X- What was your journey into publication like, and where do you get your inspiration?
C- I went back to college while my husband and I were living in Central Massachusetts. I’d always wanted to write so took a journalism class and consequently started working for several small newspapers in the area. I published hard news, features, humorous essays and then branched out and started writing and submitting short stories. I’ve published in the mystery, horror, religious, romance and confession markets. Yes, I published several stories for the Trues, True Love, True Romance, etc. When we moved to San Diego to start a business, I had to give up writing for ten years. It was tough but when I was finally able to work part-time in our business, I decided I wanted to try and write a novel. Like so many other writers, that first manuscript is still under the bed! I went on to publish nine novels a non-fiction book, two erotic novellas with the third one coming out soon.
X- What’s your most current release and what can we expect to see from you in the near future?
C- My current release is titled Blood Lust and it’s an erotic novella coming out from Phaze Publishing on Monday, July 25, 2011. Here’s the blurb:
Noah Bandish, an Emergency Medical Technician for the city of New York, has a secret. He’s a vampire. Boredom is an ongoing problem for the undead and with his job Noah has found a way to both keep active and feed. No one seems to question why so many of his patients die before they get to the hospital. Then he meets Dr. Rachael Morehouse, a woman who’d make his heart beat faster – if his heart was still beating. Now he must decide if he wants to use the woman for his own wanton purposes or turn her and keep her at his side for eternity. Rogue vampires come into Manhattan and create chaos, and Noah knows he he’ll have to help clean up their mess all the while fulfilling his Blood Lust.
Right now I’m almost finished with the first draft of a mystery novel that takes place in a small town on the southern Oregon coast. We moved to Oregon last year so I’m taking advantage of the local color! I also teach Beginning the Novel classes at SWOCC (South Western Oregon Community College) and will be teaching an Autobiography writing class starting in the spring of 2012.
X- What words of wisdom do you have for writers just starting their journey?
C- I was very lucky in that my first creative writing teacher was Gary Provost. Gary always told us, if you can write, you can write anything. I believe that too and I’ve published in just about every field but poetry and memoir. The second thing is to never give up, NEVER. If your dream is to be a published writer, then keep writing, keep submitting and never quit. One of my favorite saying is: The difference between an amateur and a professional is persistence.
X- Self-publishing has come up so often lately in the media both online and off, what’s your view?
C- I see nothing wrong with self-publishing. My husband and I self-published my book, An Extra Pair of Eyes, about my volunteer work at the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. We did it mainly because we owned and operated a small commercial printing business at the time, and several customers had asked us to help them publish books, so we did mine to see what the process entailed. I do think too many writers give up on commercial publication too soon and do it themselves. Unfortunately often the books aren’t ready for publication. I’ve worked with a lot of writers too many of them are impatient. They write a book and want it published, NOW! I tell writers to put their work away for as long as possible, three to six months. Start something new. Then go back to your manuscript, read it with fresh eyes and rewriting. It may take a few drafts, but…you want the best possible book out there and that can’t be rushed.
X- If I were to look at the current books you’re reading, which titles would I find?
C- The Ridge by Michael Koryta, Tabloid City by Pete Hamill, and Edge by Jeffrey Deaver
I love a good mystery!
X- What’s the one thing in the world that you cannot live without?
C- My computer of course.
X- If you could have one wish, what would it be and why?
C- To publish a book with one of the big NY publishers. I’ve published e-books and POD and do believe that e-books are the wave of the future but…I still have people ask me when I’m going to publish a 'real' book! *Sigh*
X- Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
C- Still writing and teaching. I find the older I get, the less ambitious. I used to write two books a year but…lately I’m struggling to finish one! There are just so many fun things to do.
X- Thank you so much for allowing me to conduct this interview and best of luck in the future with your writing career.
Carlene Rae Dater can be reached on the web at the following places:
Websites: carlenedater.com, and The Mystery Starts Here
Message from Carlene Rae to her readers: I appreciate all the wonderful comments I’ve gotten from those who’ve read my books. A friend emailed me just yesterday and told me she could not put my romance, Call Sign: Love down – so her husband had to make dinner! Besides romance, I’ve published humorous mystery, mystery, romantic-suspense, paranormal romantic suspense and erotica.