Thursday, September 11, 2008

Q&A with Cara Carnes!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always had an overly active imagination and I grew up in a house with five voracious readers. That passion inspired me to pick up a romance book, unbeknownst to my family, at a really early age. Okay, maybe it wasn’t as much passion that had me pilfering that first book as much as it was blatant curiosity about what I was missing. By the time I was eleven, I was sitting alongside my mother while she pounded out her romance book on a manual typewriter *cringes* writing what I knew would be the romance of all romances. *pause for hysterical laughter*

Needless to say that book never made it onto the shelves, but the fact that my family encouraged me to pursue my dreams even as foolish as they were at the time showed me at an early age that I could do whatever I set my mind to.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

The ideas usually appear in my head as scenes, or a character hatches in my brain that refuses to go away. That seed of inspiration determines where I get the information.

For the book Prince’s Fire, and for the one before it, Warrior’s Paradise, I did significant research into astrological traits because I knew I wanted the princes from that world to carry elements connected with earth, air, fire and water. Using my slightly altered characteristics chart that matched the corresponding astrology sign gave me what I hope is a robust and warm set of brothers with their very unique identities and mannerisms.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmm…I’m not sure that I have any. Of course, I’m sure everyone says that and really does. I do know that I write best with the television on, usually either muted or turned down to where I really can’t hear it. I know, it sounds ridiculous because I can’t hear it, but it’s a habit I’ve gotten into that I just haven’t broken. I always have to have my caffeine, of course. I never stop mid-scene. Ever. I always work on at least two works in process at the same time because it seems to help me remain in the mood to write more.

LOL… I guess I have more quirks than I realized.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Honestly, I think the two things that surprised me the most were that I loved plotting and that writing erotic was easier than I expected it to be. I found that I absolutely loved twisting and turning events around and spinning a world around characters whose sexual chemistry was overwhelming enough to consume them. I learned that the most important aspect of the book has to be the characters, and how they connect with each other within the context they are in. If you don’t have the depth and emotion there, it won’t matter how good your plot is.

What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

When I sat down and decided to write Warrior’s Paradise, no one knew what I was doing. I didn’t tell my family or my friends, and I hadn’t joined any writing organizations yet. But I wrote it; then I joined RWA immediately afterwards and began to figure out what on earth I was supposed to be doing from that point.

I do have to say that I belong to two of the most incredibly supportive chapters of the RWA, in my opinion. The authors of Passionate Ink and RWAOnline are phenomenal. I couldn’t list all the authors that took me under their wing and patiently answered all the newbie questions I had, and still have, with more openness and willingness to help than I could have ever imagined.

What does your family think about your career as a published author?

My mother has been my #1 cheerleader all the way so far, and so have the friends that I grew up with. One of them even stayed up until midnight the night my first book came on sale so that she could be one of the first to buy it. When she told me I was more touched than you could imagine because she doesn’t really read romance, much less erotic romance. All of my family and loved ones have been incredibly supportive, and that’s the biggest blessing of all.

What’s coming up next for you writing wise?

I have another release coming out from Loose Id on Oct. 21st titled Weekend Games that I’m really excited about. It’s scorching hot. I also have two other works that are close to being officially taken and I have two single titles completed that I need to find homes for. Right now I’m finishing up another one of the prince stories and will hopefully have it completed very soon.

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Fedora said...

Hi, Cara! Thanks to you and Patti for a great interview--how awesome that your family's behind you all the way! And I loved reading more about your process :) Congratulations on Prince's Fire and all the titles to come! Looking forward to lots of good reading!

Mo Boylan said...

Heya cara! Great interview! My mom was my biggest supporter too ;) I wanna be as productive as you when I grow up LOL

Unknown said...

Great interview! I just don't know how you write as much, as quickly as you do. Like Mo said, I wanna be like you when I grow up!!!

Caffey said...

Hi Cara! So fun to read your interview! My mom was a huge reader of romance so she introduced me and then we shared all we read! So great with all the support you have with both family, friends and too the romance community! You'll get those other books published, keep believing!