It’s my turn to interview myself. Warning: I lead a dull life.
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Here’s my “official” bio:
Cara Marsi, an award-winning author and self-proclaimed TV junkie, is a former corporate drone and cubicle dweller. Freed of her fabric-covered cage, she can now indulge her love of all things romance. She craves books with happy endings and loves to write about independent heroines and the strong heroes who love them. And she loves to put her characters in dangerous situations or situations merely dangerous to their hearts and watch them fight for the happy endings they deserve.
An eclectic author, Cara is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She’s also published numerous short romance stories in national women’s magazines and online. When not traveling or dreaming of traveling, Cara and her husband live on the East Coast in a house ruled by their fat black diva of a cat named Killer.
And now to the questions.
1. Your novel is being made into a TV series/movie. Who’s in your dream cast?
That’s easy. My fantasy is that A Groom for Christmas will be made into a Hallmark movie (Hallmark Channel, are you listening?). Jake Falco would be played by swoon-worthy Tom Mison of TV’s Sleepy Hollow. Graceann Palmer would be played by Amy Adams or Emma Stone, both with dark hair. See Mison below.
2. What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain number of words each day?
What writing schedule?
3. What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I write more because I’m no longer working full time as I was when I first published. I also do lots more promo than I did before. My first book was a hardback from Avalon Books. They paid a flat fee and no royalties. Promo wouldn’t have changed what I made so I did no promo. Ah, those were the days.
4. How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in your book?
Lots. My heroines all have a little of me in them. Like me, they’ve been responsible and dependable, like a pet dog, always doing what is expected, all their lives. I like to get them out of that bubble and shake things up. I like to write stories about characters, especially women, who are deterimined to change their lives.
5. Covers. Did you ever get one you wish you could change?
Yes! I hated the cover Avalon gave me for my first book, A Catered Affair. See it below. Do you agree? Oh, wait, I did change the cover when I got the rights back, revised the story, and renamed it A Catered Romance. See my new cover next to the old one.
6. How do you choose names for your characters?
I name the villains after old boyfriends who dumped me, my ex-husband and the mean girls who made my life hell in high school. I look for age-appropriate names for my heroes and heroines. I have a list of the most popular baby names from the early 80’s which would be when most of my characters are born. I consult that for first names. For last names, I search the Internet for ethnic names that are easy to spell and pronounce. The heroes must have strong names. I try to give at least one of my main characters an Italian last name, as that’s my heritage. The heroine in A Groom for Christmas is Graceann, named after one of my nieces. The heroine in Murder, Mi Amore is Lexie, named after another niece. Some of the heroes in my short stories have been named after my nephews.
7. Have you ever used an incident from your real life in one of your books?
Yes. In A Catered Romance, I took a hurtful thing the guy I crushed on in seventh grade said about me and expanded it to form the inciting incident in the story. In one I’ve just written, Capri Nights (no release date), I used the experience I had when I visited the Isle of Capri in
Italy when I
was twenty. I met an Italian named Giuseppe Desiderio, made out with him on the
roof of the Europa Palace Hotel, and wrote to him for six months after I got
home. Most of my short stories are based on things that happened to me. Of
course, I change the incidents to make them deeper and more interesting than
they really were. Remember, my life is dull.
Also, on that same trip to
I had a date earlier in the day with another Italian guy who worked at our
hotel (two dates in one day!). I was on some mountain with this guy and he got
fresh with me so I hauled off and hit him with my purse. In Murder, Mi Amore, my heroine hauls off
and whacks a guy with her purse because he’s attacking the hero. Yes, I hit one
guy for trying to kiss me and I made out with another guy that same day. But I
was wildly attracted to the second guy. Makes all the difference.
8. If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
Start writing in your twenties and not wait until your late forties to begin. And embrace your paleness and stay out of the sun.
9. How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
Lots of stories. I keep everything mentioned above: a mental list, a computer file and a spiral notebook. I’m obsessive about some things.
10. Of all your characters, who’s your favorite and why?
That’s like asking a mother which of her children is her favorite. I confess I fall in love with each of my heroes. I like my heroines, but I love my heroes. Right now, I’m in love with Jake from A Groom for Christmas, but the man who’s held my heart the longest is Logan Tanner from Logan’s Redemption.
had been a character in my mind for so long before I wrote him. He’s special to
Drumroll!! Now for the fun stuff.
1. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas. I love the music, the excitement in the air, the decorations, the food, getting together with friends and family.
2. What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
When I was in my late teens, I worked part-time at my local Sears store. One Easter season, they made me dress in a bunny outfit and walk around the store handing out candy from a basket I carried. This wasn’t a Playboy bunny outfit, but a big, bulky thing that looked like a child’s PJ’s with feet. I had big rabbit ears too. Most humiliating experience of my life.
I ate kangaroo meat on a trip to
Tastes like chicken.
3. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer, an anthropologist and a teacher. Not all at the same time and not necessarily in that order.
4. Favorite food.
That’s a hard one. I have a hearty and eclectic appetite. I eat most everything. I’ve eaten snails, the aforementioned kangaroo meat, and alligator in
South Carolina. I won’t eat muskrat, though,
which is a delicacy in some parts of my state.
5. Favorite happy memory.
Coming down the stairs Christmas morning when I was little and seeing all those gifts under the tree.
6. Favorite drink.
Wine. What else is there?
7. Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
Summer, all the way, baby.
8. What is the top thing on your bucket list?
To live in
Arizona, or at least
live there part of the year, during winter so I can escape the cold back East.
I’ve visited there many times. I told my husband if I die before him, he should
spread my ashes in the Arizona
desert because that’s probably the only way I’ll get there permanently.
9. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
To clean my house with a twitch of my nose like Samantha in Bewitched.
Find me at: www.caramarsi.com
I love hearing from readers and fellow authors
Blurb from my latest release, A Groom for Christmas:
When a young woman hires her hometown’s former bad boy to be her pretend fiancé for the holidays, she finds she can’t wrap up her feelings as easily as a Christmas gift.
Jake Falco, man of many mysteries, is back in town on a mission—one the people of
most likely won't
appreciate. When Graceann presents him with her crazy scheme, it gives him
something he's always wanted—a chance to get to know Graceann. It also gives
him the perfect opportunity to add fuel to his project of revenge. Spirit
But as Jake and Graceann grow closer, their engagement-of-convenience begins to feel like the real deal—until Jake’s secrets are revealed.
Can a relationship that began with lies and secrets bloom like a rare Christmas rose into happily-ever-after?
This book is also available in print.