Today I'm chatting with Carolynn Carey, a wonderful SMRW chapter mate of mine and gifted storyteller. I was thrilled to hear she'd sold her third book, a Regency, and that's what I'm going to ask her about today. But first a little about the author.
A lifelong resident of Tennessee, Carolynn Carey has always been interested in the written word and spent much of her childhood reading. Later she received a degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. However, when she tried writing fiction, she discovered that journalistic writing and fiction writing called for quite different skills. She struggled to find her niche in fiction, first writing a contemporary and then switching to historicals. She finaled three times in the Regency category of the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest, but it was only after she went back to writing contemporaries that she sold.
A Summer Sentence, which was purchased by Avalon Books, was released in August 2005. The sequel, Falling for Dallas, was published by Avalon in October 2006. And, after having almost given up on Regencies, she sold one of her earlier manuscripts to Cerridwen Press as the fifth book scheduled for Cerridwen’s new Cotillion line that features traditional Regencies. Compromising Situations is scheduled for release as an electronic book on April 5, 2007, with a print release to occur later in 2007. To learn more about Carolynn and her books, visit her web site at www.CarolynnCarey.com (and be sure to type two n’s on the end of Carolynn). And to learn more about the Cotillion line of traditional Regency romances, visit www.cerridwenpress.com and click on the Cotillion banner on the left side of the page.
Vonda: Please tell us about your next release.
Carolynn: In Compromising Situations, Beatrice Crowell is perfectly content living in the country with her parents and her beautiful, brilliant twin sister. But when the twins’ godmother offers to sponsor Beatrice and Chloe for a Season, Beatrice realizes a refusal would break their invalid mother’s heart. So off Beatrice and Chloe go to London, where Beatrice meets her godmother’s son, the handsome and arrogant Marquess of Thayne. Misunderstandings and willful prejudices cause immediate sparks, and Thayne would love nothing more than to dispatch the twins straight back to the country. However, he soon discovers that their presence in London is essential to the dangerous assignment he shares with their disreputable brother and he is forced to do everything in his power to make amends—including engineering a reconciliation between Chloe and the man who broke her heart. Intrigue, misunderstandings, misjudgments, and betrayals land both Beatrice and Chloe in compromising situations with the men they love, but neither is willing to accept the proposals that would salvage their reputations, certain they were made for everything but the right reasons. So how can two Regency gentlemen convince the stubborn young ladies they adore that they want to marry them for love rather than for honor?
VS: Sounds like a fun and interesting story! What element of story creation is your favorite? (Characters, settings, plots, etc.?)
CC: Definitely I would have to say “characters.” While settings can certainly help set the tone and well-drawn plots can hold the reader’s interest, the characters make or break a book for me. In romances, of course, the hero and heroine take center stage, but secondary characters, including the villain, are critical to the book’s success. Secondary characters can often introduce humor or help provide valuable insight into the motivations of the hero and heroine.
VS: What is your writing process or method?
CC: If I had a choice in the matter, I would prefer to plot my books before I begin to write them. Unfortunately (or so it seems to me), I simply can’t do it. I’ve tried various methods for plotting, and I always run into some sort of mental roadblock. Thus, what I’ve learned to do is to identify my characters and put them in a situation that leads from an opening scene into the next scene and so forth. I always know what the ending will be, of course. I just don’t know at the outset how I’m going to get there. One reason I don’t like this method is because it’s possible to write half a book and then discover that you’ve written yourself into a corner with nowhere to go. Believe me, I have more than one partially completed manuscript that will never be finished. But I’ve also learned that I can pretty well count on finishing the book if I’ve clearly identified the hero’s and heroine’s conflict, especially the internal conflict, before I begin writing. In essence, I’d say I’m still refining my method, hoping to find one that’s simple and foolproof. And if I ever do find a process that’s simple and foolproof, no doubt I can make a fortune selling it to other writers. :-)
VS: I'm sure you could! Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
CC: My best advice for unpublished authors is to persevere. I know that it’s very discouraging to experience rejection, especially after you’ve labored long and hard to finish a manuscript. The trick, I think, is to send out that just-completed manuscript and immediately start on another. If your first manuscript is rejected, you’ll have another in the works, and you will probably be aware that this second one is just a tad better than the first, so you’ll feel a bit more confident about sending it out. And if you’re one of the lucky ones and that first manuscript is accepted, you’ll be in a position to tell the publisher that you’re well along (or have already completed) another. Publishers like to know that you’re not a “one book wonder.”
VS: Thank you for being a guest on my blog, Carolynn! Remember to visit her website at www.carolynncarey.com to read more about her comtemporary romances and new Regency.