Swimming with the Mermaids: Carlene Love Flores

If you have never experienced in person the gorgeous and amazingly pure sweetness that is Carlene Love Flores, then I suggest you check your calendar and make an appointment to do so at your earliest convenience. If I could convey the effervescent loveliness with which Carlene so subtly reminded me to get my coughing, virus-ridden duff out of its funk and post the interview I did with her last month about her fabulous debut release, Sidewalk Flower, you, too, would wish you had such majestic and judicious grace.

I am as blessed and honored to have her as a Mermaid Sister as I am proud of her release…which just so happened to launch on my birthday. How’s that for awesome karma?


Alethea Mermaid: Tennessee, California, Australia — what special meaning (if any) do each of these places have for you?

Carlene Mermaid: Let’s start at the end and work our way back (which fits since this is how I wrote Sidewalk Flower-Trista and Lucky’s story.) When I think of Australia, I see brave people with gorgeous voices and a tenacious, fighting spirit. I can’t imagine Jaxon James (Trista’s best friend) being from any other place.

The first time I drove through Tennessee was years ago in the fall. I fell in love with the state that day and when fictional native son, Lucky Mason, stepped up to the plate to be Trista’s hero in Sidewalk Flower, I fell in love with him too.

Southern California is everything I know about being young at heart and free but also a place you have to leave sometimes to find yourself. I was honored to have made this trip with the heroine of the story, Trista Hart.

Alethea: Music is very important to you and your work. Do you listen while writing? Was there a “Sidewalk Flower” playlist?

Carlene: I do love music with all my heart! I listen to it most hours of the day & night and leading up to every scene I write. But during the actual writing, I prefer to be alone with those thoughts. Here is Sidewalk Flower’s playlist:
“Why I’m Feeling Blue” by Casey James (Lucky’s song)
“Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood (Trista’s song)
“Better Than Me” by Hinder (Jaxon’s song)
“The Dead of Night” by Depeche Mode (Sin Pointe’s song)
“Talk About Suffering” by Debra James (Gramma Grace’s song)

Alethea: What is it about a man in a cowboy hat?

Carlene: Intriguing, isn’t it? I’m a big fan of men in hats. Also men without hats. Hey, everybody look at your hands! Now let’s safety dance. Sorry, I just had to go there in the name of 80’s music. Hmm…I also like Men in Trees. I miss that show…

Alethea: Have you ever driven cross-country?

Carlene: Oh yes! Road trips are my favorite and so when I had the chance to hop in the truck and drive from Virginia to California and back, I was in heaven. Where else can you listen to music, ride with the windows down and watch the sun setting in the rear view mirror? Here are a few pics from that trip: http://carlenelove.com/2012/08/08/my-favorite-cross-country-road-trip-pictures/

Alethea: Who are some of your favorite fictional heroes?

Carlene: Gosh, I am hands down the biggest broken record when it comes to talking about my favorite fictional hero, but since you asked…Valerius Magnus. ☺ Swoon. I am very jealous that you are Facebook friends with him. But can I just geek out a little here and say how excited I am to be officially sharing Lucky Mason with the world?

Alethea: Who inspires you — in both fiction and real life?

Carlene: There is so much I appreciate about life and the people living it. I’m inspired by the weak and the brave. The hurt and the whole. People with unshakable faith and those on the brink of losing it. I’m inspired when people don’t give up.

Alethea: What’s the coolest thing about being a Mermaid?

Carlene: I can think of many cool things about being a Mermaid, but the coolest by far, is calling the ocean home.

Alethea: What would you say are your Mermaid super powers?

Carlene: Well, whatever you do, don’t Google Mermaid Super Powers! The results are full of unimaginative fluff. Of course we exist, and of course we are super and powerful 😉 My super power is that I believe in make believe.
[Edited to add: I believe Carlene’s Mermaid Super Power is her beautiful purity of spirit. Am I right? Mermaids, feel free to chime in with your opinions below!]

Alethea: What’s next for you?

Carlene: Now that Trista and Lucky’s book is out, I’m spending time convincing Jaxon James it’s a good idea to tell the world his story next. This is where that Aussie tenacity I mentioned earlier comes in to play. But underneath it all, he’s a good guy. It’s really not his fault he can’t stop thinking about Trista’s long lost baby sister…


Thank you, Carlene!

If you have any other questions for Carlene, feel free to add them to the Comments below. And if you haven’t yet picked up your copy of Sidewalk Flower, now’s your chance!

29 thoughts on “Swimming with the Mermaids: Carlene Love Flores

  1. Good morning! Alethea, I really really do hope you are feeling better soon! I learned a new word recently. B’SHERT. Not only did Sidewalk Flower release on your birthday, but so did my critique partner, Lynne’s, and this word (that makes me think of sherbert everytime I say it) describes when awesome stuff like that happens in the universe. So I say to you, Get Better Soon and B’shert! And thank you. And I love you.

  2. I think Carlene’s super power is her ability to drink copious amounts of Shirley Temples in one sitting! Just kidding. I actually agree with Alethea. Definitely beautiful purity of spirit.
    I am so proud of you Carlene and so excited to read Lucky and Trista’s story! Congratulations!

    1. Hi Pintip! You ladies are so funny. One of these days, I’m gonna have to do something really rotten just so you all don’t get a tooth ache around me! Seriously, thank you for being such loving and supportive fishy sisters.

      Shirley Temples rule! (My record currently stands at 6)

  3. What a great interview! So proud of my beautiful and talented fishy-sister. Gotta make sure I get that book! All the best, Carlene!!

  4. Ahhhhhhhhh – I’m so excited that our own Carlene-Mermaid is having her turn to be published and interviewed!!! Great job, sick-Alethea-boo!

    Um, HELLO! What is Carlene’s super power? She’s the luckiest person on the planet. That’s why I always rub my raffle tickets on her arm. Then I win too. Seriously, that is one cool power. You need to play the lotto, Carlene.

    So happy for Sidewalk Flower. I started reading it last night – it’s AMAZING and that’s why you are my HERO! Smoochies! 😉

    1. Ahhhhhhhh — Kerri Mermaid, you’re excitement is so darn exciting! Holy canoli, fishy sister! I can hardly keep up 😉

      It’s a good thing I’m a touchy feely kinda girl with all the rubbing that takes place at our raffles. 🙂

      Well, Hero of mine, I really can’t say enough how special you have made me feel. Thank you from the bottom of my lucky little heart.

  5. Fabulous interview ladies! Carlene is one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever met–that is her superpower. Sidewalk Flower is already cued up on my Kindle and I can’t wait! 🙂

    1. Hi Dana! Alethea is a wonderful interviewer and I was just so happy to get to say once again, how swoony I am for Valerius Magnus. 🙂 I can’t tell you what a complete honor it is to be cued up on your Kindle. 😉 Hugs fishy sister

  6. What happened to my comment? Boo, I had the first comment early this morning.. Anyway- I’d said that Carlene’s real talent is song lyrics. Everyone has to read Sidewalk Flower just to hear Sin Pointe’s original lyrics, as written by Carlene. Totally awesome

  7. Oh, and i’m clearly going to have to explain B’shert better. B’Shert- means Meant to Be. In almost a religious spiritual way. For example, it’s believed that when you meet your soul mate , you’ve met your B’shert, your fate. It’s a noun and an adjective as only a yiddish word could be.

  8. Oh Lynne, I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that meaning here in the pond. It really is a beautiful word. One of a kind yet means so much…kind of like you my friend. 🙂

  9. Carlene,
    You, my wonderful mermaid sister, have all sorts of great super powers. But I agree with Alethea. Purity of spirit all the way! You’re such a treasure. 🙂
    Congrats on your book, and may Sidewalk Flower rise to the top!

  10. Carlene,
    Huge contragts!.. I’ve purchased, but haven’t had a chance to sit down with Sidewalk Flower. It’s going to be my guilty pleasure tomorrow.. and wow.. I’m impressed. and since we’re on a Yiddish kick, mazel tov Bubeleh. 🙂

  11. I’ll be picking up Sidewalk Flower at chapter 26 tonight! I love it and now I want to find out what happened to Trista’s baby sister too!

  12. Hi Aunt Terry! Mwah and ehhrrrr (kiss and bear hug) Wow, you all, I am really in awe of everyone’s support. Oh good, so that little tidbit worked at the end… 😉 Love you!

    1. Carlene is a rose, an oak tree and a lab puppy all rolled into one. Loved the interview. Can’t wait for her next novel. I40 rocks!

      1. Oh my! I don’t know what in the world to say to that! Hahahaha! I’m definitely smiling at the mental image of such a conglomeration. I40 definitely rocks. I hope that everyone has the chance to find their own little roadside treasures like Pops someday. Good news, I’m hot at work on the next installment. Love you Anna!

  13. Oh my, I do love your interview! Alethea great job, but Carlene – I’m so excited about your launch. I downloaded it last night and intend to start reading this weekend.

    1. Hi Denny! Can I just take a moment to stop and say to all our lovely lagoon guests how incredibly generous all you mermaid sisters are? Seriously, between day jobs, families, projects due to your editors, your writing groups, your critique partners and the immense amount of volunteer work you ladies do…you still make the time to support each other, including little ole me. I hope you enjoy the book, Denny. You rock! Fishy kisses xoxo

  14. What a nice interview, copious thanks to Alethea for the interview! And congratulations again, Carlene, on your release! And this mermaid sister is positive: you are one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, and know this because I always feel so happy to be near you. It’s a privilege to call you a mermaid sister!

    1. Susan! The apple pie of my eye! 😉 I’m happy to be near you too and wish that happened more often! Thank you for the love and hope to see you soon! xoxoxo

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