Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Author Interview: Carol McPhee

Once again, I foray into the world of interviewing with my latest victim, Carol McPhee. Carol writes contemporary romances. Her latest release, Natural Persuasion is about...well, let me let her tell you...

Kelly: Tell us a little about your recent release, Natural Persuasion.

Carol: Hi Kelly. I've always been curious about letters in the newspaper's personal column. It seemed to me there had to be stories of desperation and need behind each one. So it was within that perspective Natural Persuasion was written. Rancher Jordan McIntyre wants an heir and because of his reputation, no one in his British Columbia, Rocky Mountain community is making herself available. A marine biologist, Dr. Julie Reagan, realizes her 'best before' date is fast approaching and she is desperate for a child. She sees Jordan's ad and throws her inhibitions aside long enough to answer his plea.

Kelly: What is it about these characters that you found compelling?

Carol: Number one was the fact I based my heroine on my daughter, a marine biologist in Vancouver whose work involved research at the Vancouver Aquarium. I used observation and information gleaned from her to make the heroine's job and outlook realistic. Number two was the predicament the hero finds himself in. A past marriage disaster prevents him from wanting to make an emotional commitment to any woman. Julie's reaction on hearing this is to decide artificial insemination is the only way to go. Jordan's immediate attraction to her, with a strong reluctance for that process sets up a situation where he's determined to persuade Julie toward the natural route.

Kelly: You hear a lot about the alpha male, the beta male…which do you prefer?

Carol: I think it's more fun to write an alpha male and watch him tumble to the heroine's feet. Generally though, my heroes are a combination--alpha when necessary, becoming beta as the relationship develops.

Kelly: How did you get started writing? Can you tell us a bit about your first experience completing a manuscript?

Carol: I used to read Harlequins and one day thought I'd like to dream up a story. The trouble was, I couldn't get the one I came up with out of my mind. I thought if I wrote it down that would be the end of it. My husband insisted that if I was going to write I needed to learn the computer. He taught me--a lot more than I wanted to know!!! When I finished the manuscript, we went out to dinner to celebrate.

Kelly: What’s your writing process? Do you plot first, write later, or do you fly by the seat of your pants and see where the story takes you?

Carol: I get up at 4 am to write. I don't plot extensively. Sometimes I don't plot at all. Undercover Trouble wrote itself. I hadn't a clue what I was going to write when I sat at the keyboard each day. It just rolled off. What fun! So I would say I write by the seat of my pants and see where the characters take the story.

Kelly: What do you feel your greatest strength is as a writer?

Carol: I've been told that my greatest strength is my story-telling ability.

Kelly: What is your biggest challenge, the part you struggle with?

Carol: The part I struggle with is my verbosity. I love to use adjectives and take the long way to say something simple--the modern reader is too busy to waste time on such fluff. Lol.

Kelly: The question every writer loves…Where do those ideas come from?

Carol: My ideas usually come from discovering a locale that would make a nice setting. Then come the main characters and lastly the plot.

Kelly: What are you currently reading and what made you pick it up?

Carol: I spend a lot of time critiquing other writers' work. There's no time left to read. I have Deborah Hale's Bride Ship on hand and will hopefully delve into it shortly. I try to buy at least one of my writing group's works. She and her novel, My Lord Protector, influenced my writing more than anything else.

Kelly: Hollywood called and said they want to make Natural Persuasion into the movie and you get to pick your hero – so who do you cast?

Carol: Hands down, Pierce Brosnan. I would even change the age of my heroine for him. I would change anything for him, lol. Second choice --George Clooney. Sigh!

Kelly: Where can we go to pick up our copy of Natural Persuasion?

Carol: Unfortunately Wings ePress, Inc. doesn't have access to bookstores because it would entail paying a middleman distributor, Ingrams, increasing the cost of already expensive novels. Wings ePress sells my books online in electronic and tradepaperback forms and I have copies that I sell at craft fairs and to anyone interested.

Carol's latest release, Natural Persuasion, is availabe at Wings ePress now - don't miss it!


Carol McPhee said...

Thanks for giving me the chance to talk about my latest release, natural Persuasion, Kelly. I didn't mention that I have a wonderful online critique group called WePublish who keep my plots, characters, logic and writing heading in a closely guarded direction. Their support has brought substance to my dreams of entertaining readers. And of course, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada (RWAC) continues to be a guiding powerhouse of the possibilities available to a writer. Carol McPhee

annette said...

Wonderful interview! Love the title. It really suits the premise of the story.

Julianne MacLean said...

Great interview, Kelly and Carol! I love the cover of the book. It really makes me want to go there - to that place and to your story! And you have good taste in heroes. I'd do anything for Pierce, too :).


Anonymous said...

I love these interviews Kelly. Congratulations on your upcoming book Carol. :)

Carol McPhee said...

I haven't been able to answer the comments as all at once I couldn't get online. My hero today is the second guy we talked to at Eastlink.

I liked the cover too, though it wasn't exactly as I asked for. I wanted a helicopter dangling a Ford 150 4x4 over a ravine. lol. However the cabin in an alpine bowl was my second suggestion. The cover artist added the lake, and mountains. I think pictures of the Rockies instantly suggest romance. You ought to see the cover that will be on Retreat To Danger, a suspense coming out in April. It automatically spells out ominous! Carol

Julie S said...

Great interview! I can't believe you get up at 4am to write - I feel like such a slacker now! :-)