Thanks you Carolyn for taking the time to allow me to interview you. It's much appreciated.
V- What was your journey into publication like, and where do you get your inspiration?
C- Some days I feel like I backed into publication accidentally. My paranormal novella, The Last Soul, will soon be published by Evernight Publishing. This story grew out of an informal challenge thread on Litopia.com. Emma Shortt, my editor at Evernight, is also a moderator at Litopia. We started emailing about a story I posted in her challenge thread, and The Last Soul was born. This was actually the second contract I was offered, two weeks after the one for my contemporary romance, Haunted Heart, scheduled for release July of 2011 from Etopia Press.
I’ve always wanted to write. But I didn’t get serious about it until approximately ten years ago, and I had no idea what I was doing. I wrote three novels and each one was full of newbie mistakes. My entire approach to publication was full of newbie mistakes. Two years ago, after a devastating tornado in the town where I live, something inside me snapped. Your entire life can change in a matter of seconds. I realized if I didn’t get serious about this dream of mine it would never happen. I joined Romance Writers of America and Litopia, and began to learn my craft and learn about the publishing industry. I went to the RWA National conference in Orlando, Florida – my first one – and it changed my life. It also started a fire burning that hasn’t quit since. I joined our local RWA chapter and kept writing and learning.
Haunted Heart was inspired by my love of old houses, and by the scars from high school we each carry around. The Last Soul grew out of my fascination with angels and demons. My inspiration comes from everywhere. There are so many things in our everyday lives that can provide the backdrop to a story.
V- What’s your most current release and what can we expect to see from you in the near future?
C- The Last Soul, a paranormal novella, will be released soon from Evernight. Haunted Heart, a full-length contemporary romance novel, is due in July from Etopia Press.
In The Last Soul, Faina is one of the demons whose job is to seduce mortal males and lead them to ruin. Once they sign away their souls, their troubles disappear. Faina is tricked into leading one last soul to ruin - Jace Blackmon. If she succeeds, she’s told she will be human again. As she falls in love with Jace, she also realizes she’s being tricked by a demon who wants her for one of his own sex slaves, and has no intention of making her human again. Faina finds the piece of Jace’s past that could ruin him, but she can’t bring herself to use it. While she’s hiding from the demon pursuing her, someone leaks this info about Jace to the media, and Faina realizes she must sacrifice herself to save Jace’s soul.
In Haunted Heart, Rowena moves back home after ten years of living in Hollywood to restore the century home left to her by her beloved great-aunt. The man she hires to restore it is the same one who hurt her in high school. As Van and Rowena work through the rift that tore them apart as teens, they also contend with the paranormal investigator who is trying to make Rowena believe the house is haunted. When Van discovers one of his own crew might be involved, he also realizes Rowena is in danger.
Very soon, I hope to sell Hunted, the sequel to The Last Soul, to Evernight. I also hope to sell my full-length fantasy romance, Crossing the Dark Moon, to Evernight. After that, I plan to write more paranormal stories for Evernight. I’m drawn to these stories, and I have so much fun writing them I can’t imagine stopping right now. Lack of story ideas isn’t an issue.
V- What words of wisdom do you have for writers just starting their journey?
C- Write. Just write. Join a group that will help you reach your goals. Connect on Facebook and Twitter with other writers and industry professionals. Keep writing. Every single day. And don’t be so in love with your own words that you aren’t willing to change them in order to make your story better. It’s not about beautiful words. It’s about telling a story that keeps readers turning the page. It’s about writing characters your readers love so much they don’t want the book to end. That’s why we read fiction. To escape into another world.
Be discerning where critique groups are concerned. Find writers whose work you admire and connect with them. They are the best ones to mentor you and help you fine-tune your work. Join a professional organization like RWA. These organizations exist to promote the genre, and are an invaluable resource for connecting with other writers, agents and editors. Take online classes from writers and industry professionals. Attend conferences to meet writers and industry professionals. Yes, writing is a solitary activity, but learning your craft and learning about the industry are activities that get you away from the keyboard and in front of other writers and industry professionals. This is just as important as writing a great story.
And above all, be patient and persistent. This doesn’t happen overnight. I joke about backing into publication with two contracts in two weeks, but the reality is I went through more than a decade of self-doubt and serious soul searching to get to the point where I am now. And I’m still learning. The journey doesn’t end when you sign a contract. It only begins.
V- Self-publishing has come up so often lately in the media both online and off, what’s your views?
C- I think we’ll see more and more of this because it’s now so easy to do. It’s wide open right now. Anything from newbie authors who haven’t had their books professionally edited and have made their own cover art, to well-known authors putting their backlist directly on Kindle.
V- I'm going to take things down a notch and ask a few less informal questions.
If I were to look at the current books you’re reading, which titles would I find?
C- Anything by Annie Solomon, Jody Wallace, Beth Pattillo, Kristan Higgans and Robin Kaye. I recently downloaded to Kindle all of O Henry’s short stories, after finding the collection in an antique store, and wishing I had the $150 to spare to buy it. Just holding those books, published nearly 100 years ago, was enough to make me cry with joy. I’m also reading Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants.
V- What’s the one thing in the world that you cannot live without?
C- My Macbook! I carry it with me all the time.
V- If you could have one wish, what would it be and why?
C- I’d like to find that time machine I know exists and go back to right a few wrongs. Why? Because I’m riddled with guilt over them.
V- Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
C- Writing. Still writing. And selling the stories, of course.
Thank you so much for having me here today, Vivian! I hope everyone will check out The Last Soul when it’s published soon. Please visit my website, where you’ll find links to The Otherworld Diner, a great blog I contribute to, and my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter: @carolynrosewood
V- Once again, thank you for joining us here at Write Outside The Box.