Hi, and thank you for inviting me to your website, Much Cheaper Than Therapy! (What a cool name, and it sort of fits with my new book.) I am always thrilled to touch base with readers and authors. Writing is a lonely life!
NUTCASE is the second book of my new CRAZY series, published by
The first book of the series, WHAT LOOKS LIKE CRAZY, (published March, 2008), introduces my main character, psychologist Kate Holly, and a cast of crazy family, friends, and patients. The funny thing about Kate is that she can be as neurotic as the people she treats. When she is stressed – and believe-you-me she has good reason to be – she becomes a little obsessive-compulsive and counts things. She prefers even numbers. Odd numbers are complicated. Sort of like her life.
Although Kate is still madly in love with her firefighter husband and he with her, they separated shortly before the first book opens because Kate has a real problem with a man who purposefully runs into burning buildings. Kate’s father, also a firefighter, died in the line of duty when she was ten years old. Husband, Jay Rush, wants to work on their marriage as badly as Kate does, but not at the cost of giving up a career he loves. It is up to Kate to learn how to deal with her ongoing fears.
Although each book of the series has a mystery to solve, they are more character-driven, and the characters are hilarious. For example, Kate’s mother and aunt,
I had so much fun creating them! I’ve heard writers say one or more of their books wrote themselves, and that has been my experience with both WHAT LOOKS LIKE CRAZY and NUTCASE.
NUTCASE is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
Since the series is based on the wild and crazy life of a psychologist, I thought it would be fun to have titles that reflect my plots. I am presently working on book #3 of the series, titled HANGING BY A THREAD.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
I’ve probably been in therapy longer than my therapist has been practicing. I am also married to a clinical psychologist. Writers are constantly told “Write what you know,” so that’s exactly what I did this time around.
Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?
I plot all my books carefully because I need a map to guide me or I’ll just wander all over the place. I don’t always follow my outlines to the letter but not having them to lead me would feel like walking a tightrope without a net.
Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?
Yes, I have a ton of research books, and a number of them are professional manuals, like the “DSM,” the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” The scary thing for me is that I have a lot of the symptoms listed! My husband also provides professional input.
Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
I suppose the idea was born out of my own experiences in therapy. But to be honest, the characters just popped into my head one day, and they truly took me on a wild carnival ride. The thing is, even therapists and psychiatrist have issues so it was a lot of fun to create a psychologist who was OCD, among other things.
Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
Kate was so much fun, but I loved creating her receptionist and side-kick Mona as well. Mona’s late husband was filthy rich. As Kate’s best friend, Mona has appointed herself as Kate’s PR person because she hopes one day that Kate will one day have her own TV show like Dr. Phil. Then there’s Kate’s ex-boyfriend, psychiatrist Thad Glazer, with whom Kate not only consults with but shares several patients. Thad would love to have Kate back in his life, his hot tub, and his bed, and he makes no secret about it. Each time Kate calls for advice, Thad first asks her to describe the panties she’s wearing.
Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?
When I first started out I had extensive character sheets, mainly because I think good characterization is the most important element in any book. I knew my characters inside-out, their favorite colors, favorite foods, their fears and dreams, you name it. As time went on, I became better at developing them in my head so I scrapped the sheets.
Do you have any authors that inspired you?
That person would have to be Janet Evanovich. She was the first person to convince me to widen my scope from category romance to single titles. Co-authoring the FULL HOUSE series with her prepared me to go on and write my own series. When I was writing single titles, the most difficult thing was letting go of the characters I’d spent months and months writing about. Like I said, writing can be so isolating, and these characters actually become friends. (Yeah, I know that’s scary!) Sometimes I would get tearful saying goodbye to them.
What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
Online promotion is one of the best ways to connect with readers, but I think book signings are important also. They put you face-to-face with booksellers and readers alike. And it gets me out of the house!
What do we have to look forward next?
As I mentioned, I’m presently working on HANGING BY A THREAD, a continuation of Kate Holly’s wild and wacky life. I hope readers will find the series as fun as it was to write.
And again, thank you for allowing me to share with everyone my latest books. It has been my pleasure!
To celebrate her book release,
Bio. Award winning author Charlotte Hughes began her writing career publishing newspaper and magazine articles before becoming a New York Times best selling author.
Check out author’s website at www.readcharlottehughes.com. Again, NUTCASE will be available in bookstores Feb. 24th. You can also order it on