I’d like to extend a warm welcome to one of my Twitter pals, Carmen DeSousa. Not only is Carmen a fabulous author, but she also runs Today’s Great Book Deal, a site where readers can find bargain e-books. A romantic-suspense writer, Carmen DeSousa’s books overflow with romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, tragedy. After all, what would a great story be without a tragic event setting the stage? All of her novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic and will make you love, laugh, cry, gasp, and hope. According to readers, Carmen’s first romantic-suspense novel, She Belongs to Me, is a sensual and gripping read that will have you falling in love and wondering who you can trust right up to the last page. And right now, it’s on sale for only .99 cents! I’m sure you’ll enjoy the below interview with Carmen and then I hope you go check out her books!
Could you tell us about your latest book? Where did you get the inspiration for it?
When Noonday Ends is my latest release. It came about because readers of Land of the Noonday Sun demanded it. LOL! But really, I had no plan to write a follow up, but now, again, because readers are requesting, there will be a third book in the Nantahala Series.
You describe your work as modern day fairy tales. Could you explain the elements that go into your novels?
Though a bit misleading, especially to male readers, I chose modern-day fairy tale because often my stories begin with a tragedy, and then my characters usually have to overcome past issues, typically with the help of the supporting protagonist, to find their happily ever after. My stories overflow with romance, mystery, and suspense, as a good fairytale should. But because I know many appreciate an easy stamp, I tag my novels as romantic-suspense.
How do you develop your characters? How are the protagonists of your books similar and/or different from one another?
I take great caution in making certain that all characters have different backgrounds, speech patterns, actions. I usually find a tic that makes characters stand out. As I mentioned above, my protagonists—and antagonists—usually have deep-seated issues they must overcome, which tend to affect their personalities. I do not write an outline, so to speak, I simply decide whom or what my characters are battling, and then I let them grow daily. By the end of the book, I usually feel as if they are close relatives.
What do you enjoy most about writing in the romantic suspense genre?
Although I enjoy reading all genres, romantic-suspense is my favorite, so it just makes it easier. But the largest reason is that romantic-suspense encompasses several genres, I believe. My writing style is a little different than most, as I tend to work a budding romance alongside a mystery, and then thread the suspense through both areas. I try not to stay in the “just romance” or “just mystery” for too long, but weave back and forth, making the reader always want to read the next chapter. I love to leave the reader with what I call a “Dun, Dun, Dun!” moment at the end of each chapter, but then they may have to read through a section to find out what happened. HeHeHe…
Do you outline your books or do you plan as you go along?
I am the epitome of a pantser. I tried to write an outline once, and my characters laughed at me. Seriously! It just doesn’t work. Instead, I simply ask questions and jot down notes as they hit me, which is usually when I’m in the shower.
How much research do you need to put into your novels? What kind of topics have you had to research?
I’m always looking over my shoulder for ‘big brother’, as I always have a murder mystery, which usually means I have to do a lot of research on how they were murdered. Of course, my husband worked in the medical field for a few years and then changed to law enforcement. So being married to a police detective has given me years of input with writing believable plots.
Could you tell us about your free paranormal Mini Mysteries?
The Pit Stop started out as a five-hundred word short story that I allowed readers to build upon on my blog each week. It was fun, but A LOT of work, so I haven’t done one again yet. The result was a nine-thousand word short story I offer free to all readers. It’s a little different because it was written in five-hundred work sections with input from many, but it’s a fun read. And then, a funny thing happened. Once again, readers fell in love with a supporting character, requesting I continue his story. And since I always listen to my readers, I complied. The Depot is a spin-off and the start of a new series of mini-mysteries with a paranormal edge, and it is also permafree, my gift to all. (Visit this page of Carmen’s website for download links.)
How did your Today’s Great Book Deal site come about? What is the goal of the site?
The idea for the website was simple; I just wanted to let readers know there are highly-reviewed Indie books available at incredible prices. I scour the Internet daily to find books with at least twenty reviews averaging four-plus stars. I feel that is an accurate level of reviews to gauge a book’s overall rating. I choose books that are currently free or .99 cents, but then also have a section of novels priced ‘less than a latte’ as a reminder that authors spend years working on something a reader can enjoy for seven to ten hours, not just minutes.
What kinds of books do you feature on the site?
I am open to most genres, but because I don’t want to worry about age filters, I won’t feature anything offensive, extremely graphic, or erotic in nature. If I haven’t read the book, I read the reviews. If there is anything that I would deem offensive, I pass. I try to find books with 20+ reviews with a 4+ star rating. But if an author has other highly-rated books and this is a new release, I sometimes consider sponsoring it.
Anything else you want to add?
Thank you for having me here today, Stacy. I hope your readers enjoyed listening to me ramble and will stop by and look at what I have to offer. My first romantic-suspense bestseller, She Belongs to Me, is discounted to .99 cents for a limited time, so if you enjoyed the interview and my explanation of what I write, please check it out.