Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Carlie Cullen Interview
8/24/2013 8:39:04 PM
[ Flag as Inappropriate ]
Fantasy/paranormal romance author, Carlie Cullen, discusses her Heart Search series and the writing life!
LTS: There is nothing better when an author you trust introduces you to other great, talented writers. In this case, Connie Jasperson (fantasy author and Best in Fantasy Blogger) is responsible for another wonderful introduction! For today’s author feature, I’d like to introduce you to fantasy/paranormal romance writer, Carlie M.A. Cullen! I’d like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Carlie. What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
CC: I’ve been a voracious consumer of the printed word ever since I learned to read, so can often be found with my nose in a good book (no surprise there, I’m sure). I’m very interested in spirituality and am lucky enough to have been blessed with a gift. I sit in a spiritual development circle and am learning to hone my connections to the spirit realm. I read Tarot cards too. I used to be a professional teacher of Ballroom and Latin American dancing, but unfortunately I am no longer able to do this due to a spinal condition.
LTS: I know you’ve been writing stories from a very young age, but when did you decide to realize your dreams of becoming a published author?
CC: I think it was when the idea for Heart Search: Lost popped into my head. I knew, pretty much from the onset, that I would be writing a novel and my dream of being published could actually become a reality. Previously all the stories I’d written were too short. Once I began writing Heart Search: Lost, I realized there was too much of a story for it to be contained in just one book so I made the decision to write it as a trilogy.
LTS: Your debut novel, Heart Search: Lost has been receiving great reviews. What was the inspiration behind this story and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonists, Joshua Grant and his fiancé Remy?
CC: It was strange how the story evolved. The idea I had originally was to base the book just on Remy, to tell her story about the disappearance of her fiancé and her journey to find him. However, once I began writing, my characters took over and demanded I tell both their stories – their way. That’s when I decided to have their journeys shown as parallel threads.
Remy – she’s smart, pretty and tougher than she realizes. After Joshua’s disappearance, and her subsequent meltdown, she takes advice from her twin sister and sets off to find him. For her, it’s a journey of discovery as she finds an inner strength and tenacity she didn’t know she possessed. Even when strange things begin to happen and she doubts her sanity, she single-mindedly focuses on her ultimate goal and keeps going.
She’s very close to her family, especially her twin, and her best friend. Remy is loyal, loving and has a great sense of humour.
Joshua – he’s good-looking, intelligent and loves Remy so much that when he begins to physically hurt her, he makes the decision to leave for her protection (even though he doesn’t know what’s happening to him and why he’s suddenly become violent). When he transforms into a vampire, he feeds on humans without compunction or remorse and becomes quite selfish in a lot of ways. However, he still carries a huge torch for Remy and this, at times, plagues him. Even when he starts a new relationship with another immortal, he feels as if he’s betraying Remy and his inner conflict is interesting.
As he develops some awesome talents, he finds a kind of freedom he didn’t think he’d ever have again.
LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the readers when they crack open Heart Search: Lost?
CC: The story continues from the cliffhanger where book one finishes and jumps straight into the action. A pair of green eyes watches Remy through her window. Another mysterious disappearance leaves her heartbroken once again; this sparks a frightening chain of events as a person in authority goes rogue. Predictions from a Tarot reading become actual events. More strange occurrences plague her life and she doesn’t know where to turn for help.
Joshua becomes further embroiled in coven politics. When an elder’s manipulations spiral out of control, Joshua’s new existence is threatened. In addition, a bigger threat looms which targets his coven as a whole and he’s the only one who can gain the intelligence needed to protect them all. And a new coven member opens a can of worms for Joshua.
There are twists and turns, new voices, faster-paced action and an ending which sets up the final book and leaves the reader wondering.
LTS: The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. What made you decide to become an indie author and go the self-published route?
CC: Originally I wanted an agent and publishing contract. Whilst at the British FantasyCon in 2011, my daughter met an agent and during the course of the conversation she told him about Heart Search: Lost. He gave her his card and said he wanted first refusal on the manuscript. After completing all the edits and making it the best I could, I sent him the first three chapters, a synopsis and covering letter reminding him of his request. I waited and waited, and after twelve weeks sent a polite email reminder. I heard nothing. Sixteen weeks after first submitting and another polite reminder later, I received a rejection. I was pretty miffed to say the least – partly because he’d got my hopes up by asking for first refusal and partly because of the time it took for him to respond – and I realized it could take many more months or even years before I received a positive response. I didn’t want to wait. I’d become friendly with the wonderful Alison DeLuca and she gave me some great advice about self-publishing so I decided that was the route for me. Around the same time, Myrddin Publishing Group was formed by Alison, Connie J. Jasperson and a few other authors and I was invited to join. One of the members, Nicole Antonia Carro, designed the cover and Connie made my book trailer, and the rest – as they say – is history.
LTS: What is the best and worst part of being an indie author? Would you recommend this mode of publication to others?
CC: The best part is having total control over your own work and not having to split royalties with agents and publishers. I can place my ebooks on whatever sites I choose, I have the freedom of negotiating my own deals with independent book stores and I can use my creativity and personality to connect with people in my own way. I’ve also found the writing community to be so encouraging and helpful and I’ve made some wonderful friends who have been very generous with advice.
The worst part is trying to keep up with all the marketing, social media sites, getting your name and that of your books out to the public in a way that they will respond to, and generally having to find everything out the hard way. There’s no one to hold your hand or do any of the leg work for you.
Actually, despite the downsides of being self-published, I would recommend this mode of publication – as long as you’re not afraid to work hard.
LTS: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on the road to publication?
CC: Without doubt, having a great editor and skilled beta-readers. I’m very lucky to have the wonderful Maria V A Johnson as my editor. Her insight on my novels is outstanding – she is a joy to work with. Being self-published means having to work extra hard to make our novels the very best they can be, and even though I’m an editor myself, I know I’m too close to my own work to be as objective as I would need to be. I’ve had the misfortune of reading too many books by self-published authors which haven’t been properly edited and, unfortunately, those authors are the ones who give the wrong impression about the quality of self-published works as a whole.
LTS: On the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser?
CC: I started off as a plotter. When I began writing Heart Search: Lost, I meticulously planned the first half of the book, but by the time I reached chapter 5, my characters had taken over and my outline was totally useless. So now I’m a pantser!
LTS: Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
CC: I only have two rituals really. First, I put a drink beside me before I start; in the winter it’s usually a cup of tea, in the summer a tall glass of cranberry juice. Next I sit in front of my laptop, close my eyes, and ask my Muse for her help and guidance. After a few minutes, I open my eyes and begin.
LTS: At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writer’s block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
CC: I have three main techniques I use: one is listening to music, really focusing on the way the notes rise and fall, the harmonies and the lyrics, and I try to imagine the emotions the songwriter/singer feel. Another one is walking away and doing something completely different; housework, shopping, something of that ilk. Lastly, I find relaxation exercises help – as I work on relaxing each part of my body, I imagine the tension leaving as a puff of smoke or grey cloud which morphs into different shapes, allowing my imagination to run riot.
LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
CC: There are so many authors I love and who have stimulated me, but if I had to pick just one, it would have to be Hans Christian Andersen. It was reading his fairy tales when I was a child that inspired me to write and influenced my choice of genre. I don’t feel my writing style compares to his though.
LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from paranormal romance into other genres? I know the sequel, Heart Search: Found is available now, but can your fans expect the third novel to complete this trilogy in the near future?
CC: I’m going to answer this in reverse order. The third and final novel in the Heart Search trilogy, Betrayal has just been started and I plan to have the first draft completed by the end of this year. Over the next five years there are going to be a number of novels and some of these will be fantasy. I have plans for a single book, inspired by the lovely lady in the avatar I use on Twitter and Facebook, a seven book series (all eight of these will be in the fantasy genre), and I’ve got some ideas for another paranormal romance series, but I have no idea at present how many of these there will be yet.
LTS: Thank you so much for sharing in your novels and your writing experience, Carlie! Good luck with all this writing and I’ll catch you on Twitter!
Thank you for inviting me, Lorna.
For more information about Carlie and her novels, check out:
Follow Carlie on Twitter: .carlie2011c
Where to buy the book:
Heart Search: Lost – Amazon US http://amzn.to/OLwU59
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/PhC0Gu
Heart Search: Found – Amazon US http://amzn.to/11mZvnq
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/15XSYf2
Post a Comment
More Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Carlie Cullen Interview - Saturday, August 24, 2013
Kit Grindstaff Interview - Saturday, August 10, 2013
Shannon MacLeod Interview - Saturday, August 03, 2013
Brian Rathbone Interview - Saturday, July 27, 2013
Graeme Ing Interview - Saturday, July 20, 2013
Alison DeLuca Interview - Saturday, July 13, 2013
Christine Nolfi Interview - Saturday, July 06, 2013
Sara Furlong-Burr Interview - Saturday, June 29, 2013
Tamela Buhrke Interview - Saturday, June 22, 2013
Heidi Garrett Interview - Saturday, June 15, 2013
Loren Kleinman Interview - Saturday, June 08, 2013
Leanne Shirtliffe Interview - Saturday, June 01, 2013
Hannah Fielding Interview - Saturday, May 25, 2013
Erica Lucke Dean Interview - Saturday, May 18, 2013
Amber Lea Easton Interview - Sunday, May 12, 2013
Ruth Nestvold Interview - Saturday, May 04, 2013
Rose Garcia Interview - Saturday, April 20, 2013
Robert Pruneda Interview - Saturday, April 13, 2013
Lance Burson Interview - Saturday, April 06, 2013
Rachel Thompson Interview: - Saturday, March 23, 2013
Samantha Martin Interview - Saturday, March 16, 2013
Lisette Brodey Interview - Saturday, March 09, 2013
Jack Whyte Interview Part Two - Saturday, March 02, 2013
Jack Whyte Interview Part One - Saturday, February 23, 2013
Molly Greene Interview - Saturday, February 16, 2013
Dionne Lister Interview - Saturday, February 09, 2013
Anita Reynolds MacArthur Interview: - Saturday, February 02, 2013
Alicia Kat Dillman Interview - Saturday, January 26, 2013
John Gregory Hancock Interview - Saturday, January 19, 2013
Adriana Ryan Interview - Saturday, January 12, 2013
Jennifer McConnel Interview - Friday, January 04, 2013
S.M. Boyce Interview - Saturday, December 15, 2012
James Tallett Interview - Saturday, December 08, 2012
Melissa McPhail Interview - Saturday, December 01, 2012
Roz Morris Interview - Sunday, November 18, 2012
Tania Johansson Interview - Saturday, November 10, 2012
Dale Ivan Smith Interview - Sunday, November 04, 2012
Respect Your Readers - Sunday, October 28, 2012
Greta van der Rol Interview - Sunday, October 21, 2012
Justin Bog Interview - Saturday, October 13, 2012
Thanksgiving Day: Gratitude - Saturday, October 06, 2012
Steena Holmes Interview - Saturday, September 29, 2012
Kenneth Hoss Interview - Saturday, September 22, 2012
Patty Jansen Interview - Saturday, September 15, 2012
Joshua E. Bigger Interview - Saturday, September 08, 2012
Joyce Damask Interview - Saturday, September 01, 2012
Marketing & Twitter - Saturday, August 25, 2012
Henry Herz Interview - Saturday, August 18, 2012
Kristin Bair O'Keeffe Interview - Sunday, August 12, 2012
William Linde Interview - Saturday, August 04, 2012
Micheal Rivers Interview - Saturday, July 21, 2012
Robert James Russell Interview - Saturday, July 14, 2012
Becka Sutton Interview - Saturday, July 07, 2012
Canadian Authors Feature - Saturday, June 30, 2012
Gini Koch Interview - Sunday, June 17, 2012
M. Pax Interview - Saturday, June 09, 2012
Karina Halle Interview - Saturday, June 02, 2012
Novice Writing Mistakes - Sunday, May 27, 2012
Pippa Jay Interview - Sunday, May 20, 2012
Glenn Starkey Interview - Saturday, May 12, 2012
Maurice G. Nicholson Interview - Saturday, May 05, 2012
How I Select Followers on Twitter - Saturday, April 28, 2012
Shaun Allan Interview - Sunday, April 22, 2012
Darlene Foster Interview - Saturday, April 14, 2012
Kim Aleksander Interview - Saturday, April 07, 2012
Hope Collier Interview - Saturday, March 31, 2012
John Kolson’s Writeado: A New Online Writing Tool - Saturday, March 24, 2012
Jeff Shanley Interview - Saturday, March 17, 2012
Stephen England Interview - Saturday, March 10, 2012
Everett Powers Interview - Saturday, March 03, 2012
The Kindle Prime Experiment - Saturday, February 25, 2012
Edward Lazellari Interview - Saturday, February 18, 2012
Connie J. Jasperson Interview - Saturday, February 11, 2012
Sally Dubats - Saturday, February 04, 2012
Selecting Writers For My Author Feature - Sunday, January 29, 2012
Tarek Refaat Interview - Sunday, January 22, 2012
Toby Neal Interview: - Saturday, January 14, 2012
Thomas A. Knight Interview - Sunday, January 08, 2012
Linda Poitevin Interview - Sunday, January 01, 2012
2011: A Year in Review - Monday, December 26, 2011
Angeline Kace Interview - Sunday, December 18, 2011
Eden Baylee Interview - Saturday, December 10, 2011
Cyndi Tefft Interview - Saturday, December 03, 2011
The Conference Experience - Sunday, November 27, 2011
A.R. Silverberry Interview - Sunday, November 20, 2011
Suzy Turner Interview - Sunday, November 13, 2011
Patti Roberts Interview - Sunday, November 06, 2011
Raine Thomas Interview - Sunday, October 23, 2011
LK Gardner-Griffie Interview - Saturday, October 15, 2011
Jonathan Gould Interview - Saturday, October 08, 2011
Brian Rathbone Interview - Saturday, October 01, 2011
Matthew Merrick Interview - Sunday, September 25, 2011
Dean Lappi Interview - Saturday, September 17, 2011
J.T. Ellison Interview - Sunday, September 11, 2011
Carolyn Arnold Interview - Sunday, September 04, 2011
John Kolson Interview - Sunday, August 21, 2011
Megan Curd Interview - Saturday, August 06, 2011
Elena Aitken - Sunday, July 31, 2011
When Book Reviews are Misleading… - Sunday, July 24, 2011
Deborah Riley-Magnus - Saturday, July 16, 2011
Jessica Subject Interview - Sunday, July 10, 2011
J. Alexander Greenwood Interview: - Sunday, July 03, 2011
When Social Networking is no so social... - Monday, June 27, 2011
Dannie C. Hill - Monday, June 20, 2011
Shay Fabbro Interview - Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Genevieve P. Ching Interview - Monday, June 06, 2011
Al Boudreau Interview - Monday, May 30, 2011
Jennifer Hudock Interview - Monday, May 23, 2011
Paul Mansfield Keefe Interview - Monday, May 16, 2011
Rusty Fischer Interview - Monday, May 09, 2011
Jason McIntyre Interview - Monday, May 02, 2011
Emlyn Chand & Novel Publicity - Monday, April 25, 2011
Steve Umstead Interview - Monday, April 18, 2011
John Betcher Interview - Monday, April 11, 2011
Kimberly Kinrade Interview - Monday, April 04, 2011
Inspiration & Where You Find It - Monday, March 28, 2011
Christie Yant - Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Amy J. Rose David Interview - Monday, March 14, 2011
George H. Sirois Interview - Monday, March 07, 2011
Linda Nagata Interview - Monday, February 28, 2011
Adventures in Editing or... Is it Done Yet? - Monday, February 21, 2011
Greg Messel Interview - Monday, February 14, 2011
Jen Wylie Interview - Monday, February 07, 2011
Katie M. John Interview - Monday, January 31, 2011
How Do You Measure Success: - Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Avery Tingle Interview - Monday, January 17, 2011
Kristie Cook Interview - Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Ren Cummins - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
A Wish For the New Year - Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Trish Wolfe Interview - Monday, December 20, 2010
Jesi Lea Ryan Interview - Monday, December 13, 2010
Cat Connor Interview - Monday, December 06, 2010
How to Make a Story Ring True - Monday, November 29, 2010
Sharon Bially Interview - Monday, November 22, 2010
Donna Carrick Interview - Monday, November 15, 2010
Brenda Sedore Interview - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Robert Feagan Interview - Monday, November 01, 2010
Of Book Signings, Volunteering & Option Agreements… - Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Daryl Sedore Interview - Monday, October 18, 2010
Seven Day Blog Tour Begins October 17th - Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Todd A. Ritter Interview - Monday, October 04, 2010
Cheryl Kaye Tardif Interview - Monday, September 27, 2010
Claude Bouchard Interview - Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Dr. Peter Clement Interview - Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Elizabeth Isaacs Interview - Monday, September 06, 2010
Introducing a New YA Fantasy - Monday, August 30, 2010
Interview with Author Gene Doucette - Monday, August 23, 2010
It's All About the Books Part 2 - Monday, August 16, 2010
It's All About the Books - Monday, August 09, 2010
When to Abandon Your Manuscript - Monday, August 02, 2010
1st Anniversary Blog: A Celebration of Authors - Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Kathy Chung & the SiWC Part Twp - Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Kathy Chung & the Surrey International Writers Conference Part One - Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Deanna Jewel Interview - Tuesday, July 06, 2010
The Happiest Indie Author (me) in the World! - Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Author Effect - Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Jacqueline Pearce Interview - Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Peggy Richardson Interview - Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Wendy Nelson Tokunaga Interview - Tuesday, June 01, 2010
The Importance of a Critique Group - Saturday, May 29, 2010
Zoe Winters Interview - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Zoe Winters Interview - Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tonya R. Moore Interview - Monday, May 03, 2010
Write On Bowen! - Monday, April 26, 2010
Dayna Hester Interview - Monday, April 19, 2010
Luke Romyn Interview - Monday, April 12, 2010
Rhonda Carpenter Interview - Monday, March 29, 2010
Lacey Weatherford Interview - Monday, March 22, 2010
K.M. Weiland Interview - Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords Interview! - Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Jo Lynne Valerie Interview - Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Dan McNeil Interview - Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Catherine McKenzie Interview - Tuesday, February 16, 2010
8 Years of Writing! 8 eBook Winners! - Sunday, February 07, 2010
Birthday Blog (or an Ode to Aging Gracelessly) - Monday, January 18, 2010
Interview with Paranormal Author Kate Austin - Monday, January 11, 2010
Riley Carney Interview - Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Ask an Editor - Monday, December 28, 2009
Lee Edward Fodi Interview - Monday, December 21, 2009
Interview with YA Author James McCann - Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Researching Historical Fiction with Diana Gabaldon - Tuesday, December 08, 2009
kc dyer Interview & Enter to Win an Autographed Novel! - Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Bev Katz Rosenbaum Interview - Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Writing Tips I Learned from Terry Brooks - Tuesday, November 17, 2009
An Interview with Tamara Sheehan - Monday, November 09, 2009
YA Author Loreena M. Lee Interview - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Why Do I Blog About Other Authors? - Thursday, October 29, 2009
Critique by Author Jack Whyte - Tuesday, October 27, 2009
BookCamp 2009 - Monday, October 19, 2009
Participating at VCON 34 - Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Therese Walsh Interview - Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Interview with Debra Purdy Kong - Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Twitter – The Power of the Tweet - Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Part Two: Publishing in a Foreign Market - Tuesday, September 15, 2009
An Interview with author Christopher Belton - Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Part Two of the Caroline Leavitt Interview: - Thursday, September 03, 2009
An Interview with Author & Book Reviewer Caroline Leavitt - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
An Interview with Kathleen Bolton - Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Interview with author/artist Scott Kessman: - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Interview with author/artist Scott Kessman: - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Part 2 of the Kim Falconer Interview - Thursday, August 13, 2009
An Interview with Kim Falconer - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Part 2 An Interview with Alan Baxter - Thursday, August 06, 2009
An Interview with Alan Baxter - Tuesday, August 04, 2009
If You Write It, They Will Come (buy it)… Not! - Sunday, July 26, 2009
Lori A. May: Author Extraordinaire - Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Merits of a Writers Conference - Sunday, July 19, 2009
Part 2 Publishing in the Digital Age - Thursday, July 16, 2009
Publishing in the Digital Age - Monday, July 13, 2009
Writing Tips for the Novice Novelist - Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Flog the Blog - Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Do's & Don't of a TV interview - Saturday, June 27, 2009
Mortality & Writing - Friday, June 26, 2009
The Art of Editing 101 - Tuesday, June 23, 2009
How To Write When Suffering from Bad Memory Retention - Saturday, June 20, 2009
Finding Inspiration from Others - Thursday, June 18, 2009
To Blog or Twitter... - Tuesday, June 16, 2009