I have the distinct honor of hosting Carol Culver today. Carol is good friends with Catherine Coulter, and I met her at an author’s lunch at Catherine place a couple of years ago. She’s a fascinating woman, travels all over the world teaching writing, on cruises, mostly. I am not a cruiser – that whole can’t-swim-to-shore thing freaks me out – but I might be willing to make an exception for my friend. Enjoy your introduction to her wonderful world!
Set your music to shuffle and hit play. What’s the first song that comes up?
There's no music in the room where I work. It's hard enough to concentrate on those elusive characters and their problems without distraction. So here are the rules: no noise, no talking, no email, and no music.
Now that we’ve set the mood, what are you working on today?
A new series about a family of five sisters, which coincidentally resembles my daughter-in-law's family. She's delighted, but she hasn't read it yet.
What’s your latest book about?
The newest book I'm writing is about a woman who gets sucked into being a bridesmaid for the 7th time. This time the wedding takes place on a cruise ship. Sound romantic? Not if you get seasick. But what if the ship's physician - Dr. McDreamy - prescribes dancing under the stars, plenty of fresh air, and some TLC?
Where do you write, and what tools do you use?
I have a spacious office in my house in a redwood forest. From my window I have an ocean view which inspires me, especially when I see a cruise ship sailing out into the Pacific. Did I mention I love being at sea? I often teach writing classes aboard cruise ships. I'll be sailing in April to Tahiti and other palm-fringed islands.
What was your favorite book as a child?
I loved the Heidi books, the ones where she lives in the Alps milking cows and eating cheese. It sounded like a wonderful life, once she won over her cold and frightening grandfather. Lots of conflict and a strong and plucky little heroine. Just like I wanted to be.
What book are you reading now?
I plan to read every book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, the queen of romance novels. Great characters, wonderful settings and to-die-for heroes. I'm currently in the middle of WHAT I DID FOR LOVE.
What’s your favorite bit of writing advice?
Keep writing whether you feel like it or not. What's that Nora Roberts says? "Put your butt in the chair and some words on the page." And that means every day. Day after day. Got it?
What do you do if the words aren’t flowing?
What, words flow? You mean like water or wine? Not in my life. I just keep pounding them out.
What would you like to be remembered for?
For making readers smile and even laugh out loud sometimes. It would be great if someone said, "Yes, I get it. That's just what it feels like." But I'll be happy just to finish a new book and publish every few months. It's the world's best job. I know because I've tried everything else - receptionist, ESL teacher, PR on a hospital ship, French translator and librarian.
Carol Grace is the author of over 40 romance novels for Harlequin, a mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, a YA series for Berkley Jam, a mystery series for Midnight Ink, and two romances for Pocket Books. She lives in California on a mountain overlooking the ocean and she travels the world for work and fun. Next month she's off to French Polynesia.
And here's a little more about the latest book Carol just released on April 1, THE BILLIONAIRE'S BRIDE:
Abbie Porter caught her French fiancé cheating on her, then she flunked out of cooking school in Paris. Feeling like a failure Abbie leaves for Bella Vista, her home in California, determined to get a new job but never ever to get married.
When she arrives at her family’s woodsy property she’s met by Jake Crenshaw, the new neighbor and Silicon Valley entrepreneur. It’s love at first sight for the dot-com billionaire who is not only rich, he’s gorgeous, friendly and sexy too.
But Abbie keeps her cool around Jake. She knows better than to fall for the first man she meets after her disastrous affair in Paris. Though Jake invests in her new food truck business, helps drum up business and buys her a puppy, she tells him they can be friends, nothing more. After a few weeks of working together making French crepes in the food truck, and after Jake has repaired the flat tire on her truck and fixed the faulty griddle and eaten every test crepe she creates, she finally falls madly in love. But Jake has to take a business trip which leaves Abbie to run the truck by herself. To her surprise she’s inundated by hungry customers and her food truck is a big success.
Turns out Jake has secretly supported her venture by underwriting the cost of the lunches and sending customers her way. When she finds out she’s furious and determined to make it on her own . . .
Get your own copy of THE BILLIONAIRE'S BRIDE to see how it all turns out!