Guest Author Carolyn Crane & Giveaway!

I am very excited to welcome debut urban fantasy author Carolyn Crane! Carolyn's first book in The Justine Jones: Disillusionist trilogy is titled Mind Games.

It was released on March 23, 2010 and the second book Double Cross will be out on September 28, 2010. Please welcome Carolyn Crane!!

Hey Rachael! Thanks for having me on your blog today! So, now that all the publishing mayhem is winding down, I was feeling like I wanted to look back on my newbie author experience. Because I’ve learned a lot of interesting things.

Top 6 cool things about being a series author that I never expected

You go from book loner to book collaborator

One thing about being a writer is that it is such a solitary endeavor (aside from CPs, of course). But, when you sell a book, suddenly, all these people you never met—people who have dedicated their careers to books and publishing—are in it with you. It’s so cool! An artist interprets your book into a picture for the front, and an agent, if you have one, is like your ally, and an editor gets in there and wrangles with your text, and somebody is thinking about publicity, etc. Suddenly you’re on a team.

You go from blog loner to blog collaborator

The team thing extends to blogs, too. Doing guest posts is so collaborative. Every one of them involves a bit of emailing back and forth, and sometimes direct creative collaboration, or else, just thinking about a person’s blog and what they’ve created and how to work in. And you get to know people a little through that. Or, in the case of Rachael here, who is one of my oldest and first blog pals, I got underwater with deadlines I was like, can we move the date! And she was gracious. It’s fun to collaborate like that.

Your houseplants suffer

OMG, my poor houseplants. All these domestic projects got mowed under as my book came out. Things are a bit messier. Wait, that’s not a good thing! That’s not a cool thing! My husband’s a writer too, and we used to have this joke where we’d look at our place and go, “oh, well, what can you expect? We’re artists!” But honestly, NOW it’s like, a crazy person’s place. We need a new joke.

Readers are creative partners

Before, when I was a book blogger and not a published author, I’d get excited about various authors and make a big deal about them, or discuss their books, but I didn’t understand how much it means to authors until I was on this side. Readers complete an author in a way. I still think it’s so amazing just that somebody would pay their hard-earned money to buy and read my book. Or check it out of the library and read it. Just that act alone is so huge. Even when people don’t like my book, I still feel that sense of goodwill, because they paid money and/or invested time reading it, gave it a whirl. And then if they wrote a post after, that’s even more time. Also, they brought their own sensibility and taste to it, so that makes them a kind of creative partner. It’s another type of collaboration, with the reader.

You are responsible for secrets

One of the things about writing a series is that you TRY to create questions for people: what will happen to this person? What decision will that person make? And it’s really really bad if you have a big mouth like I do, because you really want to tell. Sometimes, people beg you to tell. I have actually told two people in private some secrets of the series—people who begged, and they needed to know! But now I regret it. I am weak! Also, OMG, there are these big things coming up that I SO want to tell! But I am trying to turn over a new leaf on that and not have such a big mouth.

You learn new things about why you write

It’s easy to get hung up on the numbers. I did this whole post about watching Amazon rankings, because I was getting obsessed with them, worried that if the book doesn’t sell well enough, that the publisher will not buy book #3. And then, the trilogy will not be complete! And then no publisher will work with me! Etc. Writers, or at least this one, can fall into doom and gloom scenarios. Or, a week or so ago, there was this flurry of negative Amazon reviews and I thought, oh, no! (run doom and gloom scenario etc). But all that stuff is really out of my control—the book is in print. It’s out of my hands. It’s made me reach into myself and think about why I’m writing. And it’s a reason that comes from inside, and not outside. It was good to get clear on that after so many years.

Carolyn is giving away one copy of Mind Games to a lucky commenter.  The contest is open WORLDWIDE so everyone is elgible to enter.  Contest will end June 7th at 7:00 pm EST. Please leave a comment or question for Carolyn about her new series to be entered.

Summary of Mind Games from Author's website:
Mind Games heroine Justine Jones isn't your typical kick-ass type - she’s a hopeless hypochondriac whose life is run by fear.

She's lured into a restaurant, Mongolian Delites, by tortured mastermind Sterling Packard, who promises he can teach her to channel her fears. In exchange, she must join his team of disillusionists - vigilantes hired by crime victims to zing their anxieties into criminals, resulting in collapse and transformation.

Justine isn't interested in Packard's troupe until she gets a taste of the peace he can promise. Soon she enters the thrilling world of neurotic crime fighters who battle Midcity’s depraved and paranormal criminals.

Eventually, though, she starts wondering why Packard hasn’t set foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant for eight years. And about the true nature of the disillusionists.


  1. Do you have a date when the third book will be out? I have the first one and even though there's only a 6 month gap between the first two, I tend to wait(especially if a trilogy) and read them back to back. I love series or trilogies but almost never will read them 1 book at a time as they come out. I hate the wait and just love to take a weekend an indulge in a series marathon.

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  2. I've been wanting to read this book since its first review on a blog.

    - what's your favorite book on your latest book ?

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  3. Carolyn, this sounds like it's going to be a great series. I've had Mind Games on my wishlist since the first time I saw a review of it. I'd love to win this. Thanks for the giveaway.

    forwhlz at gmail dot com

  4. I love that Justine isn't a typical, perfect heroine and I can't wait to read these books! =)

    happyheathengirl at gmail dot com

    Great interview! :)

  5. Hey Lisa! Well, I can kind of understand that - I sometimes don't read excerpts if a book isn't out for that same reason! I hate to tease myself. I'm hoping the third comes out in March or April 2011, but that's still being hammered out.

    Mariska: Right now I'm reading Hell Fire by Ann Aguirre, the Corrine Soloman series. I love Ann's writing. Her stories are great, but as a fellow writer, I'm also kind of a nerd about great sentences and phrases, and she's a master at that.

    Sandy: Ooh, Thanks! Good luck!

    Mireyah: Thanks! and good luck to you, too!

  6. Hi Carolyn! Thanks so much for being here today!

  7. I have been anxious to get my hands on this book. It sounds and looks great.


  8. Hi Carolyn,
    I had to come on over :)
    I am so ashamed, but no I have not read Mind Games yet. Haven't bought a book since February! Wow I have been so good.

    What to ask, well any other genre you would look to try?

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

  9. Book Whisperer: Thanks and Good Luck!

    BLDD: Hi you! Well, probably mystery!

  10. Hi Carolyn! Great post - you know if you ever want to share secrets about Justine or Packard with me I'm happy to listen ;) I just read Mind Games and loved it! Don't enter me in the contest - just wanted to say hi!

  11. I love that the main character is a hypochrondiac. Is it based on someone you know who is also one?

  12. I am so looking forward to you getting in my head and stomping around! This is a refreshing take on urban fantasy where the heroine ISNT perfect... sweet! That way I can pretend to be her, 'cause I'm not perfect too. ;)

    mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

  13. I'm always looking for new authors to read, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

  14. *waves at CJ*

    Not entering the contest, but I'm a bit worried about the crazy person's house thing now...

  15. Maybe your poor houseplants need some cucumber love? ;)

  16. Heather: Thanks! So glad you liked it!!!

    Debbie: Well, my family is full of hypochondriacs, so it was just easy to write about.

    SVZ: thanks! And good luck to you.

    Tetwa: You're entered!

    Chris & KT: *waves*

  17. Very honest post. I see so many similarities in my own small business, I am all about fake plants. And book blogging is certainly addicting.

    Cannot wait to read your books dear!

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  18. Ohh I'll have to add you to my TBR list :) Sounds very interesting.
    Thanks so much for the contest being open internationally

  19. Hi Caz :-)

    As far as I know, your series sold to the US and Canada. Any foreign rights being shopped around, by any chance?

    TezMillerOz at gmail dot com

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  21. Hi Carolyn,

    Saw this on your blog and had to take a visit :) I'm glad I did.

    My question is, do you have a favourite scene/chapter in Mind Games?

    It will give me something to look forward to when I read your book.

  22. Count me, in. Sounds like the beginning of an awesome series.


  23. This book is on my wish list. It sounds like a wonderful UF. I love a book with imperfect characters. The glossy ones are nice too but they are so much more real when they have a foible or two.

  24. This books sounds great. I would love to win it.

    jellybelly82158 at gmail dot com

  25. Robin: Fake plants! Oh, no, I don't think I could do thet! LOL.

    Em& Destiny: Welcome, and good luck!

    Tez: Yes, that is in process. Fingers crossed.

    Angel: Hey! Oh, interesting question. My favorite scene takes place at a restaurant called Ciappos. I also like this scene with Simon at an abandoned gas station. I like most scenes with Simon.

    Vicki & Jelly belly: You're in!

    Dot: LOL. Thanks!

  26. Great post. I have read so many great reviews for this book.It sounds like something I'll really like to read.


  27. book sounds good. I would love to win this one. And that cover rocks.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

  28. Hi Carolyn. I know you're writing a trilogy. If the publisher offered you a deal, would you write more stories in this world or do you think you've said what you wanted to say in this trilogy and would prefer to move on to something different?

  29. I'm so looking forward to reading this, but like one of the other commentors, I like to wait until there are at least two or three books out before I start a series. Otherwise I just get too frustrated.

    I wanted to ask, since you are so busy writing, and you maintain your own blog, and have all the publicity to do, how do find any time to read? About how many books do you read per month?

  30. elaing & Pam: Thanks for stopping by! Your names are officially in the hat, dudes.

    Keatrin: That is an interesting question! Well, Justine's story is done in the three books, but I may do 3rd person shorts on other characters. But another full novel? I have this other series project that I'm excited to get to, so OMG, that is a hard question!

    JenM: Thanks! LOL. Okay, I am the slowest reader in the world, too. I maybe read 3 or 4 books a month.

  31. hi carolyn! don't feel bad - i kill plants too! :)

    this sounds like a great series! please put my name in the hat - thanks!

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  32. I like the sound of this book, would definitely like to read it. I really enjoy reading connected books.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  33. I have just finished reading Mind Games and thought it was wonderful. I love the concept of the book, it was so orginal. Nothing predicable and always surprising.

    I can't wait to read the next book.

  34. This book sounds really good. What first got you interested in writing?


  35. Hi Carolyn! I have heard such great things about this book I can't wait to read it:)
    Who are some of your favorite authors?

  36. This book sounds great.

    Which are your favourite books from the first half of 2010?


  37. I'm really excited about this book. I've loved the reviews, and can't wait to read it.


  38. This is a new to me series, but it sounds great. The fact. that the heroine is a hypochondriac amuses me. I really need to read this one.

  39. I have been hearing such good things about this series. Can't wait to read it.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com


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