Friday, February 25, 2011

20 Questions with Author Cari Quinn!!

Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.


My book list so far: Full Disclosure, Ex Appeal, Personal Research, Reveal Me and Insatiable.


Award-winning, multi-published author Cari Quinn wrote her first story—a bible parable—in 2nd grade, much to the delight of the nuns at her Catholic school. Once she saw the warm reception that first tale garnered, she was hooked. She attempted her first romance in junior high, long before she’d ever read one. Writing what she knew always took a backseat to what she wanted to know, and that still holds true today. Cari’s genres of choice include contemporary, romantic comedy, romantic suspense, urban fantasy and paranormal. Recently she discovered erotic romance. Oh, how far she’s come.

How do you usually come up with a story idea? Dreams? Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations? Newspaper?

All the above, though usually it will be a picture or a snatch of conversation or some tidbit in the news that catches my attention. Ideas are everywhere!

What is your process from idea to first draft?

I usually mull for a while, letting things kind of germinate, then I start writing. I don’t use notecards or outlines. I’m

Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?

Music. When I can’t get into a scene, music is what gets my mind whirling again. I create playlists for each book and they can really help to set the mood.

Who is your Yoda—your seasoned mentor?

My overall Yoda is Nora Roberts. She’s my mentor just because she writes so many consistently amazing books. Personally? My critique partner, Taryn Elliott (who is an amazing author herself!) We met when we were at similar spots in our writing career and over the past three years, she’s become invaluable to me. I can’t imagine writing and submitting a story without her input.

What importance do you place on writing workshops? What workshops would you recommend to us?

I try to attend workshops a couple times a year, but I’m a big proponent of learning through reading and writing. But if you’re looking for a good one, Margie Lawson’s workshops are incredible and I’d recommend them.

What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations? How did this person help you?

Most of all, my mom. She’s always believed in me. And then, of course, Taryn. She’s been a godsend.

Have you ever used songs for inspiration?

Often. Almost all my books have their own “song” that instantly puts me back in the space of writing that book. Until I have a WIP’s playlist, it’s hard for me to get into the flow of writing a book.

Do you play music when you write? If so, what kind? Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?

Constantly and the playlist changes with the book. I think best when music’s blaring and I listen to most kinds of music, though some scenes are more suited to one kind or another. My preferences range from oldies to rock to rap and everything in between.

Do you read in a different genre than you write? If yes, why? If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?

Yes and yes. I read both my own genre and a few others. I love urban fantasy and suspense though I’ve yet to tackle writing them successfully. As for reading erotic romance, reading a really good story influences me only the sense to try harder. Nothing gets me back to the keyboard faster than reading an excellent book.

Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer? Has another writer ever come to your aid? How?

I try to as often as I can, because we all started at the beginning. And yes, other writers have helped a lot at different times. Michelle Rowen, in particular, was so kind and encouraging and helpful to me when I was just starting out. She really made me feel as if it was possible I could succeed. I’m a huge fan of her writing and she’s an amazing person too.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?

Having one. Seriously. Even though it’s extremely early days yet, I don’t think I ever truly believed that one day people would be able to buy words I wrote. It’s a dream come true.

If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money? Would give any of it to charity? If so, which one?

I would work a bit less at the day job, fix up my house, buy a Chevy Silverado. I’d take care of the people I love and ensure they wouldn’t have to keep struggling at jobs they wish they could retire from. And I’d definitely donate to charity. I’d start with the Humane Society and the Rescue Mission then several others.

What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?

Don’t give up. Keep writing, keep submitting. You’re the only you this world will ever have and only you can tell the stories in your heart.

If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be? What do you admire about this animal? Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal? If so, what are they?

I think I’d pick a cat. I love cats. They seem aloof and solitary but they’re the most loyal companions ever if you stick with them and they learn to trust you. And yes, actually, I’m very much like that as well.

If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?

Singer, basketball player, and race car driver. No, I’m not quite tall enough to play basketball, but I can dream.

If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?

I’d love to travel for a year, just going wherever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to.

What characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes? What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?

My heroes all tend to be protectors. There is always that one thing in their life they’d do everything to keep safe – a job, their employees, someone they love. And of course, eventually the heroine.

My heroines are usually strong and not dependent on having a man in their life. They may want one, even need one, but they’ll always be able to do things for themselves.

If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?

I would end poverty and would ensure that every person got the same amount of sickness free years. A guaranteed lifetime, so to speak.

If could have a super power for a day, what would it be? Why?

Invisibility because I’m a born snoop and love to people watch. Plus I love finding out secrets.


Having all of her is the only thing that will satisfy him...

Shawn Griffin and Rachel Cooper have been best friends practically since birth, thanks to their families’ close relationship. But for the past few years, Shawn has been fantasizing about getting his best pal in his bed. When she announces she’s taking a trip to reconnect with an old lover, Shawn knows the time has come to put up or shut up. If she wants to go to New York City, fine. But he’s coming with her.

Rachel doesn’t know what to think of Shawn’s sudden interest. Determined to live life on her own terms, she refuses to fall right in line with her wealthy family’s wish that they get married and have perfect little babies. She just didn’t count on how determined her seemingly laid back -- and extremely sexy -- best friend would become after setting his sights on what he wants. Her, over and over again.

But when tragedy strikes, Rachel begins to wonder if she’ll lose not only her lover but her best friend too.


“You’re not a stupid woman.” Shawn loosened his hold on her finger. No matter what he’d indicated on the phone, it’d be her choice whether she stayed or cut and run.

“No.” Clearly challenging him, Rachel cocked her head. “And because I’m not, excuse me if I find the timing of this sudden lust --”

When she fumbled, he gripped her wrist. “This sudden lust isn’t sudden. Maybe it proves I’m a fool, but I kept hoping you’d stop flitting from man to man long enough to see me.”

She jerked free, but she didn’t retreat. “You’re my closest friend. I never gave you any reason to believe I felt otherwise, so don’t pull this crap on me now. You don’t want me to see Ryan.”

“Damn straight I don’t,” he agreed, swinging his legs off the bed so fast his gaping towel took another leap toward indecency. His move forced her back a step, then two as he rose and grasped her shoulders. “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you from making the biggest mistake of your life.”

“My life, my mistakes.” She tipped her head back until their gazes were level. “I’m leaving.”

“So go.” Shawn lifted his hands to her face. “In a minute.”

Rather than swooping in to ravage, he stretched his fingers over her cheeks, cradling them in his palms as his lips brushed hers. With that first taste, as wicked and dark as her wine red lipstick, heat coursed through his veins to gather in his groin.

It took all his will not to crush her against him as her fingers curled over his shoulders. But when her tongue slipped between his lips to war with his, he nearly lost his shaky grip on the torrent of need choke-chained inside him.

“Rach,” he whispered against her mouth, wanting her to know what this meant. Wanting her to understand. Instead, as she ripped her mouth away, the deep, dark pools of her eyes widened as if she couldn’t believe what he’d done.

What she’d done.

Without another word, she hurtled across the room and out the door. Away from him.



Amber Skyze said...

I love the idea of traveling for a year. Oh and the invisibility - because I'm a snoop too! :)

Great interview and I'm looking forward to treating myself to reading Insatiable once my edits are complete!

Tina Donahue said...

Like you, I love cats and I ache to travel, travel, travel. Much success in your career, Cari. :)

Rawiya said...

Nice interview!

Many congrats on your book. :)

Renee Vincent said...

Great interview ladies!
And Cari, I thought this was great advice:
What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?

Don’t give up. Keep writing, keep submitting. You’re the only you this world will ever have and only you can tell the stories in your heart.

Good luck to you in your career!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I can tell you right now, if that silly rach doesn't want Shawn, by golly, I'll take him. Beautiful excerpt, Cari.
I liked your answer about the two things you would change about the world, poverty and sickness. Can you imagine a world where everyone has the ability to see their dreams come true? Of course they have to have a dream.
Loved your answers. It's so good to get to know you.

Lily Harlem said...

Great questions and answers - thanks Cari!

Lily x

Redameter said...

I liked that excerpt. REally had me going. Sounds great. I'll have to remember that title.

Love and blessings

Cari Quinn said...

Thanks so much for having me here at Sweet 'n Sexy Divas and for all the nice comments. It was a really fun interview and I love the site!

Fiona McGier said...

There's always room for another interesting writer around this place. The excerpt was very intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

We were honored to have you interview with us, Cari, and wish you the very best in your writing career.