Back in the World of Witing

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So the last three months have been hectic. I haven’t written anything and I haven’t posted on many of my blogs. That’s all turning around now. I wrote 5k this weekend on a short story I am getting ready to turn in. I also received final edits on Rawhide Angel, my third and final story in my Built Cowgirl Tough series.

Today I have a guests poster, Cassandra Carr! Please welcome her as I dip my feet back into writing.

BIO: Cassandra Carr is a multi-published erotic romance writer who lives in Western New York with her husband,Inspiration,and her daughter,Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Her debut novel,Talk to Me,was released by Loose Id on March 22, 2011. Head Games,Buffalo Intimidators book 1,released on November 2,2011 from Siren Bookstrand, Caught will release December 13,2011 from Loose Id,and Impact is coming in early 2012 from Ellora’s Cave. For more information about Cassandra,check out her website at http://www. booksbycassandracarr.com,”like” her Facebook fan page athttp://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr or follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Cassandra_Carr.

Q: What books most influenced your life?

My first “favorite book” was The Westing Game. I also read “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” until it fell apart. I think it was reading books like those that got me started on the path to what I do today.

Q: Why do you write?

Because I have to. I’ve found the greatest peace in my life since I started writing.

Q: How long does it take you to write a complete novel?

Most of my books are 40-60k. I really prefer that length because then I can focus on the main characters and their story without being distracted by subplots and a whole cast of characters. That being said, I can write the first draft of a novel that size in one to two months depending on what else is going on, and then revisions probably take another week or two. Of course there’s time in between for my critique partners/betas to read the book too.

Q: What do you consider necessary to the writing process?

Inspiration. It can come from anything or anywhere, but in order to get that first kernel of a story going I need that little something. I figured out the very basic premise of the cute meet for my fifth book in this series (yes, sometimes I plan ahead, lol) by driving on the Interstate. And that’s all I’m going to tell you.

Q: Have you written in other genres besides erotic romance?

At this point, not really. I’m trying to build an audience in erotic romance so I’m concentrating on that. That’s not to say I never will – I can write non-erotic romance, but right now it’s all heat, all the time.

Q: What books do you like to read?

I like books that take an unexpected turn or have a fresh viewpoint on a tried-and-true trope (alliteration FTW!). I am not a fan of investing my time and money just to read the same-old same-old all the time. There are a lot of great books out there. Unfortunately there are also a lot of so-so books, and you can’t always tell just from reading blurbs or excerpts.

Q: What do you consider to be the most important element of a successful novel?

A plot that makes sense. I’m not a fan of the “big misunderstanding” being the crux of the plot – I like plots that have more layers.

Q: Why hockey players?

I love hockey players! I’m a big fan of athlete heroes. I’m a sports fan myself, and I know a lot of other woman who share my passion for sports and are also romance fans. In my mind it’s an under-served niche. And what could be cooler than an entire hockey team with ménage relationships?

Q: What is something that few people know about you?

Something few people know about me? Hmmmm. Let me think about that… (pauses) I would say I love watching teen movies, whether they be John Hughes’ old films like Sixteen Candles or somewhat newer ones like Clueless or Step Up.

Q. Does becoming published make a difference in your writing?

No, not really, except that instead of working for free I’m getting paid for it. Hee. But I understand that just because you’ve been published once doesn’t guarantee you’ll be published again and again. You still have to work hard and put out good stories.

One thing that’s changed, though – the more I write the better my writing is. Part of that is because I’m learning from my editors, and part is just that I’m practicing my craft more.

Q. Where do you get your ideas for plots?

Everywhere, but mostly they just kind of come to me. I’m not a plotter, so I’m not always sure where a book is coming from moment to moment. Basically, I just make stuff up as I go!

Q. Does your family know you write erotic romance?

Yep! My mother, who writes womens’ fiction (and recently sold her first book!), was my critique partner, but I wouldn’t let her critique this one. That’s one of the reasons I use a pen name, though – I married into a Big Fat Italian Catholic family, and I don’t want them to ever be embarrassed by what I do. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed – I have the coolest job ever – but I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.

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