing Cassidy Jones. So I’m really pleased to help you to get to know her too! Cassidy is one of the favourite characters I’ve ever written, mainly because she manages to be so incredibly selfish but also very loveable. Once you know her story, you tend to forgive her mistakes.
Hi, Cassidy, can you describe yourself in three words:
Difficult, fun, chaotic
What’s your favourite memory?
When me and my best friend Loll went on holiday in the summer holidays at uni – absolutely everything that could go wrong did! We’d planned (and by ‘we’ I meant Loll, she’s the planner) this absolute rager in Ibiza. It was going to be sun, drinks, pretty boys and lots of trouble. Instead we ended up in a crappy hostel in the middle of nowhere. Loll got heatstroke, I got food poisoning, and it was generally terrible. But on that last day we made it to the beach and just sat there together as the waves came in and we held hands and laughed. I always remember that when anything goes wrong – the last day can make up for a bad week.
Who is your favourite person?
My daughter Vee. She’s so clever and sassy and strong. Some days I worry she has too much to deal with for such a little person. But she’s got a big brain and an old soul, I think she’ll be fine. She’s the best thing I’ve ever made.
What’s your biggest regret?
Falling out with my best friend. Not handling my problems better in my twenties. Not fighting to repair friendships. Wasting time. Hey, why have one regret when you can have a hundred? But honestly, I don’t believe in regretting stuff. Change what you can, and if you can’t, move on and do better next time.
Best place you’ve ever visited?
I’ve got family in Australia, and visiting them always felt like coming home. I was an only child and didn’t have much family in the UK, so going to see my uncle Jack and exploring all these magical places with mystical names, I loved that. I’m going on a trip soon, to Finland, Spain and then back to Australia, and I can’t wait. Especially as I get to take my daughter and best friend with me.
Have you ever been in love?
I never let anyone know me well enough to love me. And I never met anyone who could handle me well enough to fall in love with. For most of my life dating and attraction seemed like a game, you know? You had to have the most power to win. You had to make them absolutely mad for you. I’ve been in obsession. I’ve been in lust. I’m just not the love type, unfortunately.
What are you most proud of?
I built a new life from scratch for me and my kid. I left my home town and I started over, all on my own. And it’s a good life. It’s one with structure and support and people who love us. People who will look after my baby girl when I’m not around. I’m proud that I managed to be what she needed me to be.
Tell us a secret:
The worst thing I did in the world, the thing everyone blames me for, the reason my best friend stopped talking to me seven years ago? It wasn’t my fault. But if I reveal that, if I’m honest, the whole world starts crumbling down around us, around Loll, around Vee, around everything I’ve built. So it’s better that secret dies with me, even if it drives me mad.
What’s your life lesson?
Enjoy! Enjoy everything! Drink and savour that cup of coffee, and laugh when you get drunk and tell people you love them. Life is too short to be bitter or angry or resentful. And never give up on people. They’ll be there when it matters.
If, like me, you’re intrigued and want to read the book, you can grab a copy here:
Andrea Michael writes books to explore complicated relationships. Having trained in using writing for therapy, she really believes in the magic of stories to change your life. Failing that, sparkling wine and obnoxious sing-a-longs also do the trick.
Andrea works in content marketing, and runs Writing for Wellbeing workshops. She lives in Hertfordshire with her fiancé and their crazy cat, and can be found reading in a comfy corner or digging something at the allotment.
You may also know her from her romantic comedies written as A L Michael.
Andrea is represented by Hayley Steed at Madeleine Milburn. The Book of Us is her thirteenth book. She’s hoping it’s lucky.
Sassy, heartwarming romances set in glorious locations: Amazon Author Page