Hi my dear readers! It´s me again with another guest for today! The wonderful Carolyn Crane has stopped by my blog to talk about her book, writing and a little bit about herself too! And what´s even better, she has also giving away a copy of one of her books! So please give a warm welcome to Carolyn!
Ooh, you started with a sort of hard question! Okay, it’s an urban fantasy about a hypochondriac who joins a psychological hit squad - only to fall for her most dangerous target, and learn that nothing is as it seems.
How many books are planned in this series?
Three. I think any more would be too much time in Justine’s point of view.
The next book in the series, Double Cross, was released in September. Can you tell us a bit about it?
In Double Cross, the character journeys intensify: Justine must face up to her fears, and Otto and Packard are on journeys of their own—one of them is on the path to redemption, while the other is descending into a pit of moral depravity! There are also serial killers loose in Midcity - and they are targeting highcaps.
What I’ve admired about you book was your heroine, Justine and your amazingly accurate yet still sensitive description of her panic attacks. Did you have to do a lot of research about this? What kind of research do you do on hypochondriacs?
Well, I happen to come from a very anxiety-prone family, and hypochondria is definitely in the mix. So, it’s something I’ve always been around. I’ve had lots of friends who are hypochondriacs, too, and I even fell into it when I was younger. So I have a lot of knowledge of it!
What do you think is the worst or most dangerous neurosis in your book?
Oh, that is a good question. I think physically, it would have to be Simon’s gambling and recklessness mania. As they always say, Packard literally saved Simon’s life. But, Helmut’s focus on depressing world events can be a terrible one. There have been times when I have worried about the stuff he worries about, and it is a hard thing!
How did you come up with the idea for this book? Did the story evolve from something different or did it just kind of hit you?
The truth is, I had just read this nonfiction book that takes a hugely depressing, super dismal view of humanity. It made me feel really awful, and I thought, if I had an enemy, I would give them this book as a gift, so that they could feel as disillusioned as I did. (In fact, I actually recommended it to somebody I was mad at! LOL. I probably shouldn’t go around telling people that. But I do!) Then I thought, what if there were people who disillusioned other people for money? Hey, that would make a great book! And then I started adding in a paranormal element.
The underground crime fighting psychological hit squad with secret identities, code names for targets and an arch-nemesis really has a comic book ring to it. Was this something you chose intentionally?
I’ve always been sort of surprised by it, but I can see where people get it. I’ve read comic books, but I wouldn’t classify myself as a giant fan, though Otto Sanchez is inspired in part by Judge Dredd, and I know there is a sort of Gotham noir vibe to Midcity. But I think of Mind Games and the whole trilogy as coming more out of a tradition of classic 1970’s TV, like, Six Million Dollar Man, Get Smart, Batman, Charlie’s Angels. Also, John Woo movies where the nemesis/friendship storylines are really strong.
Packard or Otto Sanchez, which one do you yourself like better?
Oh boy, if I answer that, it’s a spoiler for who Justine picks in Double Cross! I like the one she chooses better, but there are things I really like about the other, too.
A question that I am always curious about (but could be kind of personal) is: are your characters based on people you really know or maybe even a little bit about yourself or are they all purely fictional?
Almost all my characters start with a grain of reality, some are directly patterned on people. I don’t worry about it, because I know that as I write the story and let it develop, these characters will take on new qualities and evolve into their own people, totally different from the person who served as the inspiration. Every time I’ve ever worried somebody will recognize themselves in a book, it never happens. The only time anybody ever thinks they’re in one of my books is when they totally aren’t at all.
How did you chose the names of the characters in your book? Do they have a special meaning? How did you come up with Cubby´s name?
OMG, I have gotten a lot of flack for Cubby’s name, for being a caricature’s name. I’ve always wanted to use it—somebody by that name wrote into the David Letterman show years ago, and the name always stuck with me.
The thing about names is that everybody has different associations with them, because they’ve known people with names like that. I had this old writing mentor who suggested that I look at baby name websites that say what the names mean, and go at names from that perspective, instead of just who I’ve randomly met with certain names.
I actually did that with Justine. (Related to the English word “justice”; Justine is a character who really struggles with trying to be fair and do the right thing.) With Sterling Packard, I was thinking Sterling: tarnished on the outside, pure in the middle, and it polishes up pretty nicely. The name Otto simply seemed exotic. (Though, it turns out many Europeans see it as a German grandpa name!)
What do you like most about being an author? And what annoys you?
The best thing ever about being a writer is when a total stranger reaches out to tell you that they read your book and loved it. It makes it all worth it! What annoys me is pirates, or more, the arguments they use justify what they do, which really does hurt writers.
Did you ever have a writer´s block? If so, what did you do to deal with it?
I do have days where I write pure garbage, but I believe in putting your butt in the chair and just writing, and letting it be okay for it to be bad. That prevents writer’s block.
Tell us something about your favourites:
Kelley Armstrong, Kresley Cole, Megan Hart, Joanne Bourne, Vicki Pettersson.
favourite paranormal creature?
Ooh, so hard! I like Nicholas Brisbane (Deanna Raybourn) and Jane True (Tempest Rising).
favourite all time villain?
The Omega is a great villain. Really, he is the one villain who really scares me!
Which one do you prefer, book or e-reader?
I like both. I switch off.
I would have to say “Christmas Holiday” By Somerset Maugham. I read it over and over, and I feel like I sort of learned to write from it. I absolutely love that book.
Was being an author something you´ve always wanted or did it just happen?
Well, I have always loved to write, but never saw it as a career. I did lots of other things before I chose to write seriously, and it definitely didn’t just happen, as it does with some other writers. Once I wanted to get serious about writing, I re-arranged my career to be a freelancer, so that I’d have flexibility to use my best hours for fiction, and I sought out teachers, mentors, and finally found one. I wrote several unpublished novels. I am not your typical overnight success story! In fact, “success story” might be stretching it. Would you accept “story?” LOL.
People being angry at me, or disappointed! I expend way too much energy worrying about making people happy.
What are you reading at the moment/planning to read/waiting for to be released?
I’m reading historical romance! Judith Ivory. Sometimes I like a break from the monsters. I’m greatly looking forward to The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook.
And finally: Is there anything you want to say to your/my readers?
I just want to thank you for having me! It’s great to be here.
It´s been such a great pleasure for me as well! Thanks for taking the time!
And now to the fun part: the giveaway!
Carolyn has offered one copy of Double Cross to one lucky reader! As usual, the giveaway is open INTERNATIONAL (thanks so much Carolyn!).
All you have to do is fill out the form below and share some love for Carolyn by commenting about anything in this interview! Please try to avoid any double entries as I´ll have to delete them! The giveaway is open through October 13th!