Carrie, how do you respond to someone who says, “You write WHAT?” This is a commonly asked question of many romance writers.
I just shrug my shoulders and say, “Sex sells.” Then they usually nod their heads and say something like, “That’s true.” None of my friends or family has an issue with what I write. If they do they don’t me, and that’s fine with me!
(Starla) Great answer, but I know it is still a tough subject to discuss sometimes.
Do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer?
Jeana, a very close friend of mine, reads everything I write. She’s my beta reader. She gives me suggestions and proofs everything before I send it to the publisher. She raves about my stories, and always encourages me. I couldn’t do this without her. My mom, of course, is a cheerleader. She reads everything and supports me 100%. My boyfriend is also one of my cheerleaders. He has read everything I’ve written—even the stories that haven’t been published yet. I’d have to say that he is my number one fan.
(Starla) Having good readers and supporters is a wonderful thing. I have unconditional supporters in my husband and daughter, but I’m missing having someone to read my work before the editor does.
What are your hobbies or other interests that get you away from the stress of writing?
Writing is my distressing hobby! I also love photography, baking, and wine.
(Starla) I enjoy photography, too. Thank goodness for digital cameras.
What made you decide to try and be a published author?
I was at a book convention with some friends, and we did a lot of waiting in line. I would make up stories about us while we were waiting to pass the time. My friends were astonished that I could make up things off the top of my head, and they kept telling me I should write books. I dismissed them, saying I could never write a novel. The details, the character development, the plot…They were all too complicated. It would take forever. Besides, I thought everyone made up stories in their minds to pass the time. Anyway, when I got home from the convention, I decided to give it a try. I had no intention of trying to get published at the time. I just wanted to see if I could do it. I finished the first draft in about six weeks, and I was hooked. I enjoyed it immensely, and I wanted readers to experience that same enjoyment. So, I kept writing and trying to get published. After some time and lots of rejections, I got my first book published. Now I’m in the editing process of book number three, which will be out in October of this year!
(Starla) Making up stories in your head…definitely a writer. Perseverance pays off. Congrats on your first two books and the upcoming third book.
What two things do you wish you had known before you started writing?
I wish I had known that I’m not a plotter. In my first novel, I plotted the entire story out but it kept changing. It was frustrating in the beginning, but once I figured out the characters were telling ME the story, not the other way around, it became easier and much more fun.
(Starla) I recently had editor/author Laurie Sanders on my blog talking about just that subject: plotter or panster. It is a lot easier to write once you stop fighting what your characters are telling you.
What is your favorite part about building a story world?
I love being the designer. I write paranormal romance, so I get to make up all kinds of things that couldn’t happen in real life. It’s exciting to me.
(Starla) And you do it so well.
When do you get your best story ideas?
My best ideas always come either when I’m running or listening to Blue October. Any time I hit a block, I just turn on my favorite band, and the ideas start flowing. I connect with the music, and it seems to take me to another place.
(Starla) Okay, I’m not a runner but I understand listening to music and letting it pull you into your story world.
Describe your working environment.
I’m usually curled up in my recliner with my Macbook in my lap.
(Starla) Me, too. Although sometimes I take my Mac to a coffee shop or someplace else.
Do you write a story clear to the end before doing more than simple editing? Or do you stop after each chapter and completely edit it before moving on?
I write the whole thing before editing. When I have a story in my mind, I can’t stop until I get it all out. It becomes on obsession. When I’m not writing it, I’m thinking about it.
(Starla) I totally understand the “when I’m not writing it, I’m think about it.”
What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?
I always start with the characters and a scenario. As I write the scene, the characters reveal themselves to, and then I start thinking about a loose plot line.
(Starla) Definitely a panster.
How do you feel about rejection?
I just remind myself that the rejection is only one person’s opinion. Someone, somewhere, is going to love it. I just have to keep trying.
(Starla) Absolutely write…keep on trying, which you’ve clearly done and succeeded at.
Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises?
It’s always hard finding time to write. I’m a single mom with a full-time job, so I squeeze it into whatever free time I have (which isn’t much these days!).
(Starla) It’s good that you have the support around you that you mentioned earlier.
NOW TO BOOK SPECIFICS ON TO CATCH A SPIRIT
I think this book is unique in that Logan isn’t your typical “perfect” romance hero. He struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and has to overcome it in order to use his psychic abilities.
Did you have a favorite character in To Catch a Spirit?
I absolutely love Logan. I put a lot of myself into him, so he’s very personal to me. It was almost therapeutic writing his story.
Did you have a favorite scene?
I love the scenes where Allison makes contact with the spirits.
A psychic who’s afraid of ghosts and a millionaire with a haunted past and a hidden power find that only love can catch a spirit.
Psychic Allison Dupuis has a soft spot for Logan Mitchell, even though she’s never met him. All it takes is one encounter for the millionaire’s true emotions to slip through Allison’s shields, and she is intrigued. He needs her help, but Allison soon discovers that the kind of help Logan needs is the kind she isn’t willing to give. Logan has a ghost, and Allison doesn’t work with spirits anymore.
But the ghost is the least of Logan’s problems. Born an empath, Logan is constantly barraged with human emotions. And while his talent has come in handy in the business world, it’s about to drive him insane. Literally. Logan has OCD, and his ability triggers unbearable attacks that have him counting and cleaning until he collapses from exhaustion.
Sex and money. That’s all anyone wants from him. Even worse, he’s plagued with recurring visions of his future wife’s death, so Logan has spent his entire life avoiding love. He’s given up hope of ever having a normal life, until he meets Allison. She’s everything he’s ever dreamed of, and now he has to decide if loving her is worth risking her life.
If she’ll even have him. Allison’s lost too much already – her mother to cancer, her father to suicide. But, Logan is so charming and so real, she can’t help but fall for him. Now she has to overcome her fear of commitment…and ghosts…or face spending the rest of her life alone.
CONTACT INFO FOR CARRIE PULKINEN
Author Blog Site: Carrie Pulkinen
Facebook: Carrie Pulkinen
Amazon Author Page: Carrie Pulkinen
Goodreads Author Profile: Carrie Pulkinen
OTHER BOOKS BY CARRIE PULKINEN
Sweet Release, from Breathless Press
Her Guardian Lover, tentative release date from Breathless Press October 7, 2011