Cass Moriarty is a local author and mother of six children. She only began writing after the birth of her sixth child. Her first novel ‘The Promise Seed’ and latest novel ‘Parting Words’ look at some of the secrets hidden within families and communities. Her writing tackles some difficult topics yet manages to tease out her character’s stories with skill and empathy. You will laugh, cry and look at people’s lives differently after reading her work. Cass is also a wonderful mentor to other local writers. I loved the fact that she quoted a line from her book ‘Be the Voice’ when she first signed ‘The Promise Seed’ for me. I spoke to this inspirational local author to find out some of the secrets of her success.
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m a writer, an avid reader and proud mother of six children aged 10- 24. My books ‘The Promise Seed’(UQP 2015) and ‘Parting Words’ (UQP 2017) are both contemporary fiction novels that explore the silences in families. ‘The Promise Seed’ was long listed for the 2017 Dublin International Literary Award and the 2016 People’s Choice Queensland Literary Award. I love reading a wide variety of books, watching good crime drama and spending time with friends. Growing up I always thought I’d be an actress or a vet! Some how I think I’ve missed my chance at both.
What are you most proud of?
Definitely my children, who are growing up (mostly!) to be caring, kind and empathetic. If you are asking about my own achievements, I am proud that ten years ago, at the age of 40, I jumped feet first into a new career as an author, and have worked hard at creating interesting stories, and sustaining relationships with other readers and writers.
Which person inspires you most?
I am so proud of my husband who has a difficult job working with distressed children and families, and still manages to be a great dad (and to support our large family!). He inspires me with his patience, his wisdom and his generosity.
What has been a life changing moment for you?
When I received the call to say that ‘The Promise Seed’ had been shortlisted for the Unpublished Manuscript Award in the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards. I was down by the river and I did a little happy dance.
What drives you?
Writing is a great joy for me. I love the creative process of writing stories that others want to read and discuss. I enjoy being able to explore complex issues that have infinite shades of grey. I’m fascinated by people’s backstories-both real people and fictional characters.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt in life?
That there are some things in life that you simply can’t control, and that the best way forward is through acceptance and positivity. In terms of writing, I’ve learnt the value of persistence, and in life, the importance of cultivating resilience.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
A friend once told me you should sit with a piece of writing and allow it to settle before you release it into the world; I think this is especially important with writing that comes from a personal place.
Top 3 Bucket List Items?
I would love to travel more – there are lots of places I would like to visit, including Ireland, Scandinavia, Africa and India.
Cass Moriarty’s latest novel ‘ Parting Words’ has been published by the University of Queensland Press and is now available at all good bookstores. Cass will be launching her novel at Avid Reader, West End. I am looking forward to reading this much anticipated novel by such a talented and caring writer.