Author of the Month of January 2016

Author of the Month of January 2016

Cassia Leo

I began writing at a very young age. I was six years old when I developed an obsession with books. I was eight years old when I began writing stories of my own. I was ten when I began scrawling "New York Times Best Seller" on the front page of my homemade books. Though I wanted desperately to be a professional author, and I studied writing throughout college and afterwards, I never tried to get anything published until after I was laid off in November 2010.
I had been working on my first novel for more than five years at that point, so I decided to use my extra free time to finish the book. It was a children's story; not very marketable. After submitting to a few agents and publishers, and having no luck, I decided to self-publish. I joined KindleBoards (now KBoards)and studied everything I could on self-publishing. Then, I began writing the sequel to my first book.
I gave up on that series in early 2012 when my home was foreclosed on. In March 2012, I moved to Portugal with my daughter. I gave myself a hard deadline of one year to become a full-time writer. If I couldn't do it in one year, I was going to give up. For the six months we were in Portugal, we survived on about $500 a month in royalties while living rent-free in a 114-year-old rundown cottage overlooking the ocean.
I wrote like mad, any story that came to mind that felt commercial and high concept. Between March 2012 and March 2013, I self-published 18 titles. I hit the USA Today bestsellers list on March 7, 2013 with a romance novel, Relentless, just in the nick of time for my self-imposed deadline. In May 2013, I hit theNew York Times bestsellers list with the sequel to Relentless,Pieces of You. And once again with the third book in that series,Bring Me Home, in August 2013, which is when I was offered my first publishing deal.
In the four years since I published my first novel, I’ve published more than forty titles. I’ve hit the New York Times bestsellers list three times and the USA Today bestsellers list eleven times. I’ve been traditionally published in dozens of countries and self-published all over the world.


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