I interviewed Carol K. Carr when her debut novel, India Black, about the unconventional adventures of a witty Victorian madam, first released - when GLIAS was a brand-new blog. I wanted to see what she's been up to since, and she has some great new releases in the works! The novella India Black and the Rajah's Ruby will release digitally on December 31, and India's third full-length adventure, India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy, will release in February 2013. Here's our latest interview.
Simone - Our last interview was before your first release. How have things changed since then?
Carol - Getting the first book published is such a speculative effort that when it happens you tend to think you've finally made it, you've reached the summit. Then you realize you're only half way up the mountain. I'd compare it to being drafted by the NFL. You think you've achieved your dream. And then you learn that you have to keep practicing and play hard every Sunday or the dream is over. So my attitude has changed and I have adopted a professional approach to writing. I crunch out my 2,000 words five days a week, even if I don't feel like it. I work hard at marketing my books by reaching out to bloggers and readers. I spend countless hours reviewing and revising. I meet my deadlines. It's no longer a fun hobby. It's work (although it's work you can do in your pajamas and you don't have to put up with an irritating boss).
Simone - What is in your fridge right now?
Carol - You'd be hard-pressed to put together a meal out of my fridge at the moment. We have about two dozen bottles of marinades, chutney, condiments and salad dressings. One bottle of tonic. Bottled water. One beer. A half-empty bottle of wine (that's rare-we usually finish it if we open it). Olives, dill pickles, and a really good English cheddar. And some green onions which we forgot to use and should be thrown away. I guess we'll be dining out tonight.
Simone - What is your favorite deadline food? (Yes, it's the holiday season and I have food on the brain!)
Carol - It varies. This year I was finishing India #4 around Thanksgiving, which is when Sam's Club brings out the peanut brittle. I'm too embarrassed to tell you how many containers of that have been in my pantry in the last two months.
Simone - Who should play India Black in a movie?
Carol - I'd choose one of two British actresses. Hayley Atwell looks like India as I envision her and is great at playing bad girls. But I think I'd go with Emily Blunt, who has terrific comedic timing and a real attitude.
Simone - The embarrassing manuscript no one has ever seen (every writer has one) - what was it about?
Carol - Someone is threatening the life of the Bob Smith (I've blocked this from my mind-I can't even remember the character's name), the arrogant and overbearing CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Is the culprit the smarmy chief financial officer, who wants to replace Smith? Or the former employee Smith humiliated and fired? Or Smith's wife, who has tired of his crude behavior and found love in the arms of the golf pro at the country club?
The fact that I was once an Executive Vice President of a Fortune 500 company and was privy to all the office politics going on behind the scenes might, just might, have had something to do with the choice of topic. In retrospect, in worked better as therapy than a novel.
Carol - I've just finished India #4, which completes my contract with Berkley Prime Crime. I'll be waiting to see if they're interested in continuing the series. In the meantime, I'm putting the finishing touches on a mystery involving a young female deputy, and outlining a thriller with a female martial artist as the protagonist. I also need to produce one more short story about India, which will be published by Berkley in digital form. But I'm not doing anything at all until January. Time for a break, and some peanut brittle.
Thanks, Carol! I can relate to the peanut brittle - on my last deadline I nearly lived on chocolate pudding cups. Readers, what is your go-to stress food?
Happy holidays everyone - to all of our readers, our wonderful guests this year, and to my fellow GLIAS writers!