By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
WILLINGBORO — Cassandra Ulrich has always loved writing, but she was pretty darn good in math as well.
While the love of writing never left Ulrich, it was her STEM career professionally that earned her a living. After a death in the family, she decided to follow her dream and strike out on her own as a writer. Now the author of numerous self-published books, she has also been printed in the internationally known “Chicken Soup for the Soul” anthology.
Ulrich was one of 100 vendors taking part in the Melanin Market at the John F. Kennedy Center in Willingboro last month, sharing her books and telling her story.
Ulrich paused briefly to talk with Front Runner New Jersey for our business profile.
The Cassandra Ulrich File
Name: Cassandra Ulrich
Name of Business: Cassandra Ulrich Author
Address: 618 Lincoln Avenue, Collingswood
Years in business: 15 years
Specialize in: Writing, self-publishing
Contact info: 609-980-9513, www.cassandraulrich.com, Also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
1. FRNJ: What made you become a business owner?
Cassandra Ulrich: My father died and that caused me to think about my life. When he passed, I started to rethink a lot of things. I thought about a lot of things that I wanted to try and do differently. My writing was one of them.
2. FRNJ: Why did you select your current field?
Cassandra Ulrich: I was at a job, but writing is like my side hustle. I had done it when I was a kid and then many years went by when I hadn’t done it. A friend of mine had a connection and she encouraged me to let them listen to what you had. I submitted it and that was my foot in. Later on, I did two other traditional publishing-type of deals. Then when those closed, I decided to do it on my own. I’ve been self-publishing ever since. I have poetry books. I have stories. I still submit to traditional publishing like “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” I enter contests. So, I do a variety of those things, but that’s how basically it started.
3. FRNJ: What have been some of your positive interactions
Cassandra Ulrich: I’ve had a lot of great interactions with many people. Doing covers is not my favorite thing to do but I have interacted with college students who I have hired to do covers for me, and they’ve done a great job. The other thing that I enjoyed was finding editors who were able to edit my books to the point where people don’t want to put down my stories. They want me to make stories up stories that I hadn’t planned.
4. FRNJ: How important it is to have African American role models in the field?
Cassandra Ulrich: I think representation is very important. I had a STEM background and when I start writing, they were surprised that you have this black female, who writes, but she didn’t go to college for writing but went to college for math. It blows the young students away.
5. FRNJ: Anything else you’d like to add?
Cassandra Ulrich: No matter what somebody is doing, if they are thinking about expanding their activities and their creativity to other areas, they should go for it. If I had just stuck with doing math-related work, I would miss out on all of the joy that I brought people with my writing.
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