~ Neal Cassidy
1. I love candy. I eat copious amounts – it’s out of control. Frozen toffee chocolates, gummies, nerds…the list is too long.
2. I used to compete in big air and slopestyle competitions on skis.
3. I have a stuffed woolly mammoth (I bought on a fifth-grade field trip) and a stuffed duck (I had as a baby-it’s barely recognizable now, just a lump) that I take with me wherever I’ve moved or traveled. And, I’ve moved and traveled a lot.
4. My favorite movie is Cloud Atlas. Second is True Romance.
5. I think being a farmer would be a fantastic occupation.
6. I can’t stand mayonnaise, cucumbers, eggplant, or onions.
7. My most prized possessions are several waterproof, sealable bags that have anything my mom has ever written to me in them – birthday cards, notes, letters, etc.
8. I’m always late for things….always.
9. I don’t particularly care for early mornings. Saying that I like a quiet morning.
10. I dig games like Scrabble, Words with Friends, & Anagrams.
"A tale of indulgence and camaraderie that ultimately proves moving."
Describe your novel in one sentence:
“It’s a satirical take on contemporary society told through multiple points of view via six recent college graduates, a local pot dealer, and a hedonistic professor."
What inspired you to write the book?
“I think almost everyone at some point in his/her life has expressed a desire to write something, and I simply knew that if I didn’t I would regret it for the rest of my life. Well, that and weed.”
What do you do to prepare to write?
"I roll five or six blunts, fix a bowl of fruit and frozen chocolates and a hot, black tea, smoke half a blunt, watch Shia LaBeouf's "Just Do It" video, then dance wildly, and I mean wildly, to one of three songs ('It’s All About the Benjamins' the rock version by Puff Daddy, Rob Zombie Fuzz Bubble, etc; 'Make ‘Em Say Uhh' by Master P; 'Louder Than a Bomb' by Public Enemy; or 'September' by Earth, Wind, & Fire). After that, I put on Tchaikovsky at a very low level and begin writing."
If you have difficulty writing or seem stuck, what do you do?
“Smoke half a blunt and just chill out by the window. I’ve solved many, many writing problems and come up with some great ideas, or what I like to think are great ideas, this way. Oh, and sometimes a whiskey and hot tea helps.”
Do you have any secrets in your book that only a few people will find out?
Were any of the characters inspired by real people?
“Yes, several. As a matter of fact, my favorite character, the fruit vendor, NeNe, is my mom.”
Where do you get info or ideas?”
“Just everyday life, man. People I see, streets, signs, movies, songs, whatever. And I write what I know.”
What are your favorite books?
“’American Psycho’, ‘Less Than Zero’, & ‘Rules of Attraction’, by Bret Easton Ellis; 'The Devil All the Time’ by Donald Ray Pollock, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl, & ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.”
Do you read your book reviews? And if so, do the negative ones bother you?
“Some of them. And nope.”
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
“Ha! That’s easy…..read, read, read, write, write, write, and repeat.”