Interview with Carmen DeSousa!

Today I have the privilege to interview one of my 5 Prince Publishing sisters, Carmen DeSousa! Carmen is one busy woman. If you follow my blog, you have seen her name in several post as I have assisted her with promotions and new releases. Well, today, you get to know the woman behind the books!

Welcome, Carmen!

You write Romantic Suspense. What inspired you to write, and what made you choose that genre?
I’ve enjoyed reading romantic-suspense novels since I was a teenager. I never could get into just romance or even simply a whodunit. I loved a little of both. But as I got older, it seemed someone told authors that if they didn’t shock the reader with violent or erotic scenes, we wouldn’t be interested. So, I decided I wanted to write what I loved reading and watching. If they can take a novel and make it into a PG13 movie, why not just write an edgy PG13 story in the first place. I’m not saying I think thirteen year olds should read my books, as they are definitely for ages sixteen and older. But, if you like a sexy and thrilling PG13 movie, you’ll enjoy my style of writing.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
LOL! Okay…so this isn’t M.J. asking, right? Since I know, you already know this answer. I work close to fifteen hours a day. I write whenever I can, which is not as often as I wish, believe me. When I am on a deadline, I usually shut down my Internet at eleven a.m. and try to write for three hours. But that’s about the only time I can keep that schedule…when I’m on a deadline. Most of the time, life just gets in the way.

Everyone has weird things they do to warm up to writing, (or is it just me???) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Weird? Hmm…I don’t think so. Neurotic, probably. No matter how many times I’ve read my work in progress, if I’ve had a few days off, I’ll reread every word that I wrote before I touch a finger to the keyboard. On a regular writing schedule, I just read the last two chapters before I go to bed, mark any areas I want to edit, and then add them to my manuscript before writing a word the next morning. This method has always helped me stay in my current characters’ voices, not allowing any outside reading or editing to interfere with their story.

Are you a pantser or plotter?
Pantser without a doubt. I let my dreams write the story. As I mentioned above, I read the last few chapters before bed and then let the muse do her job while I sleep. Often, my poor husband wakes up by the light of my iPhone, as I jot down my dreams at three a.m. But, outline, never! The one time I tried, my characters laughed at me. J

Your stories are about more than falling in love. There are mystery and whodunit elements. Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?
Umm…yes and no. Yes, there are elements that are from real-life incidents, but no, I’ll never tell.  I will say this, though; my husband was a police detective, so I have listened for years to all his stories and make sure that I read him my scenes to make sure I have the male POV and/or detective elements correct.

You currently have two Amazon Best Seller titles under your belt, and I am sure there are more to come. Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Read, read, read, and hire an editor, or at minimum a proofreader. Just make sure someone other than your mother and best friend read your manuscript before you publish.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?
I am traditionally published in the sense that I have a publisher. However, I purposely chose a smaller, independent publisher so that I could maintain control over my final product. So, I count myself as an Indie writer and do everything I can to support all forms of Indie writers, self-published and through small pubs, and of course, I still support my author friends who are with large publishers too. Honestly, I don’t know why people make such a big deal out of how an author publishes. Read the book blurb, read the sample chapters, and if you like, download or buy. Who cares who published the book? They all end up at the same place anyway—Amazon if you’re smart! J

What are your current projects?
This month, I am publishing my first short story, sort of an introduction to my writing, as it encompasses a little of everything I write, only on a smaller scale. I even threw in a paranormal edge, since I have a few paranormal romantic-suspense stories in the works.
Short story due, The Pit Stop – This Stop Could be Life or Death, is currently free on Amazon.
When Noonday Ends (a spin-off of Land of the Noonday Sun) due December 2012
Split Decisions (a spin-off of She Belongs to Me) due March 2013

Thank you, Carmen, for dropping by to introduce yourself to my readers! 
About Carmen: 
While Carmen does not write “Christian” books, she does share her characters’ Christian beliefs. Her characters are real people who come with real flaws; no perfect people allowed.
She characterizes her stories as modern-day fairytales, as they are overflowing with romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, tragedy. After all, what would a fairytale be without a tragic event setting the stage? All of her novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic and will hopefully make you cry, laugh, love, and hope.
Her first two novels, She Belongs to Me and Land of the Noonday Sun, have reached bestseller status right alongside Nicholas Sparks, J.D. Robb, and other great authors. Her third novel, Entangled Dreams, is now available.
All of her novels are standalones; however, she does link each of her stories with a little surprise. If you read out of order, you’ll never notice. But if you read in order, it’s fun. 
 First release – December 2011:
After secrets and a mysterious background leave a wife’s life hanging by a thread, a husband must look for answers in the only place he knows—the past.
Second Release – May 2012
When two strangers have nothing left but their dreams, they must forge a relationship in Nantahala, North Carolina, a small town known as Land of the Noonday Sun.
Third Release – September 2012 
When Alexandra’s choices dissolve into Entangled Dreams, pushing her down a dark and dismal path, she must trust her instincts to escape danger, but be able to surrender all to find her happily ever after. Knowing how to decipher the difference, will be her toughest challenge.
Now available in print and eBook formats:
And coming soon…
The Pit Stop (This stop could be life or death) a short story coming October 2012
When Noonday Ends ~ December 2012
Split Decisions ~ March 2013
Carmen loves talking about all things books, so please connect with her via one of the links below.