Hello everyone! Are you ready for Christmas? Please welcome Author Ina Carter to my blog with her new release, CRIMSON SNOW! This is a stop on the Goddess Fish Virtual Book Tour. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card at the end of the tour, via rafflecopter, so be sure to follow all the stops. The more you comment the better your chances of winning!
GENRE: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
$.99 cents during the tour
The Greeks had seven words for LOVE. I felt all of them for ONE MAN…
My name is Lauren, and I was a stolen baby.
They found me in a trailer park in rural Texas when I was eight years old. My childhood wasn’t perfect, but then I had Kevin. He was my everything…
When they returned me to my biological parents, we were torn apart.
My new family desperately tried to fix me, make me forget him… My father kept me on a short leash and controlled every aspect of my life. The one thought keeping me afloat was to find Kevin, but he vanished without a trace.
I searched for him for twelve years, but the man I found was not the boy I lost. He is a college baseball star, tattooed, moody, and dark… And he hates me.
Can Kevin help me defeat my demons, or does he have too many of his own?
READ AN EXCERPT
“The Greeks had seven words for Love, Laurie. And somehow, I know I’ll experience all of them with you… Philautia is the only selfish love and for a long time I didn’t love myself. When I doubted myself, I remembered you, and how you used to look at me. To you, I was a giant, someone who could move mountains and conquer dragons. Even now, you look at me the same way, and I feel stronger in your hands, and want to be a better man…”
He was telling me things that were making my heart hammer in my chest, but at the same time, his fingers were burning fire on my skin, because with every button he undid, he caressed the skin underneath. Kevin was seducing me with his words, and I was melting under his fingers.
“When we were kids, my love for you was Philia – a brotherly love, that innocent feeling you have for a friend. It might have been platonic, but just because you are small doesn’t mean your capacity to love is less. In fact, a child’s love is unbridled, unconditional, the purest form of emotion I can think of… And you and I will always have that… To this day, I feel Philia for you, and I always will.”
Kevin then leaned and placed a kiss over his name on my chest, leaving an imprint more permanent than the engraving on my skin.
“Philia, baby, is also the love of the mind, and it is what makes us feel safe in each other’s presence. With you, I am not afraid to share any of my struggles, and you freed me. I carried so much pain internally, but you took it away…”
Then Kevin took my face between his palms and kissed my cheek, in the same gentle way as the young boy of my childhood did when I was sad – he always kissed the tears away.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Ina Carter. I was born in Europe and moved to the US in my early twenties. I live in California with my husband, two kids, and one rescue cat named Rose. I graduated from college with a degree in Psychology and Social Studies, and later when my kids were born, I went back to school to study Graphic Design. I always had a creative side, and writing was part of it. I started writing as a teenager, but for many years it was just a hobby. This year I finally made the decision to share two of my novels with the world. Both Crimson Snow and my romantic comedy Big Gray were released in May 2020 through Amazon KDP publishing. I am still finding my way as an independent author and trying to navigate the marketing side of promoting my books.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing a novel is the one thing I enjoy the most. Being transported into my fictional world is like living another life. All of the experiences of my characters enrich my own inner self, and a lot of times, they teach me about the world that I see through their eyes. We are only given one life, but when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes when you feel what they might be feeling, you become a better person.
The one problem I have while writing is to edit all the redundant details I go into. When I immerse myself in my characters' world, I tend to describe even mundane things or events, and they don’t always contribute to the story. The best advice I got from my editor Jessica Tastet is when reading each chapter or scene to ask myself that exact question “Does it move the plot forward?” In the editing process, this helps me clear out all the “fluff” and focus on the plot dynamics. Unlike me, readers don’t really care what blend of coffee my heroine prefers. 😉
Any habits while writing? (music, food, etc.)
I like to immerse myself in my stories as much as possible. To me, to be transported to another place, you need to “experience” it with all your senses.
I listen to music that sets the mood for the type of novel I am writing, and it’s usually one artist or album I connect to. While writing Crimson Snow, I listened to the love ballads of the Belgian/Canadian singer/songwriter Lara Fabian. Something about her music had that lyrical
feel that resonated with Kevin and Lauren’s story. When one of my characters listens to a song, I’ll play it too while I write the scene, so I am more connected to them emotionally.
If a character drinks a glass of wine, I’ll have one myself 😉 Helps with the creative flow.
I also “cast” my characters before I start writing. I’d search for images of people online until I find someone who looks like my heroes, the way I imagine them in my head. I’d print those pictures or pin them to my computer screen, so I can look at them while I write. I am a visual storyteller, and the scenes play like a movie in my head, and it’s important to me to have those detailed images of my heroes.
The weirdest thing about my writing process is that to channel my characters, I need more stimuli. I light different scented candles depending on the POV of the scene. If it’s male POV, I’ll use more masculine scents like sandalwood, bergamot, or tobacco, and if it's a female POV, it would be candles that match my heroine’s personality – spicy, sweet, or bold. I do go on a search for candles before I start writing, so I can find the ones that match my main heroes.
What kind of research do you do before writing, and how long do you spend researching?
The most significant part of my research process is to visit in person all the places I describe in my books. I’ve lived in two states – Washington and California, so those are the usual settings for many of my books. I like to travel all over the US and abroad and usually set our family vacations around the location settings of my next book. Don’t tell my husband, but I did intentionally write one of my upcoming paranormal romances to be set in Paris. It was not only a great vacation but a way to drag my husband to a tour of the Paris catacombs. 😊
How many hours per day do you write?
It depends. I don’t write every day, but I have periods when I write day and night. My rough drafts take between 30-60 days of continued writing. I take a few months for research, but once I have a complete outline, it doesn’t take me too long to write the story. I run all of the scenes in my head, even dialogue, so it’s more about putting it on the page, and finding the right wording to describe the scene. I polish and change all the problem areas during the editing process. I
like to work with editors who give me “tough love.” This helps me work on all the problems I don’t address in my initial draft.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I read all of my reviews – good or bad. The good reviews are great for an author’s self-esteem and boost my energy to keep writing. I actually appreciate the criticism I receive from readers and don’t take it personally. I am a tough cookie, and my ego is not that fragile😉. I chose to work with editors, beta readers, and consultants, who don’t shower me with praises but have a critical eye and point out my mistakes. The same goes for reviewers. The one thing I don’t like is when someone leaves me a bad rating but doesn’t leave a review. This is not constructive criticism; it feels like a rating given in bad faith.
What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
I think I am fixated on my young adult stage of life. Most of my books are New Adult for that reason. Maybe it’s nostalgia for my college years because the most important events in my life happened at that time. I met my husband freshman year in college, and he was my first big love. We married by junior year and had our daughter around graduation. Now she is in college, and writing about that period of life in a way keeps me more in touch with her generation. I have a close relationship with my children, and I honestly like their generation. I am sure it shows in my books that I understand and relate to millennials and Jen-z kids 😊
Have you always been a romance reader?
I discovered my love for romance through the novels of Nicholas Sparks and Nora Roberts. Those are epic love stories, centered on the premise of long-lasting love, and are not about relationships based purely on physical attraction.
I try not to read too much in the genre I am writing because you can always tell if an author reads too much romance. My book ideas come from personal experiences, and I don’t follow the market trends. Staying somewhat detached from the popular books in my genre is a way to maintain certain originality to my plotlines and stick to my own writing style without unintentionally copying some fellow author’s ideas.
My favorite contemporary romance authors are Tara Sivec and Mia Sheridan. Tara and I share a similar quirky and inappropriate sense of humor, and her success as an independent author gave me the courage to publish my first book, “Big Gray.” She is someone I wish I can have drinks with and laugh over stupid jokes. As a romance author, the other side of me is a bit more contemplative and focused on my characters' inner world. This is why I love Mia Sheridan’s novels. They are all unique stories, and she has a deep spiritual understanding of the human soul, something that goes straight to my heart.
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: veggies – bell peppers, tomatoes, and avocado.
Favorite Movie: “Life is beautiful.”
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Favorite Music/Artist: Arctic Monkeys and Muse
Favorite Animal: cat
Favorite Vacation spot: Mexico
MEET & CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR
Ina Carter has always been an avid reader. She discovered her love for writing at an early age when her first poem was published in a literary magazine at age twelve. As a lifetime collector of inspirational stories, Ina believes that love is the most powerful force in the Universe. She writes in multiple genres – romantic comedies, contemporary and paranormal. Ina lives in Southern California with her husband, two kids, and one very temperamental cat. You can find more about Ina and future book releases at www.InaCarter.com
Twitter : Ina Carter (@inacarterbooks) / Twitter