Interview and Giveaway: Petie McCarty
Hello Sizzling Hot Books readers! I’m Petie McCarty, and I write contemporary romance stories with suspenseful elements and plenty of sexual tension, yet all are still rated PG-13. An aquatic biologist by profession, I create stories imbued with an environmental flavor, which is a comfortable match for romance readers who love nature and the out-of-doors. My debut novel – Everglades, released by Desert Breeze Publishing in May 2012 — is a perfect example. The story centers around a photojournalist, on airboat safari in the Everglades, who gets stranded alone with her hunky airboat guide and learns trust is the key to survival in the famed River of Grass.
Tell us about your latest book. Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
Catch of the Day released at Thanksgiving, so I had a lot to be thankful for this year. *huge smile* The story pairs a beautiful accountant with a Special Ops Coast Guard captain in a private fishing tournament in the Doc-Hollywood-esque town of Loon Alabama. I hope to make readers laugh out loud one minute and grip the edge of their seat in the next. The mayor makes up his own rules for the town tournament, his lunkhead son plans to cheat to win the event, and his daughter just plans to cheat to win the captain. There’s plenty of excitement for everyone when inept drug smugglers come looking for their uncut diamonds inadvertently stashed in the Coast Guard captain’s borrowed bass boat as the exchange point for their smuggled drugs.
In just another month, my third novel No Going Back will be released, and this will be the first of what I call my Rescue Angel romances. These stories will all have a secret angel hidden in the plot, and the reader doesn’t learn the angel’s identity until the finale. If I’ve done my job right, I’ll surprise the reader every time.
In No Going Back, Kellen Brand’s inheritance turns out to be a whopper — a dilapidated farm in West Virginia and one guardian angel. When Kellen stumbles onto a clandestine hazardous-waste-dumping operation next to her farm, she’s going to need that guardian angel just to survive.
What inspired you to write Catch of the Day?
As I mentioned before, I’m an aquatic biologist, and my lake survey partner is also a professional angler with the national Bassmaster Southern Opens series. He returns home from his national events with lots of crazy fishing tournament stories, and one day the idea for Catch of the Day just popped in my head.
In fact, the climactic boat chase scene was completely rewritten after my partner returned home from a tournament with a tale about one of the professional anglers jumping a real-live beaver dam with his bass boat to get to the primo fishing habitat on the other side. I figured if a professional anger could accomplish the feat, then so could my heroes. Except my heroes did it during a high-speed chase with Colombian drug dealers. *grin*
How do you describe your writing style?
My writing style is always “write as fast as you can and fix the details in editing.” That’s probably why I enjoy editing so much. *smile* When my next official book idea pops in my head, the story always comes with a beginning, the major conflict, and the big finale. All at once…SLAM! It’s all there, and I know this is the next novel, no questions asked. Week-to-week ideas merely flit through for a short while and move on.
When writing who is in charge you or your characters? How do you deal with bossy characters?
I guess my characters are always in charge. When the official idea [see previous question] pops in, the movie starts running in my head, and I spend a couple days speed-writing scene bullets to get it all down on paper. I’ve watched the main characters flit through all these movie scenes, thus predetermining their niceness or bossiness. Usually only secondary characters are added or changed as I proceed to write out all the scenes, and the changes are only to maintain the flow and the needs of the original “movie.”
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
My biggest challenge is a common one — time management and learning to get by on less sleep. Oops, that was two. *grin*
Like most authors, I have a day job, and I’m lucky enough to work at “the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World.” This is also quite conducive to those “happily ever after” endings to my stories. But my writing life is restricted to nights and weekends, and I’ve been known to pen a scene in the doctor’s office or the car shop. When I sit down at the computer after-hours, I find a second full-time job awaiting me: scenes to write or type; manuscripts to edit; a web site to update; book reviews to request; blog posts to make; emails to read and answer; and interview questions to finish. *beam* Hours dissolve before my very eyes. I look up and five or six hours have literally disappeared.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
Back to the time issue for this question. The most surprising thing about being published is the amount of time you expend NOT writing your next book. I was absolutely shocked by how little time I spent actually writing my next story. When you are waiting to be published, all there is is your work in progress. Published authors must be careful to separate enough time away from marketing and other draws on their time to maintain the same level of creativity and expertise for their work in progress. Getting in a hurry or worse yet, racing to finish will certainly result in an inferior product.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
There is only one really good word of advice for unpublished writers, and it’s the key to all things accomplished — PERSEVERANCE. The great Stephen King said it best: “The only difference between published and unpublished writers is the published writers never gave up.” And I am proof positive of that. Keep writing and when you do finally get published, you will have a backlog of wonderful, polished books for sale. *sticking two enthusiastic thumbs up*
Now for a fun question, what is in your TBR pile?
I am a bit of a Highlander addict — the consummate Scottish alpha male. Yum! My favorite Highlander authors are the fabulous Monica McCarty (Wow — Can you believe it? Same last name, no relation.) and Margaret Mallory. Michele Sinclair is right there with them on my shelf, too. So the books I’m looking forward to next are Monica’s “The Saint” and Margaret’s “The Warrior.”
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? Was your family and friends supportive?
Actually, I had never wanted to write or even considered writing until about ten years ago. My job had gone through some changes, and I was unhappy and thinking about a new job. While considering possibilitiesive to those “ishe the feat, then socould my heroes. Except my heroes did it during a high-speed chase , I decided to be smart for a change — I prayed. I’m a big believer in praying for the small stuff. So I asked God to find me the job He wanted me to have…and then I waited. I figured if God picked out my next job, I would have to like it. A month went by, then two, and a niggling idea for a story took root [a rescue angel story *wink*]and the movie running in my head harassed me for weeks. That was 9-1/2 manuscripts ago…
As for my family — my sister Katy single-handedly kept me writing on three separate occasions when I was determined to quit, and so my first book is dedicated to her. Always remember your family will go through ups and downs in their level of support just like we go through ups and downs with our writing celebrations and rejections, and we must be as patient with them as they are with us.
Who (if anyone) has been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
From the beginning, I have always read voraciously and in a wide range of fiction genres, learning valuable techniques from so many of the great ones. I truly believe reading to be the greatest teacher for a new author. I don’t even put down bad books. You can learn as much from a poorly written book as you can from the “masters
What are you currently working on? Anything you can share regarding your current Work in Progress?
I’m working on my second Rescue Angel romance – appropriately titled, Angel to the Rescue — about a child psychologist with a six-year-old client who says he can see angels. In the finale, a stalker takes the psychologist and her young clients hostage at a Christmas party. Yikes! I’m also working on a contemporary-regency time travel. The thirteenth Duke of Reston falls into a fountain on his Hampshire estate, hits his head, and wakes up back in regency times where his ancestor, the rakehell seventh Duke of Reston, could pass for his twin.
Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.
Thank you for allowing me to spend time with Sizzling Hot Books readers. If you find the time to read this spring, please give one of my books a try and come visit my web site — http://www.petiemccarty.com. Leave me your address and I’ll mail you an autographed bookplate of your choice.
Please leave a comment and email below for a chance to win an a copy of Petie’s book EVERGLADES. Thanks and Goodluck!