New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 30 romance novels with contemporary characters and plot lines that today's readers identify with and enjoy. Carly's life is filled with a devoted energy and passion to romance, family and career. Carly lives in Purchase, New York, with her husband, two daughters, one soft coated wheaten terrier and a havanese puppy. Her life is full and busy indeed.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No which is funny. I recall how I fell in love with Romance novels, being so excited about always having a happy ending in the books I'd read, and I also remember finding the Harlequin/Silhouette category books during that time. Somewhere in the middle of that I decided I wanted to try and write a romance ... bought a "How To" book, outlined it from cover to cover ... and the rest is history :)
What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?
Editing. I really didn't understand about passive voice, active voice - that what I first put down on the page won't be what ends up on the page. Sounds basic and obvious but for me it wasn't. Finding RWA and my l local chapter taught me everything about the ins and outs of getting started in this business!
What were your inspirations for creating you stories?
Everything. Soap opera characters, magazine articles, tidbits, newspaper clippings, real life. You name it, if it struck me, I started to play "What If" with the concept or I'd file it for use later.
How long does it take you to write a book, and do you normally have any writer’s block along the way?
Basically 6 months since I have 2 books out a year - and yes major writer's block especially during the first 100-150 pages. I need to rewrite and edit and rewrite those until I feel a "click" in my head that tells me all the story elements have been put on the page and are ready to be woven through the rest of the book. That part of my process is the most painful and ugly. I hate beginnings, LOL. It takes me longer to start a book and hit page 100 than it does to write from there until the end.
Other then your novels, What books have most influenced your life?
Oh! Well for Romance itself, LaVyrle Spencer definitely influenced me. I loved her books and I learned so much from reading her. I used to read absolutely everything not just romance (I remember being dissatisfied so often by endings back then) - and I am still learning from all the books I read. Most recently, Paranormal Romances have taught me about giving readers a more in depth read (even if I'm not writing paranormal!)
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I find writing to be organic - I do plot with my plotting group - The Plotmonkeys (www.plotmonkeys.com) but the only pre-work I do is usually character, goal, motivation and conflict. I know where I am starting and where I am going - but how I get there is the organic - as I write part. Usually I'll hit a block, have to talk through the next few scenes, then keep going. No formula. :)
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Voice. That's the one thing no two people can do alike. Give two writers the same plot and you'll never end up with the same book. Lack of contrivance.
And being honest and true to your characters.
What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your first finished book?
There are no words. It was Brazen and it is still my all time favorite cover. I think I cried. I know I thanked the Cover Gods, LOL.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I am a huge soap opera addict - ABC - from start to finish; I'll put on Law and Order reruns, I will hang out with my husband, my girls if I'm lucky enough to have one of them home, and my dogs. I knit (though I'm currently nursing a repetitive stress (aka Angry Bird) injury so that's been put on hold. I read of course. I have lunch with a girl friend or even shop!
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I would LOVE to - I am working on a new series for Berkley (new publisher for me) called SERENDIPITY - a small town series that begins with three estranged brothers brought together by a teenage sister they didn't know they had and family drama they haven't yet put to rest. Book one is titled Serendipity (9/11) - and it's the story of Ethan Barron, the "bad boy" oldest brother who returns home after ten years, is reunited with the girl who was too good for him, and is looking for redemption. I'm so excited about this series!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?
Nope. Each one is one of my babies - I love them for what they were - and I know I learned something from them in the process!
Carly loves social media and you can find out more about her and hang out with her online: