Cara Marsi

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Interview By: Tamazon

Date: December 15, 2010

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"Murder, Mi Amore," romantic suspense novella. The Wild Rose Press. Release date Dec. 15, 2010

Please tell us your latest news!

My latest release from The Wild Rose press is a romantic suspense set almost entirely in Rome, Italy. "Murder, Mi Amore," scheduled for release December 15, 2010, tells the tale of a young American, Lexie Cortese, in Rome to forget a hurtful breakup But jewel thieves, terrorists and murder intrude on her Roman holiday. And then there's the hunky, mysterious Italian, Dominic Brioni, who befriends her. But can Lexie trust Dominic, or is he involved in the strange things happening all around her?

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

There's nothing in the story I would have changed. If I changed anything I'd make "Murder, Mi Amore" longer because I wanted to spend more time with Lexie and Dominic. I'm considering a sequel with Dominic's partner, Ruggiero, as the hero. That way I can visit Dominic and Lexie again.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I love Jude Deveraux. Her stories are so compelling and her characters jump out at you. I'm a character-driven reader. If I love the characters, I love the book. If I can't relate to the characters, I won't like the book regardless of how well it's written. Jude's "A Knight in Shining Armor" is one of my all-time favorite books.

Another author I love is Heather Graham. I love her historicals, especially her Civil War series beginning with "One Wore Blue." I ate those stories up. My favorite of the series was "One Wore Gray." I also find her stories and characters compelling. I met her once and she's really down to earh.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My voice lends itself to contemporary stories. I think I write in a very straightforward manner. I'm a straightforward person. I read a lot of news articles and keep abreast of the latest styles and trends so I can lend a real, modern tone to my contemporary characters. I recently finished a paranormal, my first. I had to revise the entire story because it was overwritten with way too many descriptive phrases. I lost my straightforward voice. It was as if my mind was controlled by some Victorian writer who made me write in a very melodramatic way. My critique group kept telling me to go back to my true writing style. Hence, all the revisions. It was strange, really, that I just started writing in this flowery style. I also write short stories for the confession magazines, True Romance, True Love, True Story, and True Experience. I love writing in first person. Those stories are truly my voice: young, modern women and men and very topical plots.

Do you see writing as a career?

I do, but money-wise it's not working out that way. I keep writing and keep hoping for the big money break. Writing is a rough business. Thank God for my success with short stories. They keep me in the game.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Almost from the time I learned to read I've wanted to write. I love, love, love books. As a young teen I haunted my local library. I loved the Judy Bolton girl series and all the YA romance novels of Elizabeth Howard. I started to write my first book when I was 15. It was a romance set in Old California, a place and time I knew nothing about. No wonder I never got past the second chapter. My best friend Mary Beth and I traded books. One book we read when we were about 16 was "Bride of the MacHugh" by Jan Cox Speas. We read and read that book and discussed it for hours. We spent many hours trying to figure out what went on behind the closed door when the MacHugh carried Elspeth into the bedroom. It was a much more innocent time. Mary Beth and I didn't know the "facts of life" even at 16. Times have certainly changed.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read the kind of books you want to write. Write the kind of books you want to read. Learn the craft and the business of writing. Go to conferences and workshops, take online courses. Be open to constructive criticism. Don't let the naysayers get you down. And never, ever give up.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

My sister, aunts and cousins are very proud of me. They read my books. My husband is very non-supportive. He thinks I'm wasting my time. He doesn't like to read books so doesn't understand my love of books. He's read only one thing of mine, a short story. He wishes I'd quit writing. My son is proud of me but hasn't read my books. However, he tells all his friends his mother is a writer. He's grown and is a very good writer himself. He has degrees in film and history and is working on a screenplay.

What did you do before you became a writer? Do you write full time?

I'm a former cubicle dweller and corporate drone. I was a manager at Verizon for many years, took early retirement, then went to work for an insurance company. I stayed there 15 years until they closed my division and laid us all off. I do write fulltime now. But I have to stop during the day to do housework and cook. And my husband expects me to talk to him once in a while.

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

I've tried to be a pantser and just start writing with only an idea of where the story is going, but that doesn't work for me. I have to plot out the story, usually in the form of a long outline. Even if I deviate from the original story as I write, I have to have the full story in my head. Something I'm learning is that I also must know my characters really well. The stories I've written where I didn't fully develop the characters haven't sold. I completely plot out my short stories in my head and let the stories simmer for a few days before I sit down to write.

Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? If so what is it and please describe it. (Pen, Coffee Cup, Pet, Blanket, Chair)

Killer, my fat black cat, comes into my office during the day and keeps me company. My office is filled with pictures of wolves--calendars, books, posters. I love wolves and donote money to groups working to save this magnificant creature. My cubicle at work was covered with wolf pictures. My paranormal, which I hope to sell, is about a sexy werewolf.

Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place

No, not really. I keep the office door partially closed to block out noises. But I can't close it completely or Killer will be meowing outside begging to come in. Sometimes when I hit a writing snag, I'll put on a CD of classical music.

What main genre do you write in?


Thanks to Night Owl Reviews for hosting me.

Cara Marsi

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