Handbags, Books...Whatever

Handbags, Books...Whatever (http://www.vickibatman.blogspot.com) is the website of Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction. Handbag lover. Avid Jazzerciser. Mah jong player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Choc-aholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome.

HBW Calendar

  • 08/02- open
  • 07/30 - Keta Diablo
  • 07/26 - Mariah Lynne
  • 07/23 - Mageela Troche
  • 07 19 - Vicki
  • 07/16 - RWA
  • 07/12 - Edith Maxwell
  • 07/09 - Chris Redding
  • 07/05 - Vicki
  • 07/02 - Fourth of July

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Author Cara Marsi on December 2!

Writing friends, like most, come from many places. I attended an RWA party a while back, and was introduced to Cara. She quizzed me about writing for the Trues and since, has published several. My pleasure to post this interview with my True friend.

 Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing longer than I want to say. It took ten years of hard work and rejections before I sold my first book, to Avalon Books. I’ve always wanted to be an author and have been making up stories in my head since childhood, but life got in the way of my dream. Then one day I decided if I was going to realize my dream, I’d better get started writing some of those stories down.

How did you get from an office career to writing romance? I had no choice. I had to work at something that paid the bills. That was my day job. Although I worked full time, I managed to complete five novels. I wrote every lunch hour. I wrote Tuesday nights and Sunday afternoons. One night a week I met with my critique group.

I had no choice about leaving my job either. I was downsized. So I used that opportunity to write full time. Although I don’t always spend as much time writing as I should. I’m less organized than when I worked. When I have less time to do something, I seem to get more done.

Having more time to write has made it possible for me to discover a love for writing short stories. I love writing for the confession magazines-True Romance, True Love, True Experience, and True Confessions. In the past year, I’ve sold eight short stories.

Who is your favorite author(s) and why? I have lots of favorites. Two of my most favorite are Jude Deveraux and Heather Graham. Jude’s Knight in Shining Armor is one of my all-time favorite romances. I love Heather’s Civil War series. One Wore Gray is my favorite of that series.

Both of these authors write heroes who are to die for. Handsome, heroic, strong. And their heroines are equally heroic and strong. They write exciting stories that keep me turning the pages.

Tell us about your new book. My novella, Murder, Mi Amore, scheduled for release December 15, 2010, from The Wild Rose Press, is set almost entirely in Rome, Italy, which I visited in 2006. It’s part of the Jewel of the Night series Wild Rose is doing. Here’s the blurb:

Lexie Cortese is in Rome to forget. The last thing she expects is to meet a sexy Interpol agent who suspects her of being part of a terrorist plot involving a stolen diamond. Suddenly thrust into a world of murders, muggings, and kidnappings, Lexie doesn’t know what to think—or who to believe.

Dominic Brioni’s assignment is simple. Befriend the American and bring her to justice. Only Lexie seems the most unlikely terrorist Dominic has ever met. Sweet, determined, and direct, she faces life with courage and fire, a fire that sparks his protective instincts and a longing for something more—something he allowed himself to hope for only once before.

But that woman betrayed him, and his boss isn’t about to let him forget it. With his career on the line and Lexie in danger, will Dominic learn to trust his heart before they both get killed?

What is the appeal of writing romantic suspense and mysteries? Writing romantic suspense and mysteries is fun. I love putting my characters in danger, then seeing how they get out. And villains are such fun to write. Suspense adds an extra dimension to any story.

My first romantic suspense was Logan’s Redemption, from The Wild Rose Press. I got the rights back for that book and have published it exclusively on Amazon Kindle. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0040JI3PG

What kind of writings turns you off? What stops you from writing? I’m a character-driven reader. If I can’t relate to the characters, no matter how well the book is written, I won’t finish the book. I have to love the characters and really care about them.

Sometimes when my critique group tears down something I’ve written, I think maybe I should stop writing. When I get a rejection, I think maybe I should stop. But I love to write and can’t imagine not giving life to the characters in my head.

How have you shocked your readers? I don’t know that I’ve shocked them yet. I have a werewolf paranormal romance for which I’ve just been offered a contract. In that I believe I’ve got several shockers. But I’ll have to wait and see what the readers think.

How do you get your ideas? What is your writing day like? Ideas sometimes just come to me. Other times I might get an idea from a news headline, or a movie. My writing day is disorganized. And boring. Breakfast, then a two-mile walk. Twice a week I go to the gym. Then catch up on emails and do promos for whatever book I have out. Then I finally close the office door and write. But Killer, my fat black cat, makes it a point to disturb me all through the day.

Can you share three writing tips? Read the kind of stories you want to write. Write the kind of stories you want to read. Learn, learn, learn, all you can about writing, but don’t let others take away your unique voice.

Fill in this blank: Your ideal fictional hero would think you gorgeous if  My hair was curly and I had long legs.

How much do you love cake? A bunch. Especially home made red velvet cake. Yum!!


Cara Marsi said...


Thank you for having me today. That meeting between us at RWA National was pure serendipity. If it weren't for you, I might never have discovered the Trues and the joys of writing short stories.

I'm excited that Murder, Mi Amore will soon be available for others to read. And my werewolf paranormal romance, Cursed Mates, will be released Dec. 13 from Noble Romance Publishing.

I've got lots to keep me busy over te holidays. Thanks again for having me today.

chris k said...

I so get the less time you can do more !!! - I just managed to polish off and send an entry to the GH contest under the wire with absolutely no spare time!! lol

I think a story set totally in Rome sounds fabulous! I so enjoy be taken away to foreign settings.

Had you always wanted to write a story set in Rome and think oh wow this will fit with the Wild Press releases - or did you discover the releases and think -I can do that?

P.L. Parker said...

Good Morning Cara, been meaning to ask you, how did your cat do in the Halloween Pet Contest? Congratulations on the new contracts and you have to keep us updated on how Logan's Redemption is doing on kindle.

VB said...

My pleasure, Cara. Can you tell us about Cursed Mates, too?

One of my all time favorites is Knight in Shining Armor. I read it. Closed it and went, "Wow," and immediately reread it. I've only done that one other time.

Hi, Chris. Thanks for posting.

And P. L. Parker, thank you for visiting and hope you come back.

Pam Phillips said...

Good afternoon Vicki and Cara,

Thank you for your post. I agree with you. I need to identify with and/or like the characters or I just muddle through a book or just put it in a drawer and never come back to it. I even enjoy a werewolf paranormal if the characters seem real to me!

Cara Marsi said...


Thanks for posting. It does seem that the less time I have the more I get done.

I hadn't thought of setting a story in Rome, but when I saw that WRP said the stories could be set anywhere in the world, something clicked. Rome popped into my head. It was fun writing it because I felt as if I were living my vacation all over again.

Good luck with you GH entry.

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Patsy, thanks for posting. Killer didn't do well in the Halloween contest. She was too authentic. Apparently they like dogs dressed up in costume.

Logan is doing very well on Kindle. I'm so glad I went that route.

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Pam, and thanks for posting. Characters are what make a memorable book. I hope I've made my werewolf characters ones you and other readers will love.

Vicki, thanks for asking about Cursed Mates. Here's a little bit about it:

Nick Radford is a reluctant werewolf who’s been fighting the Beast within for nearly 500 years. He’s never killed a human, but the Beast is gaining strength and Nick may not be able to ward off his inner demon much longer.
Kyla Yaeger is an elite were-hunter with a scarred past. Her life’s mission is to slay the werewolves who slaughtered her parents. Her quest has brought her to Maine where she's been summoned to destroy the werewolf terrorizing the quaint little village of Heavensent. The last thing she needs is to get distracted by her mysterious--not to mention hunky--new neighbor Nick Radford.

Robin said...

A wonderful column. I look forward to reading your newest work, Cara!

Miriam Newman said...

I'm so happy that you have found a great place writing your stories. And to have two books coming out, as well, you're a busy lady! Oh, I love that you mentioned A Knight in Shining Armor. I read it years ago and have never forgotten it. Best of luck!

Adele Dubois said...

Cara--I'm so glad you didn't get discouraged by critiques or rejections. Best of luck with your new releases! I wish you many sales.

Jeanna Thornton said...

A wonderful post, Cara. (I also like your kitty pic) I look forward to reading your books.

Cara Marsi said...

Robin, Miriam, Adele and Jeanna, thanks for posting.

When I finished reading A Knight in Shining Armor, I reread the last chapter twice right then. I didn't want the book to end.

Adele, critiques and rejections get me down, but I always pick myself up.

Jeanna, I hope you enjoy my books. I love my little kitty too.

Jess said...

Wonderful interview. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for tweeting ... I might have missed it otherwise. :)

And what a beatiful blogsite. I'll be back.

vb said...

Wow, Jess, thank you for the loverly compliment about my blogsite. I hope to see you again soon.

Jess said...

Oh Vicki... it may have been more loverly if I'd spelled BEAUTIFUL right. LOL

I forgot to tell you two... my very first published piece was in True Story. I was early 20s, newly divorced and wrote a prayer for the My Moment with God column. Six months later, I got a copy of the magazine in the mail with a $25 dollar check. :) That set me on my writing path. I notice now that column is in a different mag and they pay much more.

Anyway, I have a special place in my heart for the Trues even though I've never sold a short story to them.

Vicki... I'm from Longview but live in Louisiana. Are you around there anywhere?

vb said...

Another True girl! How fantastic, Jess.

I'm west of you, but will be in Jefferson for the awesome candlelight home tour this weekend.

Cara Marsi said...


Thank you for posting. I can't believe you're another True writer. I think you should try writing a short story for them. Look what happened the last time when you wrote for them.

Jess said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Cara. I read Vicki's post over on Kathi Ivan's blog. The how-to was great. The examples even greater! I'm so visual... someone has to SHOW me...not tell me.
Well gee, I've learned a lot by popping in here. Thanks, ladies.

vb said...

Thank you, everyone for stopping by today. Murder, Mi Amore sounds fantastic, Cara.

Happy Writing!

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