Bio

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 the Lane Road Branch of the Upper Arlington 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: