Every once in a while, you meet someone online and just click. It was that way with Cari. Not only is she talented, she's kind, funny and one hellava writer.
Cari's first Scarlet, FULL DISCLOSURE, released last Friday.
Here's a blurb: Thirty-eight-year-old divorcee Holly Burrows has had enough of battery-operated love. Prompted by an ad left at her law office, she investigates Hunk Du Jour, a website designed to foster ‘adult connections’. After weeks of sexy emails and phone calls with surf hunk Kent, she's ready to test their chemistry in person. But first she has to get through lunch with her colleague Alex, a man with a brain as agile as his body. When their consultation ends with a bang, she barely remembers the man she'd lined up for dessert. Now she thinks she's juggling two hot young guys. How can she choose between her two gorgeous cubs – and why do they remind her of each other?
Without further ado, here's Cari.
~Every writer dreams of the day his or her book is published. Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
It was a long and winding road that started on a dark and stormy night…
LOL, couldn’t resist. Like many writers, I started writing as soon as I could hold a pencil, but writing isn’t my first love. Or my biggest. Growing up, my dream was to be a singer. Music is the one thing I find even more powerful than the written word…stories set to a melody, c’mon, THAT’S nirvana! But eventually I realized a singing career wasn’t in the stars for me, so I focused on my other passion: writing. I finished my first book in 2007, and that book is currently being retooled for the thirty thousandth time. ;) Full Disclosure is actually the fourth project I finished.
~Ah, another thing we have in common. I wanted to be a singer too… only I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. That kind of puts a damper on things. I for one am glad you focused on your writing.
What would be your one piece of advice for anyone interested in getting a book published?
Write. Don’t stop writing. Even when the muse scampers off to a tropical island without leaving a forwarding address. Even when you think the story’s not working or wonder if anyone will care what you have to say. Only through the repetition of writing will you ever get a chance at seeing your dream come true. Once you finish one story, start the next. Don’t let one book be the sum total of your life’s output, unless you think you may have the next Gone With The Wind on your hands.
Believe me, I know of what I speak when I say this…I worked on the same book from 1991-2007. Not continuously, of course, and the story changed a dozen times. But at its core, it was the same book. And I’m revising it yet again, though at least this time it’s only one segment of my arsenal of WIPs.
~Good advice. How did you family/friends react to your decision to become a writer?
Most of them have known I wrote as long as they’ve known me. I never really kept it a secret, and ever since I started passing around my stories to friends in high school, writing has been a constant in my life. My mom always encouraged me, especially after discussing my writing career with a woman who was known as a bit of a psychic. Once that woman said that I was destined to “make it,” my mother refused to listen to my doubts. Wish I’d been that easily convinced. ;) And my best friend has been around since my high school days, so she’s been reading my work for close to twenty years now.
~Support like that is priceless. How did you start writing erotic romance?
My first foray into steamy writing was an attempt to write for Harlequin Blaze, as I thought a 60K story would be a manageable size for me to cut my teeth on. So far, I have one of those about to go on submission again, another in progress, and my NaNoWriMo project, which has been brewing for about a year and a half. But Blaze steamy isn’t true erotic romance, and I don’t know if I would have tried it if not for my CP, Helen Hardt. Through reading her work, I became more acquainted with the genre and decided to see if I could give it a shot. She always praised my sex scenes, so I figured, why not? I started Full Disclosure and put it aside for awhile, but it stayed at the back of my mind. I love challenges, and I really wanted to see if I could write a scorching, no-holds-barred book.
~And you did! What inspired Full Disclosure?
I’ve always found the subject of internet dating fascinating. I’ve made several friends online that I’ve then met in person, and I also met a guy online eons ago. Some of the dynamics have changed, but what hasn’t is the deep connection that can be forged online. Something about the seeming anonymity allows people to feel free to express their truest self..and in Holly and Kent’s case, their deepest sexual desires. The story blossomed from my original conception of it, but the dating site behind the story, Hunk Du Jour, proved such an interesting backdrop to me that I just completed the followup story to Full Disclosure. This one is about Jenny, the webmistress of the site. Recently, I started plotting a third book set in the same world.
~It sounds like you’re going to be busy and we’ll have a lot of reading to do. Are you anything like your heroine?
I wish, LOL. Holly’s fiercely independent, so I guess in that sense we’re alike. She’s also very stubborn, and anyone that knows me knows I tend to be a little intractable when it comes to certain things. We’re also both big sports fans, though her sport of choice is hockey and mine is basketball. But as far as the hugely successful law career and her chutzpah in going after what she wants, even if what she wants is a very hot, much younger man…well, that’s not me. Not yet. But I’ll never say never. ;)
~I love reading about women with chutzpah. Okay, now for a slightly different question. If your hero and heroine went out, where would they go and what would they do?
Are they actually going out? As in leaving the bedroom? LOL Because as anyone who has read Full Disclosure can attest, Holly and Alex tend to like to stick close to the bed. Or the truck. Oops, I meant close to home. ;)
But if they were actually on a date…they’d probably go out for a low-key dinner at their favorite pizza place before heading out to a Sabres hockey game. Refer to the previous paragraph for their idea of a nightcap…
~LOL Sounds fun… the hockey game and the nightcap. Do you have anything new in the works?
Where should I start? I have 5 current WIPs, 2 completed stories that need to be edited ASAP to go on submission, and at least 2 other sequels waiting in the wings. That’s not even including all the other ideas in my “someday” file! As my awesome CP, Tara Leigh Coons, always says, I’ll never have to worry about running out of projects!
~That’s quite a list. It’s nice to know there will be lots more Cari Quinn novels to come. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?
I can’t think without music, which kind of relates to question #1, And not just music, blisteringly LOUD music. Somehow it becomes white noise for me to get into the zone with my characters. Sometimes I’ll realize exactly how loud the music in my headphones is and marvel that I haven’t gone deaf yet, but it’s a bad habit I can’t seem to shake.
What kind? You name it and I’ll listen to it. My current playlist for my NaNoWriMo Blaze, Heat Lightning, contains everything from Jo Dee Messina to the Pussycat Dolls to Marilyn Manson to Loreena McKennitt. I honestly don’t have a preferred genre, though the tone of the songs I like to listen to seems to shift from book to book.
~That is quite a variety…. And you know what they say about variety? What is the most exciting part of being a published writer?
Knowing I could do it, at least once. LOL Almost immediately my thoughts turned to making sure I avoided the sophomore slump with my next book, but those couple minutes of pure excitement were awesome.
~That moment you first see your book for sale is electric. And then you go back to work. What is the least exciting?
Worrying that people will think my book sucks. Sucking has its place in erotic fiction, just not in a book review. ;)
~LOL I almost spit out my coffee. So true and I think all writers share that fear.
Where can we find your books?
Full Disclosure just released this past Friday at The Wild Rose Press Wilder Roses: )
Other book news can be found on my blog:
Thanks for the interview, Lynne…this was a ton of fun!
It was fun for me too, Cari! Thank you.