Guest Interview: Carol Ericson

Today our special guest is a fabulous former member of Fierce Romance, Carol Ericson!

Welcome, Carol! Please tell us about your latest release.

My September Harlequin Intrigue, The McClintock Proposal, is the third book in the McClintock Brothers series, which includes Circumstantial Memories, The Sheriff of Silverhill, and the 4th book, A Silverhill Christmas, which will be available in December.
Here is the back cover blurb for The McClintock Proposal: The moment Rod McClintock spots the disheveled bride on the side of the road, he knows life is about to become a lot more complicated. Callie Price is on the run and in need of his protection. She's also the answer to his financial woes, if they're both willing to say "I do."

A marriage of convenience is Callie's sole shot at inheriting the ranch that'll help her rebuild her life. All she needs is a husband in name only. Her smoldering cowboy rescuer fits the role perfectly. Too perfectly. As they struggle to escape a killer's obsession, peril and passion tie them together. And before long, someone is putting "till death do us part" to the ultimate test.…

Sounds wonderful! I love marriage of convenience stories! How are the books in this series connected and do they need to be read in order?

The books in this series are connected through the four McClintock brothers. The fourth brother, Rio McClintock in A Silverhill Christmas is illegitimate and didn't grow up with his brothers, which is a source of much bitterness for him. The books themselves aren't connected by an overarching story and can be read out of order, although the various brothers make appearances in each other's books and they all come together in the fourth book.

What do you like best about writing a series?
The best part about writing series is visiting old friends! We meet some of the same characters across the books, and if you've read the other books there are some inside jokes about those characters and shared history. Also, series give you a chance to check in on the heroes and heroines of the previous books to see how they're doing. :) That's my favorite part about reading series as well.

For me too! What is hardest about writing a series of this type?

The hardest aspect to writing a series is keeping elements of the characters or the setting straight. At least a portion of each book is set in Silverhill Colorado and when writing subsequent books in the series, I had to check back through the previous books to make sure I had the right name for a particular cafe or street. It keeps you on your toes! And with a series that's connected by an overarching story, you have to keep the elements of that story alive and progressing through each book.

Absolutely! For an unpublished author who would like to write for Intrigue, what advice would you give?

Advice I would give to an unpublished (or published!) author targeting Intrigue would be to use hooks. In category romance, hooks are very important, elements like secret babies, amnesia, women in peril, marriage of convenience, cowboys, brides--these are all very common and desired hooks for category romance. Also, for Intrigue you need to pack a lot of action into a little book. This means almost every chapter must end with....a cliffhanger! Finally, reading a lot of Intrigues will give you an idea of the types of story lines, heat level, and ratio of romance to suspense that the line is looking for. Before I sold my first Intrigue, I read a lot of Intrigues, which was enjoyable as well as educational!

Super advice! What is your writing process like?
I like to plot out somewhat before I start writing, except for the beginning of the book. Usually the opening scene of a book just comes to me and I'll sit down and write out the first few chapters, just letting the ideas from that initial spark flow onto the page. Then I sit back, look at what I have, and start sketching out a plot. I like to use the method in Discovering Story Magic, which focuses on character development to move your story along.

What's next for you?

Next up for me is the 4th book in the McClintock Brothers series, A Silverhill Christmas, which is coming out in December. Then for 2011, it's another 4-book series for Intrigue called Brothers in Arms and it's about three ex-military covert ops team members who are pulled back into their jobs to disrupt a drugs for arms deal that involves one of their missing team members. This series is connected by one major story, the missing covert ops member, who gets the fourth and final book all to himself. The first book in the series, Navy SEAL Security, will be out in March '11 and the second book, Mountain Ranger Recon, will follow in April '11. The other two books will be out later in the year.

In addition to my upcoming releases, I'm running a contest in September. To celebrate the release of my September Intrigue, The McClintock Proposal and to launch my revamped website at, I’m having a contest! The prize or I guess the prizes are the first three books of the McClintock Brothers series, Circumstantial Memories, The Sheriff of Silverhill, and The McClintock Proposal. And all you have to do to enter is answer some fun questions from my website. I will pose the questions on the Intrigue Authors Blog at eHarlequin on Wednesday, September 1st. So drop by the blog for the questions, and then check out my revitalized website for the answers. The first person to email me all of the correct answers at wins the three books! I will be posting the winner on the Intrigue Authors Blog on Tuesday, September 7th.

Thanks for having me back at Fierce Romance. Hope to see some new visitors at the Intrigue Authors blog for a chance to win the first three books in the McClintock Brothers series.
Carol, congratulations on your latest release and newest sales! Thank you for coming back for a visit!


Carly Carson said...

Thanks for all the helpful tips about Intrigue. I'll bet you will have wonderful sales with the series.

Carol Ericson said...

Thanks, Carly! Nice to pop in at Fierce Romance. I'm excited about the series. I love writing about covert ops and spies. One of my all-time favorite books is The Bourne Identity - talk about seat of your pants excitement!

Robin Covington said...

Hi Carol! Just popping by to say hi and tell you how much I love your books and now it looks like there will be many more to fir on the keeper shelf.
Why are you revamping your site? It looks great.

Sandy said...

Great interview. You are another one of my favorite Intrigue authors.

Carol Ericson said...

Thanks, Robin. I'm not revamping it now - I just had it revamped! Just sort of officially launching it now.

Carol Ericson said...

Thanks, Sandy! And thanks for stopping by.