Carolyn Crane has dropped by for a quick chat about her latest novel and anything else I can get her to reveal about herself…
What is your most current work out out?
Off the Edge! It’s the second in the Associates, my romantic suspense series (it’s a series, but you can read the books in any order). It’s an indie pub.
Tell us a little about Off the Edge. What inspired you to write it?
I wanted to combine two of my passions – badassness and word nerdiness – into one yummalicious hero. I guess I like to have my peanut butter with my chocolate. Because, why not?
So, my hero in Off the Edge, Macmillan, is this charming and deadly secret agent and also a linguistics expert—he uses language to hunt criminals. But when he seduces a beautiful singer in a Bangkok hotel to get clues for his latest mission, he learns he’s not the only one with dangerous enemies….
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I do a mix—I like to have a general idea of where I’m going, and I usually have some major scenes in mind, but cool unexpected things often pop up along the way.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
This is a great question – I was just thinking about this the other day, how I started in Urban Fantasy and ended in Romantic Suspense. But really, they’re kind of similar. Romantic Suspense is sort of like Urban Fantasy without the magic.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Ooh, I’d have to say reckless gambler Simon from the Disillusionists, my UF series. He is a total gambler and never thinks about the future, which is the complete opposite of worrywart, me! So I really had to step out of my reality to write him. It was almost like entering opposite world.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I have actually based characters on people I know in real life. Usually by the time the books is finished these characters have grown into their own personality and are completely different. Nobody ever recognizes themselves in my books, but there have been family members who have thought they were in one of my books when they totally weren’t. LOL
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
I find the blank page hard. I like to get something down and then I feel like I can play with it and shape it. I love revising. My husband is a writer and he’s the opposite – he loves the wide open blank page, full of possibilities.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I tend to really obsess about chocolate online and I talk about it a lot. I love chocolate so much. But I think people would be surprised that I am a super healthy eater who practically lives on green smoothies and salads. I think that’s why I love chocolate – it’s my one naughty treat I get to have.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Hmmm. I think pretty much every book I read would be called a guilty pleasure by a lot of people. But I don’t care. Reading should be fun!
What TV Show/s are you addicted to?
Oooh, I’m just starting Sons of Anarchy! Like a testosterone badass fest. I also really like The Good Wife.
Do you have a hobby that you like to try and squeeze in?
I like to draw little cartoons sometimes. They’re not very good, but it is sort of a stress buster for me.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I write in the morning, so caffeine is a must! Coffee or black tea. That’s all I need.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
There is this song on a Pandora station of mine, If You See Me by Chris Koster, a Canadian musician, that is becoming a major theme song for the current book I’m writing and it is not available ANYWHERE! Not iTunes, not from his site, nowhere I can find. So, I have to listen to hours of Pandora to hear it. It kind of drives me crazy!
Do you write one book from start to finish or are there multiple works underway at any given time?
I tend to write a book to the end, but when I’m through a few drafts and at a stopping point; I’ll usually put it aside or send it to my critique partners and start a new one. I like to be able to look at a draft with fresh eyes after it’s sat a bit. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised, like, wow, this is pretty good. Other times I’m all, WTF!! Nooooo! What was I thinking?
Where were you when you got your first contract? What was the book and who did you tell first?
I was on a train going to Wisconsin. My dad was really ill, and I was just overwrought about it. When my agent called with the news that Mind Games and Double Cross had sold, I started crying! I was just overwhelmed with life, I think.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
In my 30s!! I started way too late. I wish I’d discovered romance in high school. I think my life would’ve been way better.
Do you have an all-time favorite romance book (not written by you J)?
The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Joanna Bourne and Meredith Duran. Look at me all historical fan girl.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m a freelance copywriter, which means I write ad copy and websites. I’ve written for all kinds of companies, from 3M to US Bank to Aveda to Cost Cutters.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and an all-time favorite?
I really loved Blue Jasmine. I think my all-time fave movie might be My Fair Lady, though. I so luff it!!!
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m working on the third book in the Associates, and I’ve also started another in my “Taken Hostage by Hunky Bank Robbers” ménage series by Annika Martin, my dirty-writing pen name.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Omg, hard question!! Maybe with my BFF, Jeffe Kennedy. We could write something steamy and sassy!!
How did you hear about the “bunnies” at Joyfully Reviewed?
Who could miss the bunnies? I love seeing those bunny ears coming toward m when I’m out at the latest and greatest conventions. You guys are great. I feel like I’ve known about you forever.
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of ice cream?
Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. YUM!!
Ranger or Morelli?
I’m a Morelli girl. He’d just so wonderfully cop-ish. Though I’ve had my phases with Ranger for sure.
Hey, thanks so much for having me! This has been so, so fun. I love your questions. Rock on, Bunnies!!