Friday, November 15, 2013

Welcome Carol McPhee

To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out? I am working on a contemporary romance in which a culturally-inept and biased woman locks horns with an activist native.

How would you describe yourself using only five words?
Disciplined writer, a romantic spirit.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I enjoy watching out for guys who might have the physical traits of a great hero. That doesn’t necessarily mean handsome features but could include a sexy grin, a confident walk, or exceptional good manners.

If we asked your muse to describe you using five words, what do you think they would say? I excel at following whims.

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
I’m older than I sound.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Deep Cove, British Columbia…near Vancouver.

How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I don’t try. I just sit down and write, preferably at 4 a.m.

If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?
Something About That Lady. It was the first one I had published and fifteen manuscripts later, it is still my favourite story.

Where do you find the inspirations for your stories? They come from thin air, or possibly some news item will spark my interest. My current work in progress came about from an obituary I noticed in the local paper.

Are your characters able to love or do they need to be taught? They are definitely able to love but running away from it.

Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest? Undercover Trouble practically wrote itself.

If you could collaborate with one author who would it be? 
Linda Rettstat. I have critiqued some of her work and know she’s an excellent writer. I admire her talent, her enthusiasm and her generosity in helping other writers.

Coffee, tea or other drink to get you moving in the morning? Boring decaffeinated tea.

If you had a reporter follow you around for the day, what would the readers get to see in your daily schedule? They would get to watch me twice on the treadmill, twenty-minutes each time, go for a twenty-minute walk through the woods and visit a coffee shop in both the morning and afternoon.

When you begin your stories, do you go with the flow, or go with an outline?I never use an outline until I’m near the middle point of my story and maybe not even then.

Is it hard coming up with titles or characters names? Sometimes stories name their own titles like Natural Persuasion and Natural Obsession. Jeweled Seduction and Means To An End did so as well.

If you were to replenish your cabinets with one junk food, what would it be? 70% chocolate

What makes your characters so vulnerable yet strong? Many have been hurt in the past and are reluctant to take another chance at love. 

Can you describe them to us? What do you do when characters stop talking to you when writing?They don’t actually talk to me. They think and let me tred into their minds.

Is music a factor for you while you are writing? Do certain songs put you in the right frame of mind to write certain stories?
Music doesn’t usually play much of a part in my writing, but in Natural Obsession Whiskey Lullaby fit the bill for creating the hero’s lonely mood.

What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know?
A first-time author should persevere with her writing no matter what. Writing something every day helps keep the author in tune with her capabilities and hopefully improve them. 

What is coming up from you in 2013? Natural Obsession came out in July. 

Anything you want to tease us with? Wouldn’t any reader love to be romanced by two awesome heroes?

How could such strong desire to have a child become so complicated?

Released July 01 2013
Laurel Jenkins opened her front door to a hulk of pure masculinity towering over her. Dark, short sideburns, sprinkled with gray, peeked from under a uniformed officer’s white cap displaying the insignia of the Canadian Coast Guard. Her curiosity landed on the most piercing gray slate-like eyes she had ever seen
       “Miss Jenkins?”
       The man’s overpowering presence caused a hitch in her voice. “You have b-bad news?”
       The officer took off his cap and held it against his chest. “May I come in? Please?” A hesitant smile and thick salt and pepper hair neatly cropped above his crisp white collar presented a distinguished visitor. If this stranger had added a condescending ma’am to his request she would suspect he was the icebreaker captain she had spoken with, but he appeared and acted too mild-mannered for the voice on the phone. She stepped to the side to allow him entrance and closed the door against the cold draft. At a loss for words, she simply stared at him. Waiting.
       “The man in the rowboat is okay.”
       She blinked out of her daze. The tightness in her chest loosened and only then did she realize the strength of the tension that gripped her. “Thank Goodness.”
       “The boat’s owner was driving to work when his radio reported a misadventure at sea. He fathomed out the story, then phoned us to report he had been wearing a life jacket and made it to the beach after his boat took on water. Once safe on land, he hitchhiked to his vehicle and drove home for dry clothes.” The officer’s eyes glistened with a sparkle that hadn’t been there up to now. “The caller was mighty anxious for us to cancel the alarm before his mother heard it. I told him he would find the dory tied at the wharf.”
       “I’m so glad he’s alive. Who is he?”
       “I’m not at liberty to say, due to confidentiality issues.”
       The statement irritated her but, rather than be impolite when he had been good enough to deliver the news, she skidded her eyes to the floor.
       He waited for a moment, and then added, “I’m Captain Graydon Gunn.”
       Laurel tossed the man another appraising stare. “Captain Gunn? You brought the ‘update’ in person?” Her body jumped into alert mode.
       “Yes, Miss Jenkins.”
       “Thank y-you for stopping by. I’m sure you have a great many things to...” Unable to erase the slight breathy quality that entered her voice, Laurel took a step forward to open the door. Graydon didn’t step back as she thought he would, but continued to stand foursquare in front of her. She refused to back away first.
       “We got off on the wrong foot, ma’ Jenkins.”
       “You think?”
       The captain looked down at the floor between their feet and scratched the side of his head with a forefinger. “That’s the impression you gave me on the phone.”
       “What possible reason could I have for doing so?” Laurel crossed her arms and tapped her foot.
       “Uh...” For a moment he gazed where her breasts bulged over her arms, then transferred his stare to her foot. “Well, the truth of the matter is, I don’t know.”
       “The problem was your condescending attitude, as if you perceived my concern coming from an air head with little grasp of search-and-rescue capabilities.” She lifted one of her hands and fluttered her fingers to illustrate her point. “To me, speed was of the essence. Hello-o-o, Coast Guard. Big boat. Retrieval of idiot boaters needed. Isn’t that your job?”
       “It’s a ship. We’re in port for navigational repairs. If we could go out, we would. Zodiacs, can’t cope with exceptionally high seas. Our other ships are some distance from here, but one was on its way. The safety of my crew outranks some thrill-seeker’s yen for adventure.”
       “Oh.” Laurel’s cheeks flamed as she floundered. “I guess anyone who would jeopardize his life like that shouldn’t be allowed to put others in danger as well. Obviously, I made a bad judgment call.”
       “Apology accepted.”
       “I haven’t apologized, yet, Captain. Your persistence with questions that had little bearing on the problem didn’t win you points.” He looked down at his feet. When he glanced back, she saw amusement lurking there. “What’s so funny, Captain?”
       “We could argue all day and not reach agreement. I see you’ve had a lot of experience blowing at windmills.”
       “Blowing at windmills?”
       “Maybe I should say blowing at street lights. Fights with the village council, going against the tide so to speak.” He failed at hiding his smile.
       “Who have you been talking to?”
       “My niece, Beth Monroe, works at the local museum. She knows everyone who lives in the area. You were worried and alone. It was only natural I should call her to ask about you.”
       Laurel offered him a rueful smile. “You always have an answer.” Perhaps it was the fact he had investigated her or annoyance that his reply seemed logical, but unplanned words tumbled out of her mouth. “Don’t you have another place to be, like sailing up to the Arctic where you can fly the flag and impress the media?”
       “I was hoping for a cup of fresh coffee. The coffee on board ship is murder on my stomach.”
       “You could try the cafĂ© on Main Street. Their’s is good.”
       The captain leaned his hand against the doorframe and looked toward the kitchen counter. “I see you have a coffee machine. “I take it black, but not strong and with just a pinch of sugar.”
       Again, she read amusement in his eyes. “You expect me to make it for you?”
       “No, ma’ Jenkins. I can make it if you’d care to join me.”

About the Author

Carol lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with Karl, her husband of over fifty years. With four children now out on their own, there is time to enjoy researching locations that will give authenticity to her romantic suspense and contemporary romance stories. As soon as she finishes one story, another is burning in the back of her mind, its characters prodding her to let them out. 

Strong sensuous heroines and heroes to die for.


Carol McPhee said...

Nice presentation, Dawn. Thanks.

Helen Henderson said...

Congratulations Carol on a fun interview. Nice to find out more about the author whose books I've read. And to those who havent' yet, you can believe her tag line, Strong, smart, sensuous heroines; heroes to die for.


Carol McPhee said...

Thanks, Helen. Always nice to hear that, especially from an author with an editorial background.

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