Carolyn Crane

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.

Mind Games

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.


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:


  1. I do a mix of books. Right now, I read digitals on my computer but I am planning on buying a kindle within the next 2 months. I don't think I will ever stop buying print books though. I love the look and feel of a print book.

  2. Carolyn, thanks for joining us today. I love the blurb for your story. A mental health issue turned into a crime fighting power. Fabulous.

    I have an iPad and do most of my reading on that. As much as I love paperbacks, the old eyes just can't read the teeny tiny print some publishers like to use.

  3. Carolyn: thank you for stopping by. Love the excerpt, and the fact that you have two daring cats ;) But I think the most profound thing I took away from your interview is that reading makes life worth living for. Imagine, where we would be without reading. Wow, you just may have opened the secret of the universe ;) Thanks for being here. Looking forward to reading your books.

  4. thanks for a great interview, Carolyn :) I haven't had the chance to read your books yet, but I hope to catch up soon...

    as for ebooks I've to say that I prefer a printed book - I love to touch it, put it on my bookshelf, reorganize them... ever and anon I read a ebook but it's not the same...
    wish you all the best, Melanie

  5. Hey, thanks so much to Cat and my other fabulous hostesses for having me! This was fun, and I love your questions, and your ideas about reading.

  6. Carolyn Crane is here! How cool! I have been reading your hilarious blog forever.

    I'm sure you've heard this before, but Flowers from the Storm... you're in for pure awesomeness. One of my favorite books ever.

    I mix up ereading and paper reading. I have a Sony but I think I'm going to get a Kindle this year. I love both for different reasons, and I don't think I'd give up either one!

  7. Hi Carolyn,

    Both your books and blog sound intriguing! And I am holding out for an iPad before I make the move to an ereaderl

  8. I read a mix of both print and digital if I see a print book I gotta have I grab it but if theres one I want that I would have to order I head straight to the internet and get a digital copy I hate waiting to get my hands on a book lol.The Disillusionist Trilogy sounds great cant wait to read it .

  9. Thanks for your wonderful books, and an entertaining as well as informative interview. I use a mix of Kindle and "real" books. Like the convenience and speed of ebooks, but love the feel and smell of print. (Of course I owned a bookstore for many years, and am 72).
    Tina P

  10. Welcome to GLIAS, Carolyn.

    I'm a mixture. Some on the Kindle, some I have to have in print!


  11. *waves at Carolyn*
    Great interview!
    as for your question:
    If I can chose between getting a book as print or ebook I chose the print version, but if it's only available as ebook and I think I will love it I buy it anyway and read it on my trusty notebook.

  12. I love the premise of your series. I write UF myself, and I'm always interested to see other people's take on the genre. Enjoyed your interview very much!

  13. I have an ereader but I still love books. I'm trying to cut down on my purchasing of books now and trying to only buy ebooks. It's a little hard but needs to be done.

    This book looks really good. Something that I definitely want to read.


  14. Thanks everybody for stopping by and all these well wishes and great insights about how people are reading. Keep them coming! I've been so curious lately.

    I never answered the question myself! I have a Sony, and I read a mix of print and ebook. I love to underline and write in margins when I get excited about a book, so sometimes it has to be paper.

  15. Hi Carolyn,
    Thanks for stopping by. I love my e-reader. But I also love books -- especially nice hard covers and trade paperbacks. So, I find I'm mostly using my e-reader for books that are out in mass market. Maybe not the smartest "save money strategy", but to me the beauty and enjoyment of some of the great YA books I've recently read in hardcover is the way they've been bound... The "package".

  16. I have a kindle that I am addicted to! I like the idea of being able to carry around over a thousand of my books! I re-read the ones I love a lot, so this works great for me.

    susanmik AT gmail DOT com

  17. I have a Kobo eReader but I am mixed in my preferences - for most I prefer print, but there are already over 100 books save on my eReader so, yeah, a mix. Definitely.

    What sort of eReleases are you planning? Anything in the Disillusionist world? (cue the puppy eyes)

    vaderfangirl (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  18. Hey puppy eyes Calliope! lol. I'm self-pubbing a disillusionist-related novella in a small antho with a couple other authors this summer. We're releasing the cover and details verra soon. It's sort of a disillusionists book 2.5!

  19. I read a mix of paper books and e-books. I probably, still read more paper, but I'm slowly getting more e copies.

  20. I am a mixer. I love the smell of paper books, but I love how handy it is to haul a bunch of books on my nook when I have to travel for work... :)

    dreyshouse at gmail dot com

  21. Hi Carolyn, thanks for the interview :) Read so many praises for your books, and I hope I can read them in future :D

    For the answer, I don't have an e-reader, I still save the money to buy it, hope I can buy e-reader this year (I'm torn between Kindle or Nook, what's the better e-reader between this two?).. For now, I read my e-books copy in my computer with e-book reader application. I'm choose paperback too, when it come to my favorite author's books, find the secondhand edition or read the translated version.

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

    sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com

  22. Well, I was STRICTLY print. I just LOOOOOVE the smell of a book. The feel of the pages. How, as I turn the page I can tell I'm getting that much closer to the end....

    I just had to read a book on my Kindle for my Mac (Haven't purchased an e-reader yet). I liked it. You never realize when you see an author "type/say" "I got 15000 words today!!!!" what that really means! With my Kindle for Mac, there it is!! I knew at the end of the book I had to finish that I had 2000 words and that was approximately 2 to 3 chapters. WOW!!!! Ya'll are amazing!!!

    These books sound amazing! I am so thankful I caught the "reading bug" from my dad!!!!

    blazesandbubbles AT gmail DOT com

  23. I read through my e-reader, but I love seeing the books on my bookshelf, arranged according to the name of the author alphabetically, and I love the smell of new books. Hehe! :D

    I'm so glad this giveaway is international! This book sounds really interesting, and I would love to read it! I live in India and it is really difficult to get books like these in my state. Believe it or not, there's not a single bookstore in my city so every month I travel to the next city to go to the bookstore there. It's sheer torture, I tell you! :(

    This is my e-mail: jdesouza1310 at gmail dot com


  24. I do not have an e-reader. I do have an iPod touch and I could read on that but it's tiny so I don't. I'm pretty much a print only kind of reader :)

    email: lostdragonfound at gmail dot com

  25. I read print because I still love the thrill of opening up a hard copy.


  26. I read both e-books and hard copies, though I mostly prefere print.
    Thanks for this awesome interview and giveaway ^^

    eveningreen (at) gmail (dot) com

  27. excellent question, one that I have been on the fence about for a while. I love the feel of a book in hand and the smell of old books and new books. An e reader would be nice for trips, but what happens when it dies? (like my IPOD, My laptop....) When I invest in a printed book I have it forever. It is not contingient on software and electricity.

    I think it also boils down to my food storage and emergency preparedness hobby. I keep thinking if it all hits the fan and we are without modern life, a book in hand will make me feel better. I would be able to escape for a little while because I have a print copy. My parents and grandparents read to me - I want my kids to remember the sound of a page turning and snap of a closing book the way i do.

    I am just old fashioned and this is the longest comment I have ever made. Sorry! :D

    jennifer kjovus

  28. I absolutely adore hard copies. But an ereader is convenient at times.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  29. Hi everybody! I've really enjoyed reading all these comments - thanks for answering my big question! This is such great insight - as an author, I do wonder about how people's reading habits are changing. Okay, drumroll...according to the magic of random.org, our winner is: DANIELLE GORMAN!

    Danielle, I'm going to email you and get your addy information. Thanks so much for playing. I do run quite a few contests, many of them international, and I always announce them on my blog, so check back there for other giveaways, and I hope you all are enjoying a lovely weekend!