Casey Hagen, Author

Not you mother’s romance

Meet Casey

I’m not sure there’s anything worse for a writer than that dreaded moment when they have to write their own bio. I’ve never been comfortable with attention or adoration. I try to avoid it at all costs. I don’t even let my family sing to me on my birthday. Well, that’s not 100% true. I let my in-laws do it because they’re sweet and I have a hard time saying no to them. I also let my stepdaughter do it because she lives so far away and I miss her all the time. Those are the two exceptions only! With my strong aversion to attention, turning the spotlight in my direction for entertainment purposes is akin to driving needles under my fingernails.

So where did it all start? It started in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, in my best friend, Jill’s, small bedroom with the flower-covered walls in 1995. My best friend was the romance junkie. I didn’t read my first romance until I was twenty one and pregnant with my second daughter. I didn’t realize most romance novels had sex scenes. Call me naïve, but I just had no clue. Maybe that’s because Jill was always so quiet, polite, and virtuous. Her mother to this day believes I was the promiscuous bad influence. Little did she know, Jill was devouring multiple sex scenes a week. This explains so much about our first trip to Canada, when we were eighteen, to see strippers. Also, something her mother blames me for. Well, okay, that might have been my idea, and my fault. Moving on. My quiet, polite, virtuous friend walked through the door of Studio Sex and said, “That one! If I win the drawing, I want my private dances from that one!” Of course, she won the drawing. And the rest is a story is for another day. Maybe I’ll blog about it. She would probably be mortified!

Although I didn’t read romance, I have always believed in romance. I love romantic movies and romantic comedies. I love charming, handsome, alpha heroes who did everything in their power to win the girl. I love strong heroines with something to prove to everyone, and to themselves. So in that little room, sitting cross-legged on her double bed, with CMT music videos playing in the background, a boom box, and an abundance of blank cassette tapes, ideas were born.

I kept those tapes all these years. Finally, a few years back, I searched stores for cassette players so I could actually listen to them. First thing I learned…I really hate the sound of my own voice. But then, that probably has a lot to do with my aversion to attention. My art teacher told me back in high school I had a smoky voice made for radio. I think I sound like a man. We agreed to disagree. The second thing I learned is I’ve been plotting and preparing to write for more than half of my life. I had forgotten how many book ideas we came up with. So, I started taking notes on our conversations, or at least the parts that could be considered plotting, and my first manuscript was born.

So now, after marrying, divorcing, remarrying, and raising my two girls and Jim’s daughter from his first marriage. After years spent earning a BA in English Literature. I’m trading in catering to my daughter’s schedules with soccer, field hockey, cheerleading, dance, birthday parties, sleepovers, and field trips. I’m going to rock concerts with my girls, golfing with the hubby, and finally focusing most of my attention on the stories I want to tell and bringing them to romance readers. If I’m lucky, they’ll love them as much as I do. So here I am, mother of three girls, on my second and final marriage (I found the right one this time!), and finally chasing the dream I didn’t even realize I created in that flowered room with my best friend and an old boom box.

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