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Meet Casandra Charles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Casandra Charles.

Hi Casandra, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, with parents from Trinidad and Tobago, I graduated college with a BA degree in Mass Media Arts at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, GA, where I resided for many years and now have a master’s degree in Adult Education—currently working as an assistant director for a not-for-profit organization in Brooklyn.

I always wanted to write a book but hesitated for many years because I suffered from adult dyslexia. Yet, I never allowed my disability to hold me back. I had no idea how to start, so I just wrote that my first book in my series (The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles) was Lust and Lies. It took me years to finish this book because I would start and stop, start and stop, yet I finally finished it in 2015. Once this book was done and lived online, I was inspired to write book two, Secrets Revealed, which came out in 2016. My series was going to be 3 books long, but I continued developing the storyline, and Pillow Talk, which was from a male’s point of view, came out in early 2018, and then Too Good To Be True in winter 2018. I was on a roll but had to finally end my series with Tinder, Love, and Care, which came out in 2020. I felt so accomplished, but I wanted to continue writing, so I began writing standalone spin-offs to my series, Thank You, Next came out in 2021, and I am working on Joy Ride, which will be released later this year.

It’s been a fantastic journey, and I’ve learned so much over the years. I recently started a Facebook Group called Just Read which I try to inspire like-minded individuals to read and write. I’ve sold over 1000 books and participated in several annual events. And now, I am traveling with Just Read as a pop-up book store. It’s a great way to share my love for both readings and writing with everyone.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty” is a great quote, and it’s so true. My journey as an author has been full of ups and downs, so I struggled to market myself during the first few years. I am very private, so I kept publishing books for the first few years but did not market myself. So naturally, I had to step outside my comfort zone to get recognized. This is mainly through social media, which is an excellent avenue for all authors. I am a student in this industry, so I spoke to other successful authors and asked them for tips, and they all say social media is your best marketing tool. I am 7 years in and very active on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok). I have seen incredible growth in my visibility and sales over the last few years because of supporting authors, so now I try to be that support to new authors seeking help as I received from those other established authors.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I say I’m a genuine philanthropist by day and a fictional author by night. I love my career. My mission in life is to aid and support individuals with significant barriers to achieving employment and career goals through mentoring job readiness skills and career development assistance. I’m most proud of myself, and I live a double life motiving underemployed, unemployed New Yorkers and as an urban romance author, and I love every second of it. I try to live by a motto, Live, Laugh, and Love, which I have tattooed on my left arm to remind me to live well, laugh often, and love much. I’m not special at all, and I’m just a happy and passionate woman from Brooklyn living her best life in the best way possible.

What changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
My career will always be my calling, but writing will always be my passion. I hope in 5-10 years, and I am mastering both and inspiring others. I wrote a 6 book series, which took me a while to finish, so moving forward, I plan just to write a standalone spin-off to my series. I’ve completed one, and my next one should be out by the end of summer. But in 5-10 years, I would love to have 5-10 more books done. I don’t often do an outline, as stories just come to me, so there is no telling what my mind will come up with in 5-10 years, but I’m excited to find out.

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