Two friends. One pact. The performance of their lives.Hannah Abbott is stuck in a dead-end relationship and at a job she loves but that barely pays the bills. The four walls of her tiny New York City apartment have never seemed so small. She’s barely toasted her thirtieth birthday when her old college friend Will knocks on her door with an unexpected proposal.
Will Thorne never forgot the marriage pact he made with Hannah, but he also never imagined he’d be the one to initiate it. One ex-fiancée and an almost-career-ending mistake later, however, he finds himself outside Hannah’s door, on bended knee, to collect on their graduation-night pinky promise.
With both of their futures at stake, Hannah and Will take a leap of faith. Now, all they have to do is convince their friends and family that they’re madly in love. As long as they follow the list of rules they’ve drafted, everything should go smoothly. Except Will has never been good with rules, and Hannah can’t stop overthinking the sleeping arrangements. Turning thirty has never been so promising.
Q & A with Casey ~
Tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.
A little about me… well, I write contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and my debut novel is coming out next week! I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember; I can’t really tell you how I got started. I just did. And then when I was about twelve, I started writing every day, and in high school my best friend and I wrote this never-ending YA novel. It’s been pretty much non-stop since then.
What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading. I also find baking really relaxing (or I did before I had to bake with a four-year-old)!
What is something about you that people would surprise people?
Right out of college, I worked for a tri-county newspaper in the region where I lived. I covered high school sports for nearly four years, and I really loved it. I got to drive all over New York state to cover tournaments and championships.
Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?
Of course! I work in corporate marketing communications. So, I spend my days writing and editing within my company’s brand voice, and then my evenings writing and editing in my characters’ voices.
Where do you get your ideas?
That’s the question isn’t it? Music is a big source of inspiration. A song hits a certain way at a certain time, and a story unfolds in my mind. I also use pieces of my life and morph them into novels that take completely different paths, but started with that one moment in my life.
Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
Sarah Dessen. I’ve been reading Sarah Dessen books since high school, and I’ll read them for the rest of my life. A lot of people have said my writing – though in a different genre – is like hers, and not only does that make me so happy, but it is also very true. She was the author I was reading when I was really coming into my own as a writer as a teenager. And her books had such an effect on me at that key point in my life. I’ve always wanted to write a book that changed my life the way The Truth About Forever changed mine.
How do you market your work?
Since I work in marketing, I feel like I have a bit of an advantage. But I have a newsletter and a website, and I do a lot of work on social media. I’ve really worked on growing my author/writer network and also connecting with bookstragrammers and bloogers and readers. I’ve made a lot of friends over the last year as I dug in. Really, I just try to be authentic. I’m an author, but I’m still a fan, and it makes me squeal in delight when authors like my posts or comment on them—just like anyone else.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on a enemies-to-lovers, fake romance novel about a **secret** character from the universe of When We’re Thirty. It’s so fun, and I can’t wait to share more of the details!
Do you have a favorite character?
In When We’re Thirty? That’s a hard one! I love Hannah, Kate and Riley for various reasons. Kate is just so much fun to write. Every time she’s on the page, it’s so awesome. And Riley – I’ve been writing Riley since 2008. She has a whole novella about her and her husband and the start of Deafening Silence New York. When I started crafted When We’re Thirty I was so excited to get to bring her back as an older and wiser—but still totally fun—version of the character.
But I love Hannah. Hannah is like this version of me that could have been if I stayed in journalism or moved in New York City. But she’s also totally different. She’s so passionate about the things and people in her life, and it was really fun to develop her arc and watch her grow.
And of course I love Will. When I started writing I wasn’t sure he was going to have a POV, and then in Chapter 5 he just came to life. It was so amazing to dig into who he was and who he wanted to be and his journey to get there.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Just keep going. My debut novel is coming out one day before the ten-year anniversary of my MFA thesis reading. It took ten years and two books before I got a deal. I signed with an agent and didn’t sell a book. I sold When We’re Thirty but parted ways with my agent. Publishing is a long and arduous process. It’s never a straight line. You really have to keep perspective and make tough choices to be in this industry, but most of all, you have to keep writing—always.
Favorite band or music?
Anything Andrew McMahon (Something Corporate, Jack’s Mannequin, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness). His music has saved me more times than I can count.
Place you’d like to travel?
I’ve always wanted to go to London. I’m hoping after the world returns to a more normal place, I’ll be able to get there in the next few years.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you! I can’t wait for you to meet Will and Hannah and the rest of the cast in When We’re Thirty. This book has a special place in my heart, and I hope you love it!
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