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04 May 2012

Welcome special guest: author Caris Roane ( @carisroane #FF )

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!

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:

*** 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.


Caris said...

Hi, everyone!
Looking forward to talking paranormal with all of you! Feel free to ask me anything about my Guardians of Ascension!


Caris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caris said...

And I'll answer questions about my gorgeous warriors,too!


missyj6342 said...

Wow, first I have to say I really enjoy your series! The warriors are super hot and the females strong minded. I love the sass and jokes that are written in to the stories. I think it just brings it to life. Endelle is hard core, and she is absolutely my favorite! Usually I'm not a fan of an over zealous attitude but the way her character is portrayed is perfect. Now she is a story I can't wait to read. My question to you is the character's attitudes or personalities reflections of people you know or just something that comes to mind? And if you could have your choice of warrior who would u scullery? Thanks again for the stories. I really enjoy getting lost in your books!

missyj6342 said...

** who would you choose as your choice of warrior? Lol sorry!

Michele Clemens said...

Hi Caris!

I am a huge fan and love the entire series! I can't wait to see how the rest of the stories play out!

My question is...when are you going to open up into the other dimensions? Also after you open up into them, are you planning to expand into another series after you have written all your GOA books?


BJ said...

Will we get to the different levels of earth, if so is there a band of warriors for each level and will you do story's for them?

Michele Clemens said...

Sorry, my email address is forgot to leave it in my comment for the drawing! :)

Caris said...

The attitudes and personalities of my characters all just emerge through the writing process, which is a way of suggesting that it's all boiling in my deep unconscious mind. I've set up a huge conflict, a war, then asked: who would be here? How would each respond to the stresses? How would each grow in the process? It's an exciting adventure for me and it comes from the heart, truly. Although I should add that I never take likenesses from the people around me; that just doesn't work for me.

As for who I would scullery? Did you just clean that up in your next comment? I love the feel of that word, kinda yummy. Where does it come from because I plead my ignorance?!? However, to answer your question, I have my own warrior and I keep him locked up. Maybe I'll let him out one day so you can have a look!



Caris said...

I've been working on Book #7, Luken's book, and come to find out it will involve Third Earth. But the final opening of the dimensional portal that I talked about in Book#1 won't happen until Book #10 of this series.

I do see an entire, massive conflict on Third Earth and if I have a strong enough following by the time book #10 concludes, then I will definitely take my fans to Third Earth.

And YES!!! I already see exactly what this new group of warriors looks like. This will be a rougher lot because Third Earth is a mess, a hundred times worse than Second Earth, with civil war-type factions in which it's hard to tell who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.

Glad you're along for the ride!


missyj6342 said...

Haha, awesome! Thank you for answering my questions. Lol as for that word. Ummm, I have no idea how it poped up. I'm using my cell phone so probably something the spell check came up with. Lmao. Thank you! And I can't wait for more stories to read!

Caris said...

I'm hoping like crazy we'll get to go to Third Earth!!! But the answer is that I would absolutely introduce a new group of warriors, which I mentioned as well in answer to Michele's comment. From the first, I've known exactly who the leader of those warriors was and I introduced him in ASCENSION! If you think you have a clue, let me know...but he's there!

Is this too much of a tease!?!


missyj6342 said...

Errr, my cell phone is not working with me this am! My email address is

Caris said...

Missy, that's toooo funny! I thought it was slang and frankly I LOVE IT! "Who would you scullery!!" It sounds perfect! Who knew that autocorrect could come up with slang for *&^&%$!!!


Shauni said...

Third Earth!!! YAY!!! Running around in one of Endelle's Ensembles.. I particularly liked the starfish.. doing a funky happy dance!!

Just in case you didn't notice, I can't wait!! Well I can cuz I am sure there are some really smokin hawt stories going on before then but I am with ya Caris

Caris said...

I know! Third Earth, right?!! Of course I have HEAs to give other warriors first: Luken, Zacharius, and Santiago. And of course, Endelle of the wild fashions gets Book #10! I can't wait to tell her story.


Anonymous said...

I have been with you from the first book. I fell in love with every male, female, and animal that you have put in them. I have a guilty pleasure of picking just one person to love. And look forward to. He's next in the series!!!! I fell in love with casimir aswell. At first not so much. You have a masive smart brain to come in to these characters. And have them loved by anyone who reads them. I look forward to working with you in a manner hee heeee!!! I am waiting with bated email is thank you for being alive so we can pick at all the wonderful smarts you have. Have a good day and many moreB-)

Caris said...

Anonymous Prince Tsumasai!
I love that you've been with me from the beginning. So you have loved Leto as well, cast out from the fold, ordered to serve in the most heinous way, brought back in great pain. He is my beast-man and I think you'll love is story!

All blessings,

Caris said...

Hi, Everyone,
I came back to pick the winner! Hey, Michele Clemens...that would be you! I'll be contacting you to see what book you'd like!