Friday, October 28, 2011

Interview with Candace Havens

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Candace Havens. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us 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 understand you have a new release out called Model Marine. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

First, thanks for letting me hang out. I love any place with loads of chocolate. The book is about a Marine who does a good deed to help out a woman, a fashion designer, and it ends up getting him a lot of trouble. But his biggest problem is that he falls for the fashion designer, and their worlds couldn’t be more different.

Model Marine is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

It’s a play on words. He’s a model Marine, but he also has to model. (Smile)

What made you decide to write in this genre?

Honestly, my editor asked me to. She wanted me to write one of their Uniformaly Hot stories and it had to be about a Marine. Of course I had to make it fun and quirky with a hint of a mystery because that’s just me.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I’m a pantser, who has to write a synopsis for her editor. It’s tough for me. I like discovering the book as a reader would.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

I did a lot of research about Marines and when I finished I had a couple of beta readers who were either Marines or in the Armed services. I wanted to make sure I had the Marine stuff right. It was important to me.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

Well, I knew I had to use a Marine, and I’m sort of obsessed with Fashion Week in NYC. So, The first line of the book about the models being in jail, came to me and everything else fell into place.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I don’t ever have favorites, I love them all. Though I have to say Will, my Marine, is someone I would definitely like to hangout with some day. (Smile) He was so protective of her, and yet understood why she had to be a free spirit. I love him for that.

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?

I don’t do any of that stuff. They just come to me as I write the book and reveal themselves as I go along. I was as surprised as anyone when I discovered my Marine was a musician. I love when stuff like that happens. I do end up writing down my characters and some of their traits in a notebook as I discover them so I don’t forget.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

That is a really long, long list. I aspire to be like Jodi Thomas some day. She writes beautiful books and is one of the most caring, giving souls I’ve ever met. My writing career was inspired by Jodi, Nora Roberts, Janet Evanovich and Laurell K. Hamilton. I wanted to create worlds like they did.

What do we have to look forward next?

I’m in an anthology of ghost stories called Spirited, and all of the proceeds go to support literacy. That is out this month through I’m going to be in a 2012 Blaze Christmas Anthology with Lori Wilde and Kathleen O’Reilly. Very excited about that. I have more proposals in with Harlequin. And I’m going to write more in my Charmed & Dangerous and Caruthers Sisters series this next year.

Thanks, Candy!

To celebrate her book release, Candace Havens is offering TWO free books of Model Marine to two lucky commenters on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Bio. Bestselling author Candace Havens has written six novels for Berkley including, Charmed & Dangerous, Charmed & Ready, Charmed & Deadly, Like A Charm, The Demon King and I and Dragons Prefer Blondes. Her new venture is writing for the Blaze line of Harlequin. Those books include Take Me If You Dare, She Who Dares, Wins, Truth and Dare, and The Model Marine. Her books have received nominations for the RITA's, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 1800 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Dorsey Gang on New Country 96.3, and is the President of the Television Critics Association.

Check out author’s website at


Kim Watters said...

Good morning Candace. Thanks for joining us today. I have an assortment of Halloween candy ready in the bowl, just take your pick. I love the cover of your book. But then again, who wouldn't love a hunky, shirtless man at their disposal. I just adore writing a synopsis as well, ;) (not). Funny how the book usually doesn't even come close to the original outline when I'm done though. Since you're a panster, have you ever written yourself into a corner? How did you get out of it? Enjoy your day with us.

Anonymous said...

Kim, thanks for letting me hangout. I do write myself into corners. I'm actually writing a blog about that next week for genreality, but basically Matt Nix, the creator and exec producer of Burn Notice, told me he writers the corner first and then reverse engineers his way out of it. I tried it and it works. :) -Candy

Alexis Walker said...

I love the premise of a Marine and a Fashion Designer. You couldn't get much father apart. Sounds like a great book! I admire your ability to write what your editor wanted. Probably an ability we all should nurture :-) Hope it does well :-)

Carolyn Hughey said...

Hi Candace,

Great interview! I'm always in awe of those of you who can be a panster. I did that with my first book because the story had been in my head for a long time so writing it--well, my characters wrote it. Yet, when I tried the same thing with my mysteries, I realized I definitely needed to have an outline for guidance. In my case, I was wasting too much time sitting at my computer asking myself what I should write in the next chapter. LOL

Your book sounds very interesting and the cover is awesome! I love reading stories about the military. Good luck to you.

Linda Andrews said...

HI Candace,

The book sounds like a lot of fun. What instrument does your Marine play?

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Candace. Good to see you here. I met you at RWA National once, at the booksigning. I bought your book, "Dragons Prefer Blondes." A fun and sexy read. I loved it. Model Marine sounds like another fun, sexy read.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Thanks for sharing!! I didn't realize that you were also and entertainment columnist...

Anonymous said...

Thanks you guys.

Linda, he's a blues guitarist and singer. :) -Candy Havens

Estella said...

Love the Blaze line and you can't go wrong with a Marine!

Book sounds like an excellent read.

Deborah Blake said...

Great cover! I can't wait for more Charmed & Dangerous. But if I have to settle for reading books about sexy Marines in the meanwhile, well...I'm flexible :-)

CrystalGB said...

Great interview. Model Marine sounds good. I love Blaze books.

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Lovely cover, great title, so glad you visited and I discovered you!