Interview with Candy Caine

Why do I write?
In answer to this question that I am often asked from time to time, simply put, I write with the hope that people will enjoy my stories. To please my readers is my top priority. I try to write a little every day, but unfortunately life gets in the way. But it's the same life experience that fills my head with ideas that eventually turn into stories. When I used to write for the confessions market, if a story in the newspaper caught my attention because it angered or upset me, I often channeled my feelings into a story. It was scary when the process was reversed. I had written a story about a young girl who had been raped by her father. Months later, a real-life incident was shown on 48 Hours, a TV show. The girl's life was my story line.
Why do I write with two pen names?
Originally, I decided to use two pen names to separate the different genres that I found myself writing in. I figured Candy Caine would be the pen name I'd use for the more erotic stories and Candace Gold would be the pen name I used to write the less edgy, sweeter contemporary romances. That was all well and good until one of my publishers decided that Reverie, a very sensual paranormal centering around the ghost of Claude Debussy, should be written by Candace Gold and not Candy Caine. The rationale was that Candy Caine was too cutesy a name for a ghost story. The end result was that all my good planning went down the drain and the line separating my two names got muddied.

Aside from that, having two pen names means having two of everything else, like two websites, two blogs, two Facebook's, two Twitter’s. I think you get the idea. And I’m the worst procrastinator with absolutely no organizational skills find myself treading water all the time playing catch-up. And more often gulping water, than not.
How does my friends/family feel about my writing?
First off, several family members equate romance with pornography. I want to note here that they’re on my husband's side. So when those family members see me at a family function, they kiss me hello, and immediately ask loudly, "So, still writing pornography?" Trust me, in a sitting room at a funeral home you don't want someone to belt out that question.

As for my husband, Robert, he laughed his head off when I first told him I intended to write. Today he is more supportive, especially after Woman's World sent me $1000 check for short story. He's especially supportive when I work on my more sensual stories, always willing to help with my research. To be honest, though, his feedback is often very helpful. He came up with the twist in a Twist of Fate, a story that should be in print soon.

My oldest son, Jason, had a little more difficulty in accepting my romance writing, probably because I began writing for children first. When I went to see him in Arizona, I took him to the grocery store to buy food. Pickles, ketchup, and a half eaten loaf of stale bread, didn't quite make a balanced meal in my book. After loading all the necessities in the wagon at an Abco store, we picked the slowest cashier. While waiting on line to be checked out, I noticed the confessions magazines on the impulse rack. Picking up one, I began to thumb through it as my mind started to race. I can write stories like these, I thought. Meanwhile, my son was reading the magazine’s banner heading: "I was a pool slut." I turned to him and said, "I'm going to write a story for this magazine," as I proceeded to place the book on the belt with the rest of his food. My son was aghast and blurted out, "You're going to write pornography for children?" Every head turned to look at us as my son move the magazine away from his food.

My younger son refused to be caught on the subway reading one of my books. My husband told him to tell everyone that his mother wrote the book and his father posed for the cover.

I belong to a wonderful writing group and my friends have been very supportive. I have one friend in Florida who has purchased a copy of every story that I have ever written. At a recent dinner where I got together with a number of women I had graduated high school with, one mentioned she was taking her niece to Paris. Another woman jumped up and said, "You must read Candy’s book, Reverie, before you go. Her walking tour of Paris is terrific." Then another friend, who also read the story, chimed in with her two cents. "Yeah, you should really read Reverie. It was a great book. She really surprised me." That was an offhanded compliment if ever I got one.
How steamy are your books?
In all honesty, it varies. When I wrote confessions for the African-American magazines, the guidelines called for three graphic sex scenes. The editors of those magazines changed often and brought along with them their own personal guidelines. For instance, some wanted to limit the particular type of sex act, while others wanted to take them to another level. Personally, since I was also writing for the Caucasian confession magazines, with their smoke and mirrors type sex scenes, it was easier for me to lessen the sting. That was all well and good until a new editor took the reins of several black magazines. She contacted me and told me that she expected sexier sex scenes. When I sent her another story, she sent it back telling me it wasn't hot enough. I thought she was crazy but if she wanted hot, I would give her a sizzler. That story was probably the steamiest thing I've ever written and truly took me out of my comfort zone. I’d say it took approximately 15 min. from the time I e-mailed her the story to the time she sent the contract back. She absolutely loved it. And then reality hit me. She would expect every story to be exactly like that. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot....

Basically my erotic stories are more sensual in nature and definitely not porn. I don't write my books to titillate. I want readers to enjoy what they’re reading because it's a good story. My characters engage in sexual activity because it's life. Sex happens. I don't throw them in bed or on tables just for the sex. There needs to be a reason for their actions.
How did I end up writing for the indie market?
When I first began writing for the adult market, I found my niche in the confessions market. You are paid by the word and the maximum amount of words varied from 10,000 down. Therefore I was basically writing short stories. I stopped writing for the market when Dorchester bought the magazines Sterling/McFadden. When I transitioned to writing with a byline and having my name attached to my work, I still had a slew of short stories. What to do it then became a problem that the small presses solved. I began to submit my work. Unfortunately, sometimes small presses get into financial trouble and fold. This happened to me several times. And each time I had to find another publisher and resubmit my work. A lot of these stories had been submitted a number of times, outliving the press. Lucky for me, Smashwords and the self-publication market came into its own. I was able to submit my own work, which had been edited a number of times, cutting out a great deal of grief.

I don't put all my eggs in one basket, though, and still have many books listed with small publishers. The best way to find me is to check my websites. www.candycaine.com and www.candacegold.com. My books are listed there.
Do I have a certain writing process?
There are many books out there that talk about the writing process. I've also attended many workshops concerned with the writing process. In fact, Cherry Adair gave my writing group, LIRW, a fantastic workshop teaching us her method of writing. Books and workshops are wonderful tools for those writers with an organized mind, but unfortunately, I'm not one of those writers. I truly wish I had a more sophisticated way of writing using charts and colored sticky things like Cherry Adair, but my brain just isn't wired that way. Oh I have lots of convolutions and brain wrinkles in my head-- don't get me wrong, but in my head, ideas get lost, taking the wrong turn at the wrong wrinkle. As for my writing process, when a plot idea comes to me, I jot down a few sentences giving me an idea where it might go. Because of the necessity to get this idea down quickly before I forget it, I leave pads all over the house. Needless to say, my other half does not appreciate my Hansel and Gretel Syndrome. It's just another thing he's trying to work out in therapy.
If one of your characters were able to give an interview what do you think they say about you?
Well, my first thought was that I would be knee-deep in doo-doo. Just picture the scene in Frankenstein when the villagers storm the castle carrying pitchforks and torches. Not that I can blame my characters one bit, because I truly put them through hell. In Never is Not Forever, I give Claudia Brown the perfect life, full of the trappings of success. She puts herself through school and becomes the youngest English Department chairperson at her University. Never wanting to marry, she prefers one night stands and this works for her until she decides she wants to have a baby. Hearing the loud beating of her biological clock, she decides to have the baby minus the attachment of a father. So she begins the search for the perfect specimen. It turns out to be a fellow professor. From that moment on I begin to unravel her perfect life, pitting her against the very things she fears. In Forever Yours, I give Jade Green the man of her dreams and then make her miserable.

I'm not any nicer to my characters writing as Candace Gold. In Reverie, I nearly drove Nikki O’Connell crazy. And in The Promise, I made Lucia Pallaccio a pawn in a human game of chess between two wiseguys. In Autumn Leaves, I take away practically everything Kate Douglas loves. Of course, there's always a happy ever after when writing romance and that ultimately saves my butt. Even so, I'd still have to watch my back. But then again, I do give my characters a lot of great sex…
Who is your favorite character? Which character is most like me?
To pick out one character that I love the most would be tough. I fall in love with all my characters. When I'm writing their story they’re constantly with me and even sometimes crowd my dreams when I sleep. There are even times when I wish I could be one of them. They certainly do have more fun in bed and a lot more stamina. Then I remember what happens next to them and suddenly I'm glad I’m not.

My women characters are strong-- or at least find the strength when they have to. They are independent like Claudia Brown, yet soft when they need to be. My men are handsome, yet not perfect. Sometimes I wish my husband were more like some of my men. This reminds me of an instance when I was writing Autumn Leaves and my husband had forgotten to do something really important. I angrily mentioned that I wished he were more like Peter, the male protagonist in the book. His reply was classic: "So rewrite me."

In a way, there's a part of me in all of my women, because I pull their strings. They see the world through my eyes and I put the words in their mouths. My friend in Florida was even able to figure out which stories were mine in a confessions magazine which have no bylines. Aside from knowing my voice, she picked up on the characters actions.

I work in a library and one of the Friends of the library read a book of mine. She grabbed me one day and said, “I recognized you. I could tell you wrote that book. It was as if you talking.”
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
When I first began to write, it was for children. At that time, my main goal was to become a published author. I was able to reach that goal when my story was selected by a panel of children to be included in the anthology, Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul. It was also around that time that my writing grew up—not me, and I began to write for adults. Again I set a goal to break into the confessions market. I was successful enough to have just about 200 stories published in the confessions magazines before making a new goal to become a published novelist. I was fortunate enough to achieve that goal several times, but there still remained one goal I needed to achieve. That was to make PAN. (Published Author Network in the Romance Writers of America). This past year one of my digital novels sold enough copies for me to achieve that goal.
Published 2013-09-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Accidental Love
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,490. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2017 by Candy Caine. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult
When Holly Davidson falls and breaks her ankle, she is transported to the hospital by a handsome EMT. When the man takes an interest in her, Holly sends him packing, just having gone through a terrible divorce. But will she let the handsome EMT merely walk away out of her life forever?
For the Love of Money
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,290. Language: English. Published: November 21, 2017 by Candy Caine. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Erotica » Interracial
What do you do when your womanizer of a husband loves your inheritance more than you and is the top divorce lawyer in Arizona? Vanessa Jeffers had had enough of her philandering husband, Jake, and wants to divorce him. Only...while she's making plans to dump him, Jake is making plans of his own.
Obsessed
Price: $99.00 USD. Words: 7,610. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2017 by Candy Caine. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » African American fiction » Contemporary woman
When Jessica Earl is taken hostage during a bank robbery, she see's her entire life flash before her, fearing she's about to die. Fortunately, she's saved by a policeman who shoots the bank robber dead. But soon after, she discovers that her entire world has been turned inside out.
On Cloud Nine
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,980. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2011 by Candy Caine. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
The friction between Jerry Spencer, the anchor weatherman for KWPR-TV, and his cameraperson, Sarah Jenkins, has been an ongoing thing from the moment they met two years before. Sent on assignment to cover a story, they get stranded together in a van during a blizzard. The outcome is less predictable than the weather.
My Neighbor Was a Peeping Tom
Price: Free! Words: 4,810. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2011 by Candy Caine. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
(3.33)
Have you ever gotten the feeling you were being watched? When Jill Bond got that feeling as she did her morning exercises in the den, she thought it was her imagination, but was it? She forgets about it and puts all her energies into revitalizing her sex life, until months later when she rents a movie she’ll never forget.
THROUGH THE KEYHOLE: An Erotic Collection of Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 26,640. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2011 by Candy Caine. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Erotica Anthologies
This book caters to the voyeur in all of us as we read: Devil or Angel, a man learns that his angel has quite the tarnished halo and is a dominatrix. In My Lover's Secret Life, a woman discovers a side to the macho man she loves that she can't readily accept. In Oops! When her man cheats on her, a woman finds love with another woman. And three other stories to bring out the voyeur in you.
Behind Closed Doors
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,350. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2011 by Candy Caine. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Interracial
When Jerry Blaine convinces his wife Stacey to go with him to a swinger's club, it adds more excitement to their sex life, but with a surprise neither one is prepared for.
Grandma's Handyman
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 11,230. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2011 by Candy Caine. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Interracial
(3.00)
After finding her man in bed with another woman, Shawna Washington takes a long-overdue visit to her grandmother and discovers she has her own ideas how to mend Shawna's heart.
Dangerous Attraction
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,770. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2011 by Candy Caine. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Women's Erotica
Kayla Jackson, hoping to get a fresh start, takes a Greyhound to Las Vegas to escape her mother's parade of boyfriends back at the trailer park in Arizona.
Forbidden Fruit
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,710. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2011 by Candy Caine. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Interracial
Melissa Janey is pre-engaged to marry the guy she's loved since forever. When she lands a receptionist's job at a law firm, she finds herself attracted to an African-American lawyer. Despite her efforts to resist, Melissa must choose between her life-long love or the love of her life.