by Toni Carter
I’ve been writing since I was a preteen, truly fluffy and overwrought drivel which I have boxed in a dungeon somewhere. I should torch the evidence soon. Since I never showed them to anyone, no one ever told me I couldn’t write, so I kept writing, oblivious. I must have written at least 500,000 words before becoming smitten with the idea of publishing any of it.
What are you working on at the moment?
My next novel, Forever Elude Me, is a romance novella due to publish in October 2013. After that I am considering serializing a fantasy (in the footsteps of Charles Dickens). Not quite sure how I’m going to do it but I’m intrigued by the format.
Do you plan your novels? How do you prepare?
I am always in the midst of at least 2 novels. While finishing one up, my mind is already moving onto the next one and the one after that. Once I “officially” begin a novel, I immerse myself in its world by creating a playlist and a Pinterest board. Regarding one work in progress (to be published in 2014) I must have read at least 10 books about ancient history before I even began writing.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
When the daydreams in my head turn into words on a page.
What do you get up to when you're not writing?
Reading! My other passion. That’s the one thing about writing full force, I don’t have as much time to read so I try to grab little pockets of relaxation with a good book whenever I can.
What advice would you give to anyone starting out?
Since I’m only 4+ months into publishing, I can only say persevere. I think it was Joe Konrath who famously said that he wrote a million words before he ever found success as a published writer.
If your book was made into a film, who would you want to play the main characters?
For Adam, I would cast a Daniel Craig-type British actor, rough-looking, slightly menacing yet could quote Shakespeare at a moment’s notice. For Eden, I would cast an exotic-looking actress with a hint of vulnerability, someone like Nicole Scherzinger.
Tell us about your current book.
Dear Adam is about a book blogger who falls passionately in love with a man she’s neither met nor seen. At one point, Eden, my main character, describes what she considers romantic: “deep conversations, the exchange of heartfelt letters, a meeting of souls”, which happens to reflect my notion of romance as well, oddly enough :) That’s why the concept of two bibliophiles who fall in love without ever meeting and one of them not knowing what the other looks like intrigued me. I was drawn to the challenge of making their story believable, touching, and above all romantic.
Tell us how you settled on the title.
Dear Adam came to me right away. I love it for its simplicity and symbolic nature because much of the story is told through e-mails, as well as texts, chats, and phone conversations.
What project are you working on now?
I am deep into Forever Elude Me, a novella set to publish in October 2013, about a usually prudent woman’s life-changing encounter with a handsome stranger in Istanbul.
What do you enjoy about being a writer?
That first time when I’m seduced by a premise and I fall head over heels in love with it. Once I commit and actually do the hard work of writing it, I feel very proud to see it through to the end. But what thrills me the most is when someone reads my work and is touched by it and I hear/read lovely remarks like: “I dreamt about the characters.” “I am obsessed with this book.” “I stayed up all night to finish it.”
What are you reading at the moment?
I just started The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker, which mentions Pride and Prejudice right away, so I know it’s probably going to be good!
Tell us a little bit about you and how you came to be a writer.
The first thing that led me to writing was reading. I’ve always been a voracious reader. I hope this doesn’t sound like a generic online dating profile but I also love to travel and love to eat/cook (actually, eating more than cooking). So those who read a few of my books will notice the following: 1) at least one scene where a character will rhapsodize over food 2) at least one scene in a foreign setting (specifically, foreign to an American) and 3) at least one literary reference/allusion. My writing style in a nutshell: Eat, Travel, Books.
And Just for fun can I ask you these quickies?
Sweet or sour? Sweet.
City or Countryside? Give me trees!
Ice cream or Sorbet? Gelato :)
Tea or Coffee? Mocha
Fact or Fiction? Fact that reads like fiction.
Facebook or Twitter? Twitter (but only because that’s where Adam and Eden “meet”)
Dogs or Cats? Dogs
eReader or paperback? eReader (but I do love how a paper book feels)
Summer or Winter? Summer
Concert or theatre? Theatah
To book blogger Eden, Adam is the embodiment of every literary fantasy she’s ever had. Intelligent, wickedly funny, sexy, and attentive – he and his fascinating life seem right out of a book. Their whirlwind relationship is so intense and all consuming that soon she can’t imagine being with anyone else.
But there’s one little thing that’s keeping Adam and Eden from their happily ever after.
They’ve never met. She doesn’t even know what he looks like.
Despite how hard she’s fallen for him and how he makes her feel, Eden’s doubts begin to threaten their passionate love affair. Why is he so mysterious? Why does he seem reluctant to meet her? What is Adam hiding?
Afraid that she’s being made a fool of, Eden is forced to choose between her heart and her head. Is Adam too good to be true, as her common sense is telling her, or is the truth more startling than fiction?
She stared at the audio file Adam had sent her - "My Enemy" - as though caught in a trance. Then shaking off the strange paralysis that had gripped her, she clicked on it and heard Adam's voice for the first time.
Eden’s mouth hung open. She listened to it again. She accessed her e-mail on her iPod and brought it with her to the bathroom. She took off her clothes and got in the shower while Adam read the poem he wrote, letting his words wash over her bare skin. After she got out, while still dripping wet, she played it one more time. Then looked at her face in the mirror, which told her everything.
She was in trouble.
Wrapped in a towel, Eden sat in front of her laptop, a bit dazed. She knew that Adam was on the other side of the world, still awake and waiting for her reaction.
One thing she was now sure of, Adam was no one she had ever met before. She could never forget a voice like his.
If she had heard it in a crowded room, she would have been immediately captivated, pushed through and jostled bodies until she found the man to whom it belonged.
It was deep, as she had guessed. British and educated, but neither cold nor stiff. His voice was soulful and mysterious. Commanding. Rich and hypnotic. She wanted to sink into its sensual depths and be smothered with it.
She should have guessed from his evasive e-mail. He knew what his voice would do to her. She felt ambushed.
In her childhood Ava Zavora would ride water buffaloes and wade in swamps. When she discovered books, she would go adventuring with Anne of Green Gables, the Pevensies, Bilbo Baggins, or Alanna of Trebond. She incurred her mother's displeasure for reading too many romance novels, so she learned to hide them and read underneath covers with a flashlight late at night. Nowadays, she travels and write dark fairy tales and romantic novels about adventurous women. And she still stays up too late reading, even though she doesn't get in trouble for it anymore.
Connect With Ava;
Amazon US author page
Amazon UK author page
Goodreads author page