Wednesday, November 14, 2012
You can go "Home" again . . . An mmMMonday with Cardeno C.
Just for reading this interview, and commenting on it, you are entered to possibly win a FREE book. SO DO IT! And you'll be glad you did!
Wt - So . . . Wt Prater here for the Just Write and SO Gay blog, and tonight I'm interviewing Cardeno C. Thank you so much for the opportunity.
CC - Hey there! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me.
Wt - So it seems like you're online a lot like me. How much time per week would you say you spend FaceBook?
CC - I check in on FB several times a day and I keep it minimized on my screen when I'm working, but I don't generally spend long periods of time actually on FB.
Wt - So no playing Farmville for you?
CC - No, definitely no Farmville for me.
Wt - It's like crack, i swear. I had a slight addiction problem, a brief stay at FA (Farmville Anon) and now I'm cold turkey. Off it, I mean.
CC - I had no idea. Don't tell me details. I'm all set with my caffeine addiction. I don't need to add to the list.
Wt - Fair enough. So do you market yourself as well on FaceBook? And if so, tell me about your experiences.
CC - I include information about upcoming releases or contests where I'm giving away books on FaceBook. I also include links to blog posts. If I do blog interviews (like this one), I post links on FB. And I've participated in a FB chat through Dreamspinner and I'll be doing another on November 17th. Those are my main FB marketing efforts.
Wt - And have you been able to see results from that?
CC - I really can't say. I don't have a way to track my book sales to know who is buying them or how they've heard of the books. I imagine blog interviews (like this) help. And giveaways, whether through blogs or Dreamspinner's recent Octoberganza, bring new readers. But I think having a presence on FB probably helps too. Whether or not I sell more books as a result, I do think it's a nice way to interact with readers.
Wt - Fair enough. Which social/networking sites are you on?
CC - I'm on FB and I'm also on twitter. Twitter is newer for me and I'm still getting the hang of it.
Wt - Me too. And do you do conventions too?
CC - No, I don't.
Wt - Not a convention kinda person?
CC - I'm really, really not. First, I'm time-limited so getting away for days at a time is almost impossible. Also, I'm bat-shit crazy in the I don't like crowds, don't like public speaking way. Plus, I'm a really simple person. I'm happy at home or with small groups of friends hanging out. I don't do big party scenes or bar scenes well, so ...Yeah, conventions are hard for me. I went to one in March and I'm still recovering.
Wt - LOL. Ok. SO, how did you get into writing?
CC - I had stories in my head so I decided to write them. I didn't know about gay romance novels then (that there were publishers who published them) or even ebooks. So I posted my stories online. Eventually readers told me about Dreamspinner Press and suggested that I submit my stories to them. I took their advice, not expecting to get published. I can't tell you how grateful I am that I get the chance to publish my books and that readers buy them. It's a real dream come true for me.
Wt - So, Dreamspinner is your home press. Have you worked with other presses?
CC - No, I haven't. All of my books have been published through Dreamspinner.
Wt - So capture The Home Series in . . . 25 words or less.
CC - Okay, hard question, but I think I have it: A collection of novels about the family we choose and the home we build together. Each book focuses on a different couple's journey toward love.
Wt - Now, do the same with the Mates Series. LOL.
CC - A collection of shifter/vampire novels about discovering and embracing ourselves and those we love as we are, even if society says that different is wrong.
Wt - Tell me about your process of writing a series? Did you plan the entire series before you started? Have things happened to change the series as you've written them?
CC - Yes to both questions.
For the Mates series, there is a fairly specific plan for the series as a whole because it is a paranormal series.
I need to build a world in which the characters live and explain their community norms, their physiological characteristics, and how they relate to the world around them.
Those details are the basis of the world in which the characters live and they need to be understood throughout the series.
Also, for Mates, while I want each book to stand on its own, I also want a story arc to work through the series so a reader who reads the entire thing will experience the world I'm building and how it develops as a result of the characters.
That makes the series exciting to write, but also challenging and time-consuming.
For Home, I have a much more simple task. I'm writing about people who are much like people I know and you know.
A group of friends living their lives.
Each book tells about a different couple and while I don't have the details of each journey planned in advance, I do have some idea of where each couple will go. That's important as they make cameo appearances in each other's books.
Wt- Absolutely, and the sixth book in the Home series comes out soon. Tell me about it.
CC - The One Who Saves Me is the 6th book in the Home series.
Wt - I just said that. lol.
CC - I think of it as a friends to lover story, sort of. More specifically, it's a boys to men, friends to friends with benefits, friends with benefits to platonic roommates, and ultimately lovers/partners. Put that in a tag line.
Wt - Is that a challenge? LOL. I love a good challenge. Do you feel that you've grown as a writer while writing this series?
CC - No doubt about it, I've grown as a writer with each book I write. I enjoy challenging myself with POVs in books, with timelines, with secretly hidden soap boxes (shh, don't tell). I hope I'm getting better as time goes on.
Wt - Any special fan moments? Getting feedback about your work? Good or bad?
CC - People who read my writing are the entire reason I'm published. I owe them 100% of that - from giving me the idea to do it to telling me what publisher to use.
So, yes, I'd say I've had special moments. I've said on FB before that I am not one of those writers who writes only for myself. I started out writing because I wanted to share positive, uplifting stories about gay relationships. No tragic AIDS or bullying deaths,
no horrible tortured lives. Just real people living real lives and being strong enough to find their happiness. But I'll tell you that once people started reading the books, I felt like I was writing to tell the stories and to make the readers happy. People have a lot of options when they buy books, they're spending their hard-earned money. And I want very much for them to feel like when they buy my books, they haven't wasted their money or their time. That makes me anxious with every book I write, but I feel like I should be anxious at some level. I'm creating something for people who have supported me and I never want to take for granted the importance of not letting them down.
Wt - What are your musical and writing muses? AKA Any writers you love to be compared to and what music do you write to?
CC - Every book I write is inspired at some level by a song or songs. That inspiration is hinted at in every title and there are often aspects to the story itself that can be seen in the lyrics. When I start a story, I first think about the characters and their journey. And then I think about what song reminds me of them. I pick a song and use that as my inspiration as I write that book.
Wt - Can you name which song for which book?
CC - Here goes:
Wake Me Up Inside: “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence
The One Who Saves Me: "Wonderwall" by Oasis.
Love at First Sight: “Love at First Sight” by Kylie Minogue.
Just What the Truth Is: "Nights in White Satin" by the Moody Blues
Places in Time: “A Place in Time” by Amanda Abizaid
Where He Ends: "Where You End and I Begin" by Radiohead
He Completes Me: "You Complete Me" by Keyshia Cole
Home Again: "Love Song" by the Cure.
Did I get them all? Oh, my new book, Eight Days, is inspired by Dido's “White Flag”
But the title is inspired by the holiday because it is a novella in Dreamspinner's Advent Calendar.
Wt - And writers who inspire you. or you aspire to be compared to?
CC- I think I'm inspired at some level by everything. Books I read, news, songs, friends, family, etc. So I'm not sure how to answer that question. Sorry.
Wt - Alright, last question: Are there any questions you wished I'd ask, or one you never want to be asked again?
CC - LOL. I think you did an outstanding job! No complaints here. Thanks again for taking the time to interview me. Hopefully I haven't put you to sleep.
Wt - Never. Thanks again for doing this.
Cardeno C. is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a little happiness and a few "awwws" into a reader's day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno often feels that characters write their own stories and just hopes to find enough time to get those stories on the page. And Cardeno loves to hear from readers so please drop a line to share your thoughts on a story.