Interview With Caris Roane

What prompted you to write paranormal romances?
Actually, I was writing paranormal romance before there was a genre. Years ago, in the early 90s, I wrote three full-length Regency romances that included characters from Greek mythology. This was well before Sherrilyn Kenyon’s famous Dark Hunter Series. Of course, I wasn’t thinking ‘paranormal’ back then, I just thought it was a cool, fun idea to include Psyche and her gorgeous husband Eros in a few books, as well as Artemis. Then around the mid-nineties, my editor at Kensington asked me to write a Regency novella featuring vampires. That was a total blast!
As for switching from sweet Regencies to the spicy paranormal genre, I would have to say that Sherrilyn’s work really inspired me, especially since she’d used Greek mythology and I could totally relate to that. I also fell in love with the work of several authors and began my own feeding frenzy, devouring book after book. I became insatiable. Then at some point I just knew I had to write my own series based on some super hunky warrior vampires, sporting extraordinary wings, and battling an enemy in a very complex world of ascending dimensions.

Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
First-of-all, I make it a practice to stay far away from that which is paranormal in our world: ghosts, demons, etc.
But I once dreamed that a friend of mine, who engaged the paranormal world on a daily basis–as in seeing dead people–came to me in said dream and told me not to sleep in a certain room at the very haunted Grand Hotel in Jerome, Arizona. Since I’m basically a chicken, I heeded her advice. No way was I going to tempt fate to find out what awaited me in that room! Frankly, having a dream like that is as paranormal as I ever want to get!
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release?
I have two upcoming releases that I’d love to share with you. Burning Skies is the second novel in my Guardians of Ascension series and will be available beginning April 26th. This book chronicles Warrior Marcus as he gets caught in a wild bit of vampire mate-bonding and hunts down the seductress of his dreams, Havily Morgan. Burning Skies follows the first release of this series, Ascension, which hit the shelves December 28th, 2010, so basically we’re off and running.
Now, here’s a really exciting development. I just completed a novella called Brink of Eternity, based on the same series. This is a fully-formed romance, which will be available as a digital release at various outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, etc., for $.99. I don’t have a release date yet, although I expect it to come to market either by the end of April or the first of May. As soon as I have the release date, I’ll put this on my website: http://www.carisroane.com.

Do you plot your stories out or do you just start writing?
Honestly, I do both. I wish I could do one or the other, but I can never just start writing nor can I just plot. I do a little plotting, get stuck, then do a little writing, then back to plotting, then back and forth until one day, what do you know, I have a complete novel. I should add, though, that when I say ‘plotting’ I also mean a lot of character work as well. So you might say that I plot, I write, I work on the characters, then plot, then write, then work on the characters, and so forth. Sometimes, I’ll even throw in theme and setting to jumpstart the muse.

What was the funniest thing you learned about your hero/heroine from writing
In Burning Skies, the funniest thing to me about writing Marcus, my hunky vampire hero, was that he was so absurdly possessive of Havily, more even than Kerrick, the hero of Ascension. Of course, I loved that about him!

Which of your characters is most like you and which is least like you?
Let me answer the question this way: the character I wish I was most like is Endelle. She’s my profane, irreverent, snarky leader of Second Earth, totally unfit for the job, but doing it anyway because that’s the job she’s been given to do. She is completely fashion-challenged, as in she wears animal skins and snake-skins and feathers, and always a pair of black stilettos. But I love that she just doesn’t take anything from anybody. She’s absolutely fearless. If anyone ever said to me, “You’re just like Endelle”, I would of course be appalled, but at the same time secretly pleased.

Can you describe your office or where you normally write?
I have two places where I write. When I’m doing strictly plot or character development, I sit in a recliner in my living room, which is one of the most peaceful places in my house. But when I’m writing, as in composing a scene, I have a non-internet computer in a dark corner of my bedroom. I have a 22” monitor so that I can have several files open at once. I have an iPad at my fingertips, which is connected to the internet and which I use strictly for research. I sit in a chair I bought at Pier One Imports that has a really thick comfortable seat and I have a separate sliding table that my keyboard sits on and which I pull up over my lap when I’m ready to dig in. The arrangement is super comfortable which allows me to write longer because I don’t suffer any kind of back strain. I don’t really have much else in my writing space, except my book covers because they inspire me. St. Martin’s has done a fantastic job with the covers for my Guardians of Ascension series.

Which came first the plot or the characters?
As with the plotting/writing conundrum, I really do keep moving back and forth from one to the other because more often than not, something a character will do will then determine the direction the plot takes and wouldn’t you know it, the plot sometimes demands that a character possess a certain attribute or character flaw. I suppose you could say that it’s a truly organic process, always growing out of one thing, then another, and so on.

Have you ever gotten stuck while writing a scene or chapter? How did you
overcome it?

Getting stuck, in my opinion, describes the writing process from beginning to end. I can think I finally have a book well-plotted, then realize I haven’t considered this or that plot element at a given point, and, voila, stuck! So, the way I see it, writing is all about learning a bunch of skills for getting over the humps, all the humps.
So, how do I do it? Good old-fashioned determination, for one. Sometimes, you just have to plow through the issue despite a mounting sense you’ll never overcome. I’m amazed, for instance, that if I just keep pushing through whatever has hung up my story, eventually, all good things come.
As for specific techniques for getting unstuck, my current favorite while I’m writing, is that the moment I reach a point in a scene when I’m ‘stuck’, I’ll play a quick game of solitaire. More often than not, right afterward I can move forward with whatever issue was giving me trouble. Sometimes, a nap helps. Sometimes, a problem won’t be resolved without a good night’s sleep. But as I said before, sometimes just pushing through will yield a world of good.

What is the wackiest thing that’s ever happened to you since you started
writing?

Well, anyone who’s ever gotten THE CALL, that moment when an editor wants to buy your book, will understand this…but I think the wackiest thing that ever happened to me was getting my first contract. You work and work, you slave over every word, you get your rejections, you take all the expressed doubt from your family you can handle and some you can’t, you listen to your critique group yawn at what you’ve written or take you task over a comma, a period, or a quotation mark, then one day, someone actually wants to publish your book. I mean, that’s just wacky!

What words of wisdom can you offer other aspiring writers?
I’m a firm believer that getting where you want to go in the publishing industry, whether print, digital, self-published or New York published, or all of the above, is one hundred percent a matter of grit and determination and dare I say it, stubbornness in the face of adversity. If you’ve got perseverance, my friend, you can get where you want to go. Just dig in and do it! You can do it, you can do it, you can, you can!!!

Thanks for visiting Caris!

Caris Roane has published over fifty Regency romance novels and novellas under the pen name, Valerie King. In 2005, Romantic Times gave her a Career Achievement award in Regency Romance. Having had a long-time love affair with vampires, Caris tackled the paranormal genre, building a world based on ascending dimensional earths. The first novel of the series, Ascension, was released December 28, 2010. Burning Skies, the second book in the series, hits the shelves in May of 2011. And the third novel, Wings of Fire, is a September release.
Caris lives in Buckeye, Arizona with her two cats, Sebastien and Gizzy.

About Linda Andrews

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal." All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house? If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at www.lindaandrews.net She’d love to hear from you.
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16 Responses to Interview With Caris Roane

  1. Caris says:

    I’m blogging here today on Linda Andrews site. Ask me anything you’d like to know about my Guardians of Ascension series, and without giving too much away, I’ll be happy to share info about what’s coming up next! As many of you know, I’m totally in love with my warrior vamps and I adore talking about them!
    Blessings,
    Caris

  2. Linda B says:

    HI CARIS, SQQQQQQQQQQQQUUUE ANOTHER PARANORMAL AUTHOR! CAN’T WAIT TO READ YOUR BOOKS!!

    • Caris says:

      Linda,
      I’m the same way!!! Don’t you love this genre? When I wrote my vampire Regency novella all those years ago, little did I know it would lead to this! I have had more fun writing all my hunky warriors. It’s been especially satisfying to take each man, devise his particular woundedness and issues in this world, then to bring a powerful woman to blast his life first all to, ahem, heck, then to heaven! Oh, the heart sings! Yeah, it’s been a blast.
      Hope you enjoy the series!
      Caris

  3. Hi, Caris,
    I had no idea, that you wrote regencies as Valerie King. I love your regencies. I really miss the traditional regencies. I have Ascension in my TBR pile and hope to read it soon. Kenyon’ s Dark-hunter series is one of my favorites, too. Will you explain a little bit about second earth. I know that it is in a different dimension than our earth and has vampires. Does a person from earth die to ascend to second earth?

  4. catslady says:

    You are a new author for me. Maybe because I’ve just recently been getting into paranormals. I always enjoyed reading scyfi, horror, suspense but paranormal seems to be the best of them all. Do your books need to be read in order or are they stand alone? And I have to say, those are just gorgeous covers!!

    • Caris says:

      Hey Catslady,
      So you have cats??? (Mine…Gizzy and Sebastien…)
      I know, right? The covers??? Holy moly, St. Martin’s Press has done an absolutely amazing job. The fourth one gave me croc tears…that would be BORN OF ASHES, the book I’m finishing up right now. I was working away on Warrior Jean-Pierre’s story when this cover arrived. I wish I could tell you how much these people ARE my leads for that book! I was blown away!!!
      As for the books, my editor and I have worked hard to make sure that each book is a stand-alone read, so that you’d never be lost reading them out of order. BUT, I always introduce the lead characters of an ensuing story in the previous book, so the more complete experience would be ‘in order’.
      Hope you enjoy my take on the paranormal. I absolutely LOVE writing in this genre.
      Blessings,
      Caris

  5. GladysMP says:

    Enjoyed the interview. I am always amazed at what authors go through to get their books accepted and published. It truly does take grit.

    • Caris says:

      Gladys,
      Yes, getting books written and published is a tough process, but I don’t know any part of life that ISN’T a tough process!!! I have two children and honestly, give me a book to write any day of the week!
      Caris

  6. Caris says:

    Hi, Marlene,
    I miss my Regencies as well. I could have written the traditional Regency forever! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed them! Yay!
    As for my world of ASCENSION, there is an ‘ascension’ process to Second Earth, but death is not a requisite, although sometimes death occurs because the enemy is after the person ascending. But once the mortal ‘ascends’, there is a ceremony and the qualities of the vampire – a long-lived life and the use of fangs – are bestowed.
    In my vampire mythos, there are six known dimensional worlds, each with Mortal Earth’s geography; same earth, different dimensions. To ascend to Second Earth, which is the world of the vampire, the mortal involved has to possess a variety of preternatural power, like telepathy, the ability to throw a hand-blast, the ability to dematerialize, etc. Mortals with these powers receive a call to ascension in the form of dreams, deep inexplicable yearnings, and sometimes the presence of death vampires who want them dead. In the world I’ve created, a death vampire is any vampire of Second Earth or higher, who takes the irreversible step of ‘drinking a mortal or another ascender to death’ to get at what I call ‘dying blood’. This blood is highly addictive in nature and necessary, in the way that any addictive substance is necessary, which means that the death vampire has to kill again and again to feed his addiction. How’s that for a horrible growing evil presence?
    So the series is essentially good vampires fighting evil vampires and trying to protect mortals who get caught in the crossfire.
    My world is very complex but I have to say, speaking of Sherrilyn Kenyon, that I wanted a world as big as hers, so that if the fans love ASCENSION, I can keep writing and living in this world for a long time to come. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
    Caris

  7. Mary M. says:

    I have enjoyed your regencies in the past. I look forward to reading a series set in such a well-developed world construct, especially the use of dreams.

    • Caris says:

      Mary M.,
      I do hope you enjoy my paranormal world! But I always want to make clear to my readers that while my Regencies were very sweet, my Guardians of Ascension are spicy hot! So beware! 🙂
      All best,
      Caris

  8. Martha Lawson says:

    I love, love the covers on your books. Paranormals are one of my favorite genre to read. Great interview, I’ll be putting your books on the to buy list. They sound wonderful.

    • Caris says:

      Martha,
      I just bought a special presentation notebook for the covers…they deserve a place of honor! I can say that because essentially I had nothing to do with their overall gloriousness! But yes, I’m one lucky author!
      Hope you enjoy my series!
      Blessings,
      Caris

  9. Caris says:

    Linda,
    Thank you so much for having me on your blogsite today and thanks to all who took the time to post a comment! This was a lot of fun!
    Blessings,
    Caris

  10. hotcha1 says:

    THANKS CARIS AND LINDA! CARIS, I’LL LOOK FOR YOUR BOOKS!

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