Today I have two treats for readers! Author Cynthia Sax is guest blogging about Does Size Really Matter AND author G. S. Carr in the hot seat for not only an interview but also a special giveaway celebrating her new release FREEDOM OF LOVE! The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon gift card, a swag pack with bookmarks, bracelets, key chains etc. related to Freedom of Love, and two paperback copies of her favorite romance novels, to a randomly drawn commenter.
Raised in Charlotte NC, G.S. Carr has always enjoyed indulging in her imagination. At a very young age she had a thirst for reading and the many possibilities it helped come alive in her mind’s eye. She consumed books like they were the air she needed to survive. It seemed inevitable that her love of reading would transcend into a desire to create her own stories. She began writing poetry and stories at the age of 10. By the time she was thirteen she found her passion in the romance genre and has not looked back ever since.
Her current interests include drawing random cartoons, reading, writing, rock climbing, traveling, and generally wandering about having adventures.
What’s an average day like for you? Do you write fulltime?
I actually have a day job so I am unable to write fulltime. I usually get up about 5:00 am and write for about two hours before heading to work. When I get off I usually practice my Spanish (a very steep learning curve for me) and then write for another hour or two. Every once in a while I throw some friend and family time into the mix, but I’m single and a workaholic so I can pretty much crawl into my bat-cave and write as much as I please.
Do you have any writing influences?
I guess every romance writer whose book I have ever read over the years. I will say that right before I decided to publish my first book I got my hands on a Pepper Pace book and I loved it. I loved how her characters weren’t cookie cutter romance novel characters. They were deeply flawed and human. It inspired me to capture the essence of true human nature in my writing.
You’re a fairly new author so I was wondering have there been any surprises about the publishing industry you didn’t expect. Also, what was your route into publishing romance?
Well I self-published my book “Freedom of Love” and I think I will continue to do so. Although, I might take a trip into traditional publishing at some point. There aren’t many surprises, but I will say it is extremely hard. Marketing and promotion are definitely an important aspect of selling books and of course they are one of the hardest parts to get right. There is no magic pill that will suddenly make your book sell and you have to put as much time and energy as you can spare into it. But I think this is true for both self-published and traditionally published authors. No one will care as much or work as hard to sell your book as you will.
How do you approach your books? Are you a panster or plotter? Have you ever had a character get you in line so to speak?
I am a hybrid. I do a skeleton outline of my story generally. I will have a loose idea of the beginning, the middle, and the end plotted out so that I know where the story will go, but the meat and potatoes of the story doesn’t come in until I am writing. I have had a time or two where I start writing and the story takes a completely different turn in some unexpected direction. And I usually write two versions of the story. I will write the first draft and after reading it add new elements or characters to fill in holes or make it more complete.
From concept to the final product, how long does it take to complete a book?
That depends on how lazy I am feeling while writing. If I am feeling extremely motivated and completely in the zone I can write the first draft in about a month. Then I give it to my beta readers and taking into consideration their suggestions and my own new ideas it may take me about a week or two to get the final version ready for my editor. But this example is under perfect conditions so I usually try to aim for about two to three months.
Does your family, spouse, neighbors, friend’s read your spicy tales? What do they think of your published work?
Yes I gave “Freedom of Love” to anyone who was willing to read it. So far everyone has loved it. My mother would call me every ten minutes to ask me what was going to happen next. My friend Gloria read it on her plane ride to Vegas and got so emotionally invested in the story that she was talking to the men next to her about how she couldn’t believe what Vivian did (read to find out what I mean J ) and they politely told her that they didn’t care, but she kept talking anyway..haha
Do you or have you ever based your characters on real life people?
Yes. The lead female characters in my upcoming series are all loosely based on two of my friends and myself. I also like to have pictures of celebrities I would like to play the characters if it ever became a movie. I had an hour long debate with one of my friends about the celebrity I picked to play her character. She wanted Kerry Washington and I wanted Zoe Saldana. Needless to say I won that argument.
Is there any underlining lesson in your books?
No general lesson usually, but I do have I guess a bit of an ideal. I think that love comes from standing next to and fighting for your partner in the bad times more so than the good. I think that love is for those who are brave enough to fight for it. Those who are willing to see you when you are insecure and vulnerable and love you with everything they have. Granted these ideals are within the realm of non-crazy levels.
Can you give us some insight into any upcoming releases? Shameless plug here…
My next project is the “Kill, Love, Repeat” series. It is a romantic suspense series. Book one titled “Without Truth” is almost complete and will be hitting the shelves very soon. Here is a quick excerpt for your reading pleasure:
He looked down at the unconscious form before him. It was a shame he had to kill her. She was always one of his favorites. Grabbing the bucket of water from beside him, he dumped the water on her face. “Rise and shine sleeping beauty.” She immediately came to life, thrashing around on the floor. In a state of confusion her eyes began frantically searching around her. The duct tape on her mouth and the restraints on her wrists and ankles disabled her ability to call or run or help. “Hi Abigail”. At the call of her name Abigail froze and slowly lifted her eyes to the man standing above her. As soon as her eyes reached his face they were instantly filled with hate and disgust.
“If looks could kill I am sure I would be dancing with the devil right now. Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for you, they can’t. Now I am going to remove the tape from your mouth but I would like to keep the conversation civil. Can we do that?” He knelt down before her, but paused as his fingers touched the tape. With the nod of her head in agreement he ripped the tape from her mouth.
“You fucking pig. You coward. Fucking traitor. Rot in hell you…” He quickly slapped the tape back onto her mouth cutting off her tirade.
“Well I guess I can count that as being civil for you. I really am sorry about this doll, but orders are orders.”
Reaching behind his back he grabbed the gun tucked into the waistband of his jeans. He placed the barrel of the gun on her chest directly over her heart. The look of hate on her face never gave way to fear. He admired her more than ever in that moment. “God you look so sexy like that. I really wish we could fuck one more time, but that look suggests it will continue to be wishful thinking on my part. Well goodbye doll.” He pulled the trigger once.
Watching as the life drained from her body he tried to assess his emotions. There was nothing. No regrets, no sorrow, nothing. Sometimes he wished he could feel those things and feel more human. But he was cursed with a love of violence and killing. Brushing those thoughts aside he pulled out his pocket knife and got to work. As be began cutting into her flesh he thought about what Michael thought about his little gifts. Soon he would find out. With Abigail out of the way there was no one left between them.
Finally the Fast Five. Five fun questions that delve a little deeper into what makes G.S. Carr really tick,,,
Weekend at a vineyard in France or Surfing in Costa Rica?
Surfing in Costa Rica. I prefer physical activities that allow me to move around.
Out on the town with your girlfriends or a quiet dinner party at home?
Out of town with the girlfriends.
Chris Evans, Rodrigo Santoro or Idris Elba?
Of those listed I would say Idris Elba. Adding my own I would say Chris Hemsworth specifically in his Thor costume.
Flowers or Chocolate?
I am actually allergic to flowers although I do love to receive them. The only chocolate that I have found myself addicted to where Ferraro Rocher from Germany.
Contemporary or Historical?
Historical. I like being transported to a time and way of life that no longer exists. I wonder what it would be like if I lived in different eras.
Did you know G.S. Carr has a new release? Here’s a blurb and excerpt she’s provided and also an awesome giveaway:)
The stunning daughter of the French nobleman Dominique, marquis d’Chartes and the African beauty Imani Marsan, Soleil is captivated by everything during her first trip to America including Alex. She loves him almost from their first meeting. However, their love is interrupted when she is abducted and sold into slavery. Alone and scared she only wishes to regain her freedom.
Alexander couldn’t help but love the exotic beauty with the caramel skin that made him want to taste it. Losing her was the hardest day of his life. After years of searching she appears as if conjured by his deepest desires. But she returns far from the same. Can they rekindle their love or will they never find the freedom only love can bring.