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Friday, June 24, 2011


Let Me Introduce Myself


Cara Marsi

I’m a new member author and this is my first post. I want to thank Marianne for inviting me to be a member author, and I look forward to getting to know everyone. Marianne suggested I introduce myself, so here’s a little about me. My name is Carolyn Matkowsky, but I write under Cara Marsi.

It took ten long years of writing and rejections before I sold my first book. That book, “A Catered Affair,” a sweet, traditional romance, was published by Avalon Books under my real name. Avalon publishes in hardback, and they sell directly to libraries. I didn’t want a pen name because I always wanted to write under my real name. I figured I’d worked hard enough to sell a book and I wanted people to know I’d made it. However, I soon found out readers had a hard time spelling and pronouncing Matkowsky. When I was nominated in 2003 as an up and coming author in a romance magazine’s readers’ poll, my name was horribly misspelled. That decided me to take a pen name that was easy to say and spell. I’ve been Cara Marsi ever since.

I thought once I sold a book I was well on my way to being multi-published. Was I wrong. It took me four more years to sell another one. In 2007 I contracted with The Wild Rose Press for my romantic suspense, “Logan’s Redemption.” Despite glowing reviews, my sales were disappointing. In 2010 I got my rights back and published “Logan’s Redemption” myself on Kindle. The sales have been great, and I couldn’t be happier. I gave new life to a book I love, and thousands of people have now read it.

I’m a slow writer. While I struggled to complete a paranormal romance, my first attempt at that genre, I became discouraged and considered giving up writing altogether. Then I discovered short story writing. I sold my first short story to New Love Stories Magazine (now defunct) in early 2009. Since then, I’ve sold ten short romance stories to the Trues (True Love, True Romance, True Story, True Experience). Sadly, of all those, only True Story remains. The magazines are owned by Dorchester, and we all know about their troubles. I hope and pray that Dorchester continues to publish True Story and its sister magazine, True Confessions. I love writing for the Trues, and I’ve sold every story I submitted to them. Writing short stories kept me in the game when I had doubts about my ability to publish again.

In late 2009, I put aside the paranormal and began writing a novella for the romantic suspense series, Jewels of the Night, from The Wild Rose Press. I finished that novella in four months, a record for me. The Wild Rose Press offered a contract, and “Murder, Mi Amore,” set almost entirely in Rome, Italy, was released December 15, 2010. I completed my paranormal romance, “Cursed Mates,” and Noble Romance Publishing offered a contract. “Cursed Mates” was released December 13, 2010. After a dry spell of no books, I had two releases within two days of each other.

I’ve just sold another short story to True Story magazine, for their August issue, and I’ve completed a sweet romance novella, “Wedding Dreams,” which I plan to publish myself. I’ve had it professionally edited by a wonderful and talented editor. I wouldn’t put a book up without it being edited.

On a personal note, I live on the East Coast with my husband and a fat black cat named Killer. She’s a sweetheart. My husband can be a sweetheart too, sometimes. We have one son who lives in Las Vegas. I miss him and wish I lived closer to him. If I could convince my husband to move to the Phoenix area of Arizona, I’d be in heaven.

When I’m not writing, I’m hitting the gym (five days a week), reading, watching TV (I’m a TV junkie), and planning our next vacation. I love to travel. I set my stories either in places we’ve visited or places close to home. As I mentioned, “Murder, Mi Amore” is set almost entirely in Rome, Italy. The last chapter is set in Las Vegas. We visited Italy in 2006, and we’ve been to Vegas many times. “Cursed Mates” is set in Maine, a place we’ve also visited and loved. My book with Avalon is set in Wilmington, Delaware; “Logan’s Redemption” takes place in Philadelphia, a city close to us. All my short stories are set in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

I grew up in the corporate world. I like to say I’m a former corporate drone and cubicle dweller. I worked for the local phone company, now called Verizon, for over two decades, then worked for an insurance company. I was downsized from my job in 2008, and am now realizing my dream of writing all day if I want.

So there you have it – my life, such as it is.


jean hart stewart said...

Good to know you Cara...will be interested in following your posts here.. we're a friendly bunch....Jean

Cara Marsi said...


Thanks for posting. You are a friendly bunch.

Karen said...

Nice to meet you, Cara! I loved reading about you and wish you continued success.

Cara Marsi said...

Thank you, Karen.

Liz said...

welcome to the group Cara! I like your story--especially the bit about self publishing. until the moment I finally received an acceptance for my first short stories I was on the verge of hiring an editor and going that route. Now that I have gotten 2 (small and new) publishers to accept me I'm not as gung ho. But I'd be interested in knowing more about your experience since you have done both (i.e. payoff vs. expenses of editing, cover art, etc.) cheers

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Liz, thanks for posting. I'll be glad to answer any questions you have about self-pubbing. I like to keep all my options open so I'll continue to submit to the Trues and also submit to publishers along with publishing some things myself.

Fran Lee said...

Welcome, love. Hope you enjoy being here!

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