Interview with Casey Bell, Author of ESSAYS FROM DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES: LITERARY BETRAYAL

What is your book about?

This book is sorta of two books in one. The first book “Essays From Dysfunctional Families” is written by a fictional author: Dean K. Brent. The book, (Essays) is a fictional book with ten essays from ten different people sharing their dysfunctional family. The fictional write used real life stories from his family and friends. The second half of the book, (Literary Betrayal) tells the story of how the author Dean K Brent became a best-selling author due to his book, however his family and friends are not so happy for him, knowing that he exposed their dirty laundry for the world to see.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

That is a difficult question to answer. I originally wanted to write a fictional, exaggerated book about the secrets of my family and friends, but felt it might be considered a betrayal so I never did. That idea was in my mind since about 2011-2012, but I never had the guts to publish it. I was too afraid people might read it and be angry with me. So that’s when I came up with the idea to write about an author who does the very thing I wanted to do. I finally wrote the book and it was published in 2014.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I HATE that we as humans think it is better to hide our pain and hurt then deal with them. I know due to shame, guilt, and condemnation, people have a tendency to keep secrets, but I know secrets destroy and kill. I decided if I wrote a book with enough dysfunction to make an addict feel like a saint, then maybe people would feel more comfortable in exposing their own dirty laundry.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

I probably shouldn’t answer that question, but one of the stories in the first section is loosely based on my own dysfunction. And as said before the main character of this book did exactly what I wanted to do.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it?

I did a little bit of research for the first part of the book (Essays). I wanted the essayists to be from all over America, but I wanted to choose unknown and small towns. So, I had to do internet search on small towns in big states, most Americans don’t even know exists.

What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

The main thing I want the reader to take away from these books is it is okay to discuss your secrets. There is no shame in sharing. Weak people keep secrets, the courageous expose. Not so much the person, but the deed. If you never deal with a problem, you can never put an end to the problem.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Funny you should ask that. I am a diverse and multi-genre writer. When you read my books each one has its own unique fingerprint. I was raised in a multi-ethnic family, multi-ethnic church, and went to a high school filled with students from all nations. I grew up with an eclectic interest of music, and went to a diverse college. So, when I began writing it was natural for me to be diverse, colorful, and eclectic. I chose to write any many genres due to my colorful upbringing it has taught me to never segregate my gift.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on a children’s book series entitled, “American History.” Each book shines light on American inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators that the school system chooses to ignore. Two of the seven books have been published. The third one will be published in May 2020, and the rest will be published between 2020 and 2022.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I was always a writer, but never thought to do it as work. As a child I wrote poetry, songs, short stories, as well as writing in a diary. Writing was my therapy. It never dawned on me to do it as a trade. I originally wanted to be a gospel singer.

What’s been the most surprising part of being a writer?

The most surprising and fulfilling part of being a writer is the reactions and responses of the readers. I always enjoy hearing what readers tell me about what my book(s) have done for them.

***

Find out more about Casey Bell here: https://www.authorcaseybell.com/

You can download the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Essays-Dysfunctional-Families-Literary-Betrayal-ebook/dp/B00R6NSWJA/

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