Cara writes contemporary romance with a dollop of humor and a pinch of spice. Her books are available in all the major outlets and her paperbacks are on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She recently released her new book, Red Velvet. Carla has this to say about the new book… “If you’re looking for a fun fall romance you can read while curled up by the fire, sipping a warm beverage, Red Velvet is for you.”
What is your favorite holiday/season (fall, Halloween, winter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s)?
Without question, my favorite season is fall. I live in Wisconsin, and our fall weather is perfect – sunny and cool, but without any snow. It’s the ideal weather for activities like apple picking, football games, baking, going for long walks, and drinking coffee on chilly mornings.
Is there a special way you celebrate the holidays?
In the fall, I love cooking and baking with seasonal produce, and I get outside as much as I can. My husband and I also try to fit in a trip to the Door County Peninsula (where Red Velvet is set) because the area is known for its amazing fall foliage. Now that my kids are grown, I don’t put up any Halloween decorations, but our house is known for giving out full-size candy bars!
Do you write holiday or seasonal books? If so, please give an example
Yes – all three of my Blackwood Cellars books have a seasonal theme. Blue Hawaiian is the ideal beach read because it takes place during the summer at a destination wedding in Maui. Red Velvet is set in October at a lakeside resort in the woods. White Wedding revolves around a Christmas wedding in California Wine Country.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes! I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was eight years old, when I wrote my first story, about three witches who argue over the best way to fly around on Halloween night (riding broomsticks vs. riding vacuum cleaners). As a teenager, I wrote a lot of science fiction and fantasy, but I always had a soft spot for romance, especially Gothic romances set in moors and manor houses (hence the name for my publishing company, Moon Manor Press).
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
My favorite characters are from an epic fantasy I wrote way back in 2008, originally entitled The Mask of the Empress. Princess Delfina and Emperor Darclor were star-crossed lovers who went from fierce antagonists to passionate lovers over the course of a saga that spanned nine years. In particular, I loved writing about Delfina, because she wasn’t just royalty, but also a talented painter, who trained for years in the royal workshop before she was forced into an arranged marriage with Darclor. Given that the story is much too long (I think the first draft clocked in at around 800 pages!), it will never see the light of day, but I still love these characters.
Do you have any new books/series planned?
The Blackwood Cellars Series wraps up in November with White Wedding. So, in 2022, I’m hoping to start a new series set in the world of archaeology. Before I had children, I worked as an archaeologist and was fortunate enough to spend time on digs and restoration projects in Spain, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, and Turkey. Although I never had any adventures worthy of Indiana Jones, I had a lot of great experiences, including a couple of steamy flings (which would make for great stories!).
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Doing research is one of my favorite parts of writing a book. I usually do some barebones research ahead of time—just to make sure my plot is feasible—and then I write the first draft. Before starting the second draft, I do a deep dive into tourism websites, as well as sites like Pinterest, Google Maps, Zillow, and YouTube. If I need to learn more about a subject, I’ll get books out of the library and write to tourist organizations for brochures. For this book, I was fortunate enough to squeeze in two trips to Door County, Wisconsin, where the story is set, and I had my husband drive me all over the peninsula to take photos!
Do you have a day job as well?
Yes. I work in a spice emporium in my hometown. It’s a fun job, because I love to cook, and I get to spend a lot of time talking to customers about recipes and suggesting spices. I also take home a large quantity of spices so that I can experiment with them.
To get your copy of Red Velvet:
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2WZPQH7
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2Vo5dsk