AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: PETIE MCCARTY
Thank you for joining us Petie McCarty, I hope I haven’t badgered you too much….
Tell us a little about No Going Back, what inspired you to write No Going Back?
In No Going Back, Kellen Brand’s inheritance turns out to be a whopper — one dilapidated farm in West Virginia and one guardian angel! Since no sane woman would willingly move to Riverside, Kellen vows to sell her farm and quick. Her handsome neighbor Luke Kenyon can’t allow the farm sale, or his family secrets are no longer safe.
With one potential buyer and a town full of objectors, the clock is ticking on the farm sale. Events escalate, and someone is trying to frighten Kellen off, so she turns to Luke for help. Unfortunately, Kellen had a penchant for finding trouble. She stumbles onto a clandestine hazardous-waste-dumping operation next to her farm in the middle of the night, and she prays Luke has one more rescue up his sleeve. It’s her only hope of staying alive.
Unless her mother really did leave her a guardian angel…
No Going Back is the first of what I call my Rescue Angel Romances and the inspiration came from St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews [13:2]: “Do not forget to entertain strangers for in doing so, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
Yes and no. When the full book idea arrives, a movie starts running in my head — sort of a long series of trailers — and I spend a couple days speed-writing scene bullets to try and keep up. Later, I come back and fill in the gaps with narrative and secondary characters. The movie pretty much takes on a life of its own.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
My imaginative side thought, If angels walk among us, waiting to be entertained by the unknowing, maybe other angels walk among us waiting to assist the — as yet — unloved. So each of my stories has an angel hidden in the plot, and the reader doesn’t find out the angel’s identity until the finale. Hopefully, I’ll fool my readers every time.
I actually started out writing the Rescue Angel Romances, and they are really a “tweener” in that they straddle genre lines and can’t be pigeon-holed in a specific genre. Some publishers said the romances were inspirational, and others said their genre was paranormal, though I wrote them as PG-13 contemporary romances, safe enough for young adults.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Skye Landers, the hunky airboat guide/hero from my debut novel Everglades is my favorite. In my head, he looked like the Medjai warrior leader in the movie, The Mummy. An aquatic biologist by profession, I spent two years of my career surveying Florida waterways by airboat, and I never got to travel with a hunky airboat guide, so I felt “owed” somehow and created my own hunk for the story. * grin* A yummy one, too.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
The toughest thus far would be Dr. Rachel Kelly, the child psychologist in my second Rescue Angel romance to be released at Christmas this year. Rachel has a six-year-old client who claims he can see angels, and she believes him, but she’s conflicted over the possibility of angels walking among us.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Absolutely. *chuckle* Everything that happened to Kayli Heddon in my debut novel Everglades – the bug storm, the gators, the snakes, the palmetto bugs, doing doughnuts in an airboat — all happened to me at some time in my career.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
No doubt about it, the hardest part is time management, carving out the time to write. And it only gets harder after you’re published.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
Maybe that I’m lucky enough to have my day job at “The Most Magical Place on Earth”? Small wonder the desire to write happily-ever-after stories is overwhelming. *smile*
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Ice cream novelties. My favorites are Drumsticks… um, with caramel centers, to be specific.
What TV Shows are you addicted to?
Besides national news shows and the Weather Channel, the only TV shows I watch are Orlando Magic NBA Basketball games. When I finally stop working on my “night” job, at the end of the day, I get to read. That’s my treat, and I read at least two books a week. I think of them as my CEUs, continuing education units in writing.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Not much — a flat surface, a steno pad and a stack of Pentel Fine ballpoint pens. Either the movie in my head is running or it isn’t. There’s no in-between.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I guess I’m different in that respect. I can’t write with music in the background — prefer total silence if I can get it. The most I can tolerate is the Weather Channel running quietly in the background when I write.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Wouldn’t that be the coolest thing! I would cast Hugh Jackman as Luke Kenyon, or second fiddle for the part of Luke would be Ben Affleck. Kellen Brand would definitely be Mila Kunis.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was in my kitchen making dinner, minding my own business, when I got the email of my life. I squealed and probably screamed. My sweetheart came running, and he thought I’d burned myself.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
If Mrs. Mike counts as a romance novel, then I was thirteen. *laughs*
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Monica McCarty and her spectacular Highland Guard series — her Spec Ops in Kilts: The Chief, The Hawk, The Viper, The Recruit. [I'm a closet Highlander fan.]
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
See answer to question #9. I am so lucky. If you have to have a day job as a writer, why not have one where you drive by Cinderella’s Castle on your way to work. You simply have to arrive at work happy.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
I love movies and probably have a dozen favorites. Since my husband teases me unmercifully about loving John Wayne movies, I’ll play it safe here and pick Pretty Woman as my all-time favorite.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m currently working on my second Rescue Angel romance which will be released at Christmas this year.
In Angel to the Rescue, child psychologist Rachel Kelly isn’t quite sure how to handle the situation with her newest client — a six-year-old boy who says he can see angels and one is coming to help Rachel. She already has her hands full of trouble this Christmas season, and things quickly take a turn for the worse when a stalker takes her young clients hostage at Rachel’s Christmas party. Their only chance of rescue lies with Rachel’s estranged boyfriend, police negotiator Jake Dillon.
Unless her little angel-spying client is telling the truth…
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Suzanne Brockmann, if she’d have me. I love her SEAL teams romances.
How do you pick your characters names?
Mostly, the names just pop into my head. If they fit the personality of the character, they get to stay, otherwise they’re ejected. But a few are named after friends or family — my way of honoring them and their part in my life. Dr. Rachel Kelly in Angel to the Rescue is named after my first-born niece, and Rachel’s best friend Jill is named after my second-born niece, though all my nieces are spectacular. The twins, Velma and Delma, in Catch of the Day are named after my twin cousins, and Gage Connor and Dr. Quinn Taylor in the same story are named after another set of twin cousins, though my Quinn and Gage are only six.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I totally prefer love at first sight. A look, a touch, a scent, a sound, a taste – “love” senses that individually or in tandem incite inexplicable electrified impulses between a man and a woman, drawing them together with or against their will.
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 remind them that romance novels are a 1.4-billion-dollar-per-year industry and then watch their jaw drop. If that’s not enough, I also remind them that romance represents 33% of all popular fiction sold.
Where can readers find you?
My web site http://www.petiemccarty.com
Or my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Petie-McCarty/230272683746151
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Any dark Chocolate. Godiva works….
Ranger or Morelli?
I totally want Stephanie to end up with Ranger. It’s obvious he loves her more. She continually wrecks, burns, and blows up his cars, and he just gives her a pat on the… something… and then gives her another expensive vehicle. If she even scratched Morelli’s Ducati, he’d probably have a heart attack. *Laughs out loud*
Thank you for allowing me to spend time today with Joyfully Reviewed readers. If you find time to read this summer, please give one of my books a try and come by my web site — http://www.petiemccarty.com — and check out new excerpts from my stories. Leave me your address and I’ll mail you an autographed bookplate of your choice.