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  • M.A. Cassata has become the queen of celebrity tribute books with tomes like her two volume 'Essential Cher.'

    M.A. Cassata has become the queen of celebrity tribute books with tomes like her two volume ‘Essential Cher.’

    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.

    The only person in the world to win both an Academy Award for acting and a Grammy Award for singing has become her magnum opus.

    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.

    MA Cassata and singer Beyonce.

    MA Cassata and singer Beyonce.

    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.

    MA Cassata with a young Justin Bieber.

    MA Cassata with a young Justin Bieber.

    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, Cher and 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 M.A. Cassata.