ANNOUNCEMENT: The winner of a copy of Carla’s novel is Patsy Collins. Congratulations Patsy
Carla Caruso’s my guest on MBB today. She’s come to tell us about her new novel SECOND CHANCE. It’s a timeslip novel about Flora, a thirtysomething woman who has a lot of regrets in her life and miraculously gets a second chance to go back and do things differently the second time around. I‘m currently in the throes of reading the book and am finding it hilarious.
So, Carla, let’s hear from you!
Your books seem to be really fun, light fiction – of course I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. How would you describe your writing?
Actually you’ve probably hit the nail on the head. I’m a fan of romantic comedy/chick-lit authors myself, like Sophie Kinsella and Maggie Alderson, plus rom-com films, so I guess that flows into my work. Plus, I have a background in magazine and feature writing, which lends itself to a lighter, more conversational tone. So this drifts into my fiction writing, too. I have actually just finished penning a darker, more serious piece and – oh my gosh! – I’m itching to do something humorous and upbeat again. I find it a more fun place to dwell as a writer!
Can you tell us a little about the main characters in your current release, SECOND CHANCE?
Indeed. The heroine is Flora Brunelli, who’s fun and feisty but is, well, slightly “living in the past”. She’s stuck in a dead-end graphic design job, single and still moaning about her so-called perfect first boyfriend, Ruben Jax. On the night of her 36th birthday, she finds herself zapped back in time, landing in the summer of 1998 when she was 20 years old. She couldn’t be happier – hey, it’s when she “peaked”. She can change her future for the better. But after a while, Flora begins to wonder if living in the past really will deliver her the happiness she seeks?
Then there’s Lance Devic, her ex’s best friend… Flora never really noticed him before, but he keeps popping up and messing with her head. He’s never been one to embrace the new, preferring old-style music, cars, cameras and clunky antique presses… which may have something to do with him not wanting to forget the past as his mum died when he was young.
Who is your favourite writer and why? Has your favourite writer influenced your own writing?
Sophie Kinsella, behind the Shopaholic series! Her writing is so funny and easy to read and I just marvel at how she does it. She makes it all look so easy – it just flows – but I bet she puts a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it. I think she has had an influence on me as I love putting my heroines in funny situations a la Sophie!
Did it take you long to write SECOND CHANCE?
I’m never very good at keeping track of time on projects, but I think it was about six months in between my day job as a freelance journalist. I think I’m getting quicker at pulling stories together though (hopefully!) Being a journalist, I have a short attention span, so I like to be finished with one project and onto another ASAP and not look back (well, not until I see the shiny, published product – all going to plan).
Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
The everyday! I find humour in the day-to-day situations and little annoyances we all face – and the different characters I cross paths with. Writing can also be like therapy for any not-so-nice experiences. I can write about them and chortle in hindsight, rather than shuddering every time I’m reminded. It puts a nicer “glow” on past memories (like working for a horrible boss) and gives a reason for things happening in your life – as in, good fodder for my next novel!
CARLA ON THE WEB
Carla’s giving an ecopy of her novel to one lucky commenter to remember to comment before leaving.