[Heart Search Blog Tour] - An Interview with Carlie M. A. Cullen

Thank you so much for joining me today Carlie and for letting me be a part of this Tour…

Thanks for inviting me Emma. And as for ‘letting’ you be part of the tour, you honour me by wanting to get involved – it’s me who should be thanking YOU (and I do)!

Who inspired you to write Heart Search?

Nobody actually inspired me to write Heart Search - I’ve been writing since I was a child for my own entertainment and as an emotional outlet. However, once I’d started writing the book, it was my daughter’s love and enthusiasm for Heart Search that gave me the inspiration to continue.

Why specifically ‘Fantasy’?

I’ve loved fantasy since I was a small child, from reading the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm. It was a love that stayed with me and as I grew up, I explored the genre more. There’s a freedom, a soaring of imagination in writing fantasy that excites me. Nothing is taboo or forbidden as long as everything gels together – your only constraint is your ability to imagine.

How did you come up with the ideas for your debut novel Heart Search?

I was given the idea by my Muse and then my main characters stomped into my head and demanded I tell their story. My Muse gave me the outline, subsidiary characters and helped me plan it, but once I started writing the story my main characters took over and made me tell their story their way.

Was there anything in your novel that was based on experience or creative writing?

Yes. I have visited virtually all of the locations in the book at some time in my life so was able to describe from experience. I also drew on past heartbreak to make the Remy scenes realistic and relatable.

What was your favourite scene to write about and why?

Ooo now you’ve got me stumped, Emma. There are loads of scenes I loved to write, but picking a favourite is like having a table full of all your favourite foods and being told to pick just one – agony! [Chuckles]

If you really, really want me to pick one then I guess I would have to go with the power struggle between Joshua and Farrell. It was fun to imagine two vampires scrapping, combining ‘regular’ fighting (like punching and kicking) with them using their enhanced capabilities and skills.

Who was your favourite character to write about? And did they have personal or similar personalities/qualities to yourself?

Hey, Emma, that’s two tricky questions in a row! *wags finger* [Laughs].

As much as I enjoyed writing Remy, I think my favourite was actually Joshua. It was wonderful to start him off as human and go on to explore his transition to and acceptance of his new immortal life.

I guess there are a couple of qualities/personality traits we both share although I hadn’t thought about it until now. Joshua is placid and easy-going. He doesn’t like confrontations and will always try to seek a non-violent solution, but you make him angry and you better duck for cover. He’s also very loyal to those he cares about or considers friends.

Describe your book in five words?

Really? Five words? Oh, okay, let me see . . . ‘Unique paranormal romance with bite!’ How’s that? Do you agree, Emma?

What lead you to become a writer and book editor as a career?

As I said earlier, I’ve written most of my life, but it wasn’t until I had almost finished the first draft of Heart Search that I thought seriously about making a career from writing. I joined Twitter then started my blog and began making friends with other writers who were very encouraging. Then, as sometimes happens, fate stepped in. I’ve suffered back problems since a car accident in 2005 and although I was coping with regular visits to a chiropractor, at the beginning of this year the treatment was becoming increasingly less effective. I sought assistance from my doctor when the pain became unmanageable and I was having terrible trouble moving around. I couldn’t get to work as I couldn’t drive so I was let go. As all I could do was lounge on the sofa all day with my laptop on my thighs, I determined to do something which would give me joy, fulfilment and allow me to put my English skills to good use (I’m not the sort of person to wallow or sit watching daytime TV! I need to keep my brain active and stimulated and what better way than doing something I love?). I began on the editing path when I was asked to line/copy edit a novel for a published author. She was pleased with my work and began to recommend me so in between editing jobs I was getting Heart Search ready to be published and began writing book two.

It seems you are very busy with writing, social networking and running writers groups. What do you do when you want to switch off from writing?

Are you nuts? I never want to ‘switch off’ from writing! [Chuckles]. Because of my back problems, it’s very difficult at the moment for me to be able to enjoy the pursuits I used to (like teaching dance, going to the movies, eating out). On the odd occasions I stop writing, I enjoy watching DVD’s, certain TV shows that I’m hooked on, seeing friends and, most importantly, spending quality time with my lovely daughter.

Are you currently reading anything at the moment? If No, then what would be your next book to read?

I’ve always got a book on the go – as soon as I finish one, the next one is out and ready to start! At the moment I’m reading ‘Dead Until Dark’ by Charlaine Harris (the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series). When I finish the series, I’ll be reading The Ring of Lost Souls by Rachel Tsoumbakos.

Finally is there anything that you would like to say to your readers?

Yes, there is and thank you for giving me the opportunity to address them directly, Emma. Firstly, if you have purchased my book then I thank you for giving a new author a chance – I hope you’ll post a review and would be very grateful. I will always strive to give you stories that are entertaining, with characters you can relate to and plots that will make you want to turn each page.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this tour and getting to know you as an author! You are a brilliant and talented author. I can’t wait to see what will become of Heart Search… and I know this won’t be the last I hear of you or your books on my blog. It’s been a pleasure over the past month to get to know you and your passion for books, again Thank you for letting me be a host this tour…

Thank you, Emma, for all your kind words and for being such a wonderful hostess. It’s been a real pleasure to get to know you too – your enthusiasm has been really infectious and you’ve been a wonderful cast member on my tour!

1 comment

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