Today we have author Caris Roane visiting. Caris has published over fifty Regency romance novels and novellas as Valerie King. In 2005, Romantic Times gave her a Career Achievement award in Regency Romance. Recently, Caris tackled the paranormal genre and built a unique vampire world of her own. The series is called Guardians of Ascension. She's also a featured author at Arizona Dreamin' - Arizona's first romance-reader event! http://arizonadreamin.wordpress.com/
So, Caris, what inspired you to become a writer?
I was a reader first and loved the works of Georgette Heyer, the forerunner of the Regency genre. Years later, I was in a bookstore, and saw that an entire rack of books was dedicated to the genre and I had that oh-so-fatal thought: I could do this.
So, I did.
When did you attempt your first story? What length was it? What's become of it?
My first novel, called A TANGLE OF HEARTS, (100,000 words) is buried somewhere in all my memorabilia. I never once tried to sell it. I wrote it for me, to prove to myself that I could complete a book. After that, I began writing with an eye to selling.
And no, I have no intentions of resurrecting it.
How many stories did you complete before you sold your first?
My first sale was A DARING WAGER. Before that, I had written about a third of another book, but had given up on it because my critique group at the time felt the whole thing was too dull. I think they enjoyed the characters, but the plot didn’t have enough life. So you could say, I wrote one-and-one-third books before I sold a novel for the first time.
What genre(s) do you write in? What drew you to write in it/them? What’s your favorite genre of all to write in?
I write in both the Regency genre and the paranormal genre. I LOVE them equally, I really do. And before you say they have nothing in common, they have one major element that they share: the challenge of world-building.
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice I ever received about writing was to be more generous with the reader. I received that advice in the early years and have thought about it at least a thousand times over the last two decades. Be generous with the reader!
As for the worst piece of advice, I honestly can’t think of one.
How do you celebrate/deal with acceptance/rejection letters?
I don’t have specific rituals for either celebrating the sale of a book or for dealing with a rejection letter. When I do make a sale, I tend to call my favorite peeps. As for rejections, well, I shed whatever tears, if any, are necessary and move on. I don’t burn them, I don’t keep them, I don’t display them, I let them go as quickly as I can. If I can gain some wisdom from them, I’ll try to glean the message.
But what I have learned about submitting and selling is that it’s highly—and I can’t stress this enough—subjective. I had one agent reject my current series, then tell me to submit it elsewhere because another agent might love it! She was right and the agent I sent it to was able to sell the same rejected series at auction. It’s a huge lesson for all authors to learn, the supreme subjective nature of who likes your work, and who doesn’t. We have a similar situation on Amazon right now. I’ll have my work slammed into the earth by one reader then praised to the skies by another. It’s not personal to me, it’s a reflection of the varied reading tastes of an ever-changing market.
In regard to the book you’re promoting, which actor and actress do you envision playing the roles of your hero and heroine? If there’s a villain or other characters who are pertinent to the story, who would play those parts?
I’ve never been able to imagine actors or actresses playing any of the roles, except one: I think Angelina Jolie could give Endelle a run for her money. She’s the ruler of Second Earth in my Guardians of Ascension series, snarky as anything, and goes by the nickname: Scorpion Queen. Although, I would have to add that I always thought Johnny Depp could play my half-villain, half-hero, Casimir, quite well.
The book you’re promoting, is it a stand-alone story or part of a series? If it’s part of a series, please list the order the books need to be read in for maximum reading enjoyment.
I think to some degree each book is a stand-alone read. Each story focuses on a specific hero and heroine. Although for maximum enjoyment, here’s the reading order:
ASCENSION, BURNING SKIES, BRINK OF ETERNITY (novella), WINGS OF FIRE, BORN OF ASHES, and the current release, OBSIDIAN FLAME.
*** Now for some fun info… ***
What’s your favorite color?
Green, it’s easiest on the eyes.
Are you a cat, dog or both kind of person?
I have had both cats and dogs and love them equally. And though my wonderful cocker spaniels died a few years ago, I haven’t replaced them because right now I’m working all the time. Once my life settles down in a few years *fingers-crossed*, I plan on getting a dog or two. Right now, I have two cats: Sebastien and Gizzy.
Are you a morning person or night owl?
Morning person…always have been.
*** About Caris’s book/series… ***
OBSIDIAN FLAME: Enter a world of winged vampire warriors and the women they crave.
She needs more than a lover. For a hundred years, Marguerite has been imprisoned and used for her powerful psychic abilities. Her only relief comes from her regular visits with Thorne, her vampire lover. His every touch leaves her hungry for more…and aching for their next encounter. When Marguerite is finally set free, she returns to Mortal Earth to begin a new life for herself, leaving her old life behind. But why can’t she stop thinking about Thorne?
He needs more than her blood. Now that Marguerite is gone, Thorne craves her more than ever..and follows her to Mortal Earth. Unfortunately, he is not the only vampire who wants her. As one of three powerful women with obsidian flame abilities, Marguerite is a valuable treasure—and a dangerous weapon. For Thorne, she is a soul mate he must protect at any cost…even his own life.
I absolutely loved writing this story, because Thorne is the leader of the Warriors of the Blood and has been an important character for all five books. He’s become an old friend.
The series is published by St. Martin’s and available in print and in e-book format.
***Find Caris here***
Thank you for joining us here today, Caris! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work.
Today, Caris will be giving away a signed print copy of the author’s choice of the first five GUARDIANS OF ASCENSION novels, 5 RTC cards, two bookmarks, as well as a pair of silver, hand-crafted, wing-based earrings. This giveaway is international. To be entered into the drawing, please leave a comment with your email address. The drawing will take place two days after the interview, on Sunday, May 6th. Good luck, everyone.
Finally, you can ask Caris anything today about her winged vampire warriors, what inspired her to write them, why ‘wings’, why she’s drawn to vampires rather than other paranormal beings, etc., or tell us what your favorite paranormal beings are and why you like them as much as you do.