Hello everyone! Hope you all are getting ready for the holidays and family time. But for now, why not take a break and sit down with me as I welcome Carol Ericson to Coffee Time Romance. Hi Carol and welcome. Congrats on your debut novel, The Stranger and I, with Harlequin Intrigue.
Thanks, Liadan and thank you for having me at Coffee Time Romance. I'm thrilled to be writing for Harlequin Intrigue.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer and how long did it take for you to get published?
I knew I wanted to be a writer, among other things, when I was about 12 or 13, after discovering Victoria Holt and her gothic romances. I still love reading VH today, and I'm collecting her gothics in first edition hard copy. It took me about four years of writing seriously before I sold my first manuscript, and there's a huge difference between the first manuscript I wrote and the one I sold!
In The Stranger and I, you introduce us to some very exciting characters. Were they just running around in your head waiting to be written or did you base them on people you know?
Honestly, the plot idea came before the characters in The Stranger and I. As I developed the story, I needed a heroine like Lila to make it work. Lila has to be somewhat trusting to get into the predicament in which she finds herself, and somewhat distrustful of authority. The characters formed in my head, independent of anyone I know, but of course the characters' traits meld together from people I know or just run across.
The story is wonderful. Did you have to do much research before and while you were writing the story?
Thank you! I came up with the idea for the story after reading a news item about a tunnel running between the U.S./Mexican border. Apparently, this tunnel was paved and had electric lighting! The big fear here in Southern California is that one day terrorists will use these tunnels to enter the U.S. and compromise our security. Scary stuff! I did a little research on the border towns, and I've been across the border many times myself. My husband speaks Spanish, so that helped a lot! Gracias, mi amor!
Justin is a broody character and I loved him. Is there a chance that we might see him in another story? Maybe a cameo appearance?
Women just love those "lone wolf" types don't we? I think we have dreams of taming them. LOL I have played around with several ideas for another HIA (Homeland Intelligence Agency) story, maybe featuring Justin's new-found half-sister or even Danny Molina the kick-back HIA agent.
Lila is on the total opposite end of the scale. She is so open, honest and trusting. But she did have her flaws as well. Was it hard for you to give her those flaws?
Actually, it was easy to give her the flaws, harder to pull back a little and not make her too naive. My heroines tend to have lots of flaws. I don't know too many perfect women, including myself. The flaws are what make us interesting and irresistable! Just ask my husband.
I know that you write erotica as well. Could you tell us a bit about Virgin of the Amazon and Hot on Her Heels?
Both of my erotic romances have lots of humor, and they're both contemporaries. Virgin of the Amazon (Red Sage Secrets, Volume 21, Dec. '07) is about a virgin librarian who gets separated from her tour group in the Amazon and runs across a native tribe whose shaman just happens to be looking for a virgin. A British adventurer has set himself up as "king" of the tribe and vows to help the librarian avoid the shaman's bed...but will she land in the adventurer's bed instead? (Well, we all know the answer to that!) Hot on Her Heels (Red Sage Secrets, Volume 24, July '08) is about a private eye who goes undercover in a leopard-print g-string at a male strip club in Vegas to uncover a diamond theft...but the female owner of the strip club, has her own ideas about what to uncover. LOL
Do you have any upcoming books?
I do! I recently sold another HQI, which has a tentative release date (and no title yet) of August '08.
How do you spend the holidays?
My husband and I don't have a lot of family in So Cal. We invite a few family members over for Thanksgiving and I cook, and Christmas is just the four of us, myself, my husband, and our two boys. We usually go out to eat, and if the weather is nice, we might take a bike ride on the beach bike path. I don't need snow for Christmas!
If you were given the chance to actually step into the pages of a book and live out one character from that book, who would you choose and why?
It would be exciting to be most of the heroines in Victoria Holt's books, especially the heroines who lived in exotic locales. And perhaps Huck Finn, from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, one of my all-time favorite books. And maybe Lily Bart from Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth - just so I could change the ending and find happiness with Selden.
Thank you Carol for taking the time to chat with us today and telling us more about your work.
Thank you, Liadan, for having me. Happy Holidays to you and all my readers.