Watching X Files with no lights on… #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Jenna Da Sie’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!
This week we’re talking TV and movies:

Fiona Riplee wants to find out some insights into the psyche of our minds by learning about what movie or Network series that we LOVE to watch. What do we think the show says about our creative personalities?

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Credit: Depositphotos

From the first moment I saw this question, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind about the answer. Some of that comes from the fact that I’ve been watching the latest series of the X-Files (and being simultaneously horrified and gratified that Mulder and Scully have aged in the same way I have since the ’90s). But it also comes from the special place that the X-Files holds in my heart. I started watching it as a 21-year-old young woman, working in my first professional job. It was back in the days before the internet, before ebooks, and before all those other things like kids and family took my energy and attention. I was living in a shared house in Liverpool with other young professionals, and when the X-Files came on we’d all gather around the TV and keep quiet for a full hour. That in itself was a minor miracle!
So what was it (or is it) about the X Files that made me fall in love with it? I guess first of all it was the subject matter. I’ve always been crazy about the unexplained, and the fact there was a whole TV series about these types of phenomena stole my attention from the start. It was like watching Charles Fort but on the small screen.
But it wasn’t simply the science-fiction storylines that kept me glued to my seat every Tuesday night. It was the characterisation that made me come back for more. Mulder — like me — wanted to believe, and every time his theories were proved right I found myself giving him a silent cheer. Through the series arc we learned why it was he needed to believe – about his sister’s disappearance, about his father’s involvement in the conspiracy. It made the viewer both empathetic and understanding of his sometimes-wild suppositions.
On the other side of the sceptical fence, Scully viewed Mulder’s enthusiasms with a scientific eye, pulling him back when he was getting too fantastical, raising a single eyebrow when he went too far. But then something happened — or rather lots of things — and we saw Scully’s eyes slowly being opened to the reality of the phenomena they were investigating. She came to believe, too.
Of course the romantic in me also loved the dynamic between the two. I was desperate for them to get together, but also desperate for the UST to remain. In the end I think the writers did an amazing job of skating that line, giving us just enough to fill our desires, while leaving us questioning ‘will they or won’t they’. If I could replicate that in my books I’d be a very happy romance writer.
So to answer Fiona’s final question – what does this love of the X-Files say about my creative personality – I guess it’s that I want to believe. I want to believe in Love, in Happily Ever After and in two souls scouring the world until they come together. And I can’t see much wrong with that 🙂
Now let’s hop over to the lady herself, Fiona Riplee’s blog to discover her TV poison. And don’t forget to check out her story, Love’s Light, in the anthology The Hope Chest.

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 Until next time,

Carrie Pink

Let’s Talk Location #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Teresa Keefer’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!
This week I got to set the question:

How do you choose the location for you books? Do you pick somewhere you’ve already been, or do you research creatively, using Google and other methods to find the perfect spot?

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Oh, the power!

In some of the best books I’ve read, the location is like an extra character, adding a flavour and edge to a scene that allows the reader to close their eyes and picture the scene, allowing it to play out in their mind as if it’s a movie. Without really having to think hard about it, I can remember my favorite books that do this — including Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (Cornwall), Wuthering Heights (Yorkshire) by Emily Bronte, and of course, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkein (The magnificently made up Middle Earth).
When I try to imagine any of these books taking place in a different location, it’s almost impossible to do. The setting is woven through the narrative like a silken thread. To pull it out would unravel the whole tapestry.
When it came to my own books, I chose the location very carefully. At first I stuck to what I knew well. Fix You takes place (for the most part) in London and New York, two cities I had spent a lot of time in. Of course I still needed to do research, to find the best part of the city for some of the action to take place, or to find the perfect restaurant or bar for a scene to be set in. But for the most part, luckily for me, I could use my own memory.
With my Love in London series, for the majority of the stories they take part in that city. London is a big place, however, and runs the gamut from very rich locations to extremely poor ones. In this respect I tended to choose the exact location to suit the characters. It would seem very strange for a poor character to be living in Mayfair, but equally weird for a wealthy one to be living in one of the poorer parts of East London.

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Varenna, Italy

It’s only recently that I’ve started choosing locations that I haven’t had the chance to visit. I’m writing a new series (more information on this soon), and the first book is set in a fictional small town in West Virginia, USA. The second book is set in Italy, in a small village called Varenna on the banks of Lake Como. Researching these locations was a really enjoyable part of the whole process. In fact I loved researching about Italy so much that we’ve now booked our summer vacation there. Which means I’ll get to visit the real Varenna, and see if it matches up to the village I’ve created from my research.
We now have a joke in my family that wherever I set the next book, we will have to visit. I’m currently deciding between Mauritius and Koh Samui. Not a bad choice to make, huh?
So that’s pretty much how I choose the location. Now let’s hop over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog to find out why she chooses the locations she does. And don’t forget to check out her fabulous books, The Defiant Bride, The Dream Dancer, Captain Captive and Texas Summer.
 Until next time,

Carrie Pink

Why I *LOVE* to write romance! #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Jenna Da Sie’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!
This week the fabulous Leslie Hachtel asks us this question:

How did you pick the genre you write? Or did it pick you?

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Photo Credit: Depositphotos

It’s no secret that I love being a romance author. I can’t think of a better way to spend my day than writing about two flawed characters who fight against the attraction, trying to resist, yet find that the draw of love is too powerful to ignore. Even better when they hit bumps and dead-ends, leading to bigger problems that they have to overcome.
I didn’t always want to be a romance author, though.
Hard to believe, isn’t it?
Back when I was younger, I pretty much wanted to be Enid Blyton, and write about boarding schools and midnight feasts, and magic far away trees. Then as I got older I wanted to be JRR Tolkein, and write about rings and hobbits and epic journeys that became fights between good and evil.
It was only when I was in my 20s that I discovered romance, and even that was in a roundabout way. Being a voracious reader, I’d pretty much grab anything in my local library, devouring the pages like a starving man would grab hold of food.
I’d read thrillers and historical fiction, contemporary fiction and horror. As I said, pretty much anything I could find. But as I read them, I found myself looking for the same thing over and over again. Some kind of romantic pull between the main characters.
That was when I started to read romance, and I’ve never really stopped. From there it was a no-brainer to start to write the kind of stories I loved, and today I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I chose romance, and romance chose me; it was pretty much a mutual attraction! And neither of us are ready to let go of each other any time soon.
So that’s why I write romance. Now let’s hop over to Xio Axelrod’s blog to find out why she writes the things she does. And while you’re there, check out her book, Falling Stars – the first in her new series!

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 Until next time,

Carrie Pink

What do you Google? #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop – November 3 2015

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Jeanne McDonald’s blog, don’t forget to check out her fabulous book, Compass.

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This week we are answering the question: What did you Google?

The internet is an invaluable research tool for writers, but sometimes we google some searches that would raise more than a few eyebrows if seen out of context. We’ve all heard the tales of the thriller writer whose Google history has led to a visit from law enforcement, and the erotica writer whose searches have raised more than a few eyebrows. I bet if anybody (including non-writers) looked at their history they’d see a huge range of eclectic sites that are a mixture of the mundane and the embarrassing.

Nowadays it’s not only interesting facts that we Google, but anything and everything. I’d lay my hat on the fact that anybody going on a first date has almost certainly googled the other person before they meet them, and probably knows far more about them than is their date would want them to!

So what’s the last thing I Googled? Well I’m sad to say I can’t think of a single thing I’ve searched for that would either alarm the police, or my husband. So instead, let’s have a bit of fun.

What comes up if I Google “why is”…

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Um, I have no answer to that one. And I don’t think I want to see what Google has to say on this!

 

What comes up if I Google “can i m”…

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Great Advert for the UK there. By the way the answer is no!

Finally, what comes up if I Google “do q”…

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So there you have it. Google has an answer for everything, and it pretty much looks as though everything has been searched for. If you ever find yourself wanting to marry your cousin, but your poop turns green, perhaps a duck can help you.

Carrie Pink

Now we’ve sorted that out, let’s hop over to  Leslie Hachtel’s blog and find out her Google secrets. 

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What’s Your Secret? #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop -13th October 2015

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Kristi Rose’s blog, don’t forget to check out her fabulous book, The Girl He Knows

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This week it’s Sarah Hegger’s chance to ask us a question: What’s your secret passion? I have a thing for shoes and B-grade fantasy movies, what are some of your guilty pleasures?

 

Illustration depicting cutout printed letters arranged to form the word confession.

Photo Credit: Depositphotos

Okay, so I thought long and hard about this one. Maybe I should come clean that I am a gym bunny, constantly working out my iron-hard abs. Or that I’m a secret artist, creating installations that people pay millions for. But anybody who knows me (and that means most of you) would laugh loudly, poke me in my squashy stomach and remind me that I can’t even colour inside the lines.
So yeah, I won’t bother with those then!
Instead I’m going to come clean about an honest-to-god secret that I try to hide from everybody. A skeleton in the cupboard that I’ve tried to keep there for the past nine years. It won’t be pretty, and it won’t be pleasant, but maybe it’s my chance to get it out in the open.
Deep breath, rolling drums…

I’m a Real Housewives addict.

Wow, that was hard! It’s also the truth. I’ve been a fan since the first series of the Real Housewives of Orange County (or RHOC for those of us in the know) back in 2006. From the very first episode I was hooked, my mouth agape by the antics of Kimberley, Jeanna, Laurie, Vicki and Jo. Not to mention the ever-so-aptly named Slade Smiley. If any of you recognise the names above, you need as much help as I do.
2 years after RHOC first aired (see, you know what I’m talking about – it’s only a few more steps until you’re hooked, too), my addiction was fanned by the first series of the Real Housewives of New York (RHONY – see what they did there?) It was like the Orange County series but without the sun, plus a whole lot more crazy. With an ex-model turned French duchess, a cosmopolitan-sipping entrepreneur, and the amazing, social climbing couple of Alex and Simon, RHONY was like a little piece of heaven for a people watcher like me.
I think that’s why I like the episodes so much. They’re made up of a mixture of real-life action and commentary, and each one is like being at a party, watching the guests mix together and then talk about each other behind each others’ backs. It’s intensely fascinating, and a gift for those who want to find out what makes people tick.
Since 2010, more franchises have been added. Now Atlanta, Washington DC, New Jersey, Beverley Hills and so many more have been added. They’ve even spread abroad, including Vancouver, Melbourne and Cheshire in the UK. But it’s the earlier ones (the originals) that still hold my heart. I’ve grown up with these guys. They’re like friends you love to hate, yet compulsively stalk on Facebook to see what they’re up to now.
In short, they’re a guilty pleasure. And I’m (almost) not afraid to admit it.

Carrie Pink

Now I’ve got that off my chest, let’s hop over to  Dani Jace’s blog and read her secret passion. 

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop – 8th September 2015

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Teresa Keefer’s blog, hi, and thanks for clicking! Teresa’s one of our newest members so don’t forget to show her some love.

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This week Susan Scott Shelley asks – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Given the choice of any authors in the world (living or deceased), who would you want as a guest?

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This question isn’t as easy to answer as I first thought. My initial problem is there are so many authors I’d love to meet (including all of those who are part of the wonderful Romance Writers’ Weekly group) that it would end up being one hell of a feast!
How to narrow it down? Especially when I’d love to see Dorothy Parker sharing some bread with Jane Austen, while Alice Walker pours the wine. The image alone makes me want to smile…
But if I can’t have everybody, and I have to stick to one person, I guess I’ll go for somebody I think I’d get on well with. Maybe someone I could fan girl, while still finding some things we have in common. While I’m at it, why not shoot for the stars? So let me introduce you to my dinner guest, Mrs Joanna K Rowling.

This Oct. 16, 2012 photo shows author J.K. Rowling at an appearance to promote her latest book "The Casual Vacancy," at The David H. Koch Theater in New York. Rowling, the popular author of the "Harry Potter" series, spoke for just over an hour before a capacity crowd in her sole U.S. public appearance to promote her first novel for grownups. (Photo by Dan Hallman/Invision/AP)

 I first discovered the Harry Potter books when my daughter was a baby. His adventures got me through some dark times, and were the only company I had on those late night feeds. Her writing drew me in from the start, as well as the world she managed to build, and I have to admit there were some times when I felt more at home at Hogwarts than I did in my own world!
It isn’t simply her writing that draws me to her, however. She’s also a true philanthropist who has been through some hard times herself. She wrote the first Harry Potter book whilst being supported by the State, and in spite of her riches has never forgotten where she came from. Like many of us, she has suffered from depression, and some of her most memorable words are those of support to fellow sufferers.

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Her story is an inspiring one. Like me, she was born in a small village near Bristol and also like me, her father was an engineer. She suffered a lot in early adulthood, but her rise to fame was meteoric. If we were sharing a bottle of wine I’d like to ask her whether she’d do it all again, give up her privacy for the pride of her achievement. And whether she had any advice for an aspiring author like me.
In the meantime I shall be eating dinner with my lovely family instead, and pondering on more of her wise words like these ones…

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So what do you think? What famous author would you like to share a meal with?
Let’s hop over to  Leslie Hachtel’s blog and see who’s coming for dinner at her place. 

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Favourite Quotes – Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop -1st September 2015

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Sarah Hegger’s blog, hi, and thanks for clicking! Don’t forget to check out her new release – Nobody’s Fool.

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This week Jeanne McDonald asks – What is one of your favorite quotes from your book(s). Explain the reason why it’s your favorite and its significance to the story and characters

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This week I decided to go old school, and talk about one of my favourite books, Pride and Prejudice. I’m not alone in my love of this book, although back when I was a fifteen-year-old student I was the only one in my class who actually enjoyed reading it for English. Why did I love it so much? Let’s take a look at my quote and I’ll tell you…

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This quote says everything about the first part of the book. Although they are words of love, it’s a ‘gritted teeth’ admission rather than a passionate  declaration. From the start Mr Darcy has looked down upon the Bennett family, and Elizabeth Bennett has felt disdain for his prideful ways. Then when Elizabeth is staying with her cousin, Mr Collins, and Darcy is visiting his aunt at Rosings, they come into contact with each other. Mr Darcy tells her how he loves her in spite of her background, and pretty much against all his better judgement. Exactly what a girl wants to hear! Way to go, Darcy.
Of course Elizabeth declines his favour, and tells him to go and take a running jump. In the BBC adaptation he does exactly that. If you’ve not seen it before, I can highly recommend the ‘lake’ scene (insert gratuitous clip here, because you can never get enough Darcy!!)
The thing I love about Pride and Prejudice (apart from Mr Darcy, of course) is the character development. Elizabeth and Darcy start out hating each other – she dislikes his pride, and he dislikes her family. But as the two get to know each other better, something deeper grows between them. Though Mr Darcy is the first to realise that this connection might be love, Elizabeth eventually catches up. That’s because Darcy finally realises he doesn’t love her IN SPITE of who she is, but BECAUSE that’s who she is. An important difference. When he carries out his final act of chivalry–saving her sister from a fate worse than death–Elizabeth, too, realises that she’s fallen in love with him.
P&P is full of so many beautiful quotes it was hard to narrow one down. But this one is perfect, because it is truly the watershed of the book, taking us from their unfortunate beginnings and deep into the middle, where attachment starts to form. That’s the best part of any romance in my opinion!
Now let’s hop over to  S.C. Mitchell’s blog and read his favourite quote. 

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