She certainly didn't waste any time pursuing her dream of being a published author: at 18 Cassandra Carter is now published
by Harlequin. She has two more books on the way.
Cassandra Carter is one to make you think, "Hmm...what the heck was I doing with my teenage years?"
The 18-year-old's own reply involves a nationally published book and two more in the works.
Her debut novel, "Fast Life," was published in July as part of the "Tru" series from Kimani Press, a division of Harlequin that focuses on African-American young-adult fiction. Carter started the book when she was just 14, after getting the idea from, of all places, a dream.
"I woke up and - I hate telling people this because it makes me sound crazy - but I heard a voice ... saying, 'Cassandra, you should write a book about that.' So I created this character. It was about this girl and she's ... got to go and move real quick, and everything else just kind of came."
There's a lot of "everything else," since the move is over in the first 50 pages. What follows is a fast-talking, high-rolling rumble following Kyra Jones between Chicago and an island in the Bahamas, complete with gorgeous guys, sniping girls, friendships gone horribly bad, scandalous wealth, the illegal drug industry and a few more page-turners that I can't tell you about without tipping off the last half of the book.
Carter worked on it all through the summer she was 15, and when it was done she mentioned it to her grandmother, Sandee Grassi.
"I wasn't at all surprised," said Grassi. "Cassandra has always impressed me with her dream of and enthusiasm for writing."
Cassandra has now graduated from high school and is delaying college to work on her next book, 16 Isn't Always Sweet, which will be published in March, and a sequel to her first book, Fast Life.