AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: DEE CARNEY
Dee Carney has stopped by to chat with Joyfully Reviewed, pull up a cup of coffee and enjoy the interview…
Dee what is your latest book?
Once Burned is my interracial foodie romance from Samhain Publishing.
Tell us a little about Once Burned:
When I was younger, I wanted either to be a doctor or a chef. (I’m neither) My love for food still remains. With my love for romance, it only makes sense that I combine the two. In fact, not only did I write Once Burned, I started a blog where romance authors showcase their favorite recipes. Visit www.romancecooks.com to take a peek.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I rarely know what’s going to happen. In fact, I write chapter one typically with just a hero and heroine in mind and then let them tell their story. As I begin writing, I usually find that the plot takes on a life of its own. However, if I do get stuck on what happens next, I’ve been known to write a very loose plot. But for the most part, I just let my brain and the characters do their thing.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I write in more than one genre, and there’s a reason for that. I cut my teeth reading any and everything horror or supernatural, but I always loved those romances that seemed to work their way into those books. Only made sense that paranormal romance lured me in. Sexy men who bite? Yes, please.
On the flip side, I want to read about women who are like me. Cougars (ha!), those in an interracial relationship, those who are BBW… Writing contemporary wasn’t a far reach for me, at all.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I think Josh from Keeping Pace is incredibly sexy. He’s young, in love with an older woman and not afraid to show it. He’s got flaws. He’s sweet without being drippy sweet. He’s super smart and achingly humble about it. When he was ready to admit he’d fallen in love, his confession made my heart pound. He’s the ultimate beta hero.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
I’m still working on her. I’m dipping my toes into BDSM with a character whose world is falling down around her ears, yet she’s trudging forward. I’m working very, very carefully with her because while I need her ego and emotional state to crack, I also don’t want her so far broken that the hero of the story can’t help her heal.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I’m a nurse in my day job and patients are always telling me stories. Sometimes the stories have me on the floor rolling with laughter; other times their stories just break my heart. So, while I might not write a particular person, I’m quick to draw upon a shared experience to build a character around.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part is writing emotional, I-just-realized-I’ve-fallen-in-love-with-you sex. There’s an amazing balancing act that has to be performed. Sexy, yet tender. Full of emotion, yet not overly flowery. Explicit, while not being gratuitous unnecessarily.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I was once a model.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Mary Povich’s “baby daddy” episodes. (Don’t judge me!) But omg, how do you have ten men tested and then cry big boo-hoo tears when in front of a tv audience all ten potential daddies are NOT THE FATHER! Cracks me up.
What TV Show are you addicted to?
None. I’ve made the conscious decision a long time ago that I can either spend my time watching TV shows where other people are realizing their dreams (either as actors, writers, etc.) or I can realize my own dream by spending that same time writing.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I can’t work in silence. So usually I put my headphones on, turn on Pandora or music playing device and get to work. I also really, really like having snacks handy. It’s a horrible, horrible habit, but when I’m stumped, I do like the sensation of gnoshing on something while I think.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Despite the fact that I must have music on while writing, I end up tuning it out. I couldn’t tell you the songs I’ve listened to while immersed in a scene. Go figure.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Priest in ONCE BURNED would be played by Steve Austin (yes, the wrestler!) and Pepper by Gabrielle Union. I think that would be a good looking couple!
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was working at the hospital as a nurse on Christmas Day. I immediately forwarded the email to my best friend and then called my husband. I spent the rest of the day grinning from ear to ear, but didn’t tell anyone else for a while.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Young enough that if my mother had caught me, I would have been tanned good.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Nalini Singh. Without question.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
Nurse! I love what I do.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
I think my all-time favorite is The Fifth Element (although, it’s so hard to choose!). And yikes—I don’t think I’ve seen a “favorite movie” in forever. Movies these days just aren’t what they used to be. *sigh*
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m currently writing a free read to go with my Hunger series. It takes place in between Hunger Aroused and Hunger Awakened. I expect to release it by the end of November, so be on the look out! It’s stand-alone, so even if you haven’t read Hunger Aroused (or don’t plan on reading Hunger Awakened), it’ll make sense.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
I wouldn’t. I’m too type A, I think. Lol. Honestly, this is a tough question that I just don’t know the answer to. I suppose if forced to pick one person, I’d beg, beg, BEG Nalini Singh to write one with me. Her stories are just so amazing.
How do you pick your characters names?
A certain letter of the alphabet will call to me. From there, I go through baby name web sites and scan/search until I find that one that sounds right.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
Depends on the story. For some characters, love at first sight makes absolute sense. For others, the reluctant, slow growth is the best way for love to sneak up and bite them on the butts.
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”.
Oh? When’s the last time you read one? (I also tend to give them the hairy eyeball.)… I will not engage with someone who can’t have an intelligent conversation with me, with facts to support their arguments.
Where can readers find you?
My Site: www.deecarney.com
My Blog: www.deecarney.com/blog
My Twitter: www.twitter.com/dee_carney
My Facebook: www.facebook.com/deecarneywrites
My Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1441523.Dee_Carney
My Authors Cooking Blog: www.romancecooks.com
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Milk. White is an abomination. Dark just doesn’t make any sense.
Ranger or Morelli (if you know to what this refers please answer with which one and why:))
RANGER. Not even a contest. Jeebus. Sexy, mysterious bad boy wins over good guy any day of the week.