I have been lucky to belong to the GIAM writing communities for a couple of years now and the support, motivation, and friendship I’ve made has been amazing. One of my support network is the very lovely Carol Ericson. Besides being one of the most popular Harlequin Intrigue authors, she has ventured into the area of self-publishing and has had great success with that as well!
And . . . you gotta love a woman who jumps in the middle of the Mr. Romance contestants and gets a pic for drooling posterity . . . sigh . . .
1. Set the scene for us, where are you and what are your three favorite objects within arms reach.
I’m on a tropical beach and the objects within arm’s reach are a Georgette Heyer or Victoria Holt book, a Diet Coke, and my husband (not necessarily in that order).
2. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Why?
I’m a plantser! I need to have some kind of outline so I know the direction of the story, and I can sit down and have the words flow from my brain to my fingertips. But I’m not wedded to my outline. If the story takes an unexpected turn or a character decides to do something off the map, I go with it.
3. How often do you write and do you keep a set schedule? Do you ever start to get the shakes if you don’t write? 🙂
Since I also work a day job, I try to write a little bit every day. I try to keep to a schedule of writing 3-4 pages every day (some days are more successful than others). I bring my AlphaSmart to work and write a few pages at lunch; then at night I transfer the Alphie pages to my computer, tweak them, and add a few more pages. If I’m not writing, I’m definitely getting antsy. I start talking to myself more than usual.
4. What is your celebratory treat for finishing a book?
Ah, I zone out in front of the TV for a few nights, usually watching enlightening fare like Dancing with the Stars or The Bachelorette.
5. For the sake of this question, your best friend is single, which one of your heroes would you set her up with?
One of my best friends IS single, and I’d set her up with Jack Coburn from Green Beret Bodyguard. Jack is smart and literate and best of all…he has amnesia, so no pesky baggage to deal with.
6. What was the last non-romance book you read that you’d recommend?
I’ll leave off the political stuff here, although I do read a lot of political books. I would recommend The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It intertwines the stories of the construction of the Chicago World’s Fair and America’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes, who had set up a house of horrors near the World’s Fair. A fascinating juxtaposition of two minds: one that soared to create and one that was compelled to destroy.
7. What are your favorite pair of shoes and how do they reflect your personality?
Hmm, my favorite pair of shoes right now are low-heeled, aqua-colored, and pointy-toed. I can wear them with jeans or skirts. They reflect my personality because they’re a bit sharp, a bit quirky, and a bit practical.
8. What kind of support do you have as an author to help you with your website, e-mails, promotion and all the other non-writing parts of being a successful author?
Not enough! I do have a website designer, Rae Monet, who is fabulous. Rae also designs my indie pubbed ebook covers, which totally rock! I answer all my fan mail personally. (I even got a handwritten letter forwarded to me by Harlequin from a reader who does not have a computer or email. I sent her a handwritten letter back, along with copies of two of my Intrigues that she was missing.) I also do all my own promo; however, I’m a member of several amazingly supportive groups who share a wealth of information about advertisers and promo sites. But I still believe the most important part of being a successful author is writing good books, so most of my blood, sweat, and tears go into producing the best book I can write.
9. With the increase in e-books, digital publishing, self publishing and all the changes in New York, where do you see the industry going and what are you doing to prepare?
I think the explosion of ebooks and Kindles and Nooks and iPads is fantastic. The more ways to read, the better! I don’t believe hard copy books will ever go away. There are too many people who enjoy the look and feel of a book, paperback or hardback, for them to disappear completely. (OMG – have you seen the covers on the Sourcebook reissued Georgette Heyer books? They’re lovely, and I don’t think you’d get the same effect of the cover on an e-reader.) I believe the publishing industry has already sat up and taken notice of the trend and they are reacting to it in a variety of ways. I can only speak specifically to Harlequin, and I know they are changing the way they are approaching digital books. Personally, I’ve prepared by getting my ass on the bandwagon. Last summer I self-published three romantic suspense books and a romantic comedy. I’m especially thrilled with the progress of the romantic comedy. For a book I could not sell to a traditional publisher, it took off last summer, making the Kindle top 100 bestseller list for contemporary romance.
10. Writing sex scenes – agony or ecstasy?
I love writing sex scenes. 😉 I used to write erotic romance, and when I first started writing for Intrigue, I’m afraid I got a little carried away with the sex scenes. Intrigue sex scenes are fun to write because if the hero and heroine are about to have sex, having sex, or have already done the deed, you just know something bad is about to happen!
Carol is giving away a copy of Green Beret Bodyguard to a lucky commenter and if you want a chance to win another book and read the rest of the answers to my question and another giveaway, hop on over to my blog, Burning up the Sheets. See you there!
Bio: Best selling series romance author Carol Ericson suffers from a lack of privacy. She always has a few characters floating in her head as well as snippets of dialogue and several “what if” scenarios. She periodically purges all these voices and images by writing stories of romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue and recently for self publication. When she’s not writing, Carol is busy reading other fabulous stories or running to her teenage sons’ soccer matches, water polo games and basketball games. Carol and her family live in Southern California near the beach, where Carol is now officially the shortest person in her household.
Thanks for stopping by!