Best-selling romance author Carly Phillips talks about her witty series, projects, writer habits and more!
Hi Carly, and welcome on the new and improved Veronika Asks! Please introduce yourself to our readers…
Hi, Veronika … I’m Carly Phillips … a bestselling author of romance novels or romantic fiction, take your pick in description. I write what I love which is romance – a happy ending.
I’ve been published for almost ten years … and love every minute of what I do.
If you could describe yourself with three words…
Sensitive, loyal, nonconfrontational.
You’re Cancer, aren’t you? They are said to be imaginative, empathetic but also easily hurt. Would you define yourself as a typical Crab?
Oh yes, I am a typical Crab. I value my close friendships and I am very loyal but I am easily hurt and can withdraw for that reason. I can be moody depending on things going on in my life and even my writing / career can affect my moods. I am definitely a Moon Child.
Cross my Heart is available in paperback today. Tell us more about this novel.
CROSS MY HEART is the story of Ty and Lacey, childhood sweethearts who are separated by circumstances – they fake her death to save her from going back to an abusive uncle – and they reunite years later so she can reclaim her inheritance before he does – or before someone prevents her from doing so. It’s a love story and it also introduces Hunter and Molly who have their own story in SEALED WITH A KISS due out September 25th.
You’re working on several series, including the Simply Series, Costas Sisters Series, Hot Zone Series, Chandler Brothers Series… would you like to quickly sum up those series and tell us which one you ‘d advise to a reader who wants to start reading your books?
SIMPLY SERIES – republished stories that were written for the Harlequin Temptation series of books – very hot and sensual stories that begin with Kayla and Catherine Luck, sisters who are very different – and these are some of my favorite heroes. Deeply sexy stories! In order: SIMPLY SINFUL, SIMPLY SCANDALOUS, SIMPLY SENSUAL, SIMPLY SEXY
COSTAS SISTERS – UNDER THE BOARDWALK and SUMMER LOVIN’ – each the story of twin sisters – Arianna and Zoe Costas – these are my wacky Greek family stories. Lots of fun and of course yummy heroes – coincidentally in August on my website I am giving away UNDER THE BOARDWALK and MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, DVD.
THE HOT ZONE – HOT STUFF, HOT NUMBER, HOT ITEM, and in July 2008, HOT PROPERTY – my athlete stories – I adore these – wacky, fun, family oriented, hot and sexy – The stories aren’t typical athlete stories – the first three are my Jordan sisters – who come to live with their sports agent eccentric uncle as children and become public relations experts in the sports business. Of course they end up with jock heroes!
THE CHANDLER BROTHERS – THE BACHELOR, THE PLAYBOY, THE HEARTBREAKER – these books put me on the map – Kelly Ripa picked THE BACHELOR as the first romance on a nationally televised bookclub. Family oriented stories about a mother who fakes illness to get her bachelor sons to settle down and give her grandchildren!
How do you write (where, when, how)? How do you react to the writer’s block?
Wherever, whenever I can. I wake up around six AM for the kids, check email, and then I try to do 5 pages or more each day so that I write two books a year. It’s been crazier lately as the kids get older. Funny but I thought teenagers would give me MORE time to write, not less, LOL! For the last two years, I’m an Apple/Mac girl. I write on a laptop … or if I’m in the car, an Alphasmart when I’m in places with the kids.
Who were you before starting to write? How did you start writing?
There was a “me” before I started to write? I can’t remember NOT writing. I always told stories in my head. Who knew that not everyone did? I was a lawyer (hated it) but didn’t mind the student part that came first – which is maybe why writing isn’t a chore but a love? Who knows! I was home with a colicky baby, reading romance when I decided to try and write one. Bought a “how to” book, outlined it (see a pattern here?) and just began!
Do you consider yourself a Chick Lit writer? What do you think about all those attacks against Chick Lit (such as “Chick Lit is dull and samey”)?
I don’t consider myself a Chick Lit writer because I consider myself a Romance Writer. For me, the distinction is that Chick Lit doesn’t guarantee a “happy ending” between hero and heroine; and Chick Lit also doesn’t (in my mind and I could be wrong) guarantee monogamy between hero and heroine once they meet. So this is MY distinction and why I don’t consider myself a Chick Lit writer. That said, it’s unfair to call it dull and samey because romance also has it’s similarities … it’s why I come back as a reader over and over again. Just my two cents. Every genre has its own distinctions. I respect them all.
Do you have any advice for young writers?
I get asked this a lot and for this reason, I have a website section:
But it always comes back to PERSISTENCE and not giving up, developing a thick skin, and if you want to write romance and learn, join RWA and your local chapter (www.rwanational.org)
Details are in this section though. 🙂
What do you think about eBooks?
No thoughts one way or the other. I don’t specifically write for e-format at the moment
So, TV addict, you said it gives you many ideas… explain yourself 🙂
It takes just one little spark. For example – I’m planning a new series after the Hot Zone and the idea of someone who cons people because it’s all she knows came from a TV character … and yet everything else is my own. I take a mini concept and tweak it. I just need the spark to speak to me. It can be character, it can be plot. But in the end, it is my story, my characters, etc. Also Tom Cruise having Dyslexia – I read it in People Mag. years ago – years later, Brandon Vaughn in Hot Stuff came from that spark.
And now the famous Nothing-To-Do-With-Books question : You’ve just found 100 $ in your pocket, how will you use that money?
Split it between my girls.
Which books would you advise for a perfect beach read? Have any favorite authors?
All my fellow Plotmonkeys (I have a blog with other bestselling authors) http://www.plotmonkeys.com/ (visit us! We blog fun, give away prizes etc.) – Janelle Denison, Julie Leto, Leslie Kelly … I love Rachel Gibson, Susan Donovan, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, more recently I read Michelle Bardsley’s light vampire books …
Would you like to add something, Carly?
Just an apology that it took me so long to do this interview … I had a deadline …
I’d love to list where to find me on the Internet:
Facebook – still need help on this one, LOL
And if you find me from this interview, be sure to let me know, OK?
“Tea of Coffee?”
Saturday evening. Going out or reading a book ? Go out early for dinner; come home to read for the night
Holidays. Beach or Mountains ? BEACH
Watching a movie. Comedy or Drama (or something else ?) ? ROMANTIC COMEDY (what else?)
Traveler or not ? NOT
Sporty or not ? NOT
TV show: still miss ALIAS – Love HOUSE and GREY’s ANATOMY
Movie: Music and Lyrics (Today. Ask me tomorrow and it might change)
Book: romance – almost anything light
Food: milk chocolate, icecream
Music: mellow – old – Elton John, Neil Diamond
Favourite place to write in: on vacation, at the beach
Quote or motto : IT IS WHAT IT IS
Thank you, Carly!
You can visit Carly on her website http://www.carlyphillips.com