C. S. Poe doesn't only write mystery and suspense, but that's where she's really making a name for herself. I first met Carroll...well, honestly, I'm not sure. IT'S A MYSTERY. No, seriously, we interacted for a couple of years online and then I finally met her in person on Catalina Island a few months ago. WHAT HAPPENS IN CATALINA STAYS IN CATALINA. That is all.
Without further adieu, Meet my criminous little pal, Miz Poe.
Do you have a favorite cocktail? Can you share the recipe?
CSP - Not really. I usually stick with Whiskey Ginger or just whiskey neat.
Uh huh. We'll let that pass. What happens in Catalina stays in Catalina. So...why mysteries? What attracted you to a life of crime?
CSP - There's a thrill obtained from the uncertainty of a mystery that is unique. Who did it? Why? How does it end? Will the protagonist survive? The questions we, or at least myself, ask with a good mystery, build up a sort of adrenaline. We get to piece together clues, uncover an enigma and settle our innate curiosity to know more, all while building a sort of one-on-one relationship with the hero.
On more of a writer's level, I love how a hunt and the unknown propel a plot forward. Plus, I have a tendency to toss a lot of history into my books (great random facts for small talk at a party, try them sometime!) and when a mystery deals with murderous crimes, stolen items, etc., it's just begging for some sort of historical oddity to be inserted for good measure.
Standalone versus series. What do you prefer as a writer? How about as a reader?
CSP - As a writer, I like series more. But, but, but! I can admit when a book doesn't NEED to be a series and is quite capable of standing on its own. As a reader, I love a series that follows the same characters.
Yeah, they both have their pros and cons. Speaking of pros -- and cons -- is it true that your day job is bouncer for a night club? Why not? You look so young and innocent you'd be able to get the drop on drunks before they ever saw you coming.
CSP - I can never get work as a bouncer because the clubs just keep carding me! Remember when the waiter on Catalina carded me? Everyone laughed. LAUGHED! But I'd be a great bouncer. Tiny but fierce.
I agree, Mighty Mouse. And also the money is better in bouncing, from what I understand. What do you think is the most important thing to remember when creating fully-realized main characters?
CSP - Rhys Ford said it perfectly, in that, 'sometimes people do things.' It's critical to remember--romance book or not-- that characters should have limitations and flaws. They are human and should act as such, and sometimes that means a character has to make the wrong choice in order to find themselves, learn a lesson, or win the guy in the end. Sometimes people do things.
Fun fact. Rhys was my first Author! Author! interview. Or maybe that was ZAM? Because she completed her homework first? But anyway, Rhys was one of the first, if not the first. So anyway, fashion magazines always ask this critical question: What is the one cosmetic or grooming tool you cannot live without? And do you have any idea why all these fashion models are always pretending the one tool they can't live without is their EYEBROW GROOMER?
CSP - In the magazine's defense, every time I see someone with wacky, out of control eyebrows that are attempting to crawl up their forehead, I kind of want to comb them.
How do you deal with the criticism that is part and parcel of any job in the arts?
CSP - Art is meant to move an individual. Whether I moved a reader to five star or one star, I did my job as an author. I touched them deeply enough that they were encouraged to say something. So as long as the science of my writing is firm (that being grammar, structure, the understanding and ability to build a cohesive plot) there is nothing for me to get upset about. Not every piece of art moves us in the same way.
So. True. And speaking of reviews and reviewers, have you ever broken a bone? Have you ever broken anyone else's bones? You must have because your day job is bouncer. Have any of your victims sued you?
CSP - My left wrist. I didn't keep it straight when I cold-cocked an ornery dancer being tossed from the club! What can I say, rookie mistake. ;)
Haha. I knew it! As I said to S.C. Wynne when we were watching you knock back those Whiskey Gingers, I bet she's broken that wrist cold-cocking customers! Ahem. Is there any genre you'd like to tackle but you're kinda sorta afraid?
CSP - I don't think so. I'm partial to mystery, contemporary romance, and paranormal (including Steampunk), so I write those. I am a selective reader of fantasy and sci-fi, but could never write those genres, especially sci-fi. My brain isn't wired for that, so I applaud authors who excel in those genres specifically.
One thing readers of this blog just can't get enough of are funny stories about food allergies. Can you share any amusing near death experiences brought on by a food allergy?
CSP - Mrs. White did it in the kitchen with the poison!
LOL. EXACTLY. So. What are the elements that make a C. S. Poe book unique? What do you consider your strengths as a writer?
How many cats do you currently own? Are you in danger of becoming a cat lady? What about becoming Cat Woman? Crime may not pay, but it pays better than writing. Agree or disagree? Show your math.
CSP - Let's see... 3 cats, divided by my current age, plus the number of cats I wish I owned, equals the value of Faberge's long lost third Imperial Egg from 1887. That'd make me a millionaire if I took to a life of crime and cat-napped it. So I agree.
:-D :-D :-D What are you working on right now? What's coming out next?
CSP - I'm wrapping up edits on Southernmost Murder and writing Snow & Winter 3, but the next release is actually a holiday, contemporary romance called Color of You.
Are you religious? Would you be religious if you were falling off a cliff? What if you were pushed?
CSP - *slowly backs away from cliff and gives Josh a wide berth.* I've got my eye on you, lady.
*Looks innocent while whistling aimlessly.* Tell us something surprising. Anything. Go on. Surprise us!
CSP - One time I crashed my bike while I was parked.
:-D :-D :-D There you have it, folks. The REAL C. S. Poe. You can find out more about Carroll and her work on her website and her Facebook page -- Oh! AND she's doing this really cool thing right here. I think you might even want to kick in.