Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Author Spotlight - Aimee Carson

The Minxes are super pleased to welcome the very lovely and supportive Aimee Carson to visit us today. Aimee is travelling today but will pop in to visit with us when she can, so let's make her feel welcome!

What is your writing process?
I’m a combination plotter/pantster, though I lean more heavily in the plotter direction. I develop the characters and conflict, do research, and write potential scene ideas on notecards—tacking them up on a story board (set up like a painter’s easel - dh is very handy) I take some time to think, ponder, dream, and wallow in the conflict, shuffling the order of the cards and filling in new scene ideas as I go. Once I’ve identified my major turning points, I start writing and rarely look at the board again. Of course, things often change because new layers to the conflict will be unearthed and interesting character quirks will be discovered. But that’s the fun, pantster part! As far as the writing goes, it’s up every morning at 3 or 4 and BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) ‘till I can’t take it anymore.

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
Shopping is great, but I’d rather be riding my motorcycle! When I get really stuck and want to give up, I make myself write for 15 minutes on/5 minutes off. Giving myself those frequent breaks helps me keep at it when it’s a particularly difficult day.

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
I have a dog who knows how to make life difficult if she’s not taken on her daily walk in the woods. And I do yoga—without the dog, of course.

Do you believe in writer's block?
I’m a firm believer in the theory that positive or negative thoughts often become your reality, so my take would be this: the moment you start thinking you have writer’s block, you do.

Have you ever used an incident from real life in a book? If so, did it get you into trouble?
I get snippets of ideas from real life but so far there’s been no trouble. Of course, this is my debut book so there’s always hope :-]

In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
Well, I knew there would be time pressures. I just had no idea how painful that could be!

Promotion is no longer a dirty word. In what ways do you strive to reach more readers?
I blog, I twitter, and I’m on Facebook. My husband just signed me up for a google + account, but I refuse to participate until someone develops a SIMPLE, easy-to-use universal remote that will control all of the social networking sites. They can do it for your TV/stero/DVD player etc., so why not social networking?!?

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
I think it was Donald Mass who said there are two things that sell a novel: writing a good book and word of mouth. I believe it’s important to have an online presence—and I don’t mean constantly talking about yourself and your books. Engage with others and let them see the real you, because your personality and your voice are a big part of your brand. But most importantly, be kind, be considerate, and help promote others. Because I believe good karma finds its way back to you.

What did you learn while writing this book?
That revisions won’t kill you, you’ll just sometimes wish they would!

What was the most fun part of writing this book? The dialogue. I LOVE dialogue. And these two had a lot to say to each other :-]

And just for fun: what would your hero’s honeymoon destination of choice be?
Sailing on a yacht in the Caribbean—completely staffed, including a master chef, of course.

What have the changes to the current Harlequin lines and branding meant to you? Have they affected your writing process?
I adore the new covers, but none of the changes have affected my process.

What do you think makes a Riva book Riva? Voice!

Thanks for having me here today, Minxes! My debut book, Secret History of a Good Girl, will be released in the UK September 16th as part of the Mills & Boon Loves anthology along with Maisey Yates, Barbara Wallace, and Leah Ashton. Its US release will be February of 2012.

Play with fire…
Miami hotel tycoon Paulo Domingues knows that beneath his events planner’s southern priss, Alyssa Hunt is all s
ass. Little Miss Prim has Paulo’s inner rebel roaring to life—he’s determined to seduce the fire out from behind it!
And you might get burnt!
Tough-cookie Alyssa hasn’t fought tooth and nail to shake off her past to be blindsided by one smooth-talking boss. Until, punch-drunk with desire, she succumbs to temptation and realises what she’s been missing out on! But will Miami’s most wanted bachelor run when he discovers the real reason behind her good-girl fa├žade…?


Heidi Rice said...

You get up at 3am??? Sheesh!

Maya Blake said...

A motocyle? Wow, a girl after my own heart! I'd love to learn how to ride a motorcycle...right after I learn how to ride a bike properly without falling off!! The very best of luck with your debut :)

Anonymous said...

Love this interview! I cannot wait to get my hands on your book, and I love the image of you riding your bike to get inspired!

Anonymous said...

Heidi, unfortunately I don't do well with interruptions. At that time of the day no one calls and the kids/hubby are all sleeping. Of course, coffee is a must.

Anonymous said...

Maya, LOL, don't be too impressed. My motorcycle is a dual sport (an off-road/street legal combo). I ride on the dirt trails in the national forest by my house, which is massively fun, but I never take it on the road. Too many crazy drivers out there!

Hey, Jen. Yeah, a ride always clears my head and helps me solve problems with my latest beast of a ms. Thanks for stopping by!

Wendy S Marcus said...

Hi Aimee!
I cannot wait for your debut! The few bits I've seen have peeked my interest! I'm having a hard time containing my excitement!!! When does it go up on Mills and Boon? I looked for it but couldn't find it.

Oh, and I haven't started Google+ either. But I'm thinking about it!!!

Catherine Coles said...

*puts hands over ears* google +? I don't need more procrastination temptations!

I'm so looking forward to getting that anthology as it's always great as a writer to see the debut stories that M&B have bought from new writers. I think it's 16th September, Wendy.

I almost weeped when I read you got up at that time, Aimee, you are truly dedicated. That is like the middle of the night to me!!

Tara Pammi said...

Can't wait to read your debut, Aimee.

Being a night owl, I would probably just cry if someone woke me at 3 am. :-)

Caroline said...

Congrats on your debut Aimee - can't wait to read it! Caroline x

Kat said...

Thanks for blogging with us today Aimee, great interview with lots of top tips. I adore the cover of the book and cannot wait to get my mits on it!
Lots of Luck xx

Anonymous said...

Wendy, like Catherine said, release date is Sept. 16th. And, hey, I'll start the google+ thing when you start - cuz misery loves company:) Not looking forward to learning a whole new networking site, LOL. Thanks for stopping by!

Catherine - yes, just what we needed, eh? More reasons to procrastinate! Thanks for having me here today!

Sri, my brain doesn't function well past 8pm no matter what time I get up. If didn't write early in the morning I'd get nothing done!

Caroline- thanks!

Joanne - I'm pretty fond of the cover myself! Thanks for stopping by. And thanks
to ALL the minxes for the terrific job they do. I love this blog!

Sally Clements said...

Hi Aimee! (waves). It's so great to have you here today, and that book looks just gorgeous! So looking forward to getting my paws on it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Sally!

Nas said...

Hi Aimee,

Congratulations on your debut!!
Can't hardly wait to read it!

All the best!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nas!

Jackie Ashenden said...

Yay Aimee! Can't wait to read your book!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey, Jackie! Thanks!!

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

Hi Aimee - I'm arriving horribly late, but thank you so much for dropping by. Really looking forward to reading your book.

Michelle Fayard said...

This is one of the most enjoyable interviews I've read; I especially liked the part that talked about the best way an author can promote a book is to be a friend to others. Congratulations on your release, Aimee.

And, Rachel, I want to thank you for stopping by Bird's-eye View and helping to get the word out about Ann Carbine Best's book In the Mirror; I'm delighted to be a new follower!