Sunday, September 14, 2008
I'm so pleased to present this interview of wonderful, prolific romance book author, Carla Cassidy. I've known her for 14 years and she's always been very helpful with her advice for aspiring writers. Carla gives 200% of her energy and devotion to our local RWA chapter (Mid-America Romance Authors) members while cranking out one new book after another. She's an inspiration for us all, not just as an accomplished, award-winning author but as someone ready and willing to help. I'm grateful to call her my friend!
She's had an exciting life, from performing as an actress and singer-dancer with a show band, to being a cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs. Carla recently announced she'll be inducted into her high school's "Hall of Fame"...what an honor...and well-deserved!
Marianne/April: What motivated you to get involved in the romance industry and start writing?
Carla: I always like to say that the best thing I did for my writing career was marry a male chauvinist. My husband is a traditional Italian who didn't want me working outside the home. I'd always loved to read and write and while my kids were young rediscovered my joy in both.
M/A: How long did it take you to publish? How many books have you written?
C: For almost ten years I wrote bad poetry and terrible short stories. When my daughter started bringing home young adult romances from the library, I decided to try my hand at writing one. I went on to sell twelve young adult books between 1988-1991. In 1989, I found my local RWA chapter and joined. Within a year, I'd sold my first adult romance to Silhouette. I've written under the names Carla Bracale, Carla Cook, and Carla Cassidy and now have over 85 books written.
M/A: Describe your perfect hero. Also, would he clean house or cook?
C: Definitely cook! Actually, as corny s it sounds, I've been married to my hero for the last thirty-four years. We laugh together a lot and even though his muscle mass has shifted in the last couple of years, he still makes my heart beat faster.
M/A: What's one important thing you've learned about the industry that you'd like to pass on to others?
C: It's tough to think of just one thing. Definitely I think it's important not to take yourself too seriously in this business. You have to learn to roll with the punches, understand that rejection is part of the journey and remember that while writing can be fun, it's also tremendous work.
M/A: Favorite food/drink to have while reading/writing romance books.
C: Coffee. Definitely pots of coffee when I'm working. And, carbs. God, I love carbs. Unfortunately, I'm on one of those crazy diets where I'm trying not to eat them. Some of my best writing moments have come with a Taco Bell Burrito Supreme at my side.
M/A: Besides romance books, what else do you like to read?
C: I love Dean Koontz and also enjoy any kind of crime/legal dramas. Any book that moves me on any kind of emotional level is terrific.
M/A: Finish this sentence. Romance is...
C: Romance is somebody to warm your feet on a cold wintry night. That reassuring touch in the small of your back when you're feeling slightly nervous. For me, romance isn't the hot, head-banging sex that happens (although there's nothing wrong with that!), it's more the quiet, simple gestures and connection that exist between two people who love each other.
M/A: You, a handsome hunk, a bottle of champagne, and a case of chocolates wash up on a deserted island. What do you do with all these?
C: I almost hate to admit this, but as I'm writing this, I'm so tired that the best case scenario would be to horde the chocolates, use the bottle to hit the hunk over the head, and I'd get the best night's sleep I've had in months!
M/A: What genre haven't you written for that you've thought about trying?
C: Women's fiction. Urban fantasy. A big comedy. The list goes on and on. I have so many stories to tell!
M/A: Any romantic secrets you'd like to share or something about yourself inquiring minds don't know?
C: I have very few secrets in my life and I can't imagine anybody wanting to know anything more about me! But, I'm open to answering most anything!
Additional notes from Carla:
For those readers who might be interested, please check my web page at www.carlacassidybooks.com (there's also a blog there!). I have two books on the stand this month. Broken Pieces is a romantic suspense from Signet Eclipse at http://nalauthors.com/book1452 and Natural-Born Protector at http://www.eharlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=17620&cid=231 is a Silhouette Romantic Suspense.
Thanks to Carla for taking the time to do this interview!
My newest book, "Strip Poker for Two"by April Ash, released in August by Ellora's Cave, www.ellorascave.com. Other books are available at Cerridwen Press, www.cerridwenpress.com. Visit my websites at: www.aprilash.net and www.mariannestephens.net. You can join my newsletter list, (Marianne's Musings and April's Antics), where I offer a monthly contest, by emailing me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Marianne Stephens at 6:00 PM