Monday, April 20, 2015

Interview: Empathy by Carolyn Wren

What inspired you to become an author?

My writing origins story is a little odd.  Having a career as a finance officer meant I spent all my day working on numbers and spreadsheets, not words.  Then one night back in 2009, I was lying in bed awake watching a moonbeam cast flickering shadows over the bed.  A scene popped into my brain of a man holding a woman while she slept.  The image came with a phrase, She shifted, just a small adjustment to bring her leg closer. The movement disturbed a fold in the heavy silk of her red ball gown, and it flowed open like water, exposing her calf to gleam pale in the moonlight. I had no idea where those words came from, but the next morning I wrote them down.  That phrase became part of my debut novel Diplomat’s Daughter.  I haven’t stopped writing since.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I do like writing in more than just the hero and heroines viewpoint.  My minor characters tend to jump up and down demanding their page time as well.

Do you write in different genres?

Yes, many different genres.  My published works are in Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Murder Mystery and even a little bit of Erotica.  I hope I never have to choose only one genre, because the choice would be impossible.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

That’s a very difficult question to answer as I don’t set out to write a specific genre.  The stories tend to go in any number of different directions.  But I think all of them will have at least a hint of Romantic Suspense.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

I knew the story had emotions at its base, so I tried to choose a name that reflected that.  Once I decided to give the characters the specific abilities of reading emotions as a physical sense, Empathy seemed to fit the story perfectly.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

I always write first.  When writing Empathy, it sat in my desktop folder under the working title of ‘Paranormal’ until I’d finished it. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Be careful what you wish for?  For most of us, the ability to read other people’s emotions could seem like an awesome thing to have.  I wanted to delve deeper, to see the other side.  If you loved someone, it would be amazing if you could feel that love returned, but what if it faded, or turned into indifference over time.  That would be heartbreaking. 

What books/authors have influenced your life?

I grew up with scifi and fantasy.  Anne McCaffrey was the first person who taught me that fantasy and romance could work hand in hand.  Her early book, Restoree is brilliant. I’ll always see her, and that book, as a strong influence.  Linda Howard is a fantastic storyteller, she’s the one who spurred my love of Romantic Suspense. Son of The Morning is still one of my favorite Linda Howard Books. 

What book are you reading now?

I just finished Archangels Shadows by Nalini Singh.  The Guild Hunter books are one of my stop-everything-must-read-now series. 

What books are in your to read pile?

Matthew Reilly - The Great Zoo of China – Matthew is a master at writing action scenes. 

Larissa Ione – Azagoth, a novella in her Demonica Series.
I’ve been impatiently waiting for the release of JR Wards new book in the Brotherhood of the Black Dagger series.  It’s out now and I can’t wait to dive into it.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

The next book in the Emotional Chains Series, Called Perception, is due out in August so I’m working hard on that at the moment.  I did just finish a prequel novella for my contemporary Romantic Suspense series, The Protectors, and I enjoyed revisiting my characters. 

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Perception – Emotional Chains book 2 – will continue the story of the empaths and will concentrate on some of the other characters.  We’ll learn more about the Drew Atherton and his mysterious daughter Sally and how their lives affect Kira Duke so much.  Plus we’ll visit the ongoing stormy relationship between headstrong Meredith Baron and her long suffering partner in crime, Detective Mike Stone.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Creating someone and something that never existed until I put my fingers on the keys. 

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Secret Cravings Publishing uses Award Winning artist Dawne Dominique for their covers.  Dawne’s work is incredible, she always manages to capture the essence of my story.  Everyone should check out her website.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep going.  Don’t worry if you don’t write in the latest trendy style, or if your writing breaks all the rules.  A wise person once told me that technical craft can be learnt, but a writers voice is instinctive and can’t be taught.  Create the story first, worry about the rules later. 

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

Neil Diamond’s Play me is featured in Empathy.  The lyrics of ‘for I’ve been lonely, in need of someone’ summed up the character of Kira Duke so perfectly, I had to include the song in the book. 

Emotional Chains
Book 1
Carolyn Wren

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Publisher:  Secret Cravings Publishing

Date of Publication: 23rd March 2015

ISBN:  978-1-63105-537-9

Number of pages:  229
Word Count: 74,918

Cover Artist:  Dawne Dominique

Book Description: 

What if you could sense the emotions of everyone around you?  What if you fell in love with someone you’d never even met?

Oliver Lord belongs to one of three special families, empaths who feel emotions as a physical sense.  Quiet and reserved, and accustomed to keeping his abilities hidden, Oliver is drawn inexorably to a woman he’s never met.  The woman who made his brother’s last year of life so happy.   

When Zoe Daniels, talented sculptor, loses her fianc√© before their wedding, she can’t imagine finding love again, until she meets Jasper’s unknown brother, a man so different, yet so achingly familiar to the man she adored. What is Oliver’s secret, and why is he so determined to keep her at arm’s length?

A violent kidnapping and murder forces the empaths from the shadows to seek justice for one of their own.  Oliver turns to Zoe, needing her comfort and love. Can she accept him for who he is?

Oliver and two powerful empathic friends need to track down the kidnappers before they strike again, but how do you solve a murder, when your only clue is emotion?

Available at  Secret Cravings   ARe   Amazon   BN

Excerpt 2

She sighed and leaned forward. “I’m about to tell you something. I would appreciate it if you’d listen with an open mind, because it’s going to shock you.”
Mike mirrored her position, leaning his elbows on the table. “Very little shocks me these days, Miss Baron.”
“I prefer Meredith, or Merri.”
He inclined his head in acknowledgement. “If you have information on this case, I need to hear it.”
She fiddled with the spoon from her chocolate. The first non-confident move he’d seen her make. “I think Freddy may have been killed because of abilities he had.”
“Freddy was empathic. He could feel emotions as a physical sense.”
Mike sagged, fighting a keen sense of disappointment and a growing anger. He thought they were on to something, but no. She was one of those loopy new-age nut jobs—a very beautiful new-age nut job.
“You don’t believe me.”
Mike shoved his coffee cup aside. “No, I don’t believe you, and if you’ve finished wasting my time, I have real work to do.”
“Wait,” she said as he stood.
“I’m a busy man, Miss Baron.”
“What happened in the alley?”
Mike hesitated with his palms flat on the table. “Nothing.”
“Liar. You had a panic attack.”
“Fine. I had a panic attack. I work ninety hours a week on a good week. I don’t eat or sleep properly, and I see a lot of terrible things. Sometimes the stress gets to me, okay?”
“I did it.”
“Bull dust.”
“This would be so much easier if you just believed me, but I see I’m going to have to prove it.”
“Prove what?” A rush of pure erotic heat raced through Mike’s body and headed straight between his legs. He sat down with a thud as those same limbs turned into wet noodles.
She leaned further across the table. “It’s funny, isn’t it, how we accept some emotions as a normal part of our daily life? Fear, pain, worry, anger, anxiety, guilt? We put them down as a standard occurrence caused by traffic jams, a suspicious person in our peripheral vision, a horrendous story on the evening news. You know what I mean, all sorts of things. But, sexual excitement? Desire? Lust? Arousal? Those we can’t explain away quite so easily, can we, detective?”
Her voice was a husky edged blade running over his skin. Heat. His whole body was a mass of pulsing aroused heat. Mike fought the almost uncontrollable urge to jerk his hips forward and sink into soft firm flesh. I’m having sex. Jesus, I feel like I’m having sex. All of the sensations were there. A series of highly carnal scenarios ran though his mind like a movie. Supple limbs wrapping around his, warm silky skin rubbing against him, moist lips panting with hot breath, fanning his face. His erection pressed against his zipper, and even that was unreasonably erotic. Mike was lost in a sensual storm, held captive by luminous blue eyes. The pressure built in his lower back, culminating in a blast of sensation, a tightening of his groin. Christ, I’m going to come.
Meredith broke eye contact, relaxed back in her chair, and picked up her hot chocolate.
Mikes impending orgasm, and all the associated sensations, vanished. He slumped against the table, heaving in great lungful’s of air. “Jesus Christ!”
“Nope. Just me.”
He gaped at her, his fingers curled into claws against the solid wood, and heart beating in double time. “What are you?”
The look she gave him was a mixture of exasperation and annoyance. “I’m not a what. I’m an empath. What do you say? Are you willing to listen to me now?”
“Yes,” he said, through a clenched jaw.

“Good.” She slid a gilt edged business card toward him, before standing and hitching a leather bag on her shoulder. “My place at eight tonight, address is on the card. Be prepared to listen. Oh, and Stone, drink your coffee. You look like you need it.”

About the Author:

Carolyn Wren is the award winning author of a seven part romantic suspense series called, The Protectors. Having spent her working life as a book-keeper and finance officer for international companies, she discovered a passion for fiction writing in 2009. Assuming it was some sort of mid-life crisis, she kept it a secret for six months. In an impulsive move, she entered The Emerald, a prestigious writing contest for unpublished authors run by the Romance Writers of Australia. Much to her utter shock, she won it. This was followed shortly after by a finalist placing in the International Daphne Du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.

Carolyn received a seven book contract with Secret Cravings Publishing in 2011.  Her debut published work Diplomat’s Daughter won the RWA ‘Ella’ award for novella of the year.

To date, The Protectors series has received four award nominations, resulting in two trophies.

Carolyn’s other works include a very naughty ghost erotic novella Ghosts of Grace Cottage that she wrote during a stormy winter day.  Her new series, the murder mystery urban fantasy Emotional Chains is her latest obsession.

She writes full time now, enjoys every minute of it, and loves hearing from readers.


Carolyn Wren said...

Thank you for hosting me and my book today. Carolyn Wren