AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: CARI QUINN
Cari Quinn joins the bunnies of Joyfully Reviewed for a chat…
Thank you so much for having me at Joyfully Reviewed today! This interview was a lot of fun!
Tell us a little about No Flowers Required, what inspired you to write No Flowers Required?
No Flowers Required is about a down on her luck flower shop owner who meets a sexy handyman at one of her lowest points…except he’s not who she thinks he is. Or not all she thinks he is anyway, LOL (and no, this isn’t a paranormal!)
A trip to a local hardware store actually inspired the hardware store in the book, Value Hardware, and from there mogul brothers Dillon James and Cory Santangelo were born. Cory’s up at bat soon with his own book.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I’ve tried to plot ahead of time and sometimes that helps to get the basic framework down. But invariably my characters need to do their own thing and the book usually flows better when they take over!
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
Contemporary romance is my favorite genre to read and write (don’t look at my Kindle and its 600 items, please!) I started with contemporary romance and can’t see myself ever stopping writing for it, though I have my first paranormal erotic romance coming out soon. Yay for vampires!
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Oooh, tough one. I love all of them for different reasons, but my favorite character I’ve written recently is Dillon from No Flowers Required‘s older brother Cory. He’s such a hard ass—but he’s really not. And he has some sexy hidden sides to him that have been very fun to explore!
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Dillon, by far. He originally thought he should be written one way, and as the story progressed, that wasn’t working. Luckily he eventually consented to go along with the change!
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Not all that often, oddly enough. I might snag a description or a character trait or two, but that’s about it. Though one fun story came about after I wrote Provoke Me—I had a friend who had mentioned having a district manager at her retail store, and an employee and district manager at a bookstore is the setup I used in my book. In my book, the two, of course, sleep together—many, many times! LOL—but in real life, that had never happened between my friend and her boss. Until I’d finished the book…then bam! Life imitating art, I guess. She never knew I used that setup in my book, so it was kind of freaky!
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
For me it’s usually getting the beginning right. More often than not I have to go back and redo the beginning once I’ve reached the end and know my characters much better.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
That I hate a lot of food/drinks most people love: mashed potatoes, gravy, sausage, soda…the list continues!
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Not that I can think of off the top of my head. Usually I figure pleasure is never something to be guilty about! Unless you want to hear about my obsession with the comedy group The Lonely Island…so, so funny and so wrong its right.
What TV Show are you addicted to?
Nashville! It just started this fall and I’m totally in love. Music and drama, what’s not to like?
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Definitely music. Without the right songs to set the mood, I have more trouble getting in the right mindset. Mini M&Ms don’t hurt either!
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Absolutely! I end up making playlists for just about every book. No Flowers Required’s theme song is actually “Stay The Night” by Benjamin Orr, an eighties classic I stumbled upon while doing edits. It really fits Dillon’s urgency to convince Alexa to give them a chance.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
For No Flowers Required, I’d pick Andrew Stetson for Dillon James and Kate Beckinsale for Alexa Conroy. They’re both close to the image I have of my characters in my head.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was at home and the offer came in my email. I didn’t tell anyone until the next day…then I told my mom and CPs. Just hit my 3-year anniversary of being published this week!
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Fourteen—and it was Nora Roberts’ Public Secrets. I read and reread that book and still love it!
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Nora Roberts definitely. She’s a big part of the reason I decided to become an author and I still adore her books.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m lucky enough to have been a full-time author since February of this year when I was laid off from my day job as a graphic designer and proofreader. It’s so incredible getting to do what you love!
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all-time favorite?
Yes, I have a bunch of favorites, but right now one I’d like to see again is The Proposal. Such a cute movie!
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Right now I’m working on a bunch of stuff, including a self-pubbed, sexy Christmas anthology with some of my favorite authors! That should be on the virtual shelves by the time you read this. Also releasing soon is No Romance Required, Book 3 in the Love Required series. Finally Cory Santangelo has met his love match…if only they can figure out if they’d rather kill each other or drive each other wild!
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Oh, great question! I’m actually working on a super secret cowritten series with my bestie and CP, Taryn Elliott, and it’s going to be super fun. It involves good friends, great treats, and ah-mazing sexy times!
How do you pick your characters names?
They seem to pick them more often than not. Sometimes I have to try on a few before the right one sticks. They’re a persnickety lot, those characters of mine!
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I like—and believe in—both. I think anything’s possible, but as an author, I love the challenge of making a love at first sight romance seem believable.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I laugh. “Those” books give people a lot of pleasure and an escape from real life—what’s better than making other people happy? Especially when it makes you happy too! It’s a wonderful career and I’m so grateful to have it.
Where can readers find you?
I’m everywhere! My website is: www.cariquinn.com and my blog is: http://cariquinn.blogspot.com
I’m also on FB: https://www.facebook.com/CariQuinnAuthor
And Goodreads under Cari Quinn
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Dark chocolate for sure!
Ranger or Morelli (if you know to what this refers please answer with which one and why )
I’m going with Morelli, but I haven’t read the series, just know the basic setup. Plus I like the name.