Friday, August 24, 2012

Interview with Cara Marsi


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
My latest is a sexy romance novella, “Storm of Desire.” Here’s the blurb:
Corporate attorney Samantha Greco needs some peace and quiet to come to a decision about her career. Instead, while an icy nor’easter rages outside, she finds herself trapped in a cottage on Fenwick Island with Aiden Rourke, a man she used five years ago when she ran from the heartbreak of her fiancĂ©’s betrayal.

Aiden Rourke has loved Sam for years. For one glorious night she was his. But then she fled, wounding his ego and his heart. Thrown together again, they soon discover time hasn’t diminished their fiery passion for each other. Only Aiden has ever been able to melt Sam with just a look or a touch. But the fear that she’s like her mother, who used men mercilessly, scares Sam to death.

The storm outside is nothing compared to the storm of desire, fear, and guilt raging inside Sam. But during their wild weekend together, Sam and Aiden draw closer and realize their all-consuming passion for each other masks deeper needs and desires. When the storm ends, will they go their separate ways? Or will they find the courage to face the future together as one?

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers? I’ve published several books with traditional publishers. I’ve got two books now with publishers: “Murder, Mi Amore,” with The Wild Rose Press and “Cursed Mates,” with Noble Romance Publishing. My first book, “A Catered Affair,” was published in hardback in 2003 by Avalon Books. I have the digital rights and published it under a new title “A Catered Romance.” I also added back the love scene I had to take out for Avalon.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
A friend was having success with indie publishing and urged me to try it. But I was reluctant. I got the rights back to my romantic suspense, “Logan’s Redemption,” with The Wild Rose Press and submitted it to another epub that took previously published works. When they passed on it, I decided to self-publish. One of my best decisions ever. “Logan’s Redemption” has been my bestselling book. It’s a previous Amazon bestseller and has been in the top 100 suspense books on Apple. Once I indie published I was hooked and I’ve never looked back.

What is your writing process?
First I get the idea. It could be from a snippet of something that happened to me or someone I know. Or it could be something I saw in a movie or on TV. I like to write the type books I want to read. I mull over my idea for a while in what I call “pre-writing.” I develop the characters and plot in my head. Then I write out my character sketches in longhand in a spiral tablet and do a loose outline, also in longhand. I follow the outline at first, but then my characters take me on a different journey. As they’re usually right, I follow their lead.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing? Yes, I won’t put up any book that hasn’t been professionally edited. My terrific editor is Laura Kelly. She edited “Murder, Mi Amore,” which has finaled in two prestigious contests. I thought she did such a terrific job that I now hire her to edit all my indie books. One of my indie books that she edited, “Loving Or Nothing,” has also finaled in two prestigious contests.

What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
I like having the control over my work. I like writing the books I love without worrying if the marketing department of a publisher will think the book is saleable. Readers are our consumers and they know what they want. I try to give the readers entertaining, heartwarming, sexy books with feisty, independent heroines and the hunky guys who love them.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
My books are available on BN, Smashwords and iTunes. “Storm of Desire” is available only at Amazon at this time. At a later date, it will be available on all other venues. My two books with publishers are available at Amazon, BN, and All Romance eBooks.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I’m on Facebook and Twitter, but I try not to constantly promote on those sites. I like to engage readers and friends and talk about things other than my books. I belong to several Yahoo loops. I also guest blog whenever possible. I plan to start my own blog soon.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Get your name out there. Participate in Yahoo loops for readers and writers, but don’t constantly promote. Let readers get to know you. It’s all about discoverability. The most important thing is: write the best books you can, and keep writing.

What’s next for you?
I’m writing a sequel to “Logan’s Redemption.” The sequel is titled, “Franco’s Fortune.” The hero is my heroine’s reformed playboy brother from “Logan’s Redemption.” A reader wanted Franco’s story so I’ve decided to write it. I’m having fun revisiting my characters from the earlier book.

Thank you for having me today.

Visit my website for excerpts from all my books and stories: www.caramarsi.com