Today’s first guest on Bookaholic Confessions is the fabulous Carrie Stone (whose novel, Kate and Alf is released TODAY, click here to get your copy). I had lots of questions for Carrie – as well as chatting about her latest novel and what it’s like working with HarperImpulse, Carrie also spills the beans on her other job – being a Physic Medium…
Hello Carrie, a huge, warm welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
Hey Holly, thanks for having me! Hmm about me… let’s see. I’m soon to be 31, write women’s fiction in my spare time and I’m currently hanging out in Bali, Indonesia. Although I’m from the UK, I haven’t lived there for a decade. Instead I float around and live in different countries – I adore travel and switching things up! When not writing I’m working with clients giving readings & coaching; all part of my ‘day job’ as a Psychic Medium. Which is a little unusual, yes…
Can you tell us a bit about your novel, Kate and Alf (released 5th February 2015 by HarperImpulse)?
Kate loves Alf. And Alf loves Kate… Doesn’t he?
Kate can’t wait for her long-term boyfriend Alf to propose. So he might be a bit of a control freak who’s obsessed with his career … and he also seems to have conveniently forgotten their two-year plan to get married, buy a bigger house and have children. But Kate’s sure that ring will be on her finger soon.
When her thirty-second birthday ends in humiliating, proposal-less disaster, even Kate is left wondering if Alf really is The One. Then Alf’s friend, Marcus, needs a place to stay. With his dark eyes, easygoing manner and kind concern for Kate, Marcus is everything Alf is not – and it’s not long before Kate begins to wonder if there’s more to life than diamonds.
Kate and Alf sounds like my idea of the perfect story and I can’t wait to find out what happens between them (and Marcus!) What gave you the idea for this storyline?
I usually create a strong, ballsy protagonist because that’s easiest for me to relate to. However, as there are so many women out there like Kate, I wanted to explore a more vulnerable, softer character who has lost their way.
The idea was to focus on a common problem we see in relationships – when things hit a plateau. It’s set around everyday life and hopefully leaves a lasting message. I wanted to write something that had a slightly more meaningful tone and there are other characters/subplots involved aside from Kate & Alf. All of them are aimed at showing the varying misconceptions and communication issues that relationships undergo.
Kate and Alf is actually your third book. Can you tell us a bit about your other two, Tripping on Love and Love or Money?
Tripping on Love is based around a girl in her late twenties trying to find ‘The One’. It’s a fun, frothy read – very adventurous and tongue in cheek whereas Love or Money explores the different life situations of four women. It questions the balance between relationships and success and whether you can have both. They’re both easy reading, set in various international locations and action packed!
What’s it like to be working with publishers HarperImpulse?
It was wonderful to be approached and given a chance to experience the traditional publishing route. My editor, Charlotte Ledger has been extremely supportive and helpful in the process. It’s also nice not to have to design the cover’s myself!
As well as being a successful writer you also work as a full time International Psychic Medium. Wow! Can you tell us a bit more about that?
I love my work as a Psychic Medium – there isn’t anything I enjoy more than connecting people with their loved ones in spirit and helping them in their life situations. It wasn’t something I ever set out to do; I worked for many years in the corporate world and did readings on the side. When demand grew and my reputation built, I was forced to make a choice on how best to spend my time. There simply wasn’t a question on which one had to give! I’m a very lucky woman. I have a very international client base and only work on recommendation. It also allows me the freedom to travel/live wherever I choose.
What’s the best thing about writing romance?
It’s fun to escape into a lovey-dovey storyline and bring characters and situations to life. I’m very much from the ‘fairy-tale ending’ school of thought (which we all know rarely happens in real life!) so it’s great to be able to live out my own fantasies and ideals through a story. I always only ever write for myself (whether it gets published or not)– it’s my enjoyment and way of unwinding. It’s a wonderful bonus that other people now get to share and enjoy my fictional world too.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?
Tripping on Love was a story I’d started when I was 21 years old then forgot about, I only completed it aged 27 when I found the manuscript on an old laptop. I was advised to put it on Amazon (and only did so because I knew I could offer it for ‘free’) I never, in a million years, expected it to hit the bestseller’s list in three categories and stay there for many months. It gave me the confidence to write my second novel ‘Love or Money?’ which also had similar feedback and success. It was then that I was approached by an editor at Harper Collins and subsequently ended up with a book deal with Harper Impulse. Obviously, given my ‘day job’ I’m a firm believer in fate. It’s been a fantastic few years.
Who are your favourite authors and what kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I read anything and everything but faves include Jill Mansell, Lindsey Kelk, Marion Keyes, Jackie Collins, Jeffrey Archer, Sophie Kinsella and Jane Green. Gosh, there are far too many amazing author’s out there to list!
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished my fourth novel based on non-identical twins who fall for the same guy. There’s lots of twists and turns and it takes the reader from the UK to Switzerland. It’ll be published by Harper Impulse at a later date. Until then, I’m busy getting cracking on my fifth novel!
A huge thank you to Carrie for participating in this interview. ♥