I first met Carlie on Twitter a couple of years ago. We chatted online (social media at its best), and got to know each other better, and then we met up in person, first at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, and then more recently at the British Fantasy Convention in York.
One of the things I love the most about the indie author scene is making new friends with the similar interests, in ways and places we’d never have imagined a few years ago.
So as part of Carlie’s blog tour, in the wake of publication of the final book in her trilogy, Heart Search: Betrayal, I jumped at the chance to ask her a few more questions about herself.
Hi Debby. Thanks for inviting me today, and for the cuppa.
Tell us about the inspiration that started your writing career – was it a burning desire to tell the story you chronicle in the Heart Search trilogy, or did you write other novels before that?
You’re absolutely right, Debby, it was the overwhelming desire to tell Remy and Joshua’s story that began my writing career. I’d never written a novel before I wrote Heart Search: Lost. It was strange how it happened; the idea just popped into my head one day, completely out of the blue, and I knew it was going to be a novel before I’d written one word. However, it wasn’t until I was half way through writing Heart Search: Lost that I realised there was too much story to fit into a single book and that I would be writing a trilogy.
Talk us through the overall arc of your amazing trilogy.
I’m not going to give away any secrets from book three, but nice try, Debby. Hahaha. Okay, I’ll be serious. Remy and Joshua are an engaged couple who are just days away from getting married when Joshua disappears. What neither of them know at this point is that Joshua has been bitten by a vampire and is slowly transforming.
Remy is obviously devastated, but her twin manages to get through to her and tells her she needs to fight for him. This leads to Remy setting off on a lonely journey around the UK to find Joshua, little realising that it would help her find herself. However, strange things start happening to Remy and this continues even after she’s returned home empty-handed. In the meantime, Joshua has found his maker and joined the coven. He learns to feed from humans without compunction or remorse and has to get used to some pretty cool powers. But whilst coven life seems very dignified on the surface, underneath tensions rise, which leaves Joshua fighting for his life. Eventually, she finds Joshua, but nothing is as straightforward as it seems. She ends up joining him in his new home, but there’s trouble afoot. Remy, Joshua, and their friends end up in a fight for their lives, but who survives?
You created a truly unique and emotional book trailer for the second in the series, Heart Search: Found. Will there be a trailer for this one?
Hopefully. It’s being worked on at the moment and I’m really hoping it’ll be finished in time. This trailer isn’t going to be so emotional, but it’ll certainly be unique.
They fascinate me and have done since I was about ten. They’re dark, mysterious, deadly, compelling, and immortal. The majority are portrayed as being quite handsome, which increases their appeal. The mystery of the vampire’s kiss and the whole process of being made immortal is interesting to say the least, and then there’s the wonder of immortality and what it would be like to live for hundreds of years. I don’t think there’s any other fictional character who holds as much mystery and fascination.
You’ve reached the end of your trilogy with the release of Heart Search: Betrayal, so what next?
I’m about 80,000 words into the first draft of a standalone fantasy novel. I started it during NaNoWriMo, but have had to put it to one side while I concentrate of the launch of Betrayal. It’s so completely different to what I’ve written before as I’ve had to do world building and work out magic systems. After that I have a seven book fantasy series planned.
Some quickies about yourself:
Where were you born? I was born in the East End of London to the sound of Bow Bells, which makes me a true cockney. However, I grew up in Hertfordshire.
Jobs you’ve had? Most of my working life has been spent in an office, mainly doing sales administration and marketing. I’ve also been a sales rep and worked in a fabric shop.
Ambitions, fulfilled or not. One of my ambitions was to swim with dolphins and this was fulfilled in 2004. For the future, my biggest ambition is to be able to keep writing books that people will enjoy reading.
Following on from the meme that has recently swept FaceBook, tell us 7 unlikely things about yourself. Hmm. This is a tricky one. Okay then. 1) I only have one kidney. I was born like it and the one I do have is 30% larger than normal. 2) I hate coffee with a vengeance. 3) I have a weakness for white chocolate or chocolate with orange in. 4) I’ve had seven miscarriages. 5) I’m disabled. I have a condition where the discs in my lower spine are crumbling. 6) I was a professional teacher of ballroom, Latin American, mambo/salsa, Argentine Tango, Rock n Roll, and freestyle disco for 14 ½ years. 7) I can communicate with dead people (in other words, I’m a medium), and can read Tarot cards.
Finally, where can we find you? On my website: http://carliemacullen.com , Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CarlieMACullen , Twitter: @carlie2011c, Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=240655941&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile , Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6550466.Carlie_M_A_Cullen
Thanks so much for having me. I’ve really enjoyed this interview and I hope your readers do too! Any chance of another cuppa, please?
I’ll just go put the kettle on, and we can watch this awesome trailer for book 3 that you DID get finished in time!