Monday, 13 September 2010

Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with Carie Lawson

STEPH: I'd like to welcome author Carie Lawson to the Spotlight this week. Carie's latest release is "Beyond Summer," Book 2 in the Twisted Roots Series. Carie, I don't know much about Beyond Summer. Can you tell us a little about the book?

CARIE: Beyond Summer is Zane McCord's story. He's a single father who has good reason to mistrust a pretty face. So when his family goes to Africa and he needs help with his son for the summer, the last person he'd want in his home is former beauty queen, Carly Peterson. Add to her beauty a hefty stash of secrets and Zane is sure falling for her is a bad idea.

STEPH: What was the inspiration behind the book?

CARIE: One of the early criticisms I received from the first book, Beyond Africa, was that Lilly was too perfect. Well, I wanted to write about two people in the second book who were anything BUT perfect.

STEPH: How does it fit into the "Twisted Roots" series? What's the tie to Book 1?

CARIE: The Twisted Roots series centers around the McCord siblings. There's four of them Case, Zane, Haven and Jude. The first book was Beyond Africa and it told Case's story. The second, Beyond Summer, is Zane's story. One of the things I love the most about this series is getting to go back and "see" old friends from the previous books.

STEPH: How many books do you have planned in the series?

CARIE: There are four, one for each sibling. It was also fun to plant "clues" into each book as to the character of the next hero.

STEPH: Do you have a certain process to develop your characters? Do you cast your characters? If so who are the leads?

CARIE: I don't cast characters because the imagining is half the fun. I guess I kind of start with one character trait and build around that. Beyond Summer's, Zane, is stubborn. Carly is sassy under a thick layer of gloss.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write Beyond Summer?

CARIE: It got almost complete rewritten in about four months. The shell of the story was there, but I'd learned a lot after I'd originally wrote it, so I wanted to make it better. I was very happy with how the story turned out.

STEPH: How did the book come to find a home with Desert Breeze?

CARIE: I actually submitted the third book in the series, Beyond Ever After, to Desert Breeze and got an e-mail back that they were interested in the series. When I got the email, I walked calmly down the stairs, into my room and asked my husband to follow me (woo, this could be the start of a really interesting story;). Back up the stairs we went and I pointed at the computer and asked, "Do you think this is for real." Once I got over the shock that someone was interested in publishing my books, I was hopping up and down happy!
STEPH: Do you have any hobbies you'd like to share with us?

CARIE: This is it. Reading and writing. Once upon a time I scrapbooked, I had good intentions of learning to make jewelry, occasionally I reupholster something. They're all fun things, but right now time is very limited. My motto is "someday I'll..."

STEPH: Fun question: If you were a NASCAR driver, what sponsor would you want on your car?

CARIE: Steph, I have to tell you the question is hilarious because any time I'm in the car with my husband, I'm constantly saying to him, "Slow're following that car too close...stop changing lanes." I think the NASCAR guys are safe from me! BUT, the question remains so I'd say Baskin and Robbins so I could have an unlimited supply of chocolate and peanut butter ice cream.


  1. Fun interview, Carie and Steph. The series sounds great. And I agree it is a joy to stay with one family, one location maybe, and see the other characters develop. And I'm with you, Carie, on the sweet stuff sponsor. I wish you a long and successful career as an author. Linda

  2. Thanks, Linda! I think I'll miss the McCords when it's time to move on to another series:)

  3. Steph and Carie,
    Thanks for a great interview.

    I'm impressed, Carie, that you wrote your book in 4 months - I'm a slow writer - I wrote my chick-lit mystery in 7 months and was thrilled at that speed. LOL And I know you have young children. Book sounds great and congratulations on your release. Hope you sell lots of books, Carie!

  4. Thanks, Diane!
    I guess a lot of the book was already in my head since it was a rewrite, so it went a lot faster. I think seven months is great.