Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Interview with Caroline Hanson - Author of the Valerie Dearborn Novels

Finally, the moment I have been waiting for has arrived. I received the email from Caroline Hanson containing the answers to my questions. 
If you are new to Caroline's novels, go check them out. 
If you are a long-standing fan, or indeed a newbie to her work, read on for some truly interesting facts!

These are Caroline's beautiful covers. 

To Purchase:
LID: Amazon UK
        Amazon US

LIF: Amazon UK
       Amazon US

Now for the interview I have been waiting to publish:

Firstly, some background information:

Name: Caroline Hanson           
Age: 34
Place of Birth: Sacramento, Ca.
Place of Residence: Sacramento, Ca.
Single/Married: M
Children: 2
Favourite Singer/Band: Depeche Mode (all-time)/ Florence and the Machine (current)
Favourite Food & Drink: Choosing one is wrong…it’s what makes dieting such a killer.
Favourite Author: Laurell K Hamilton/Laura Kinsale/Joss Whedon
Favourite Book: For My Lady’s Heart (Kinsale) or The Killing Dance (Hamilton)
Favourite Quotes: These are all writing quotes that I like. I bastardized the first one and couldn’t find the original source, so go with it. “Destiny is a fate you have not tried hard enough to change.”

I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.-- Oscar Wilde

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the
end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.” ---- Mary Anne

*Note: I love Caroline's taste in music - Depeche Mode are the BEST*

  1. Did you always know you wanted to be an author?
 No. I am an only child and I just remember watching soap operas and Star Trek the Next Generation and making up alternative episodes and endings for them. It was a REALLY cool thing to do.

  1. If you couldn't be an author, what would you like to be?
I would own a used bookshop and have a fat cat that wandered around and tried to scratch all the customers.

  1. At what age did you decide to become an author?
 I’ve scrawled things that I thought were deep (but were crap—and short) since I was a teenager. Then I went through phases where I would write a sex scene but couldn’t be bothered to write a story. And that got a little longer over time. And voila! 15 years later here I am! J

  1. Who are your writing influences?
I love Laurell K Hamilton and her ability to describe sensation and have her characters have insanely long conversations about their weird issues. Lately I’ve been re-reading Laura Kinsale because her use of language is beautiful. And Joss Whedon of Buffy fame because he’s so good at making the viewer love the characters and then beating the shit out of them! And I also love JR Ward. She’s got an amazing writing style and she is totally pushing the envelope for the UF genre. I think she’s a good bell-weather as to where the genre is heading. I think people who read UF want things to be extreme. Their emotions and the sex. And she’s doing that. (fans self)

  1. What was the first book you remember reading and how old were you?Tricky. Probably Interview with the Vampire because I can remember what I was listening to at the time—Depeche Mode. And I still remember some random quote about ‘becoming what I became’ which seemed super-deep when I was 12. I also remember A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux…and how much the ending pissed me off. Reincarnation blows.

    6. How old were you when you first wrote something you wanted to publish?

    7.Was LOVE IS DARKNESS the first thing you wrote? If not, would you share with us what was?
       I tried to write an episode of buffy when I was 20. I fear it’s in a box somewhere and will someday be unearthed and mocked. It was just terrible.

    8. What was your inspiration behind the Valerie Dearborn series?
    I love Urban Fantasy and finally hit the point where I was sick to death of the tough, leather pants wearing, fighting, super-girl and her ‘wonderful’ super-natural boyfriend. I wanted to write the opposite of that. I feel like the genre has a lot of new blood with the success of Twilight and that’s good, obviously, but it also means there are a lot of authors who have just decided vampires are heroes, which makes no sense to me.

    9. What was your inspiration behind the characters themselves?
Valerie started off as me, emotionally— I grew up in Fresno and wanted out. I went to London at 16 and saw how different it was and I remember thinking I could be anyone I wanted to be and that I would never have to go back. I studied in London and I’m sure she has a lot of my emotional baggage (this might be my cut-rate therapy). Lucas was a mix between Sookie’s Eric, Hamilton’s Jean-Claude, with the build of Robin Soderling, A Swedish tennis player I was slightly obsessed with. (He had a gigantic serve.)

  10. During the writing process, does one characters voice come to the forefront of your mind asking to be written?
The second book wound up with a lot more POV’s then I expected. I loved writing Marion (my villain from the first book) which is probably why she survived. And Lucas has wound up getting a lot more of my time then he has any right to. Lol.

   11. Would you say you easily relate to Val? Are you as sassy as she is?
         Sassy, yes. Also,  I’m scared of my own shadow like she is!

  12. How long did it take to come up with the basic premise for each book, LOVE IS DARKNESS & LOVE IS FEAR?
LID was easier because I wrote it for me with no expectations. I started writing it from the beginning (Jack’s parents getting killed which eventually was taken out) and over the course of several weeks realized I had half a novel, then ¾ and then it was done. And I thought, ‘Holy shit, what do I do now?’ People read it, it was rewritten several times and LIF took longer. LIF was half done at the beginning of last year. I just didn’t have the confidence to write all the sex that I wanted to have happen. Tequila works wonders. Just kidding.

  13. How long did it take to turn that basic premise into the books?
I write from beginning to end. I tend to write a first draft and that’s part of the plotting. I’m happy when the character’s surprise me. LID was easy. LIF was harder and I’m trying to be more precise with book 3. I want to have all the plot worked out before hand. It’s 80% there.

  14. How many drafts of each book were there before the final draft that got published?
A lot. I don’t know. I guess it depends upon what a draft is. If it’s going through from beginning to end and rewriting, maybe 10? But other scenes needed more work so 15. I’ve heard that ‘good writing is rewriting.’ I hope I’m writing good stuff as I do a lot of rewriting. My first drafts are really bad. Funk up the room bad.

  15. Was there ever a character or a scene that you wrote but then edited out?
       Sigh. Yes, that would be Jack’s backstory. It was 60 pages and started with a stroll through an Italian town where he got ice cream, went back to his parent’s hotel, met some vampires and everyone got slaughtered. Eventually. The tone was different than the rest of the book. And it was Val’s story. Starting with Lucas was mandatory in my mind. But to give Jack the first 50 pages of the Valerie Dearborn series just didn’t fit.

  16. Was there anything you edited out but found yourself later replacing?
       Ian! She slept with him and then she didn’t. At the very last-minute it got put back in.

  17. Is there anything you are willing to share with us (non-spoilery, of course) about the future for Val? 
Valerie is going to get a happy ending. It’s just going to take a while! I like angst. I want these characters to be real and I want them to be happy. But being happy isn’t easy. And I really hate when these Alpha men, who are total A-holes end the book Barbequing a steak and smiling because they’ve met the right gal. I just don’t believe it. I throw the book aside and it’s like, ‘yeah, sure.’ I want to believe that change. I love an Alpha Male, but the heroes I remember the most are the one ones who became more over time. Jamie, Angel, Eric, Jean-Claude, Spike, those are the gold-standard in my opinion. 

 18. Are you currently working on anything besides Valerie Dearborn?
 I still have the m/m regency lurking on my hard-drive and a time-travel that is half done. I like regency and erotica and will write for those genres at some point. I would also like to write a Janet Evanovich style series, but the happiness of it is kind of boring to write, so I’m not sure it will get written.

The next book will be out in 2012, hopefully before the summer.

Thank you!

*Note: Thank you Caroline. I am sure your readers will find this information just as fascinating as I did. You are an amazing author. Like I have said before, it won't be long before you are a best-seller and we can all say "We knew Caroline when she started out"*

If you are interested in another book by Caroline, then check out Bewitching The Werewolf:

 To purchase this book:

And the best part is, it's free!!

If you don't already follow Caroline on Twitter, do so here: @Caroline_Hanson

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. My viewers are always appreciated. If you don't already follow me on Twitter but would like to, do so here: @Gothic_Angel28

Keren xo


  1. Thank you for this! I love her books and can not wait for the next one to come out!

  2. No worries Delphina, I like to try and get interesting stuff on the blog for my viewers :) I just happen to ADORE Caroline! xx


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