Today I am lucky to have author Francene Carroll for an interview. Francene is treating my readers to a giveaway of one of her books. Keeping reading for more details.
Date: Hi Francene, thanks for taking some time to share with us today about you as an author and your writing. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Francene: Thank you very much for interviewing me! I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember, but it took me a long time to finally put pen to paper, mainly due to lack of confidence. My first piece of serious writing was also my first novel, Shadows of Yesterday, which was published by Breathless Press in 2011. My next novel was a contemporary romance called Pleasure Island which was published by Siren Bookstrand in 2012. Since then I’ve self-published a number of novellas and I have another couple in the pipeline.
Date: Your main genres have been paranormal romance and romantic suspense. What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you the most?
Francene: Like most romance writers I’m just a big softie at heart. I’m also a sucker for a happy ending. I love the fact that romance allows me to explore so many different characters, situations and ideas, but within a framework that always finishes with a happy ever after!
Date: What has been your most favorite book to write (to date) and why? (If needed, please expand to more than one book.)
Francene: My paranormal and suspense books tend to be quiet dark and although I enjoyed writing them I have to admit that my favorite book so far has been Pleasure Island. It has a lot of comedy and I really enjoyed the banter between Jack and Allie. I like writing about larger than life characters and Jack is such an obnoxious jerk to begin with that I enjoyed bringing him down to size! Prude & Prejudice is a Jane Austen variation which was also a lot of fun, but it has quite a serious message at its heart about tolerance and respect. I wanted to try something different with this book and I’m really proud of it.
Date: As a child, what was your all time favorite book and/or genres for reading? What inspired you as a reader?
Francene: I loved all different kinds of books as a child but my favorites would have to be the books in Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree series. My sisters and I were obsessed with these books and we would talk about them constantly and re-enact scenes. We found a tree near our house that we were convinced was the faraway tree and we would spend hours looking for fairies. As I got older I moved away from fantasy because I couldn’t find the types of books I enjoyed but I’ve often thought about writing a fantasy book.
Date: What book(s) or author(s) has most influenced your writing? Does reading influence your writing?
Francene: I have a degree in English literature and I’m very influenced by the classics. Several of my books have references to classic authors or quotes from books that I’ve loved like Great Expectations.
Date: What has been your biggest accomplishment?
Francene: My biggest accomplishment has been getting published. It was such a thrill to know that somebody out there thought my writing was worthwhile enough to take a chance on, and I still can’t believe it sometimes. I also feel so grateful when people buy my books because it takes a real commitment of time and money to choose the book of an unknown author. I hope I never lose this appreciation for each and every sale.
Date: What has been your biggest disappointment?
Francene: When I first started out I had very unrealistic expectations about how much I would sell. I got a bit carried away with dreams of fame and fortune, but my first royalty cheque was in single figures and it brought me back to reality with a thud.
Date: As a reader, I am drawn to a book first by its title and then by its cover. As an author, how do you make sure you are successful in choosing both a book and a title?
Francene: It’s so hard to know what’s going to work with a title and cover so I just go with my gut instincts. I buy premade covers because there are some great ones out there that cost very little. First impressions are so important and it’s vital to get the cover right because it can really affect your sales.
Date: I have been overwhelmed with requests by the author choosing self-publication. Even though I have been overwhelmed, I have been amazed at the talent from these requests. What are you feelings about self-publication? What words of encouragement to you give to other writers?
Francene: I was against self-publishing to begin with, but after trying it out with a short story I realized that it is a very viable option for new authors. There are so many great books out there that might never have seen the light of day if platforms like Amazon and Smashwords were not available. I think more and more of the best sellers are going to be by self-published authors and it’s going to totally reshape the publishing industry. We live in very exciting times for publishing! My advice to new authors is don’t rush into things. Make sure your book is properly edited and proofread before you send it out there because your professional reputation is very important.
Date: If a reader is intrigued by this interview, what book of yours should he/she start out reading and why?
Francene: If you are interested in suspense you could try my novella Hunger of the Wolf which is available for 99cents on Amazon. This will give you a good taste of my writing style . If you like that you could then try my novel Shadows of Yesterday which is in the same genre. On the other hand if you like romantic comedy then you should enjoy Pleasure Island. You can check out the first chapter below.
Pleasure Island - First Chapter