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Interview with Callie Carmen



Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself?
A. Thank you for having me here. My name is Callie Carmen. I’m a contemporary romance writer. My novels have spicy lovemaking scenes that some may say move me into the erotic romance genre. You must read one of my novels to decide for yourself. Lol. I grew up in a small farm town on the east coast which I loved, but I’ve moved on to a cozy life in a small farm town in the midwest. 

Q.2 Do you have any upcoming books?
A. Yes, Anthony. It’s the fourth book in my Risking Love series. It can be read as a standalone or part of the series and may be available for pre-order at the end of March. 

Q.3 When and why did you begin writing?
A. I started in the book business as a bookstore manager which was the perfect place for me since I was an avid reader. After two years, I moved to the corporate office as a buyer and eventually became a senior book buyer. It was a rewarding career that I loved.
When my third child came along, I became a stay home Mom. I couldn't give up working around books altogether. I volunteered to run the book fairs in my town six per year. I also started and ran, A Child Oasis Company, with the sole purpose of placing a small book library in the homes of all the needy children in the nearby city. As my children became teens, I found I needed more in my personal life than the volunteer Mom for the schools. I sat down at the computer one day and Patrick, book one of the Risking Love series, was born. Luckily, it was published by Black Velvet Seductions. Since then, I haven’t stopped writing.
Q.4 Among all the protagonists of your titles, who’s your favorite and why?
A. Joseph from the novel Joseph. He is quiet but sexy as they come in and out of the bedroom. Plus, Violet and Joseph has the most wonderful ending to their love story. I think it is my all-time favorite ending to a novel. To me it hits home, but I can’t tell you more than that.

Q.5 What about the supporting characters? Who does think is dearest to you?
A. Demon. I can’t tell you how many women have written to me asking if I’d write a novel with Demon as the lead character. He is the brother of Nicolas in book two in the Risking Love series. Several men want me to write a serial killer book because they loved and hated the serial killer in my first novel, Patrick. Oh my, I can’t forget Bella. She reminds me of an old Italian friend of mine that was the sweetest person I’ve ever known until you pissed her off. Then lookout. Lol.

Q.6 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite among them?
A. I have written a short mobster romance for the Craving Loyalty Anthology, which was my first romance published by Crave Publishing. I’ve written four almost five of my Risking Love series and another Anthology from Mystic Desire with my publisher and friends at BVS. There are two favorites. Joseph which I mentioned above and Dream Catcher from the Mystic Desire Supernatural Romance Anthology. The love story takes place on the Great Sacandaga Lake, where I used to spend my summers as a child through to my early twenties. I miss being there. It is a beautiful lake.

Q.7 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A. That would have to be what the male physically feels when making love, especially during a climax. You should have been the fly in the room when I had to ask my husband questions about that. He did not want to discuss it. I had to beg, but the difficult conversation was worth it. Now I ask him questions like that just for fun. It makes him so uncomfortable that I get a kick out of watching and listening to him.

Q.8 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
A. I have what used to be a blank book. It is full of pages that describe my character's personality traits, looks and a brief bio for each of them. I also include the conflicts, setting, and any key items important to the story. I refer back to those pages often when writing my series as the same six female friends are in each of those romances.

Q.9 How do you select the name of your characters?
A. It depends on the book. If they are from a certain ethnic group like Irish or Italian descent, I usually use a popular name for that group. But at first, I tried using relative names and my sister put an end to that in my first novel Patrick. I used her daughter’s names, and she told me in no uncertain terms that I was not to use her family’s names in my sex books. I explained that they weren’t sex books they were love stories, and she was having none of it. So names changed in that story and I haven’t done that since except with Joseph, which I named after my father who is no longer with us. I figured he can’t complain. Well, at least not until I meet up with him again in the afterlife. 

Q.10 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
A. Finding and marrying my soulmate and having three wonderful children with him.

Q.11 Outside of your family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author?
A. That would have to be Richard Savage the publisher at Black Velvet Seduction. He believed in my writing, enjoyed my first romance, and hooked me up with a wonderful editor Laurie Sanders.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
A. It has happened a few times. When it does, I have a discussion over dinner with family members and they give me ideas that help with a scene. This is rare. But what happens more often is I get distracted by marketing the novels I have already published and sometimes my friend’s books too. I have to pull myself away from social media and get back to work writing.

Q.13 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
A. I do. I thank the person who took the time to write the review because I appreciate it so much. When they are good, it makes me so happy because I know that they have had a good time while reading my novels. Which is pretty much why I write them, so others can enjoy reading my stories. If they are critical of some aspect of the book, I think about what they’d written and if I agreed I learned from them. I then try not to repeat that same issue.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. My seventeen-year-old Chihuahua has not been doing well for the past year. She wakes me several times during the night. After I take care of my little girl, I often grab my computer off the nightstand where I leave it each night and start working.

Q.15 Do you hide any secrets in your book that only a few people will find?
A. It depends on the story. In Patrick, I gave clues who the serial killer might be, but those clues may have sent some off in the wrong direction and surprised the reader along the way.

Q.16 Who designed your book covers?
A. Jessica Greeley, she is an amazing graphic designer. She has the author give her a short bio on the story, describe the character's look, and asks for any important aspects to the novel that you may want to be added to the cover. Then she comes up with a design that fits exactly what you had in mind or better. Her Mystic Desire cover is breath-taking.

Q.17 What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
A. Keep writing and take classes from successful editors like Laurie Sanders. I can’t stress enough that you should set up all your social media sites long before your first book is published. Start with three such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Master those then add others like Linkedin, MeWe, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. And setting up a web page and possibly blogging. You’ll already have friends and followers to share your books with when they are published.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. No one comes to mind.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. There are many, but the one that I first, remember touching my heart was The Bridge To Terabithia.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A. I started out with little knowledge in writing novels and have learned a great deal since from the editors Rita Delude and Laurie Sanders. I continue to learn today, and I know I will until the day I stop writing.

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22 comments:

  1. Congratulations on a great interview ladies!
    Really loved finding out more about you Callie.

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  2. Brit,
    Thank you so much for having me on Books Charming. I enjoyed working with you on this interview. Have a lovely day.
    Callie

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  3. This is a terrific interview, very relatable, with lots of great advice!

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    Replies
    1. Estelle,
      Thank you. Soon you'll be giving out advice.
      Callie

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  4. This was a lovely way to get insights into the writing process of an author I admire. Thank you for this interview. I appreciate knowing what goes on in the personal and writing life of an author I read. It makes me feel more connected and makes the books have more meaning. I've read the entire Risking Love series and can't wait for Anthony in paperback.

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    Replies
    1. Rita,
      Thank you. I feel the same way about your novels. I too love reading blogs about authors I read.
      Callie

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  5. What a great interview, I always find it fascinating to hear more about the the author. I have read all Callie's stories, I am a big fan, but it is great to get an insight into her background. Great blog thank you so much Callie and Sassy Brit.

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    Replies
    1. Ric,
      Thank you. I'm so glad you liked the blog and my books. Thank goodness.
      Callie

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  6. Great interview! I wouldn't be offended if my name "Dawn" was used in one of your "sex books" haha! Best wishes on your newest release.

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    Replies
    1. Dawn,
      I must keep that offer in mind if I start another series or standalone. I'm glad you liked it.
      Thank you, hon.
      Callie

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  7. Great interview Callie! I am so proud to accompany you on your author journey!

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    Replies
    1. Alice,
      Thank you, that is so nice. I love reading your blogs too.
      Callie

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  8. I really liked Joseph too. Great ending!

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    1. Gibby,
      Thank you. Dragonflies are important in our family. We think of my father when we see one. I'm so glad you liked Joseph and loved the ending.
      Callie

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  9. A wonderful interview. It's nice getting to know my author friends.
    Good luck with Anthony!

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    1. Carol,
      Thank you. I feel the same way. I hope you're planning to do a podcast with Wayne. I think you'd do a great job with it. I'm doing one with him the first week of April.
      Callie

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  10. The Risking Love series is brilliant! I've ordered my copy of Anthony and can't wait for it!

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    1. Dee,
      You sweetie. I'm so glad you enjoyed them. I enjoyed your books too. I can't wait to hear what you think of Anthony.
      Thank you,
      Callie

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  11. I think it's so easy to get distracted by social media and trying to market your books. We'd probably get more writing done if it didn't exist. Haha

    I enjoyed your interview, Callie.

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    Replies
    1. Patricia,
      Yes, the good old days when we didn't even have laptop computers.
      Callie

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