Contest information is after the interview and before the excerpt.
Welcome to my
Nook, Tamara Carlisle. Please make yourself at home and let my
cabana boys/girls get you a drink. Reading
Comfortable? Wonderful. Now let’s get started.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I tend to channel the story or at least portions of it. At times, it is almost like transcribing from a movie playing in my head. Notwithstanding, I am a very Type A/left-brained person so I created a timeline/outline as well. With respect to Away from the Spotlight, I worked with a structured time of life for Shannon, my lead character, in order to take into account the timing of various events such as law school final exams, graduation, Bar review classes, the California Bar Exam, and receiving Bar results. My timeline/outline also ensured that Shannon’s travels around Europe worked logistically.
What did you do before you were a writer? Do you write full time?
I do not write full time. I practiced law for a number of years in Los Angeles and San Francisco. After starting a family, I transitioned to a career in business consulting to allow for better work-life balance. I currently am a full-time consultant and enjoy it very much, using the analytical, public speaking and writing skills I gained in the legal profession in the corporate environment. Most people don’t like to get up in front of large groups or deal with adversarial situations. With my background, it’s not a problem for me. Thanks to a much shorter workday and workweek as a consultant as opposed to a litigator, I manage to write most days. I have four other novels in various states of development.
If you were going to cast the characters of your book, what actors would get the part?
Although some of the actors and actresses are a bit too old now, here’s my take on some of the characters:
Will – Henry Cavill, Richard Madden or Robert Pattinson
Shannon – Emilia Clarke or Kate Winslet
John – Kit Harringon or Ethan Peck
Pam – Emma Stone
Niall – Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
Rachael – Busy Philipps
I know you're not supposed to show favoritism but who's been your favorite character to write?
In Away from the Spotlight, I really liked writing Will’s character. I loved getting to know him as I channeled the story. He is a little flawed, but a really good guy. I like to think that, among the very famous, there are some relatively normal, good guys out there like Will.
Do you have a favorite TV show you can't miss?
I have enjoyed Game of Thrones and True Blood. My favorite television shows of all time are those by Joss Whedon: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly. I am so happy that Joss is having so much success in film now and love hearing his unique voice in movies like The Avengers. You can always spot the Buffy-like dialogue.
If you could date any character from any book, which would it be and why-no it doesn't have to be from your books?
I would love to have dated someone like Will in Away from the Spotlight. He is such a loving, thoughtful man. If I had to choose from a story by another author, it would be Kellan Kyle from Thoughtless and Effortless by S.C. Stephens. That guy is hot and I love musicians.
Please share with us some juicy details about your latest release.
The plot includes a love triangle between law student, Shannon; actor, Will; and, Shannon’s co-worker, John. There are a few twists in connection with these relationships, but I don’t want to spoil them by going into details here.
What was your inspiration behind this book?
Back in 2008, the Twilight phenomenon began. I couldn’t open up the internet without one of the actors or actresses gracing the top stories. I thought about how tough it must be to be young and that famous. How would you date? You’d always wonder whether the person you were dating actually liked you or just wanted the publicity, prestige and perks of being associated with you. I decided that there were only two options: (1) you date someone who knew and liked you before you were famous, or (2) you try to date someone who doesn’t know who you are. However, was option two even an option? Who wouldn’t know who these actors and actresses were? The answer came to me - a law student. When I was in law school, most of my time was spent in class, reading the vast amounts of required material (regarding which you were quizzed in class so it wasn’t like you could blow it off until exams), and clerking at a local law firm. What little free time I had was spent going out drinking with friends to blow off steam or to an occasional concert, and nothing more. And, with all the reading you do for school, the very last thing you want to do with your free time is engage in other sedentary activities like watching movies or television, or reading anything else - so you tend to be a little out of it in terms of what is going on in the world.
In thinking about all this, I came up with my initial premise for Away from the Spotlight: a very famous young actor meets a law student who doesn’t know who he is. I then proceeded to write the novel from the perspective of the law student because I wrote what I knew.
What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?
I am looking forward to more Kellan Kyle in the upcoming Reckless by S.C. Stephens.
Do you listen to music while you write? If so what are your favorites Artists and or albums?
Despite the fact that I am a music fanatic, I actually don’t listen to music while I write. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate - I get too into the music. My music collection spans decades. I like 60’s British invasion and psychedelia (e.g., The Beatles’ Revolver and Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow), 70’s punk (e.g., The Ramones’ Rocket to Russia and The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols), 80’s post-punk and new wave (e.g., Echo and the Bunnymen’s Crocodiles and The Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead), 80’s-90’s Britpop (e.g., The Stone Roses’ eponymous album and Oasis’ Definitely Maybe), and 00’s alternative (e.g., Incubus’ Morning View and Silversun Pickups’ Swoon). I honestly could go on forever. I really am evangelical about my music.
If you could go any place in the world and to any time period, what place time would you choose to visit?
My ancestry is Scots-Irish. My troublemaking ancestors were booted from the southwest of Scotland into Northern Ireland in the early-17th century and spent a couple of generations there before leaving for the U.S. I’ve visited Dumfriesshire and would love to see what it was like back in the Scottish West March in the 16th century during the heyday of the Border Reivers – although it was a very dangerous time and place.
What is your favorite super power and why do you want it?
I would love to be telepathic if I could turn it on and off at will. I am very direct and my words and actions tend to be consistent. I often find that is not the case with others. I would love to know what people are thinking when I can’t figure them out.
If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?
Everyone is entitled to my opinion.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I wouldn't say it’s a “guilty” pleasure as if there is any shame in it, but I read a lot of romance novels now. I used to read more mainstream thriller, spy fiction, and adventure novels by authors like Jack Higgins, Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, and Clive Cussler. I am now reading all romance all the time – and loving it..
CONTEST INFORMATION: Tamara will be awarding two $25 Amazon GCs to randomly drawn commenters during the tour.
Drop by each of the tour stops and leave a comment. Tthe more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/08/virtual-book-tour-away-from-spotlight.html
Away from the Spotlight, by Tamara Carlisle
In the closing weeks of law school, Shannon Sutherland meets handsome and charming Englishman Will MacKenzie. Initially swept off her feet, Shannon finds that Will has a secret that, once discovered and the consequences realized, could destroy their fledgling relationship. Will and Shannon take great pains to have a normal relationship but, ultimately, find it impossible to do so. Will the pressures of their careers and the temptations of others drive Will and Shannon apart? Can Will and Shannon live a happy life away from the spotlight?
Tamara Carlisle takes you on a romantic ride that explores the consequences of fame and a love that endures all.
Away from the Spotlight by Tamara Carlisle is available as an e-book at:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/away-from-the-spotlight-tamara-carlisle/1111527163?ean=2940014783132
Excerpt (498 words):
I grabbed one of the papers and opened to the page with the accompanying article. Inside, there were two pictures . . . Taken together, it was clear that Will was the one in the first photo kissing me. The article read:
Will MacKenzie, star of “Midnight” and other popular films and one of the most sought after young actors today, was spotted last Friday at London Heathrow Airport in the company of his striking new American girlfriend. Fans recently were disheartened to hear on an American chat show that Will, once a fixture in the Hollywood party scene, has settled down with his new lady love. Sources close to the actor tell us that the relationship is serious. Are there wedding bells in Will’s future? Stay tuned.
“At least you can’t tell it was me,” I said trying to make things sound more positive to Will, who was staring at the page I was reading in horror.
“Yes, but the paparazzi now will be determined to get a picture of your face. You should see the crowd outside.”
“Bad.” He had his left hand at his temple and looked like he was trying to think. “I don’t want you to be trapped inside my flat the whole time you’re here. We have things to do. You’re leaving Thursday for Ireland. Let’s get moving and hopefully I’ll think of something to get us out of here.”
“What’s on the agenda for today?” I asked, wondering if we would actually get to do what was planned.
“I thought I would take you sightseeing.”
“I think that’s going to be tough.”
I dragged Will into the shower with me, hoping that it would relax him and take his mind off of things. Whatever stress relief was had was short-lived as he was nervously pacing around once we got out and got dressed.
Will finally sat down and looked at me with a pained expression. “We can’t win, you know. Sooner or later they’re going to find us. When they do, and they find out who you are, they’re going to make your life miserable. I’m so sorry. I wish I could have spared you this.” He put his head in his hands.
I leaned down to look at him through his fingers. “I’ll be fine. I can handle anything as long as I’m with you.”
He looked up and I kissed him.
We decided to exit through the back door of the building. It didn’t look like anyone was there and Will’s car was closer that way since we had parked around the corner from the flat the day before. We were clear until we hit the cross-street where the car was parked. A photographer peered around the corner and saw us. Will had my hand and we ran away from the photographer toward the car, jumped in quickly and drove away. We laughed as we sped away. We had won “Round One” with the paparazzi.