Interview with Carly Wayne

Published 2021-06-09.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Well, it wasn't the first story I read, but the first book that had a large impact on me was Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon. I was about twelve years old the first time I read it, and I was already in love with the tales of King Arthur and his knights. Mists of Avalon told the story from the women's point of view (something I had never seen before), with an emphasis on Morgaine and her initiation into the mysteries of Avalon. I was hooked! I loved the epic-scale of the story, and Marion Zimmer-Bradley's use of imagery and description pulled me into the mysteries, as if I were living the events myself. I remember thinking "Wow! I want to write a story like THAT!"
What do you read for pleasure?
I like cozy mysteries, especially ones with a paranormal twist, and dry humor.

I absolutely loved Karen Marie Moning's Fever Series, and Louise Penny's Three Pines Mysteries.

The trilogy Chronicles of the One, by Nora Roberts was fantastic, and timely. It was kind of spooky, knowing it was published just a few months before the first reported case of COVID-19!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read all of my e-books via the Kindle App on my iPad. When I find a book I really love, I purchase the physical version (either paperback or hard-cover) to add it to my library shelves. Cicero said "A room without books is like a body without a soul," and I agree with him. For me, nothing will replace the feel of real-life pages.
Describe your desk.
My desk?! (Laughs) Well, my desk is my sacred space, to be perfectly honest. No matter how chaotic the rest of my house may be, my desk is always organized. Everything I need is within reach - computer, printer, a legal pad for jotting quick notes... I have a fetish for fountain pens, so a small collection of my favorites are always inked up and ready to go on my desk top, each with a different color ink, of course! I also couldn't live without my planner, which is always displayed within my line of vision.
What is your writing process?
I guess I am a combination of plotter and pantser. I usually start out with less than an idea. Maybe a picture I see, or a phrase I hear will evoke inspiration. I just sit down and write free style to see where it takes me.

After a page or two, I sit back and see where I am - Is there a story developing, or a character forming in my head?

If the answer is yes, I begin the brainstorming process. Who is this person? What are their circumstances? What do they want or need? If the page I wrote is simply about scenery, then what type of people would be found there? What type of event has caused this scenery to develop the way it has? Things like that.

If I come up with anything compelling, I move on to some loose plotting and then I just write. The characters will tell me where the story needs to go.

Once I feel really invested in the story I take a step back and work more on plotting and timing.
So, what happens when, after a page or two, you don't see a story?
Then I just save the writing. Something may come to me later, or those pages could end up in another story later. I never delete anything. All writing is valuable, if it doesn't work now in a particular story or setting, it might be exactly what I need two or three stories down the line!
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is all about evoking a feeling. Its purpose is to make someone stop for a second to take a closer look at your book. Beyond that, it is literally the face of your manuscript, and should reflect the tone as well as the subject matter. It is also inspiration for me! I will often design a book's cover before I am even half-way through writing it, so that I can envision a completed manuscript.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is really a departure for me. It is the only romance I have ever written. Frankly, I am as surprised as anyone that it is the first one being published.

I began writing it in my spare time during graduate school. It was a welcome reprieve from all of the dry academic writing one has to endure in the scientific community.

Marissa's Muse is the story of a woman in her mid-forties who accidentally falls in love with a man she believes is much younger than she. It is about the struggle she goes through, trying to accept herself and discovering that you are never too old for passion and romance.
What are you working on next?
I'm very excited about my next book! It is a paranormal mystery involving a witch who lives under a family curse, and a small town sheriff with a dark past. They will work together to stop a killer who may - or may not - be completely corporeal. But that is as much as I can tell you for now. (She says this with a glint in her eye.) Stay tuned for more on that story at the end of July.
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Books by This Author

Marissa's Muse
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 40,170. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
(5.00 from 1 review)
What will Marissa do when she falls in love with a man young enough to be her son?