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M.A. Cassata is a veteran writer in the entertainment field. Always fascinated by pop culture, her diverse writing career has included such popular print publications as Variety, Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, The New York Daily News, Goldmine, American Songwriter, People Weekly, Rolling Stone, and many others.
M.A. Cassata has authored 20 plus books on celebrities including Ariana Grande, One Direction, Cher, Elton John, Jim Carrey, Britney Spears, Michael J. Fox and The Monkees. She is the former Editorial Director of the now-defunct Popstar! and Faces Publications which published popular celebrity specials and entertainment/teen magazines.
She continues to contribute to a variety of entertainment-oriented online and print publications The author lives in northern New Jersey and is currently working on a new book for BearManor Media. She is represented by the Carol Mann Agency, based in New York City.
For publicity or press questions regarding M.A., contact her publicist, David Salidor. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org / (212) 245-5909.
By Robert Barry Francos
Why am I reviewing a book about comedian / actor Jim Carrey? Well, I am proud to call the author my friend, and we support each other. She was a long-time contributor to the print version of FFanzeen, which you may have seen reprinted in this very blog.
M.A. Cassata is not new to the celebrity game, with a number of books under her belt, including ones about the Monkees, Michael J. Fox, Cher, Elton John, plus many other modern cultural phenoms, such as Britney Spears and 'NSync. But I'm here to actually talk about the book, not the author (though if you're interested in more of her work, check out macassata.com.
The book points out that Jim Carrey's idol was Jimmy Stewart. While Stewart is not usually remembered as a comic actor (though he had his shining moments), Stewart's everyman can be seen in Carrey characterizations, especially when Carrey's in his non-rubber mode.
This factoid about Carrey admiring Stewart is sort of the heart of what makes this book tick. Rather than the usually bio book of the life of whomever where the author tells us what the subject was thinking years ago, Cassata breaks the information down to the bare, well, essentials.
The Essential Jim Carrey is almost like a "book of lists" about the Canadian comedian, which is well researched in fine detail, and collected into appropriate sections, such as filmography and other works (e.g., television roles and talk show appearances), trivia facts and quizzes, quotes by both the actor and his characters, and many other spots of information. This info is conveniently broken down into sections for films, topics, etc. For me, an especially interesting part is the section where his fans, such as the "Carreyholics Society," get to spout off what they like about the man, their favorite films, and sometimes the ones that don't work for them.
There is info and pictures of Carrey in various roles, right up to his 2009 portrayal of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (hey, this book is hotoff the press, printing listed as Feb 2010). Heck, there is even a list (and description) of his films currently in development.
As much as this book is about Jim Carrey, it is also about – and for – his legion of fans. Yet, as gushy as this book sometimes becomes (in this case the direction one wants to go), it does not shy away from the knowledge that not all his films have been popular (such as The Majestic and, to some extent, The Cable Guy), and even his fans get to spout off what they think are his worst, as well as his best. There are also quotes about Carrey's performances by various film critics, listed under banners of the films they reviewed. His co-actors also get a section to state what it was like to work with him.
Everything is very neatly packaged for the reader to find out what they want, including an extensive bibliography, and what memorabilia is most popular (and how much it sold for in auctions). It's all very fun, breezy, and user – I mean reader friendly.
This is the kind of book I like to read before I go to bed, or, yes I'm going to say it, in the bathroom (I had the 50th Anniversary Edition ofRipley's Believe It Or Not in my "library" by the throne for years…and now it looks like Carrey may be playing Ripley in a future flick…cosmic!). This book is chock full of short, fun facts, as well as Carrey's history, both before fame and since.
To set the record straight, I thought he was brilliant on In Living Color, and my fave films of his are The Mask (I was a fan of the Dark Horse comic it was based on) and the bravo performance in Man on the Moon; I'm actually drawn towards his more serious work. Lastly, and this is important: one of the fans thanked and quoted is listed as Robert F. of Brooklyn. This is not me. Okay? Got that? Good. Now go out and get the book if you're a fan: It's essential.
(Additional Fan Reviews):
Just got the The Essential Jim Carrey by M.A. Cassata and I love it! I'm a huge Jim Carrey fan.
Folks, this is the definitive book for the ultimate Jim Carrey fan or collector. It's apparent that this writer has a wealth of knowledge on the beloved actor, as well as a deep respect for the man & the actor.—L. Haneley
WOW! I have The Essential Jim Carrey book. I cruised around online and took a chance with this book. I was not disappointed. I've been a fan of Jim Carey's for so many years. I think he's more than just a great actor, he's a true gentleman as well. I had the honor of meeting him briefly in NY. He didn't act like a celebrity at all. This book is a treasure in that it contains everything any Jim Carrey fan would love & appreciate.—R. Taylor
I purchased The Essential Jim Carrey book and think the author did a splendid job of bringing Jim Carey the actor into the readers heart & soul. She also lets us peer deeply into the personal life and the tremendous charisma that Carrey brings to everything he does, whether personally or professionally. I love this book, it's better than most of the Jim Carrey books out there, as most of them are biographies, and this one is a tribute book— a really good tribute book!— J. H. Winger
M.A. Cassata Rules the Roost as Queen of Celebrity Tribute Books
By Keith Girard
Mary Anne Cassata is the queen of celebrity tribute books. She's written about almost every major artist of the past 25 years, but of them all, Cher is the most fascinating to the celebrity writer.
She published her first Cher book, "The Cher Scrapbook" (Citadel Press) in 2002. Her latest is tentatively titled: "I Got You Babe: The Sonny & Cher Years" (BearManor Media).
Indeed, she's become Cher's Boswell. The fan reaction to "The Cher Scrapbook" was so strong, she began working on follow up, "The Essential Cher."
After it was published, reader suggestions poured in, and she realized a second book was in order. "I added a few ideas of my own," she says, and wrote "The Essential Cher, Vol 2," which is slated for release later this year.
"The second volume will include more in-depth sections on Cher that were not included in Vol. 1, as well as more Sonny and Cher related sections," she says.
"There's a lot of new material including more facts and stats as well as a new quiz, concert tour set lists and where to find the best Cher sites on the internet," she adds.
Some of her other early books include a book based on The Monkees 20-year reunion entitled, "Hey We're The Monkees" (Signet, 1986),The Elton John Scrapbook (Citadel, 2002) and "The Essential Jim Carrey" (BearManor Media, 2010).
For Casata, best known by her pen name, M.A. Cassata, writing has been a part of her life since high school in Rochester, NY. She started penning articles for local newspapers and magazines when she was 15.
"I got a job with a big chain record store called Record Theatre and started freelancing," she says. "That's when I started interviewing music artists like Elvis Costello, Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), Harry Chapin, Billy Joel, Mike Love (The Beach Boys) and Prince."
Since moving to New York City in 1981, Cassata has interviewed some of the biggest names in show business for publications like Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, The New York Daily News, American Songwriter, People Weekly, Rolling Stone, Hit Parader and others.
Her favorite subjects include Hollywood stars like Jim Carrey, who "always makes me laugh and has a very strong dedicated fan base, including me," she says.
She's also interviewed Ryan Gosling, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Williams, Michael Landon, Elizabeth Taylor and George Burns.
Johnny Depp also stands out. "He is cool and such a brilliant actor. There's a star with a big heart."
Her specialty has always been celebrity tribute books. "For me, it's really all about the music and the fans," she says.
"I've always stayed positive when I write about musicians, I don't bother with the scandals and that is how I've managed to get interviews with legends like Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Keith Richards, Patti Smith, Cherand Ringo Starr.
Her writing has also translated well for the latest trend in publishing, electronic, or e-books.
"I love the portability of e-books because you can take your favorite books everywhere you go. It's great for fans who want quickie facts and stats on their favorite celebrity at any given time on their mobile devices," she explains.
"The Essential Cher Vol. 2" will be released late 2014 as an e-book. Cassata has also written e-books on breaking artists like Ariana Grande and One Direction, all of which include "Fun Facts, Stats, Quizzes and Quotes," she says.
Her e-books are available on Amazon's Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, iBook and other popular e-book stores.
"I write because I must. I have a passion for writing entertainment," she says. "I want to write the best possible story. I think it is important to give hope to readers so I try to focus on celebrities that have a positive message to offer."
Cassata is represented by the Carol Mann Agency, based in New York City. For more information check out her Web site at macassata.com
Test Your Knowledge With "The Superheroes Movies Trivia Quiz Book
The Mac Wire Book News Desk
Are you a fan of superhero movies? Are you already working on your costume for the next midnight release? Do and your friends go head to head in debating who is better, Batman or Superman?
Then you're going to want to check out "The Superheroes Movie Trivia Quiz Book" written by celebrity tribute author M.A.Cassata.
This ebook features 160 questions which range in difficulty. Test your knowledge on Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and many more big screen superheroes. Lots of superhero girls included too! Are you more of a villain fanatic? This book has got questions for you too.
This ebook is great for long car rides or just to strike up conversation around the dinner table…who knows maybe there is a Captain America fan in the family that you didn't know about.
Download your copy on Amazon and other popular ebook stores today!
Like quiz or celebrity tribute books? Check out more titles by the author at M.A. Cassata.com
Print version is also available.
On The Teen Beat: Check Out Some of Our Top Ebook Reads! Ariana, Big Time Rush, One Direction and More!
The Mac Wire Book News Desk
One of Ariana's biggest hits is anything but a "Problem". But do you know all there is to know about this superstar? She's not only a singer, songwriter and actress, but she is also a 21 year-old with a huge heart.
Check out this Ariana Grande: Fun Facts, Stats, Quizzes, Quotes 'N' More!, an awesome e-book which features tons of fun facts, challenging quizzes and direct quotes from the 'Baby I' singer herself. Plus find out what it is like to work on the set of Sam and Cat and how she feels about her loyal fans. There's also plenty of comments from her celebrity friends like Jennette McCurdy, Demi Lovato and Katy Perry.
Ariana isn't the only young celeb blasting on our radios this summer. One Direction is a must have when it comes to creating the perfect summer mix. In "One Direction: Fun Facts, Stats, Quizzes and Quotes." It includes over 200 must-know facts and lots of fun quizzes to test your 1D knowledge. Not to mention, this e-book even includes quotes from the guys themselves. From girls to dating, to their music careers and more, this book has it all. With this book, you can finally prove to your friends who the ultimate directioner is once and for all.
Still rockin' out to Big Time Rush? Not to worry, there is an e-book for our former fave. Nickelodeon quartet. In addition to tons of need to know facts, this book includes a fan-picked list of favorite songs and episodes. It's essential to any Rusher's collection!
Want to write to Ariana or the members of One Direction? Then you will want to check out this handy dandy celeb birthday and address-e-book. The On The Teen Beat's Awesome Star Contact List and Birthday Guide booklet is 32 pages of the very best addresses and social media go to's. Find all your favorite stars in one place including Ross Lynch, The Vamps, Taylor Swift, Austin Mahone, Cody Simpson, Katy Perry, and many more. Imagine having a celeb BFF? Or what about receiving a letter from Cody?
All of these books are currently available on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble and other popular online ebook sites. While there, be sure to check out all of the books by celebrity tribute author, M. A. Cassata. She includes only the freshest facts, interviews and other info when writing her awesome teen star ebooks.