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Friday, January 24, 2014

My So-Called Life

It’s my turn to interview myself. Warning: I lead a dull life.

Remember, one commenter will win a RB4U T-shirt. So bring on those comments! And don’t forget to leave your email so we can contact you for your snail mail address.

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 Capri, 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. Logan had been a character in my mind for so long before I wrote him. He’s special to me.

            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 Australia. 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:
Twitter: @CaraMarsi

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.
New York jewelry designer Graceann Palmer has two days to find a fiancé to bring home to Pennsylvania for the holidays so her matchmaking mama will quit fixing her up with jerks. The Falcon, a motorcycle-riding, leather-clad former high school crush, helped her out once before. Maybe he'll do it again.
Jake Falco, man of many mysteries, is back in town on a mission—one the people of Spirit Lake 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.
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?
Buy links:

This book is also available in print.




Victoria Reese said...

Your cover for A Catered Affair is much better than the original! And Jake Falco - one word - yum!! :)

I love that you're an eclectic writer like I am. Nice to know there are others out there. :)

And when you figure out the whole nose twitching thing, please let me know.

Sandy said...

It's been lovely to get to know you better, Cara. I don't think your life is boring. It just sounds peaceful.

The cover you made for your book is so much better than the one Avalon made.

I wish I could twitch my nose and have the house cleaning done. Smile!

Tina Donahue said...

Lord, Mison is gorgeous!!

Your cat's named Killer, huh? Cute.

Great interview, Cara. :)

Lynn Kellan said...

I got a kick out of your interview, Cara. I lead a boring life, too...but I've never been overseas, so I think you're much more interesting than I am! :)

Anonymous said...

Great interview!!! Love the bunny story. I have read A GROOM FOR CHRISTMAS and Mison would be a great Jake Falco!!

Tess -

Judythe Morgan said...

Your life is far from boring and your stories are rich because it isn't. Great interview. Loved learning things I didn't know about you.

Nicole Morgan said...

Loved your answers, Cara! I have to say you have a much more adventurous palate than I do. I'm kinda boring with food. LOL

Shared all over ;)

Paris said...

Great interview, Cara! I preferred your revised cover for A Catered Affair, too--much, much better. Love your choice of Tom Mison for Jake Falco:)I've seen him in a few other things and he's adorable and sexy, a hard combination to beat!

vicki batman said...

Hi, My friend: and what a great interview! I name characters like you do. But sometimes, I make them up. I liked your Avalon cover but the new one is way sexier!!! A good thing. Isn't Arizona interesting? Hmmm, on eating kangaroo.

pastprimetravelers said...

Carolyn, lovely interview. I feel as if I know you a little better and will look for the little bits of you in your heroines. Will be a fun adventure.

Cara Marsi said...

Victoria, thank you for posting. I'm glad to meet other "eclectic" writers too. And I'll definitely let you know if I figure out the nose twitching thing.

Sandy, I like the word peaceful rather than boring. I think boring and peaceful lives are underrated.

Tina, yes, I have a serious crush on Mison. Killer is my cat's name. My son, who is a fan of irony, named her because she's the sweetest, most gentle cat, afraid of everything. She also disagrees with the vet who says she's overweight. Killer says she's not overweight, merely large-boned.

Lynn, thanks for visiting. I hope you get a chance to go overseas sometime soon.

Tessy, thanks. That bunny incident still haunts me.

Judythe, thanks for visiting and thanks for your kind words about my stories.

Nicole, thanks for visiting. Growing up Italian, I got used to rich foods so I'm game for anything.

Paris, thanks for visiting. Mison is sexy and adorable, and I tried to make Jake the same way. Glad you like my new cover for A Catered Romance.

Vicki, thanks for visiting. Yes, I love Arizona. I was a little apprehensive about the kangaroo meat but when in Australia..

Maria, thank you. I'm so glad you took time to visit.

Aileen Fish said...

I love your choice of actors for the movie version!

Gemma Juliana said...

What a fun interview, Cara. More than anything it shows your humor! With a cat named Killer you need to start writing suspense and murder mysteries! Thanks for sharing.

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

Great interview! I love your books and would like to see more of your travels in future books.

Rose Anderson said...

Oh to have a twitching nose. :) I enjoyed getting to know you, Cara.

Melissa Keir said...

I agree on your new cover for A Catered Romance! Love it! And wow... any movie with Jake Falco... Winner!

It's wonderful to get to know you better and I'm jealous of your time! I'm so ready for the dreaded day job to be done!

You aren't boring if you'd eat those things. I am not that adventurous. :)

Norma Davis Stoyenoff said...

Loved your interview, Cara. Like your books also.

Ann Lawrence said...

It was nice to get to know you better, Cara!

Sydell Voeller said...

I enjoyed your interview, Carolyn! I bet you were sweltering in that bunny costume.

Sydell Voeller said...

I enjoyed your interview, Carolyn! I bet you were sweltering in that bunny costume.

Margaret Taylor said...

Love the interview and love that you are as nutty and eclectic as me! :D

Can't wait to read A Groom For Christmas! (Just picked it up!)


Cara Marsi said...

Aileen, thanks. I can definitely see those actors too. If only.

Gemma, murder mysteries involving a fat black cat named Killer. Not a bad idea.

Sue, thanks. I hope to include more places I've traveled in future books. Hopefully, I'll get Capri Nights out there this year.

Rose, thanks. And I will let you know if I figure out the twitching nose thing.

Melissa, glad you like my new cover of A Catered Romance. I worked full time for many years so I know what you're going through. But you've put out a lot of books with your hectic schedule and I admire that.

Norma, thank you for visiting and thank you for liking my books. You're so nice to say so.

Ann, thanks for commenting. I hope to see you at future VFRW meetings.

Sydell, thanks. I don't remember if I was hot in that bunny costume. I may have been hot with embarrassment.

Margaret, thank you for buying A Groom for Christmas. I hope you like it. It's more fun being nutty. I should do it more often. I finally figured out I just can't stay with one sub-genre.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes for all your writing/promo endeavors!

Mindy said...

I love the casting of Tom Mison as Jake Falco and Emma Stone as Graceann Palmer.
Do you have plans for any more Spirit Lake books?
I hope Hallmark Channel picks up an option on the book.

Mindy :)

Cara Marsi said...

Janice, thank you.

Mindy, thanks. I'm planning to do a story with Graceann's two best friends, Kate and Zach. Kate is from Spirit Lake. From your lips to God's ears about Hallmark Channel.

Cara Marsi said...

The winner of the T-shirt is Judythe!

Thank you, everyone, for your comments.

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