Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Writing Buddy Wednesday: Carolyn Wren

Welcome to the latest installment of WRiting Buddy Wednesday. Today, I have the vivaciously funny Carolyn Wren. I have gotten to know Carolyn from the DarkSiders but more so from the Riding the Waves Conference Committee. Each of us is running a social event, so you many emails go back and forth between us working things out. 

Your most recent release is The Hostage. Can you describe this book for us?

My latest release is The Hostage (The Protectors Book 4) It’s the story of a secret and enigmatic covert operative known only as Omega. After she rescues a businessman held for ransom, he turns the tables and is determined to track her down and thank her. Of course there is a nasty villain in the piece, equally determined to locate the elusive agent.

Please tell us a little about your road to publication. 

I’m pretty sure I didn’t follow any of the rules. I woke up one day and just started typing. Three years later I had sixteen stories on my desktop. It wasn’t until I joined the RWA that I began to learn. You know, just a few essentials, like how to set a margin, what the term head hopping meant, and how I shouldn’t be doing it! I bit the bullet and submitted an entry to my very first contest, the Emerald. 

After I got through to the second round I began to toy with the idea of being published. My seven part romantic suspense series varied in length from 19k to 50k, I wondered if getting it published in its current form was even possible. Secret Cravings Publishing kept coming up on my radar. They’re not the biggest kid on the block but something about them felt right, it’s the only way I can describe it. I wrote my very first submission letter for part one in the series, Diplomat’s Daughter. They said yes!  When I won the Emerald, I wrote again, asking if they would be interested in the entire series. They said yes again. I’ve never regretted that decision. They’re a wonderful company to work with. Now I’m on this really crazy learning curve, which isn’t so much a curve as a high speed rocket. And I’m loving every minute of it. 

What attracted you to the romantic suspense genre?

Bad boys and danger, what’s not to love? I grew up reading books combining romance and suspense, my mum adored them. Daphne Du Maurier, Mary Stewart, Tami Hoag, Iris Johansen. The elements of danger made the story so intriguing, the romance so tantalising. I didn’t set out specifically to write romantic suspense. My damn heroines and heroes kept getting themselves into trouble and needed rescuing. And I quickly discovered how much fun it is to write a really nasty villain.

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Ella Award (new published novella award by RWAus)? How does it feel to be nominated with your first ever publication?

I kept bursting into giggles for three days. Pretty embarrassing, because on the second day I was on a train at the time. It’s impossible to say how much this means to me. I loved the idea of a novella contest (well done RWA) but Diplomat’s Daughter was my first published work, how could I possibly enter? For weeks I procrastinated, printing out the entry form and staring at it. In the end I figured what’s the very worst that can happen? I’ll come last, and that’s okay. I’ll have supported a wonderful new contest. 

When Raewyn emailed me with the finals news she asked me not to tell anyone except my family until the official announcement. I told her my family could wait, can I tell my publisher? I emailed Secret Cravings before I emailed anyone else. I loved sharing the joy with them. They’ve always been so supportive of me. I did tell my husband shortly afterwards, he was thrilled too. At the Fremantle conference I’ll receive my Ella finalist pin and my first sale ribbon. That’s pretty awesome.

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in between?

I tell myself I’m a plotter. It isn’t true. I have a nice clear concise plan in my head which goes out the window when my fingers hit the keys. When I get a story idea, I need a beginning, and end, and a love scene. Everything else comes as I type.

What are you working on now? And what’s in the near future for Carolyn Wren?

Book 5 of The Protectors, The Widowers Child, is scheduled for release on the 13th August. I’m waiting on edits for that one. Book 6, The Undercover Agents, need to be with my editor by 1st August for a release on the 18th October. I’m doing some revisions for that.

Last week I submitted a ghost story novella to a publisher. That’s exciting for me as it’s the first of my spec fic stories I’ve ever submitted. And I’m pitching a full length paranormal story at the Fremantle conference.

In my spare time, pause for laughter, I’m trying to finish a mammoth vampire trilogy I began writing for a friend for her birthday. It started as a novella and currently stands at around 550k. Not quite sure what happened there…

I also have a regency romance I’m keen to get back to, I love the opening chapter. Historical romance is another genre I really love, and it’s great fun trying one of my own. I wrote an erotic piece last month when I was bored with editing, I’d like to finish that.

The future? I have no idea. As long as I can keep writing, I don’t mind. 

What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 

It sounds cliché, but all of it! I love the initial idea that pops into my head, usually at 3am. Apparently my muse is an insomniac. I love the thrill of opening a new folder on my desk top, because that means I’m committing to a story. I even love edits! Because every time my editor picks me up on an error, or a bad habit, it’s something else I learn, and I take that knowledge into the next story.

What are you currently reading?

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh, and its great! I’m only up to chapter 2, as writing deadlines, and planning duties for the Fremantle conference are keeping me crazy busy. I might take a day off, curl up on the sofa and read the whole thing in one sitting. Sounds like a great way to spend a rainy winter’s day, don’t you think?

Thanks, Carolyn!

You can find Carolyn at, her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.



s e gilchrist said...

Fabulous learning more about you Carolyn and your books. I've loved your covers ever since the Diplomat's Daughter was released. Thanks too for sharing your opinion of your publisher. Sounds like you have many more books to come! Congratulations on your Ella finalling. I agree that first story published seems to hold a special place in our hearts. Hope to see you in Freo.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I will most certainly see you in Freo. Eleni and I will be the ones running around like maniacs organizing things. Grab us for a hot chocolate, we'll need one :)

Suzi Love said...

Great interview, ladies.
Carolyn, Loved learning more about you and your books.
Eleni, you're gorgeous as always.

Eleni Konstantine said...

Thanks ladies for dropping in!

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