Please welcome Carla to our blog today. She's talking about her latest release, romance and what she finds sexy!
What’s your name and where do you come from?
G’day! I’m Carla from Adelaide, Australia (although I never say ‘G’day’ in real life haha – ‘hi’ is preferable.) By day, I’m a freelance journalist and, by night, a rom-com author. (I’m also a bit of a fashion, astrology and health junkie.)
Tell us a bit about your latest release.
Second Chance (out through Penguin’s Destiny Romance – www.destinyromance.com) is for those nostalgic for the nineties! On the night of her 36th birthday, Flora Brunelli is full of regrets. The celebrations have turned sour and life hasn’t gone according to plan. Then she finds herself zapped back in time, landing in the summer of 1998 when she was 20 years old. The Spice Girls are at the top of the charts and The X-Files is the hit TV show. It’s also the week Flora's life unravelled. For Flora, this is a chance to change her future: win back the love of her life, stay friends with her former best mate and succeed in landing her dream job.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I don’t know why but I’ve always thought it would be great to be a florist, even though I’m not exactly a green thumb. I’m constantly gushing over floral arrangements on TV soaps and in films! Plus, the thought of doing something with wildlife animals does appeal, too. Maybe even working in PR for the zoo. I do have a soft spot for animals!
What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?
Marry me haha? When I was younger, I did have a lad discreetly follow me home once and leave a fake rose in a cylindrical post package on the doorstep. That was a little different! Don’t think Mum was impressed though…
What trait do you find the sexiest?
A sense of humour! Plus, a guy just needs to have that X-factor you can’t quite put your finger on. Something mysterious, unique and ultra-sexy that just reels you in.
Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
Admittedly, a bit of both – though I’m not going to tell you which bits are fiction and non-fiction! I often feel like the star of a screwball rom-com a la Bridget Jones. I’m always getting myself in embarrassing situations, putting my foot in it, or being klutzy in general – all great fodder for fiction-writing!
What’s your idea of a perfect romantic evening?
Ironically, I write romances, but I’m not really a big soppy sort of romantic! My hubby probably wishes I were a little more so… I guess I like to show my love through actions rather than words or, you know, ahem, love poetry. Something romantic for a night out for me would be as simple as an exxy dinner and a trip to the movies with my hubby (of which we could mutually agree upon). Boring, but cosy!
What do you do to get in the mood for writing love scenes? Candles, music etc?
Gosh, no candles. But yes, appropriate music helps – a bit of old-fashioned rhythm and blues, for example. Far better than heavy metal haha. I actually find the love scenes the hardest to write as they’re the ones you have to put a lot of emotion into and make sure they satisfy the reader, and are just poetic really. This is, after all, what the readers have been hanging out for! I’m the same when I’m reading a romance book or watching a film. I’m thinking: When are they getting it on already?
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m a freelance journalist and work from home. Whenever I think I have a blissful day of fiction writing stretched out ahead of me, I get side-lined by a last-minute journalism job. Argh! It happens every day, I swear. Hence, my fiction work takes a little longer to be produced than I’d like. In my day job, I could be interviewing anyone from a blushing bride to a female lawyer about climbing the ladder of the legal profession to editing an article on dentistry work. The fun never ends!
Tell us something that might surprise our readers.
I’ve never read a Jane Austen book. Tragic to admit! I tried to watch Pride & Prejudice in instalments on my treadmill recently (the Keira Knightley movie version). Unfortunately, I got halfway through the DVD, then it was due back at the library and they wouldn’t let me renew it – someone else wanted it. So I’m trying to catch up by watching the film adaptations (terrible to admit as a writer), but still struggling. I have seen The Jane Austen Book Club, though, if that counts at all!
Carla Caruso grew up amid a boisterous extended Italian family – yet somehow managed to become a bookworm... She always wanted to be a novelist, annoying the kindergarten teachers by dictating long, detailed stories to them. It just took her a while to realise her childhood dream –journalism seemed a more practical course. Her media career has included stints as a newspaper and magazine journalist, government PR and fashion stylist. These days, she works as a freelance journalist. The romance genre appeals as she is a sucker for rom-coms (especially if Channing Tatum is in the mix) and likes to think her Italian ancestry means she lives with passion.
Second Chance features feisty heroine Flora, who time-travels back to the summer of 1998 after her phone malfunctions – and hopes to reunite with a past love. Purchase it from Destiny Romance.