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March 8, 2012


Hi, Carole and welcome to the PP.

How did you get from your day job to writing romance?  Actually, I still have a day job.  I write training programs for healthcare professionals.  I’m fortunate enough to work part-time, though and so I believe I have the best of both worlds.  I’d written feature articles about food and restaurants for several newspapers and had stories published in a number of Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  I still write some non-fiction, but I’ve always loved telling stories, and with fiction, I can let my imagination run wild.

What are your three favorite books of all time?  The first is an easy one.  It’s Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  The other two are Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen, and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. 

Morning, afternoon, or evening person?  I used to be an evening person, but being married to a cheerful morning person turned me into one as well. But I don’t think I’ll ever be as cheerful as he is in at the crack of dawn. I do, though, find I do my best writing in the morning.

Music--with or without? What kind?  Depends on my mood.  My tastes go from Edith Piaf to Rhianna. 

First or third POV?  I tried first, but it always turned into third.  So I stick with third POV.  It works for me.

How's tricks? Do you juggle multiple projects?  I thrive on juggling multiple projects.  Maybe it’s just my short attention span.  Right now I’m working on three completely different projects, a novel, a novella, and a book of short stories.  When I hit a wall on one, I switch to another. 

What's harder: beginning, middle, or the end?  I absolutely crave writing beginnings, dreaming about first and second paragraphs.  Endings are the hardest for me because I must confess I rarely plot my stories.  Plotting Princesses forgive me!

Revisions: Love 'em or hate 'em? They are the bane of my existence. I will even clean my house rather than start on revisions.  But, since I don’t pre-plot, revisions are necessary to my writing.  I believe my writing is stronger after I revise. 

How did you come up with that title?  Best advice anybody ever gave you?
My novella, Deranged Seating is the result of a brainstorming effort by a group of writers and friends.  The best advice anybody ever gave me was, “Show me. Don’t tell me”. 

Fill in this blank: My ideal fictional hero would think me gorgeous no matter… how much weight I put on. 

What's your favorite dessert?  Anything with chocolate chips.  If my hero loved me despite weight gain, I could eat brownies, cookies and cupcakes all day.

Do you write at home or someplace else?  I write primarily at home, but can scribble paragraphs at the doctor’s office, in the car, on a plane, just about anywhere an idea strikes.

What's your favorite type of hero/heroine and why?  I’m a sucker for an intelligent, mature heroine.  It’s easier for me to identify with that type of woman. 

Here's a blurb from "Deranged Seating" followed by an excerpt:

James is a Mike Hammer wannabe private eye stuck writing the newspaper society column.  His imagination is the only thing that keeps him sane through the endless shallow events his boss makes him cover.  Until one day his luck changes…

If people were colors, she’d be red. Not because of her hair. That defied description, since its hues changed with her surroundings. Not her skin either. Its bluish tones screamed cool. Yet her clothes skimmed her body as if afraid she’d scorch them with her touch. Her walk was like liquid metal, smooth and red hot. There, that color again. Red. Attention grabbing, pull-you-in red. Sure, it calls to you, but accepting the invitation could get you hurt. Real hurt.

Carole just bit into one of the cherry buns she made, wondering how Courtney can prevent James from getting killed.  Find Carole at Or at

"Deranged Seating" is available through and


Liese said...

Sounds like a fun read!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Carole: and welcome to the Plotting Princesses. I write short stories, too!

Sylvia said...

Hi Carole,
Welcome to Plotting Princesses and we like those seat of the pants writers as well. What kind of recipes are in your book?

C. Fowkes said...

Hi Everyone,
First off, in answer to Sylvia's question, the recipes fit the stories. For instance, in one of the stories, Out of Character, the hero can't resist bread pudding, so one of the recipes is for Blackberry bread pudding. In Deranged Seating, one of the recipes is Cherie's buns, named after a character.

Feedback I've gotten on Deranged Seating is the readers have enjoyed it. Maybe that's because I enjoyed writing it!

Vicki, Thanks for the welcome. I'm glad to find a fellow short story writer.

C. Fowkes said...

Vicki, What kind of short stories do you write?

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Carole: I write funny short romantic fiction. In fact, Handsome (one of the best resources) said something last night and I just scribbled down a draft. I'm all set if he keeps saying silly things.

Sasha Summers said...

Loved the questions and the answers! I agree about the endings too Carole. I rarely plot, though I normally have an idea of where it'll end up... So endings can be hard - and sometimes surprising! LOL!

Unknown said...

Your book sounds so fun! Anything like Castle? I chuckled at your "plot" remark. I absolutely cannot plot my work. Steals the fun out of the ending if I choose it. My characters pretty much tell me where to go (in my book - LOL). Great interview. Thank you so much for sharing. Love the Plotting Princesses. Crowned jewels always found here.

Elizabeth Essex said...

I loved your excerpt, Carole.

I jumped right into his head and wanted to walk around for a while and admire the view!

Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?

Kathy Ivan said...

Hi Carole and welcome to the Plotting Princesses.

Not all of us are plotters, we have quite a few pantsers in our group. We love to brainstorm ideas.

I'm kind of a hybrid myself; I will plot out to a certain extent in that I know my characters and I know certain things that need to happen since I write romantic suspense, but half the fun is finding out where the story will take me.

Congratulations on your release, it sounds terrific.

Phyllis said...

Welcome Carole!

Your book sounds fun. Don't worry about 'offending' the PP as a number of us are pantsers.

What triggers your story ideas? TV, Newspapers or watching people?


Anonymous said...

Hi Carole,
Your characters continue to fascinate me. I can’t believe these crazy stories come out sweet, kind Carole! I look forward to reading whatever you bring week after week. Keep it up!

C. Fowkes said...

Vicki, I love the idea of humor in romance. It's so much like real life!

C. Fowkes said...

Hi Sasha, Sometimes my endings even surprise me! Glad you liked my answers.

C. Fowkes said...

Hi Karen, my book isn't so much like Castle, although James, the main character would like to be that successful. It's good to hear I'm not the only one who doesn't plot. It makes it all such a delight when the ending comes to me.:)

C. Fowkes said...

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your comment about my excerpt. My ideas come from a lot of different places. Sometimes from a conversation I have with someone, sometimes my mind wanders and I think, What if...

C. Fowkes said...

Thanks, Kathy. I appreciate the chance to talk about my writing with Plotting Princesses.

C. Fowkes said...

Thanks, Kathy. I appreciate the chance to talk about my writing with Plotting Princesses.

C. Fowkes said...

Hi Phyllis, My ideas come more from wondering what if... For example, one of my stories is about a divorced woman trying to get out of her weight loss program. And they won't let her. I was a strange little kid, by the way. :)

C. Fowkes said...

Thanks, Rae. Love you.

Anonymous said...

I've read Deranged Seating and it's great--a combination of humor, clever, and gumshoe. So much fun. you have a set time of day to write? Do you write everyday? Or is it hit and miss?

C. Fowkes said...

Thanks, Patience. It's pretty much hit or miss. Sometimes I'm inspired but don't have the time. Other times I have the time but not the inspiration. My best writing time, though, is in the morning.