In fml, a seemingly random decision splits the narrative into two timelines, allowing the reader to see the effect that decision has on the life of Simon Cross.
In both timelines, Simon is in love with a girl named Cassie. He's been in love with her since freshman year, after she agreed to go on a date with him.
When I was writing Cassie, I wanted to write a character that was someone people could relate to. Often, I see love interests (of both genders) created as these empty vessels; written solely to be what the narrator wants. Bereft of any real personality of their own.
I wanted more than that for Cassie. I wanted her to be fully realized, a character in her own right. One of the themes in fml is the idea that every person is the hero in the story of their own life, but may not be more than a background character in other people's lives. So I wanted all my characters, especially Cassie, to be worth of having her own book written about her. I wanted people, not to just see her as a love interest for Simon, but to be genuinely interested in who she was as a person.
One of the best compliments I got about Deathday was from people who loved Nana and Shane. Nana was barely in the book for more than a few characters, and Shane was just the best friend. So the fact that people wanted more of them, made me pretty proud that I'd created characters well-rounded enough that they could stand on their own.
That was my goal for Cassandra Castillo. To create a whole person, not just a love interest. And I think I did that. I love Cassie. I'd hang out with her. She's confused and troubled, but she's got a strong will and doesn't let anyone tell her what to do. She can be funny and sweet and compassionate, and she plays a mean game of beer pong.
In less than three months you'll get to meet her. I can't wait until you do.