Welcome, Carol! Tell us more about your book—take us beyond the official “book blurb”.
I love this question! It should be a blog post all by itself—Beyond the Blurb—or possibly a fifties sci-fi movie.
Anyway, I keep hearing that readers are surprised by COLOR ME CRAZY. I’m a southern girl, and we speak in delicate innuendos, so I’m not sure how to interpret their surprise. Do they mean they’re surprised in a wow, this is so awesome way? Or do they mean it in a well, bless your heart way? Who knows? But basically, my novel is about a virtuoso guitarist (who was also a child prodigy violinist) with an unpronounceable neurological disorder called synesthesia. He sees colors as sounds, and the inside of his head is a very busy place. He really doesn’t want to be a performer—not even a little bit—and is happy to leave the spotlight behind for the peaceful sanctity of his recording studio, where he much prefers making music. But he falls in love with an out-of-work English professor who never quite got her groupie career off the ground, and because he’s a guy and his self-esteem-o-meter isn’t quite at the full line, he tries for a rock and roll comeback. It’s an epic disaster and I love it.
LOL—let’s go with the “this is so awesome” option 🙂
Sounds great, by the way!
Give us more info about your main characters—who are they?
Julian Wheaton is a superty-hot British guy because I adore superty-hot British guys. I stuck him in Texas because I like Texas. He’s a guitarist because I have a thing for guitarists. He is pierced, inked, and ripped because…you get the idea. He also has some demons and synesthesia because honestly, I think I’m a bit of a sadist. He shies away from the limelight, but he’s an attention magnet and secretly doesn’t hate it.
Cleo Compton is a free spirit who’s never managed conformity, no matter how hard she’s tried. Her attraction for all things rockstar has gotten her in trouble more than once, and when she meets Julian, she sees him as a mistake waiting to happen. She believes she’ll find happiness if she can magically mature and grow up (she’s thirty for crying out loud), and she spends a good deal of COLOR ME CRAZY trying to accomplish adulting.
Who doesn’t love superty-hot British guys? Actually, I’m with you on all of your above likes…
What scene in your book was the most fun to write, and why?
I love, love, love writing dialogue! Every verbal volley between Cleo and Julian was fun for me. I also admit to enjoying the sex scenes—until I realized they would be read by Actual People I Know. Then they kept me up at night….counting how many times I used F-word as a verb.
Excellent! (about the writing dialogue, because good dialogue can be so much fun to read. The bit about actual people you know reading your sex scenes—well, yes, that would be extremely daunting. I’m with you there.)
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve written my entire life. It’s how I sort things out. But I didn’t begin writing fiction until around five years ago. It might be longer. It’s all a blur.
A good blur, I hope…
What do you like best about being a writer?
How extremely fortunate! 😉
What is the most challenging part of being a writer?
And unfortunate. But true!
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
I’m currently working on what is shaping up to be a brilliant seventy-five page synopsis of another Rock ‘n’ Spin novel featuring Cory Maxwell (lead singer of Dead Ringer) as the hero. I’d love for it to be released in 2016, and I’ll obviously have to whittle down the synopsis to a more reasonable number of pages—like two.
LOL—seventy-five pages? Yeah, that’ll be a lot of whittling!
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
I read multiple genres. But in romance, Susan Elizabeth Philips is my all-time fave. But if we’re talking Japanese literary sci-fi, I have a gigantic crush on Haruki Murakami.
Love SEP! Haven’t read any Japanese literary sci-fi…yet.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished the last Outlander book, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. Someone get me a drink! God. I went all the way back and started over with the first one and it took me forever. I’m currently reading a book that’s trending everywhere called the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which can be completely summed up by: THROW EVERYTHING AWAY.
Why can’t books about the joy of hoarding (books) be trending everywhere? I’d get on board with that.
Please share a favorite scene from your book with our readers.
I love this scene because it shows how Julian experiences the music he makes. It also shows how he deals with his growing feelings for Cleo, which is to imagine her as a guitar and play the heck out of her.
Julian tingled all over. His vision was clouded with colors that weren’t even associated with sounds. A guitar would help.
Cleo was killing him. It was time to power through the outer edges of lust and get to the eye of the storm. In other words, to where reality set in and her endless faults irritated him instead of turning him on.
She had moved in under the guise of working until she could get back on her feet. Nobody had come out and said that, but it was the unspoken understanding. Instead, she was working her sweet little ass off and doing a bang-up job. And if that weren’t bad enough, he fucking liked her. And he didn’t want to like her.
He sat on the bed and reached for his faithful Fender. Predictably, it was already plugged into an amp. He liked predictable. He ordered his life around it. And now Cleo had muddied it all up by barging into his life—and his heart— uninvited.
That had only happened once before, and it had been disastrous.
He ran his fingers over the tattoos on his forearm, feeling the small scars beneath the ink. If only everything in his past was as easy to hide.
He leaned back against the headboard, letting the weight of the guitar settle into his lap. If he was patient, a song would come.
At first, it was a single turquoise note, but he quickly teased a rainbow out of it. A few sexy thoughts of Cleo were teased up as well, and he settled the guitar lower on his hips. His head sank back as a melodic strain poured through him. The instrument moaned in ecstasy as he bent a note up, coaxing, enticing, and sweet-talking a candy-apple wail out of it before bringing it down with a shudder.
With Cleo in mind, he tickled the strings and stroked the neck, caressing a deep, mellow tone from somewhere inside the guitar’s polished wood. He raised his hips and built a crescendo, bringing the guitar to a fucking scream. He’d like to make Cleo scream…
“Knock, knock. Julian?”
With a pathetic flat wail, he tossed the guitar aside and hastily sat up.
“Excuse me,” Cleo said, exploding into a scarlet blush. “I’m sorry…”
“I was just playing guitar,” he stammered. Not wanking off.
Fantastic! Thank you so much for being here, Carol!
Read on to find out more about Carol and her new book, COLOR ME CRAZY.
About the Author:
Carol Pavliska began her writing career as a family humor columnist and blogger, a pursuit she abandoned when her children became old enough to realize they were being exploited. To save them from further embarrassment, she turned to writing fiction.
The kids are still embarrassed.
When she’s not creating unrealistic expectations as a romance writer (ripped abs, dramatic temperaments, and eyes like bottomless pools of Hey Girl), she functions quite nicely in her real world, which consists of a delightfully stable husband and five children.
Carol and her husband, both die hard Red Hot Chili Peppers fans, raise their vegan brood of mortified offspring on a cattle ranch in South Texas. No lie.
Never fall for a rockstar…
Julian Wheaton views the world through a kaleidoscope of synesthesia, seeing the colors of every sound he hears. His life as an iconic rock guitarist was a stressful psychedelic trip that nearly destroyed him. Now he’s abandoned the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle for the peaceful sanctity of his recording studio, but when fiery Cleo Compton comes to work for him, she brings chaos with her.
Cleo Compton has had her flings with rockstars—and it’s left her wary and bruised. Julian may have those sexy bedroom eyes and drool-worthy tattoos, but Cleo is determined to keep things strictly professional—until Julian turns out to be every dream she’s ever chased. When he risks it all to hit the road with a band again, Cleo fears he’ll return as the one thing she can no longer abide—a rockstar.