Today I am chatting to author Caroline McCall, who along with writing partner Eileen Gormley, writes erotic fiction under the pen name Evie Hunter.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book?
As the thief looks remarkably like her, Sinead becomes top of the suspect list. Just when she thinks her life can’t possibly get any worse, investigator Niall Moore is hired to stop her fleeing and to find the jewel.
After that, it’s mayhem, danger and lots of sizzling encounters between two people who are drawn together, despite the fact that they don’t trust each other.
Eileen and I had great fun writing this one.
How much research/planning do you have to do to make your storyline realistic in this case about jewel theft?
Eileen and I have similar backgrounds when it comes to crime. She was a journalist who specialised in crime reporting and I was a criminal court registrar. Between us, we’ve seen quite a lot of the seamier side of life. We do a lot of research for each book. One of the characters in Autumn is a burlesque performer/stripper, so we went to burlesque dance classes. That was brilliant fun. .
We’ve had The Pleasures of Winter, The Pleasures of Summer and now The Pleasures of Autumn, what happened to Spring?
The Pleasures of Spring is coming in 2014.
Are you currently working on a new book? If so, are you able to tell us anything about it?
Our lips are sealed about Spring, but let’s say that there was a little unfinished business in Autumn between a certain jewel thief and a former Ranger. (winks)
How did your writing partnership come about?
Eileen and I met at a creative writing class in UCD in 2010. Eileen had missed the first week of class and I lent her my notes. The following week she brought them back, along with an erotic romance. When we chatted about books we realized that our bookshelves were scarily similar.
We always joked about writing something together. We got the opportunity when a submission call came from American publisher, Ellora’s Cave for books with a Tattoo theme. We wrote a novella called Angels Demons and Doms. We were thrilled when the publishers accepted it and our partnership started from there.
In Summer 2012, we got a call from Penguin asking if we would be interested in writing for them. Of course we said yes!
How hard is it writing in collaboration as opposed to writing a book separately?
If we’re working on solo projects we write very different things. Eileen loves writing Regency Romance, while I love Time Travel and Paranormal Romance. Writing alone is a much slower process. A first draft would usually take me 5-6 months to write and then several months for editing time after that.
Evie Hunter’s writing schedule is very tough. We set weekly word targets, depending on the length of the write and we do our best to stick to them. Everything has to be plotted out in advance and we argue a lot at the planning stage.
But sometimes life gets in the way. Lol.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Honestly? No. 2009 was a pretty bad year. My sister was diagnosed with cancer and it brought it home to me how short life was and that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams. Writing a novel happened to be one of them.
Once I started writing, it was like a whole new world opening up to me. Now, I couldn’t imagine my life without it.
How long did it take you to get your first book published?
Two years. My First book called Timeslip, was published in 2011.
Do you have a set daily writing routine?
I work in a busy legal department four days a week. I write at night and weekends. Usually, I will write for 2-3 hours each day, sometimes more at weekends, depending on life.
Have you ever had writer’s block?
No I have more stories in my head than I have time to write them.
My advice for anyone who thinks they have writers block is – sit down and write. It doesn’t matter if it is complete rubbish. Something will spark with you. Keep writing.
If you weren’t a writer, what career path would you have chosen to follow?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut or a ballerina. Or maybe a space ballerina. Lol
Would you say that any of your characters are like you? If so, which one(s)?
Mmmm that’s a toughie. There is something of you in all of your characters, whether they are male or female. If I had to pick one, it would be Sinead O’Sullivan from The Pleasures of Autumn. Mostly because she doesn’t give up, she obsesses about things which drives people nuts and she has a secret weakness for chocolate.
Where do you get the inspiration from for your stories?
From the oddest things. I love people watching, especially on public transport and I eavesdrop shamelessly. Once, I even got off my train at the wrong stop because two guys were talking about their friend who became a millionaire, his wife and a Navy Seal…..
If you could write another style of genre, what would it be and why?
Paranormal Romance. I love ghost stories and the idea that love survives everything, even death.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Write every day – you can’t edit nothing! Go to classes to learn your craft. Join a writers group. Be prepared to live with bad reviews. Believe in your dreams.
Being a writer appears to be such a solitary lifestyle, especially when you’re in the midst of writing, so do you consider the influence of social Media, Facebook and Twitter, a blessing or a hinderance?
You can add one further piece of advice to the previous question – playing on the internet does not count as writing. Lol
If you could invite any three authors, alive or dead, to a dinner party who would you choose and why?
Bram Stoker. Angela Knight, and Eileen Gormley, purely for the craic.
Do you prefer to read physical copies of books or e-books?
I read both. My home has bookshelves in every room. I carry my kindle everywhere.
Are there any books you’ve read that you wish you’d written?
Victorious Star by Morgan Hawke
What’s the last book you’ve read that has made you cry?
To be honest, it was The Pleasures of Autumn. I was crying when I wrote the ending.
When you’ve finished writing a book, do you treat yourself to a reward?
Yes. Usually some sleep. Time with friends. Maybe a facial, but at this stage I need a massage for all the achy bits in my shoulders.
Where would be your idyllic location for a writing retreat?
Anywhere with a view of the sea.
If you were going to be stuck on a desert island and could only take 3 books with you, which ones would you choose?
Victorious Star, by Morgan Hawke
Jane’s Warlord, by Angela Knight
A survival book that told me how to get off the island. Lol.