I want to offer a huge welcome to Carla Caruso to my secret life blog segment today and also offer her a MASSIVE apology for for mixing up days earlier! Carla is published by Destiny Romance and I can’t wait to catch up with my TBR pile and read her second novel Second Chance. I’ll be quiet now and welcome Carla to tell you about what she does when she’s not creating fiction:
When I’m not writing, I, well, I… write. Boring, huh?
Well, stick with me. It’s a different kind of writing this secret life of mine. See, by day, I’m a freelance journalist and editor, dealing in all sorts of non-fiction rather than the blissfully made-up world of fiction. Which can be stranger than the non-real, trust me.
Take the past fortnight for example. I interviewed seven female lawyers for an inspirational women’s feature, five ANZAC Day veterans, two rev-heads, one politician, and did a whole heap of editing work in between. Sounds a bit like that Twelve Days of Christmas ditty, but I digress…
Whenever I think I have a day to blissfully devote to fiction writing, I’m sidelined by a last-minute freelance journalism job. It happens EVERY DAY. Argh! Unfortunately, it’s the dilemma of being freelance – you never really know what a day or week’s going to look like… until the phone rings or the inbox chirps. I know the solution would be to rise at the crack of dawn and get a few hours of solid fiction writing done before the day started, but hey, I love my sleep! So the challenge continues.
But… the good thing is my day job can actually inspire my fiction writing. Like, for example, the highly organised woman I recently interviewed, who told her clients TWO YEARS in advance when she was going on holidays so they could prepare to exist without her. Little wonder her friends nicknamed her “The General”. Fun trait for a fictional character! Or the bride-princess I interviewed for a wedding magazine who replied in pink-coloured text and wanted the story’s emphasis to be on the “enchanted fairy-tale” theme of her nuptials (right down to her faux glass slippers by Christian Louboutin.) Great stuff.
The rural romance I’m currently writing is actually inspired by my first job as a full-time newspaper journalist. I’m a city girl from Adelaide, but learned the trade fresh out of uni in the lobster capital of Kingston SE, about 3.5 hours from the CBD. A lot of the things that happened to me while working there have inspired the novel, which has the working title of Pot of Gold – like trying to navigate a farm fence at a beef field day in heels (big mistake) or fondly patting a sheep at a shearing competition (not the done thing).
So, you see, whenever I dream about tossing in my day job, I worry that the well for my next novel ideas might just dry up.
Footnote: After writing this post, I’ve since taken the plunge to devote more time to fiction. I’m preggers with twins, so am off on a maternity leave break and have whittled my freelance work down to just editing one (five-yearly) magazine part-time. The rest of the time I’m calling my Year of Bubs and Books. Wish me luck!
Rach: Oh Lord! Twins.. HUGE congrats!!!!
Book blurb: Carla Caruso’s latest book, Second Chance, out through Penguin’s Destiny Romance, features feisty heroine Flora, who time-travels back to the summer of 1998 after her phone malfunctions – and hopes to reunite with a past love! http://www.destinyromance.com/products/9781743480748/second-chance
Second Chance excerpt:
‘I thought I said no questions.’ I sigh, fluffing up the feather boa I’ve stolen from the makeup room, currently draped over my semi-naked front in an attempt at modesty. This is where the Old Me’s tendency to throw caution to the wind got me: Major Humiliation Land.
Lance shakes his head, next to me in his Capri, parked in the shadowy side street alongside Xavier’s studio. TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’ wafts from his radio. ‘You can’t turn up looking like that and expect me not to wonder what the hell is going on. You could be caught up in something terrible for all I know, like, I don’t know…a prostitution ring or something.’
I roll my eyes. ‘Thank you very much, but I’m not. Trust me, this,’ I gesture at my poor excuse for an outfit, including a pale blue hand towel masquerading as a skirt and, of course, my black bra, ‘looks worse than it is.’
Lance bangs a hand on the steering wheel, looking anywhere but at me. ‘Do you need more shifts at the newsagency? Is that what this is?’
Oh, man. He really thinks I’m moonlighting as an exotic dancer. He has me pegged for that sort of girl. I’m mildly offended. A sigh escapes through my gritted teeth.
‘Look.’ I turn around, readjusting the towel on my lap so I don’t reveal quite so much thigh. Unfortunately, the fabric has a suspect-looking stain in one corner. Ew. ‘I’ll tell you what happened only if you swear not to tell Ruben or Clementine or, okay, anyone for that matter. Promise?’
Lance glances at me, then, flushing, looks ahead again, his jaw clenched. ‘Fine.’
I suck in a breath, watching a fly tiptoe across the dashboard. Right. Speeding up my explanation might make it less painful, like ripping off a Band-Aid. ‘Okay, I responded to an ad in the paper about posing for a semi-nude portrait for an artist – a respected artist – but I got cold feet. Bad. I realised what a stupid impulsive idea it was and suddenly wanted to get the hell out of there. So I called you, then escaped out of the bathroom mid-shoot. Hence,’ I look down, ‘my lack of proper clothing.’
Thank goodness phones with cameras weren’t ubiquitous in the nineties. It would have been a money shot to catch me wiggling through the window in next to nothing. My arms and legs bear the scratches. Lance remains stony-faced as though processing the information.
Thanks so much for stopping by Carla!! I’m a wee bit jealous of all the fabulous opportunities you get for research in your day job 🙂 You can find more about Carla on her website, she’s also on Twitter!!