Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spotlight Author with Cara Elliot

Welcome back, everyone. So glad you are here with me. I’ve managed to get the awesome, Cara Elliot to give us a few minutes of her time and answer some questions for all of us. Take a minute to come hang with us.

Cara tell us a little bit about you and the amazing stories that you write.

I’ve always loved storytelling—in fact, I’ve been writing books since I was five (or so my mother has told me, and she has the proof lovingly preserved in her scrapbook!) Now, that first story was a wild Western, complete with cowboys, horses and six-shooters. However, after reading Pride and Prejudice, I fell in love with Lizzy Bennett and Mr. Darcy, so now write Regency-set romances. (Ha—I must have a thing for Men in Boots!)

I love Regency England because to me the era is so richly romantic. It was a world a swirl in silks, seduction and the intrigue of the Napoleonic Wars. A time when old ideas were constantly clashing with radical new ones. And seeing as I tend to write unconventional, independent-minded heroines, it’s a perfect setting for their clashes with some equally willful, devil-may-care heroes. In that, nothing has changed since I was a child—I love to see sparks fly!

Cara, you have also been known as Andrea Pickens. How hard was it to transition into a new pen name and why did you change?

The transition was actually pretty smooth. My Andrea Pickens “Spy” trilogy was swashbuckling adventure. (Think Jane Austen meets James Bond!) The three oh-so-dangerous heroines were not afraid to put on breeches and boots, and then kick a little butt!

But my books were getting sexier, and my publisher and I were so happy with the new direction that we decided it deserved a whole new name. So, as Cara Elliott, I slide into a sexy, slinky little black dress. But hey, what girl doesn’t like a makeover!

My current ‘The Circle of Sin’ trilogy features three beautiful, brainy heroines. Each of them is a brilliant scientist—and each of them has a dark secret in her past. Experience has taught Ciara, Alessandra, and Kate that men are dangerous devils. But when an old mistake threatens utter ruin and scandal, each of the ‘Sinners’ is forced to accept help from an unexpected hero . . .

Kate’s book, TO TEMPT A RAKE, which comes out February 1, was such fun to write. Her rascally hero, Marco, has made cameo appearances in previous books and telling his story was a real delight. I’m going to miss him! (Hmm, I may have to bring him back for further adventures.)

What is your favorite thing about writing romance?

Wearing my Patagonia synchilla sweatpants and Ugg boots to “work”!

If you had to pick a favorite character that you have created or one that you wish you had created who would it be and why?

Oh, don’t ask me to pick a favorite character from my books! That’s like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. LOL. I love them all, though some were far more of a problem to “raise’ than others. But after a good scolding—and a bribe of chocolate—they shaped up in the end.

As for the characters of other writers, I’m a avid reader as well as a writer, so there are lots of authors whose creations I adore. (Too many to list here.) I love seeing how my favorites develop the depth and quirks of their various people, and I’m constantly learning how to craft emotional intensity from them.

Staying to my promise of five questions, my last one will have to be this. Can you please lend any advice you may have on writing, finding an agent or getting published?

It’s a crazy business, so the best advice I can offer is to pass on some words of wisdom that Lisa Kleypas gave a few years ago. She said writers have to think of themselves as armadillos, which are really tough-skinned critters that can be hit by a truck and still get up and keep moving. And that’s so true. You have to be prepared to get knocked around a lot, but still believe in yourself. (It also helps to keep a big stash of chocolate in your desk drawer.)

Cara, thank you so much for the time you have spent here at Micole Writes Romance. Please tell us where we can find out more information about you and your books.

Thanks for having me, Micole! My website is, and I have lots of fun research and pictures posted there that your readers might enjoy. Plus there are some pretty cool contests and goodies, so I hope everyone will stop by and say hello!


Sheri Humphreys said...

I was a fan of your Signet Regency Romances! Can't wait to read your new series. Sheri

Julie T said...

I loved those signet! I cant wait to read How to tempt a Rake! Been waiting for what seems like forever! =)

Cara Elliott said...

Thanks, Sheri and Julie! That's SO sweet of you guys! I hope you enjoy To Tempt A Rake—I had such fun writing Kate and Marco's story.

(Sorry to be late in saying hi—we've been hammered with emergency snow where I leave, and it's a little scary!)