I’m very exctited to welcome multi-published, award winning writer of romantic suspense, paranormal and contemporary romance writer Cara Marsi and the author of the newly released short story, A Cinderalla Christmas.
A few fun facts about our author:
Cara Marsi, an award-winning author and self-proclaimed TV junkie, is a former corporate drone and cubicle dweller. Freed from her fabric-covered cage, she can now indulge her love of all things romance. She craves books with happy endings and loves to write about independent heroines and the strong heroes who love them. And she loves to put her characters in dangerous situations or situations merely dangerous to their hearts and watch them fight for the happy endings they deserve.
An eclectic author, Cara is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She’s also published numerous short romance stories in national women’s magazines and online. When not traveling or dreaming of traveling, Cara and her husband live on the East Coast in a house ruled by their fat black diva of a cat named Killer.
Thank you for joining us today at Scribbler’s Cara!
What would you most like your readers to know about you that they would not read in your official bio?
I love wolves. I’m a regular contributor to organizations devoted to helping these magnificent creatures. I dedicated my shifter romance, Cursed Mates, to wolves.
How did the anthology Season Of Magic come about?
A good online friend, a talented writer, asked me if I’d be interested in taking part in a Christmas anthology. I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I’m so glad I did. I’ve met three other terrific women who are wonderful authors.
Tell us Scribbler’s a bit about A Cinderella Christmas and what inspired this story?
I love fairy tales, and I love stories with a bit of paranormal. I was inspired by trips to New York City during Christmas. I love to go into Saks Fifth Avenue at Christmastime. The store is beautifully decorated. It’s always so crowded at Christmas and there’s always a long wait for an elevator. Then, once we get into an elevator, we’re squashed like sardines. An elevator figures prominently in A Cinderella Christmas. I wondered what would happen if a harried young woman happened to find herself in a “special” elevator with only a strange elderly woman and a hunky guy. Thus, A Cinderella Christmas was born.
Do you have a preference for the short story venue vs the longer novel?
I love writing short stories. I used to write for the confession magazines. My novels tend to be on the shorter side too.
Do you develop a deep backstory for you character before sitting down to write or do you just have a general idea of who they are?
I do character sketches in longhand so I know my main characters well before I start writing.
What’s the first thing you know for sure about a new story concept? Plot? Character? Something else?
Usually the plot. A TV show or a news event will jog something in me that makes me want to develop a story in my own voice and in my own way. Then, I think of the characters to fit the story. Sometimes it works the opposite, where I have characters in my mind and develop a story around them. No matter how I start, the plot always changes as the story progresses.
What are your strongest influences when it comes to character creation?
I like to write about characters I want to read about, people I can relate to. Men and women living ordinary lives who find themselves thrust into very unordinary circumstances.
Do you ever base your characters on people you know?
Yes. The villains and bad people. The villains are usually based on, and sometimes named after, ex-boyfriends, my ex-husband, and the girls who were mean to me in high school.
Can we have an excerpt from A Cinderella Christmas?
Here you go. I hope you like it:
“You will find your Prince Charming. Together you will ride to new heights.”
“Seriously, that’s all you’ve got?” Jessica Gallo pushed up from the small table covered in fringed gold cloth. Madame Lola’s piercing coal black eyes pinned her. Jessica sat back down.
Madame took Jessica’s right hand in one of her red-tipped ones. She turned over Jessica’s hand and studied her palm, then looked up at her. “You don’t believe me now, but you will. Madame is always right. When you meet your prince you will hear a bell ring. Then you will know.”
Jessica pulled her hand away, grabbed her purse from the floor, and stood. “For real? No offense, Madame Lola, but I think you’ve watched It’s a Wonderful Life too many times. Thank you for the reading, but I stopped believing in Prince Charming and fairy tales a long time ago.”
The gypsy fortuneteller’s eyes softened. “I know, dear. You stopped believing when your father walked out on you and your mother that New Year’s Eve so long ago.”
A chill tingled along Jessica’s arms. She’d never seen Madame Lola until tonight. How did she know about her father, about that awful night? Probably a lucky guess. A part of Jessica told her it was more.
Relieved to escape the gypsy’s dimly-lit shop that reeked of patchouli, she paid Madame and went through the beaded curtains to where her friends, Kim and Tiffany, waited.
“What she’d say?” her friends asked in unison.
“The usual Prince Charming stuff. Nothing important. I don’t know why I let you talk me into seeing a fortuneteller.”
Kim laughed. “Don’t blame us. All those Cosmos you consumed tonight had something to do with it.”
“The Cosmos and Madame Lola made you forget about Eric, the cheating rat bastard, didn’t they?” Tiffany asked.
“For awhile.” Jessica chewed her lip, fighting the hurt of betrayal that formed a knot in her stomach. Earlier in the day, she’d found out her ex-fiancé had broken their engagement six months ago because he’d fallen in love with a co-worker, his company’s receptionist, a woman barely out of her teens. Not because, as he’d said at the time, “I need my space. I’m not ready to get married.” He’d been cheating on Jessica with the woman for a year before he’d manned up enough to break their engagement. He’d played her, and she felt like a gullible fool.
“I need another Cosmo.”
What is the writing process like for you? If you were to describe the process in one word what would it be?
What does your writing space look like?
We converted a small downstairs bedroom into an office for me. I’m surrounded by bookcases filled with books. There are boxes on the floor filled with books I’ve authored. I have a calendar of wolf pictures hanging on the wall and a large book about wolves in a prominent place. My desk is a little sloppy. I face a window that looks out at a rose garden. The most exciting thing that’s ever happened out there was the time I saw a fox bury a dead squirrel. I love my office.
Who are your favorite characters amongst both those you’ve written, and by other authors?
It’s hard to pick out my favorite characters from my books. I love all my heroes and heroines. But to name a few–Logan Tanner from Logan’s Redemption is a warrior; Nick Radford from Cursed Mates is tortured; and Jake Falco from A Groom for Christmas is determined to prove something to those who’d doubted him. Stephen Kincaid from A Cinderella Christmas is a doctor who volunteered in Haiti.
Favorite characters by other authors?
Jamie Fraser from Outlander. Daniel Ramsey from a book I read and loved as a teen, Candle in the Night. I named one of my heroes after him. Stephen Marsdon from Green Darkness by Anya Seton, one of my favorite books. The MacHugh from Bride of the MacHugh by Jan Cox Speas. Those are only a few.
Is there any genre you won’t read? Write? Can you tell us why?
I don’t read horror or sci-fi. Horror scares me, and I’m not interested in sci-fi.
What is your favorite sound?
My son’s voice.
What is your least favorite sound?
Anyone who’s whining.
Go to snack when writing?
Carrots. What can I say? I’m not real exciting.
What is the best and worst piece of writing advice you’ve ever heard?
The best–Writers who give up never publish. That’s been my mantra and the reason I kept writing through lots of rejections.
The worst–If you’re not finaling in contests, give up, because you’ll never publish. That advice actually made me more determined to publish.
What books or projects do you have coming up in the future?
I’m polishing up a short Christmas romance that I hope to publish soon, Snow Globe Tales-Avery. Then, I’m going to revise a steamy novella set in Italy, Capri Nights, for a multi-author boxed set that’s coming out in Spring 2015.
Thank you for having me today.
To purchase your own copy of Sesson of Magic, go to:
To keep up with Cara go to: