Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Featured Author: Dasaya Cates

Dasaya Cates, Author

How did you become a writer?
I’ve wanted to write since grade school. I’ll never forget an English teacher, Jean Schulte, who helped me recognize and improve my writing early on. From then on, I knew I’d be writing someday.

What are you hoping readers take from your book?
As they read Bloodlines, my hope is that readers see something of themselves in all of the characters. In many ways, Blair, Lena, Reynolds and the others are all of us. They deal with some very common emotional, family and personal issues that I think we can all identify with. And if we can’t, we can think of someone who has. I hope that people realize that it’s so important to be honest with the people who are in our lives, even when that truth hurts. It’s much easier to deal with a damaging truth than betrayal. Finally, I want readers to see that even though this family went through a lot their familial bond remained intact, even if from a distance.

Who is the hero in your life? How does your hero inspire you?
My parents have been great and I have so many people who have been there for me—and I admire them all. I don’t think I can pick one human as my hero. My maternal grandmother was one of the best people I’d ever met and my brother keeps me pretty inspired too.

Name three goals you want to accomplish as a writer within the next 4 years.
I’d like to have at least one of my books hit a major national or major regional best seller list like USA Today or (gasp) the elusive NY Times. I want to be noticed as a serious blogger and gain more readership—I’d have a national following by then, I hope.

What is your favorite marketing and promotional tool?

Honestly, the Internet. The power of the whole thing still cracks me up at times. It’s amazing! Case in point: I’ve made a friend who’s halfway around the globe and who has become a fan of my work. I don’t think that would have happened any other way.

What is one thing you have learned about the publishing industry?

The one thing I’ve learned about the publishing industry is that like every other industry, it’s changing. I think the future is wide open for independent authors, whereas the doors had pretty much been kicked shut years ago. Self-publishing was a scandal. As serious authors put out serious, quality work, I believe that will continue to change.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
There is so much room for your talent! I would encourage aspiring authors not to be discouraged by rejections or initial lack of interest. Your audience awaits you—you just have to find a way to get to them. Having said that, make sure you do your best to produce a quality product and a well-written book at all times. Hire professional editors and designers.

Who was the first author you read? What was the title of the book?
Wow! I don’t really don’t remember the very first book I read because I’ve been reading for about as long as I’ve been alive. My mom had me reading children’s books at three. The first author to really get me engrossed with the craft of writing was Toni Morrison. I read and analyzed Song of Solomon in a college-level English course and that really encouraged me to be a better writer.

Tell us what new projects you are working on?
I’m currently working on two new suspense projects. One is planned as the first book of a series which follows an investigative journalist. I can’t wait for readers to meet her!

How can your readers get in contact with you?
Readers can contact me at, through Twitter @dc8s and on Facebook. On readers can check out an excerpt of Bloodlines, get book club discussion questions, read what’s on my mind in my latest blog and keep up to date on my work.
About the Author
Dasaya Cates is a fresh voice in the world of contemporary fiction. She primarily writes dramatic fiction and suspense; however Dasaya has a flair for sharp humor, as evidenced by her first novel, The Shark Pool. She is engaged in marketing her work to a variety of audiences and is herself an avid reader.

Dasaya is also a blogger and freelance writer. In addition, she frequently takes on technical writing projects, since she has more than ten years of experience in this area. Dasaya works as an instructional designer for a large company, so she  is always writing. She is an Ohio native and alumna of The Ohio State University.

In her spare time, you can find Dasaya cooking and baking, traveling and working out. She is a member of the She Writes community online.

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