Jody Casella is an author and a former high school English teacher. Her YA novel Thin Space, with Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster, received a starred review from Kirkus. She works at a public library and teaches writing classes for writers of all ages. 

Sooooo, that is the official bio as you will find it in official places, but it leaves a bunch of stuff out.

Here are some (possibly interesting?) things in no particular order:

I live in Columbus, Ohio. It is the 4th place I have lived in my life. The other places were New Britain, Connecticut, Memphis, Tennessee, and Lexington, Kentucky.

I’d been writing and pursuing publication for fifteen + years, dreaming of being a writer forever but had been making my peace with the fact that it might never happen. When it happened.

Let me give a shout out here to perseverance and self-discipline.

Oh. And LUCK.

I’ve held many jobs besides being a writer and a teacher. One summer I worked as a painter. Not the artistic kind. I was on a crew that painted the yellowish trim on all of the McDonalds in Connecticut. I also clerked in a bookstore, sold jewelry at a department store, and worked as a legal secretary. But usually, I toiled in various restaurant establishments—waitressing, hostessing, bussing tables, and flipping steaks. I wore ugly polyester uniforms and went home nights smelling like grease.

Speaking of ugly polyester uniforms, I went to Catholic school and had to wear a pastel blouse and a green skirt every day. I don’t think it is an accident that when I am writing these days, I wear a uniform of sorts too. It's called, pajamas.

There’s a floundery, confused, angry-at the world, cynical-yet-jokey 16 year-old still trapped inside me.

THIN SPACE is the sixth book I’ve written and the first to be published.

I wrote four more books since then. And many many stories. Some can be found in Cicada magazine.

When I am not writing, I am reading—books for young adults, but also books for adults, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, essays, whatever shows up on the new shelf at the library where I work. I was an English major so I can’t help analyzing what I read. And as a writer I often stop to puzzle out how a book is put together. My favorite kind of book is the kind where I forget I’m an English major and a writer and I get totally lost in the story.

What I believe about writing:

Anyone who can read can be a writer. (And if you want to be a writer, you must read. A lot!)

Everyone has at least one story to tell.

There is something magical and inexplicable about creating a story.

It also takes an amazing amount of hard work and discipline and logical thought.

The secret to writing a book—wait for it…
is to sit down each day and write.

Some good books on writing to get you started (or to keep you going):

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
On Writing by Stephen King
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Everything by Natalie Goldberg, esp. Thunder and Lightning and Writing Down the Bones

Oh, and here is a cute picture of my favorite writing buddy, Zooey: