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Monday, 5 October 2015

ℚ♫ Star-crossed - Carla Caruso

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Star-crossed (, AUS Impulse, 181 pages) a Contemporary Romance.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


A big welcome to Carla Caruso, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a playlist that you used in Star-crossed, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"Yes, here’s some of the songs I listened to while writing Starcrossed."

Brilliant - thank you! They certainly took me back (including Ramazzotti, as I am Italian!) :-)

What was the inspiration for Star-crossed?

"Starcrossed is inspired by my love of astrology!  I’m one of those people who flip to the horoscopes in a magazine straightaway to see what’s in store for me in the skies.  I blame my mum for the obsession because she’s into New Agey gear like numerology and Feng Shui, too.  I’ve always wanted to write a novel with a bit of a zodiac theme.  Starcrossed follows four girls on a cosmic retreat on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, where strange things start to happen.  The retreat’s run by an astrology guru and the story mashes together romance, suspense and humour."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"The heroine, Simona Gemella, is a heap more like me than any other protagonist I’ve written.  Let’s see… she’s brunette, from an Italian background, a workaholic Capricorn, romance author – and a little on the OCD side!  However, I’m not recently divorced, nor have I run into any handsome hunks lately with scorpion tattoos on their necks. :-)"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Star-crossed - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Actually my publisher, HarperCollins, chose it!  Some people have told me the cover girl looks a bit like me.  Hope the model doesn’t mind ;)  I guess we’re both brunettes and olive-skinned. The palm trees also help depict the island setting and the starry, indigo-blue sky hints at the astrology theme."
Funny you should mention that, as, at first glance, I had also wondered if it was you on that cover.

Why should we read Star-crossed and what sets it apart from the rest? 

"I did another blog post recently on ‘cosmic-inspired reads’ and I found that there aren’t too many out there, particularly in the romance realm!  This book also bends the rules, I think, because it has a voice that’d appeal to both chick-lit and romance readers, offers a dash of suspense and a New Agey/fantasy twist with the astrology gear . So, yeah, it’s quite different but hopefully very readable."
Can you tell us something quirky about Star-crossed, its story and characters?
"Some of the characters have names inspired by the night sky.  For example, the heroine’s surname is ‘Gemella’, which was motivated by a song by Italy’s Eros Ramazzotti called Stella Gemella.  The song title translates to ‘twin star’.  Plus, the name of the retreat leader in the novel is ‘Astrid’, which sounds a bit like an asteroid, right?

I went a little crazier in a Christmas novella I previously wrote, called Secret Santo.  Character names include Noelle, Holly, Merry, and Rudy (short for ‘Rudolph’).  But you’ve got to have fun at Christmas, hey?"
No better time ! :-)

Who would you recommend Star-crossed to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"I would recommend this book to chick-lit and romance readers, plus those who don’t mind something a bit out-of-the-box with the zodiac theming!  I also think it’s a good read for those wanting to ‘take a holiday via a book’, if you know what I mean, with it surrounding four girls on a wintry island retreat for a week.

One disclaimer would be that there’s a lot of sexual ‘heat’ between the hero and heroine in the novel, but this is the first time I’ve ‘closed the door’ on a bedroom scene. Thought I’d give it a try, though I haven’t done it since! "
If you could / wished to turn Star-crossed into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Ooh, I always like to imagine my books one day turning into movies.  Sadly, it hasn’t happened yet, but who knows what next year could bring ha? ;)  Okay, who do I want to star? Actually I was pretty obvious about the hero, Denham Cobalt, being inspired appearance-wise by Tom Hardy of Mad Max fame.

My brunette heroine could be played by Entourage star Emmanuelle Chriqui (I just saw the movie last night!).  Jude Law could also be the baddie. I’ll get HBO to film it, and the location, of course, has to be South Australia’s rugged Kangaroo Island, where the book’s set."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I would describe my typical writing style as romantic comedy, or chick-lit with a focus on the romance.  But I often like to add a dash of cosy mystery, or have a secret that’s not fully revealed until the end of the book.  I mostly read chick-lit, but I love watching cosy mysteries on the telly, like Murder She Wrote, and psychological thriller flicks, so maybe that explains my leaning towards mystery when I’m writing?"
What is your writing process?
"Well, I have two-year-old twin boys and work from home, so my writing process is very slow these days!  The boys usually have a big nap during the day – about three hours if I’m lucky – so I write then.  My hubby is a freelance photographer, also working out of home, so sometimes I can stretch the time out a bit if he’s able to mind the kids.  As I have limited time to write, I have to get going pretty much as soon as I hit the keyboard.  Though, I do ease myself into it first by checking emails and typing up notes from the mini notepad I carry around – usually ideas for future scenes or tweaks I want to make.  I only tend to do one edit before I hand it to my publisher, then they’ll request further changes."
What is in store next?
"Well, I’ve just finished a manuscript with the working title of Tomato Season.  It’s about a girl who inherits her late grandma’s market garden and wants to sell up and head back to the big city ASAP… but her heart gets tangled up with that of her handsome new neighbour’s (who just happens to be the identical twin of her teenage crush).  It’s told through the eyes of the young woman, her mother in the 1960s and ‘70s, and the Italian grandma in the ‘50s.  It also includes recipes, handed down by my mum. I’m a hopeless cook, so I’ve been blogging about my cooking research here: www.theunitalianwife.com."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Sure thing. Here’s a piccie of my rescue tabby cat, Luca.  He’s a real dude."

What a gorgeous tabby :-)  Ciao, Luca!
Carla, thank you so much for joining us - have a great tour!

Thanks so much for having me, Flora! :-)

Star-crossed - available NOW!

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