On meeting Carol Cassella, author of ‘Oxygen’ | BookEnds

When you’re reading a book, or have just finished a book, do you ever wonder what the author is like?

Sure, you can see the picture they use for their bio, but who knows how old (or new) that picture is? If you liked the story, then you read the blurb on the back and maybe you feel satisfied. If you really liked the book, you really, really like to know more — me too.

I am so lucky I get to meet authors on a regular basis and a few days ago I had the fun and great pleasure of meeting Carol Cassella, the author of “Oxygen.” Carol is an anesthesiologist and this story is about a doctor (no it’s not a memoir), and an episode that happens in her professional life. I can’t tell you any more about the plot without giving spoilers. Have you ever started reading a book, thinking, “I have a few minutes, I’ll see if I like this one?” Well, this book kept me reading and not wanting to stop.

Carol lives on Bainbridge Island and has written two more books, “Healer” and “Gemini,” and has, as she said, “one more in the oven.” She told me, “Every time I start a new project, I think I won’t have the energy for another but lo and behold …”

She and her husband like the outdoors and traveling and are lucky to have four children (two sets of twins that are only 15 months apart). Are the mothers out there saying, “Phew”?

I also asked her where she got the idea for this book.

“I’ve always had a mind that tends to wander and about the only way to turn that into a productive asset instead of a distraction is to create characters and let them play out my fantasies,” she said.

Another question I ask the writers I meet is who their favorite authors are, and Carol said, “I never have a favorite anything, it’s always plural. Some of my favorites include the classics like Tolstoy, Austen, Wharton and Stein; and contemporary writers like Ann Patchett, Cormac McCarthy and Alice Munro.”

I can’t wait to read Carol’s next book.

Event reminders

J.A. Jance has a new book out.

“Man Overboard” is an Ali Reynolds novel about the cyber world and how one serial killer uses it to kill people. I’ve always liked J.A. Jance’s book and back when I started reading her first books, she wrote about a detective in Seattle (at the time I worked walking distance to where he “hung out”) — I was hooked.

This book is available at bookstores and Amazon on March 21 and she will be doing readings and book signings at the following places:

University Book Store at 7 p.m. March 27.

Everett Public Library at 6 p.m. March 28.

A Book for All Seasons (Leavenworth) at 1 p.m. on April 2.

Third Place Books at 7 p.m. April 4.

Look at her website, jajance.com, for more details of her schedule.

And don’t forget to mark your calendar and make a reservation for the BARN (Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network) presentation of Sallie Brown and Teri Smith as they walk you through the basic steps of using two popular authoring software tools: “WriteItNow” and “Scriveners.” This event is from 6-8:30 p.m. on March 21. The cost for BARN members is $21 and Non-BARN members are $25.

Many writers find these computer programs very helpful. Space is limited so contact bainbridgebarn.org to sign up.

— Donna Lee Anderson teaches writing and is the author of two novels and a reference book for writers. Contact her at welltoldtales@aol.com.