I was featured on Lacey Dearie's Tangled Web at http://www.laceydearie.com/ where Lacey and I talk about Sea Witch, mermaids, and A Dilemma for Daisy. Here it is. Thank you, Lacey. Had a great time. Hugs.
Lacey Dearie's Tangled Web
I'm not everyone's cup of tea. I'd rather be someone's shot of whisky anyway.
It's interview time again! I haven't done any interviews with other authors for a while and the nosey part of me was starting to miss that, so I've invited some fellow writers to join me on my blog in the next few weeks. Some have been here before and I'm lucky enough that they didn't mind the interrogation last time and have come back but some are brand new and even I don't know anything about them. Today I'm welcoming back the lovely Carol Ann Kauffman, author of the excellent Time After Time series who has just released a new sci-fi fantasy story, Sea Witch. She was last here in my Tangled Web in 2014 (you can read that interview here) and today we're on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, mermaid hunting!
Carol, welcome back! Why don't you tell us a bit about your new book?
Sea Witch is an interesting combination of many genres. It started out as a story of scientist, Laura Martin, and her work with alien sea creatures at Touchstone, a special facility in southern Florida.
“The Touchstone Institute of Oceanographic Research is the most fantastic, exhilarating place on the planet to work. It is high energy, exciting, sometimes maddening, often frightening, heart pounding work. It’s not a job. It’s a lifetime commitment. It gets in your blood. It grabs you by the throat and possesses you, body and soul. And it is work. If you’re not prepared to work your ass off day in and day out, weekends, holidays, your birthday, and your mamma’s birthday, leave now.”
Add government cover-ups, DNA manipulation, and love with a young, handsome hero to this sci-fi/fantasy tale, and it’s one unusual story.
It's a beautiful day for some mermaid spotting, isn't it? Now, mermaids are obviously mythical creatures. What would you say your favourite mythical creature is?
I’ve always had a feeling mermaids and mermen have a dark side we have yet to see portrayed in film, so I am afraid of them! I would have to say the Phoenix is my favourite mythical creature. She is a long-lived bird with beautiful plumage who regenerates from her own ashes and is reborn to live again.
I read the blurb for your book... "Dr. Laura Martin, Chief Extraterrestrial Life Scientist at The Touchstone Institute of Oceanographic Research, noticed troubling but subtle changes in the Atlantic Ocean. Before she could make sense of it all, her longtime assistant abruptly walked out. Laura hired young, handsome Scott Conner to be her personal assistant. Mayhem ensued, mainly because of Zara, the mermaid/siren/monster in the basement of the Touchstone Institute, who eyed on Scott as her possible mate in a plot for total domination of planet Earth." That sounds like powerful stuff! What gave you the idea?
I never know where my ideas come from. I start a story with a few characters who capture my interest and make detailed character profiles, for example in Sea Witch, I knew the characters of Laura, Scott, and Zara, the alien.
Then you wind them up, set them down, and record what happens.
I think I just spotted a mermaid! Oh, wait. It's just a big sparkly fish. Never mind. OK, Zara from your book, Madison from Splash and Ariel from The Little Mermaid are in a fight. Who wins?
Oh, Zara wins, hand down. She is a mean one. Though intelligent and able to communicate well with our species, this is a creature bent on world domination.
How does this book differ from others you have written?
This one is more science fiction than my others. Belterra and Lord of Blakeley were classified as sci-fi because they took place on a planet other than Earth and there were alien races, but this one delves deeper into alien races and their interest in Earth as a possible home.
How long did this book take you to write, from start to finish?
Six months. The actual writing was about four months. Upon completion, I let it sit for a month and work on something else. Then I pulled it up and edited and re-edited before sending it out to my beta readers. One final round of editing was needed before publishing, first in kindle, and then in paperback.
This is a sort of sci-fi, fantasy book, isn't it? Do you enjoy dabbling in different genres?
Yes! I am sure I’ve confused my readers moving from paranormal love stories to alien sea creatures lurking in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico Florida coast. But my readers are always up for a roaster coaster ride with me. I tell them, “Come on! It’ll be fun.” Belterra was a post apocalyptic adventure on a primitive world. Lord of Blakeley introduced my readers to time traveling lovers and villains
I absolutely love the cover for this book. Who's responsible for that?
Isn’t it terrific? The cover is the work of my wonderful cover artist, Beth Maddox of Cover It Up Designs. She has done the covers of my novels, Echo of Heartbreak, The Baslicato, and Lord of Blakeley as well.
If you could be any sea creature, mythical or real, which one would you be?
Real: A sea otter. Did you ever see them floating down stream holding hands? They are so cute!
Mythical: A mermaid, but not like Zara, more like Ariel or Madison.
What's coming next from you? Are there any other books in the pipeline?
A Dilemma for Daisy, Book 4 in the Monday Murder Society series came out in May from Books To Go Now Publishers. This was a fascinating project. Five books written by five different authors from around the world wrote about the members of a book club (Monday Mystery Society) in a small Ohio town, where these members find more than their next favorite author. I had no idea how this was going to work. The same characters show up in each book, so we were writing around each other! But it worked out so well.
Have you read Echo of Heartbreak, A Recipe for Life? Well, the baby at the end of the book grows up and is the main character of MacKalvey House, the story of Michelle Valentina Rosemont, a young American photographer living in small town near London. It is presently with my beta readers and Beth is working on the cover now. I am projecting a July release.
Did you read Madison’s Christmas? The sequel, Christmas at Star Lake, takes place the following year and picks up on the life of Madison Rand. We are expecting a November release for that one.
I have been sitting on a completed Charming Deception. A publisher of romance novels in Australia wanted to divide it into three short stories, and I resisted. I’m not sure what to do with it. The first chapter is available to read on visionandverse.blogspot.com.
You're a mermaid princess living at the bottom of the ocean with the perfect life down there and want for nothing. What are the things you miss about human life?
The desert. I love the desert. I was enthralled by the Arizona desert the first time we drove through it. It’s like another planet compared to where I am in sunless, gray Ohio.
And crunchy food. Crisps. I don’t suppose things stay crunchy at the bottom of the sea.
Will any of the characters from this book be appearing in other stories?
That depends on how well Sea Witch is received. There is a possibility that we could see Laura and Scott save the planet from another bout of alien domination.
If you want to check out this book or any of Carol's other books, you can contact her on any of the links below.