I'd like to welcome our guest today, Caris Roane. It’s a pleasure having you doing the author interview today at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free.
So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.
I need therapy! I do, I do! The chocolate kind anyway. But I’m thrilled to be here talking about my favorite things: writing, books, and the series I’m currently working on!
I understand you have a new release out called BURNING SKIES. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?
BURNING SKIES is the second installment of my paranormal, winged vampire series, called GUARDIANS OF ASCENSION. In a world of six ascending dimensions, BURNING SKIES tracks Warrior Marcus and his woman, Havily Morgan, as her darkening power emerges, the enemy wants her dead, and Marcus makes it his mission to protect her.
BURNING SKIES is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
For some reason, I don’t excel at titles. I mean, every once in a while I can have a true inspiration, like the first title of the series, ASCENSION, which actually was my idea. HOWEVER, the rest of the titles in the series, which I absolutely LOVE, have been the result of real team work between my fabulous editor, Rose Hilliard, and my equally fabulous agent, Jennifer Schober. They seem to have magic when it comes to titles. I mean listen to these, and these are in order: ASCENSION, BURNING SKIES, WINGS OF FIRE, BORN OF ASHES, and OBSIDIAN FLAME. Aren’t they great?!? But what I love best about them is that they truly reflect what’s going on in the series! My vampires have wings, they do battle in the air, they’re fighting death vampires, a war is on the horizon, firebombs have exploded in the air. This is a world in deep trouble and the titles give us a flavor of that.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
Pure passion! I absolutely fell hard for the paranormal genre beginning with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. But I should add, that I had already dipped my toe in these waters during the early 90’s when I included both vampires and Greek mythological characters in several of my early Regencies.
Where did you get your idea for this particular series?
Once I read the Dark Hunter series, I was determined to write my own vampire tale. I had no idea what it would be about except that I wanted a brotherhood of hunky warriors. Beyond that, I wanted a HUGE world, so that should I develop a real following, I could write in this world for years to come! What emerged were six ascending dimensions in which powerful mortals receive a ‘call to ascension’ and the opportunity to live in a new world and to take on the mantle of the vampire.
Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
I absolutely LOVE writing about each of my warriors, of which there are nine in the series. Currently, I’m working on Thorne’s book so of course I’m carrying him around in my heart and loving every second of it. HOWEVER, I do have one recurring character that is both a blast to write and about which I get all sorts of website and Facebook comments, and that’s the ruler of Second Earth, the mucho-snarky Endelle. She’s fun because she’s irreverent, and profane, and pretty bad at her job, but she’s uber-powerful, loves the warriors, and down deep has the best heart in the world. Oh, and she dresses like it’s Mardi Gras everyday.
Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?
I use a lot of different methods to develop my characters, as in character sheets and interviews. But I often find that the depth of the character really starts to surface once I begin to write the story. Plot and character work hand-in-hand at this point as well, all the way through the first draft. I go back and forth, making adjustments both directions. Plot often influences who a character is and a character can often tip a plot in a new direction. The whole thing is a lot of fun…occasionally frustrating, but mostly fun!
How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?
For this series, I have pictures in my head about what each setting looks like. It’s rare that I would actually sit down and draw something out. Once it’s fixed in my mind, I can usually get back there with a thought. Also, because this is a series, once I include a setting in a scene, or part of the world, I’ll frequently refer back to how I originally described that setting or part of the world. I also keep a huge spreadsheet on character details, like which powers each character has, what color their wings are, when each person ‘ascended’ to Second Earth, that kind of thing.
Do you have any authors that inspired you?
My favorite authors in the paranormal genre totally inspired me: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, Lara Adrian, Kresley Cole, JR Ward, and many more. In addition—and this is something of a mystery to me—I find I go through periods of weeks when all I want to read is women’s fiction and general fiction. Some of those authors who have really affected me are: Marisa de los Santos, Lolly Winston, Elizabeth Berg, Anne Tyler, Barbara Kingsolver, and Anita Shreve.
What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
I think the most effective promotion has been the total effect of doing it all: having a website and a blog, having a newsletter, being active on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Shelfari, doing book trailers, and doing other blogs like this one. Each time you reach out into the cloud, you have the opportunity to tap into an entirely new group of readers and possibly reviewers. Every reviewer, for instance, is the center of their own universe, and therefore can usually offer a large group of potential readers who have probably never heard of you. My current goal is to blog on other blog and review sites once-a-week just on principle.
What do we have to look forward next?
I’m really excited to be releasing, in e-format, a novella based on my GUARDIANS OF ASCENSION series. During the month of May, this novella was available to read for free on the website Heroes & Heartbreakers. But now, it will be available for $.99 on Kindle, Nook, etc. ALSO, for readers who might not know this and don’t own an e-reader, all kinds of apps are available for PCs, for iPhones, for iPads, etc. That way, you can read the occasional e-only novel or novella without having to invest in one of the dedicated e-readers. (One of my fans on Goodreads and another one on Facebook enlightened me on this subject…I wish I’d known. I purchased a Kindle but discovered that I’m just not crazy about the electronic form. I LOVE holding a book in my hands!)
Of course following close on the heels of the novella, is my next full length novel, the Third book in the series, WINGS OF FIRE, which is a September release.
To celebrate her ongoing series, Caris is offering an ARC of WINGS OF FIRE or a signed copy of BURNING SKIES to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)
Also, Caris is considering expanding her world, once the Third Dimension opens up, to include shifters. Do you enjoy shifter books? If so, tell us what you’d like to see on Third Earth.
She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...
Check out author’s website at www.carisroane.com Buy ASCENSION, BURNING SKIES & BRINK OF ETERNITY.