So I have been raving about Carlie M.A. Cullen’s latest book, Heart Search 3: Betrayal and now I finally had a chance to sit down with Carlie and pick her brain. Here’s my interview…
RT: Hi Carlie, thanks so much for joining me today.
CC: Thanks for inviting me, Rachel.
RT: Before we get things started, could you tell me a little bit about your Heart Search trilogy?
CC: Sure. The story revolves completely around Remy and Joshua, an engaged couple in their twenties. Joshua gets bitten by a vampire while Remy is away on business, but doesn’t realise. He starts to change and becomes so aggressive during love-making that Remy is left with bruising over her body. The second time it happens, her injuries are worse. Joshua can’t take what he’s done to the woman he loves, packs his bags and leaves her a goodbye note. From there, the story follows their two individual journeys: Joshua’s into the hidden world of vampires, and Remy’s physical and emotional journey as she tries to find him. There are many twists and turns along the way, like Remy’s best friend disappearing, a stalker, a crazed police officer, and a vampire with a grudge the size of Sydney against Joshua’s coven. There are funny bits, parts that might make you cry (depending on how soft-hearted you are), bits that might make you shudder, and parts that may have you on the edge of your seat. But ultimately it’s the strength of two people’s love for each other and the fight for a happy ending.
RT: Considering I have just launched a trilogy and you are now winding one up with the final installment, Betrayal – how did it feel to get to the end of Remy and Joshua’s story?
CC: I was incredibly sad – it was almost like a bereavement. I’d lived with these characters inside my head for so long, they were almost like family in a way and I loved them in the same way any creator loves their good and wonderful creations. When I typed ‘The End’ on the last page, I had tears in my eyes. Yeah, I know I’m a big softie!
RT: No, Carlie, this is EXACTLY how I thought it would go down. It’s always saying hard you the characters you create. Considering the vampire sub-genre is now fully established, how do you find readers have changed since the early days of sparkling vampires?
CC: I think readers have suffered with Twilight derivatives for a while and are now becoming more discerning. They want something new, different, and fresh so I believe they look more closely at books before they buy them now. Having the ability on Amazon to read a taster from the story before they buy has changed the dynamics. When the genre was new, I think it was a case of grabbing anything on the market because of the lack of material, whereas now it’s much harder for an author to get noticed, no matter how good or fresh their book is. In my opinion, work of mouth is now king and queen for getting your book noticed.
RT: And how do you manage to keep the story line fresh considering there has been such a huge volume of vampire novels over the last decade?
CC: It’s hard, there’s no two ways about it. Vampire novels have recycled themselves so over and over that I don’t think there’s hardly anything about our immortal friends that’s new anymore. I’ve read a large number of books in the genre and I always find something, no matter how small, that I’ve read in another book. In my case, I know there are one or two elements people may recognise from other books, but I believe my story line to be original and my method of delivery unique. And some of the reviews about my books have said exactly that.
RT: Since Book #1, has the story you planned to write deviated at all from your original concept? Have the characters taken you on a journey of their own or was their story already set and just waiting to be told?
CC: Hell, yes. When I started writing Heart Search: Lost, I meticulously planned the first twelve chapters. When I got to about chapter five, Remy and Joshua marched forward and said I was going to tell their story their way, and so they took over. My carefully drawn up outline went in the recycle bin and I let them take over. Originally, I’d planned for a single book all about Remy, and Joshua was only going to have a small part to play. By the time I got halfway through writing book one, I knew there was too much story to tell and decided at that point it was going to have to be a trilogy. So yes, my characters took me on an incredible journey, threw me a few curve balls along the way, and I have to say I loved every moment of it!
RT: Finally, can you tell me what you have in the pipelines now that Heart Search is complete?
CC: I’ve started writing my next book which is a standalone fantasy. I had to do a great deal more preparation before I began as I had two worlds to build and magic systems to concoct, but even that side of it was fun. I’m now 80,000 words into the first draft and I’m enjoying the change of pace and style. When this one is finished, I have a seven-book fantasy series planned.
I’ve really enjoyed being here with you today, Rachel. Thanks for having me over.
RT: *squeals in excitement* This IS more books in the pipelines! I can’t WAIT to read the new world you come up with!
As always, it has been a pleasure to have you over and I urge everyone who reads this interview to check out Carlie’s books:
Want to know what I thought of Heart Search 3: Betrayal? Well, check back here on the 21st February for my review of the book 😉
Also, there is still two weeks left on Carlie’s giveaway, so click on the Rafflecopter image below to get your entry in. There are LOADS of prizes on offer, including:
- Paperbacks of the Heart Search trilogy, signed by the author (UK ONLY)
- Jewelry including limited edition Heart Search Betrayal themed charm bracelets, necklaces and earrings
- Heart Search Betrayal bag bharms
- Heart Search Betrayal Bag bookmarks
- Heart Search Betrayal Bag keyrings
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carlie M A Cullen was born in London. She grew up in Hertfordshire where she first discovered her love of books and writing.
She has always written in some form or another, but started to write novels in 2011. Her first book was published by Myrddin Publishing in 2012. She writes in the Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genres for New Adult and Adult.
Carlie is also a principal editor for Eagle Eye Editors.
Carlie also holds the reins of a writing group called Writebulb. They have published four anthologies so far, two for adults and two for children, all of which raise money for a local hospice.
Carlie currently lives in Essex, UK with her daughter.