Carolyn Crane writes the Disillusionist Trilogy: Mind Games, Double Cross (Ballantine) & a soon-to-be-titled third and final book late 2011. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daring cats. When she’s not writing novels or working her marketing job, she can be found reading in bed, running, helping animals, or eating Mexican food.
Justine Jones is a hopeless hypochondriac whose life is crippled by fear…until one day a handsome, tortured mastermind named Packard peers into her soul and tells her he can help her turn her fear into a crime-fighting power. Justine resists until she gets a taste of the peace Packard can promise, and she joins his squad. But things get complicated when she falls for one of her most dangerous targets.
CAT: How often to you get lost in a story?
CAROLYN: Every night! Getting lost in stories is one of the things that makes life worth living. Ever since I learned to read and all I wanted to do was be alone with my book, getting lost in a story was a value of mine, and you guys ROCK for making it your site name! I won’t go to sleep at night until I’ve spent some quality time getting lost in a story.
CAT: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
CAROLYN: I am on a huge historicals tear. I didn’t grow up reading historical romance (And, OMG, I so wish I had! My teen years would have been much better, I think). Anyway, the upside of that is, I can read awesome books for the first time. What book did I just start last night? Flowers from the Storm by Kinsale. Woo hoo!! Of course, I also love urban fantasy, fantasy, contemporaries, paranormals, mysteries and romantic suspense.
CAT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
CAROLYN: What I’d like to say is that I take the day off and go to a spa, or, crack open champagne in the bubble bath, or celebrate with a meal out. Even a measly pizza! You know what’s really sad? It sort of seems like there is never a defined moment when I’ve finished a book. It’s almost as if the finish line is always getting moved. For example, maybe I’ve finished a draft, but it’s time to revise. Or, I’ve finished the revision, but I don’t feel like celebrating until my critique partner weighs in. Then, maybe my CP has weighed in and I’ve revised, but I’m like, well, let’s see what the agent says. Later: will it sell? Then, well, let’s see what changes the editor demands. Then eventually, when it is finished FINISHED, I’m in the middle of a different book. Sad!! I need a book finishing routine! I need to honor one of those moments in there, even if the book is not FINISHED finished.
CAT: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
CAROLYN: I was really nervous at first on whether I should read reviews. Would bad ones demoralize me? Would good ones make me big-headed and puffed up and lazy? When my first book came out in March 2010, well, I couldn’t help but read all the reviews. And it was fine! I got reviews of both kinds, and survived intact. These days, I don’t tend to seek out reviews, but if they seek me out, either the reviewer has dropped me a note or I stumble upon them, then I read them - unless I’m in a vulnerable place, having a bad day or something. I’m not one of those writers who tracks Amazon and Goodreads. (in fact, I go months staying away from Amazon.) Still, in general I am interested in how people are reacting, and I do learn from reviews. It’s different than what I learn from a CP, though. With a CP it’s specifics. With reviews, it’s more like, I can see what is working for people, how my characters are coming off, what people are misunderstanding, what people are enjoying. Reviews let me know how well I’ve managed the readers’ perceptions, in a way. Seeing how readers interact with my stories can tell me a lot, actually.
CAT: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
CAROLYN: This is a really strange and interesting question! I think story-telling is a natural human skill, or at least widespread—we all tell little stories, even if it’s bits of gossip, or what I saw on the way home from work. I sort of think story-telling is easier for me, too. Sometimes if I’m stuck in how to go at a chapter or story, I’ll step back and think, how would I tell it to a bored friend? How would I need to set it up? So I use it as a touchstone, a guide.
CAT: What’s your favorite kid joke?
CAROLYN: As a kid I LOVED this: Why do pug dogs have flat noses? Because they like to chase parked cars!
CAT: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
CAROLYN: There’s nothing like complete strangers writing you and telling you what your books meant to them, and just saying thanks, I enjoyed your books. Or, a kind word about your work and an invite to be facebook friends or something like that. That is seriously a dream come true, every time it happens.
My ultimate dream would be to quit my job as a marketing writer and support myself with this. I’m a pretty long ways off from that! But, a girl can keep dreaming.
CAT: What do you do to unwind and relax?
CAROLYN: Take a bath with a book, or eat in front of the TV. Because I am SO glamorous!
CAT: Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why? Most?
CAROLYN: How much do I love this question, because I don’t have to think about dentistry or the state of medicine, I only have to think about clothes. Well, I’ve always enjoyed the Empire waist style of dresses. So, that puts me around the Regency era, right? Otherwise, I’d go really Medieval. I think I’d enjoy the more simple, rough-spun clothes. Okay, as you see, I’m not imagining myself as royalty. I’d be least interested in anything involving a corset and bustle! Or men wearing powdered wigs and powdered faces and patches on their faces.
CAT’S GOTTA ASK: If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be and why?
CAROLYN’S GOTTA ANSWER: Red red red. I love the color red. I don’t know why, though.
GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
Yes. This is totally unrelated to my interview, (and it’s for all readers here, fan or not!) but I’ve got a few digital releases coming up, and I have been wondering how many readers out there have an ereader, or read on a digital device of some kind, and how many are print only. Or are you a mix?
One commenter will a free copy of Mind Games! International entrants welcome. Just leave a comment with your email, (you don’t have to leave your email if I can get it by clicking on your profile). I’ll pick a winner when I sit down to my computer this Saturday morning.
For more information about Carolyn and her books: