Friday, July 1, 2011

Interview with Caris Roane

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.

Thanks, Caris!

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 Buy ASCENSION, BURNING SKIES & BRINK OF ETERNITY.


Anonymous said...

Good morning Caris. We're so glad to interview one of our own. :). Congratulations on selling two more in this series. I can't wait to sink my teeth into those as well. How many books do you have planned? Enjoy your day.

Caris said...

Hi, Kim, Good Morning, Everyone!

I hope you're all set for the Fourth! My DH and I are planning a quiet weekend, maybe a movie, which, after a good book of course, is my favorite form of entertainment.

Kim asked how many books I have planned in the series. I think once I saw exactly how many warriors were in Endelle's elite group, that set the number of books, plus one for Endelle (our fearless leader of Second Earth), making ten in all! EXCEPT, my heart already clamors for more and once Alison (heroine of ASCENSION) does that critical thing she's supposed to do by book #10 (spoiler alert...shhhh), I would love to take this series into Third Earth! Is my enthusiasm showing?!? I'm absurdly passionate about this series.

So, please, take a moment to comment, or ask me anything you like about my vampires with wings. I could talk for, really!

A Heap of Blessings,

keeshas22 said...

Hi caris, I hope your having a wonderful day. I can't wait to read wings of fire! Your a wonderful author I just can't get enough of the stories you write.

Denia Barrier said...

Hi Caris, I hope you have a blessed 4th and I can not wait to read the wings of fire!! I loved all your books and I am hungry for more!!!

Michelle L Olson said...

Great interview Caris!
I made a note of the questions & promise not to ask the same ones! LOL
P.S, I,ve been on the lookout for pics of hot guys that I can add wings to for you! [it's actually harder than it sounds! :-/ Especially when I'm specifically on the lookout for long hair...]
I'm very excited for this release!
Keep up the great work!!
molson0129 (at) me (dot) com

seaellare said...

Happy July, Caris! It is a beautiful day, indeed! I so enjoy reading what you have to say about your Ascension world! I'm hooked - and have been since very early on in Ascension - what a way to start a book! That being said, I'd *LOVE* to win the arc of Wings of Fire *fingers and toes crossed!!!*
Thanks for offering it :)

Anonymous said...

Therapy and Chocolate, what more can a girl ask for ! Have a wonderful weekend.

I'm stuck doing homework all weekend, very sad : (

Dara Bennett said...

How would you handle an ascendant with children? That could be really ummm challenging!

Caris said...

I am having a wonderful day because of your WONDERFUL comments! Thanks for joining us on the blog. Tell everyone about the series. I really rely on fans like you to get the word out about how special you think my Warriors of the Blood are!

Have a terrific 4th!


Caris said...

I LOVE that you're hungry for more because SO AM I! Writing GUARDIANS OF ASCENSION has been by far the best creative experience of my life. Living in this world is just a kick in the pants and these warriors are plain fun to be around...besides being of course really, really HOT!


Dara Bennett said...

I'm lovin' the series and can't wait for Thorne's story!!!

Caris said...

I would love to see your candidates...hint, hint! But I know what you mean. I've sometimes scrolled through pics, trying to find just the right look, especially since I have all these powerful images in my head. Mostly, I think, "these guys don't look TOUGH enough." Does that make sense? Can't wait to see what you come up with. REALLY, I'd love to see the almost-there looks!

*Biting Fingernails*

Na said...

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday :) A few months ago, I discovered the paranormal romance genre and loved it. I have read paranormal books before but only sporadically until I discovered Dark Hunters, Black Dagger Brotherhood and now The World of Ascension. What I really like about it is the world it describes. I would love to immerse myself there and meet my own guardian :)

Have a great weekend!

Caris said...

Fingers-and-toes-crossed, I hope you win your heart's desire! So glad to know that you're enjoying my series. I've been writing Thorne's story, book #5, and I explain what it's like for me this way: I carry him around in my heart! It's the most awesome sensation so hopefully that's what you're feeling as well, that you're carrying these wonderful men around in your heart!

Thanks for such a great post!

Blessings, Caris

Caris said...

Hey, 49!
Oh, no HOMEWORK! All I can say is, 'this too shall pass'!!! May you win an ARC to make up for your lost weekend! LOL!


Caris said...


You made it! Well done! And you posted twice! Isn't it funny how tricky it can be sometimes! Will you understand if I tell you that it took me the longest time to learn to click on "comments" in order to leave a comment?!? Technologically speaking, I'm all thumbs! LOL!

I just mentioned Thorne in my previous response to a comment! Oh, I love that man and I'm working hard to make sure his story really satisfies. I think you'll love it. The bad part is, you'll have to wait until May of 2012 to read it since Jean-Pierre's story releases before his in January of next year.

I know I haven't talked about Jean-Pierre nearly so much as Thorne, but OMG he's so tender with his woman and when you find out what his woman went through, you'll understand his tenderness. Oh, and his French accent is TO DIE FOR!

I'm rambling, but this series is sooooo much fun to write!

As for your first question, ascenders with the series progresses, I try to add them in a little. For instance, I have kids mounting their wings in one of the public gardens at the White Lake Resort Colony, so of course security comes over the loud speaker and tells moms to discipline their children, that sort of thing. I try to keep it light and fun! Of course, I can't do much of this, or the series would be about a thousand pages long per book, lol!

Thanks for taking the time to post!


Caris said...

That is how I feel, totally immersed! And yes, we all deserve a guardian, don't you think? Sometimes when I'm writing, these warriors are so real I expect them to walk through the room and talk to me! And with each book I try to expand the world a little more, ...especially what it's like to have wings, what it would be like to release them for the first time, to fly for the first time. Or how about being a vampire and being able to share the fang aspect of vampire-ness! At the same time, when an ascender goes to the dark side, and partakes of dying blood, what's that like...just all of it!

I'm so glad you're along for the ride!


Christy Yokum said...

Hi Caris! I inhaled ASCENSION and quickly followed it up with BURNING SKIES. I enjoyed them so much I have passed the books on to others so they can enjoy them as well.I love reading a book that is so good that when you read it you can see it like a movie in your head. I can't wait until September so I can read about Thorne!

Katerina said...

Hi Caris and everyone.
I loved both books, couldn't stop until I finished them. So thank you for the beautiful stories! :-)
Hope everyone has a beautiful weekend.

ChrisyChris said...

hi, I love ur stories, im so hooked. I think the way you continue the story with each new set of characters (but not strangers) is fantastic. I feel that im getting so much more than just a series. Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

Crystal W.

Ariana said...

Hi Caris
You are awesome writer
And I love Ascension,super awesome
Question, How long does it take you to wrtie a book???

ChrisyChris said...

hi Caris,

with ur comment about the books being a thousand pages longer, thats ok we wouldn't mind at all and would have a blast reading them.

Trish said...

Morning Caris I have found that i am in total love with your books. I find myself going to your page just to see if you have given any more teasers of the other books. I saw that you added another cover Brink of Eternity and i was wondering which warrior this one was about and what number in the series it will be. I am so excited for the book in september i can hardly wait to read it.

Connie Flynn said...

Caris, You are doing so well and I can see why. What wonderful interview responses. Your love of writing is so very evident. Thanks for spreading the joy.

Sara Correa said...

Hello Caris,

I completely love your series, it has my heart. I can't wait to read book three could you have given us a bigger cliffhanger with book two. End of August/beginning of September can't come quick even. I hope you have a great 4th of July weekend and thank you for giving us the best series like ever.


Caris said...

Hi, again, everyone -- and Christy!
If you detect a lapse in time, it's because I have to break away from this wonderful blog now and then to do a little more work on book #5! You know, it's really tricky getting all the subtleties right, like when a couple should NOT *clears throat* get busy! And with these warriors, you know it's a challenge to not be 'getting busy'!

**Christy, oh, I'm so glad this reads like a movie because that's the way this works for me. I see these stories just like movies, sometimes even with the orchestral track playing! (When I wrote WINGS OF FIRE, I played the music to the film INCEPTION almost the entire was an awesome experience.)

But I need to give you a heads up: WINGS OF FIRE is Medichi and Parisa's story. Sooo sorry, but Thorne's book, which is called OBSIDIAN FLAME, won't hit the shelves until May of next year. I just don't want you opening the pages of WINGS OF FIRE and expecting to get Thorne...although I can say this with all my heart, OMG you will not be disappointed with 6'7, incredibly gorgeous Antony Medichi...growwwwllll! ;-)

Heaps of blessings,

Caris said...


I hope you have a beautiful weekend as well! And thank you for the lovely compliment. I don't think it gets better than 'couldn't stop until I finished them!' You have no idea how happy that makes me.

Tons of blessings,

Christine said...

Caris ..I am SO excited for you and this series and CAN NOT WAIT to read the rest of what is to come for our Guardians!!..I will carry these books to work with me too:)..Congrats!!

Caris said...

Crystal! You posted twice...AWESOME!

When I was first putting this series together, I knew that I wanted the couple of each ensuing book to get hooked on each other in the present was my plan! I'm so glad it works for you. I just love series where you meet characters in one book then get to follow their stories in the next!

As for your second comment, about my joking about the books being 1000 pages long, the truth is with every book I have to really hold back! Every time, EVERY TIME I introduce a character, all these web-like filaments begin to flow and I can see how a character interacts with all the others, and who that character might fall in love with, or who they should and I want to take EVERY character the distance. It's a stange, wonderful, mysterious experience to have as a writer.

I even had someone ask about Jeannie, as in was I going to do something with the wonderful woman who handles all the warrior calls during the nightly battling?!? So, I'm thinking about it. I had another fan beg to see more of Alison and Kerrick and so it goes. Although, I do think it would be delicious to see Alison and Kerrick get into a serious 'married' fight! I may do that in book #10. But I get so attached and truly these stories could go on and on. And what about Helena? A futuristic novel, maybe? LOL!

Thanks for your great comments!!!

A bucket of blessings,

Caris said...

Thank you soooo much! I LOVE that you love ASCENSION! Yay!

As for how long it takes me to write a book, these books take between 3 to 4 months to write, but let me say that I do write full-time and other than being involved in my local Romance Writers of America chapter, I don't have any other pressing obligations...which means you should see the state of my house. Oh, wait, no, no, you don't want to see the state of my house...I mean, my vacuum has dust on it...! *shudder*

Seriously, though, thanks for posting!

Abundance of blessings,

catslady said...

Oh, I love the wings and all the covers. I'm fairly new to paranormals but I always liked horror/scifi and the addeded romance makes them sound all that much better. It sounds like an exciting series!

Caris said...

Thanks for asking about BRINK OF ETERNITY. This is a novella featuring and developing the Militia Warrior side of things. As the title suggests, we have a warrior, Gideon, on the brink of becoming a Warrior of the Blood. The trouble is, he's totally devoted to serving as a Militia Warrior and is pissed off about his emerging powers. His loyalty tells you all you need to know about how wonderful he is. He's also been getting it on with his woman at the notorious Blood and Bite for the last two years...except he broke up with her a month ago. Guess what brings them back together? You guessed it, she enters her call to ascension--oh yeah--and he must serve as her Guardian of Ascension because the 'breh-hedden' strikes again.

This novella fits in anywhere between books 1 and 3, which means there shouldn't be any spoiler alerts necessary. BTW, this is long for a novella at 40,000 words which makes it over a third the length of my regular novels. ALSO, it is a complete breh-hedden romance from beginning to end. I took no short-cuts, I just didn't have the usual expanded cast...except of course Endelle, who makes her typical outrageous entrance, saying outrageous things, and looking like she dressed for Mardi Gras...again.

An ocean of blessings,

Caris said...

I am soooo ready to read your next published book! When do we get to see it? You're a wonderful teacher and you really know your stuff! I need some Connie Flynn in print!


Caris said...

You are sooo sweet! Yeah, I admit that was a pretty-big cliffhanger in BURNING SKIES. I offer up a different kind of cliffhanger in WINGS OF FIRE, not quite so intense but full of oh-my-god-what's-going-to-happen-next! There are also a couple of surprises so hold onto your hat!

Thanks for posting!

Wheelbarrows of blessings,

Caris said...

I think at the very least you should have a warrior with you at work. And if he can't stand right next to you and look gorgeous just to relieve some of the stress and boredom, then he ought to slide into your desk drawer in the form of a book where you can take him out at will! (Oh, that kind of reminds me of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, the first book...right!?!)

So glad you're enjoying the series. Nothing makes me happier...well, maybe I should say my children do, but let's get real! LOL!

A Grand Canyon of blessings,
Which is a lot!

Caris said...

I love the covers as well and it's been such a great experience to write about flight in my novels. Of course, I've really had to stretch my imagination but it's been a blast. I hope my series works for you!

Blessings and blessings,

Esther said...

Hi there!!

I LOVE your books!! Your series has turned into one of those crazy love/hate issues for me. I want the full complete series of books in front of me now because I love it so much. But then my heart breaks because that would mean it was done - an idea that I hate. :)

Thank you so much for your work. It's AWESOME!!

PS - Happy Canada day!! ;)

Sherrie said...

HI Caris,
You already know I love your books and I would not mind you including some shifters. I like them to!I'm really excited about there being 10 books in the series. I love a long series. Thanks for all your hard work.
Sherrie Stroup

Caris said...

Happy Canada Day to you!
So, here's the deal, something for you to think goal is to write well beyond 10 books in my world of ASCENSION, hopefully going next to Third Earth with a whole new set of problems. And BTW, someone in the series that I have mentioned is already there and waiting... (Is this torture?!?)

My thinking is that the first 10 books tell the story of Second Earth. Then we go to Third Earth. How does that sound? Would going to Third Earth take some of the sting out of the 10-books-and-we're-done angst? Of course the characters you're coming to love will have walk-ons for the second part of the series. Of course.

But it means the world to me that you're so engaged. I'm engaged just as deeply, believe me.


minhchieu said...

Wow! the third books about to release, and now I find out theres going to 10 books in the series!! So exciting

Caris said...

Thanks for posting today! Yes, I love long series, as well. I think about the characters, what's happening while I wait for the next book, all that good stuff.
Shifters are an interesting group, even more earthy and caveman-like than my powerful warrior vampires, closer to animals and there's just something so intriguing about that!

So glad you've joined me for the ride!

A heap of blessings,

Caris said...

Yep, 10 books, all full of spectacle of one kind or another as well as DNA altered geese and swans. Isn't that a picture?

Enjoy the ride!

A ton of blessings,

Marie said...

I'm so looking forward to Wings of Fire even though I haven't finished Burning Skies yet. I just adore your Warriors and the strong women who are destined to be theirs!


Caris said...

WINGS OF FIRE was an extraordinary experience to write. I'd composed 30,000 words and realized I wanted more from the book so I scrapped them all and started over! The result was sooo worth it. It's hard sometimes to leave behind scenes that are so vivid, so real, yet I knew the story needed more from Antony and Parisa. I think you'll enjoy just how the shift in direction took this couple to a tremendous level of power and of love!

I love how you put it; "...the strong women who are destined to be theirs." Exactly!

Rivers of blessings!

Esther said...

WOOHOO!!! You rock. BTW, I'm all about the shapeshifters myself. I know you won't disappoint. Although I have no clue how they could ever compete with the Warriors! *swoon*

Esther said...

I'm waiting with baited breath. My type A personality will ensure I keep re-reading all your books until I figure out who is on third. Lol! No doubt I'll be starting my own little spreadsheet...

Caris said...

Maybe I should start a contest about who it is that's already waiting on Third Earth!?! I'm tempted...

As I planned out all ten books, I saw this person almost from the first and it's AWESOME!!! I also think it's a huge unexpected surprise, so unless you have some magic...and I admit that it's possible you do...I would be shocked if you figured this one out! Uh-oh, did I just present a challenge?

So, if in your Type A-ness you feel compelled to pursue this, you can always contact me at!

Your enthusiasm ROCKS!

A lake of blessings,

Caris said...

Thought I'd post one last time to say good-night! Thanks to everyone for their comments and support for my series! I loved hearing from all of you today. And thanks to Kim for sustaining this wonderful blog!


Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

I'm late, Caris, but wanted to say what a wonderful world and characters you have created! Looking forward to the continuation of the series!

Christine said...

Caris..hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend..I only have 2 days off for the weekend..but I am enjoying curling up and RE-READING Ascension and Burning Skies!...I can never get enough:)..would LOVE to see a movie made out of these..our warriors on the big screen brought to life would be amazing..but until then..I am enjoying them in my head and heart!.Can't wait to read Endelle getting hit with her breh-hedden..what an exciting adventure to look forward are awesome Caris.have a very safe and HAPPY Independence Day!

Christine said...

AND YES Caris...Warriors at work is the ONLY way to get through work..lmao..YOU have made work inspiring and fun for me with this series!!..that deserves a true medal!!

Tina LaVon said...

I love your covers! Can't wait to read your books.