I’ve decided to open up my blog to author spotlights and maybe a few reviews here and there because, let’s face it, I’m not really that interesting. 😉 M/M Romance author Cardeno C. has agreed to be my guinea pig. I said recently that everyone fangirls over someone, and Cardeno C. is one of those authors for me.
I’ve had the privilege of
stalkingchatting with Cardeno over twitter and email, so imagine my fangirl squeeing when CC agreed to do an interview on release day! Cardeno C.’s book Wake Me Up Inside is special to me because it was one of my comfort reads while I was enjoying the miracle of pregnancy puking and cursing the little bugger. Today, the sequel and second book in the Mates series, Until Forever Comes, was released. So now I have Cardeno C. at my mercy for an interview:
Ah, NPH, you make me laugh. Oh yeah, interview. Here we go.
This is a two part question: what do you want to be when you grow up? And/or if you could be a writer exclusively as your career, would you do it?
Being a full time writer would be wonderful, which is why I keep playing the lotto. But until I hit those lucky numbers, I’m going to have to keep the day job. I don’t love my day job in the same way I love writing, but it’s a good job and I feel fortunate to have it.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Wow, great question. I like the creativity involved in writing, the fun of dreaming up people and conversations and situations. But most of all, I like writing things that make people happy.
Oh, you make me happy…and sad, and frustrated, and ROFL, and
Back to you. 😉
I started writing because I was damn tired of movies and books where the gay characters were seemingly punished through disease or violence or other tragedies. I wanted to show positive, happy people who live normal lives. For that reason, my books are mostly character-based, meaning they focus on the characters and their reactions to life rather than on giant external traumas.
I hope the characters in my books come across like real people – not perfect, but approachable. And that the relationships they build leave readers feeling warm and fuzzy throughout the book and when they get to The End.
Oh, they do.
Sum up your writing style in a couple of sentences.
I think my writing style is fairly simple. I’m not trying to win awards for “most creative use of fancy words” or “most complex sentence structure” or “I didn’t see that coming” or anything else. I already said that making people feel happy is my goal; that means I want my words and sentences and stories to be accessible and easy to read.
How do you react to a bad review?
I’m not going to say I like getting bad reviews, but so long as they are about the book, I’m okay with them. The reality is that there is no book that is liked by every reader. There just isn’t. I’ve seen bad reviews for legendary writers. I’ve read books by legendary writers that simply did not resonate with me, whether because of style or subject matter or whatever baggage I bring to the table or whatever history I’m lacking or all of the above.
The world is interesting because people are different. We have different life experiences, different dreams, different goals, different hot buttons, I can go on but you get the idea: we’re different. That means we won’t all like the same writing styles, storylines, or books. And those differences are more than okay; they’re what make life great.
Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?
There would be occupational hazards to my day job if my writing job was connected to my name. Other than that, no hazards, just fun.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Writing is a great joy to me, not a stress so I hope that my writing won’t put my sanity at risk.
What is the single most challenging part of writing a novel?
For me, it’s finding the time to write. I imagine if I actually found enough time, there would be a challenge finding subject matter. But as it is, my time is sufficiently limited that I haven’t run out of creativity.
I hear you’re a vegetarian. Personally, I don’t eat red meat, haven’t since I was a little kid. I would probably be a vegetarian if there was enough ‘other stuff’ that I liked. Can you share with me your favorite vegetarian dish? Link to the recipe, if you have it?
One easy and delicious recipe is baked eggplant. Peel the eggplant, slice it, dip it in egg, and then fry it. After that, layer the eggplant with tomato sauce (and any Italian cheese, if you’re not vegan) and pop it in the oven at 350 until it’s bubbly. Mmm, mmm, good.
Sounds yummy! Going to have to try it. One of my favorite restaurants is a vegetarian Indian place:
If you live in NC, FL, or MD, definitely check this one out!
Moving on…What’s your number one guilty pleasure? PS, caffeine doesn’t count because, really, who’s guilty about that?
I feel no caffeine-related guilt. None. Guilty pleasure … I’m struggling here. I’m really not much for guilt. If we’re talking food, maybe a rich dessert?
Mmm, yeah, like tiramisu. That’s my guilty pleasure. That and hot boys. But I can’t feel too guilty about liking hot boys, especially when my hubby helps me pick ’em out for my FB page.
What makes you cry?
When I read articles about people, especially young people, who have been hurt. The suicides of so many youth in recent years, and the thoughts of the pain they endured and of what might have been if they had been able to hang on kill me. I shared this video on twitter: http://www.adl.org/imagine/. I have to tell you that one had me crying-crying. Like hard. Can’t remember the last time I cried like that.
I saw that when you shared it. It really got to me too.
What makes you laugh?
I laugh often. Just about anything gets me going. Funny stories, dirty jokes, bad puns. Whatever. I like to laugh.
And gifs, of course. Right? Right?
What’s the greatest (coolest, prettiest, sweetest, whatever) thing you’ve ever seen?
I don’t know about “ever” because there are cool, pretty, sweet things that pop up daily, but one I saw recently that amazed me is this stunning, powerful dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvQBUccxBr4 (it starts at 1:17ish).
Okay, let’s get a little naughty here. Where do you come up with the ideas for your sex scenes?
Umm, my naughty mind.
I think we can all agree that readers and writers of m/m romance love hot boys. What would your perfect man look like? (Whether you’d want to date him, or just look at him…a lot)
Let’s see, this requires thinking of people in the public eye. How about:
I can get behind those choices!
Tell me one fun fact about you that no one knows.
People in my personal life don’t know I write and people in my writing life don’t know my name. Does that count? Because other than those mysteries, I’m pretty much a dull open book.
From what I know of you, you seem to share my own antisocial tendencies when it comes to crowds and social events. So tell me, would you rather get up and give a speech in front of a thousand people or go diving in a shark box? LOL, I know, I’m mean. But seriously, answer the question.
I want you to know that I’m not a fan of water or swimming or sharks. That said, if I know I’m not going to lose a limb or die, I’ll choose the shark box.
LoL, thought you’d say that. It’s actually a dream of mine to go in a shark box, but I love swimming/diving.
You have a new book out today. Tell us about it.
People who have read my Home series know that I don’t write books chronologically and this series is no different. Until Forever Comes takes place well before Wake Me Up Inside, the first book in the series.
I also like to change POV in books. Wake Me Up Inside is in third person, Until Forever Comes is in first. Another difference is the dynamic between the characters, Jonah and Zev’s relationship is very different from Ethan and Miguel’s.
Distinctions aside, the books are all part of the same world that I plan to slowly build throughout the series. And that world has a little soap box covered up with a bunch of sugar and spice and shifters.
I hear all of your titles are based on song lyrics. Which one did you use for Until Forever Comes?
I gather paranormal is a new genre for you. How did you come up with the premise for the Mates series?
My Home series is contemporary and Mates is my second series, so yes, it is new as far as writing. I love reading paranormal though, and I’m a die-hard Buffy fan with a not-so-secret thing for Oz so I think this series was inevitable.
As far as the premise, I have little soap boxes in all my books. My human/shifter/vampire world gives me a great chance to explore what happens when we turn our backs on people different than ourselves.
Let us know a little bit about upcoming projects.
I have a short novella coming out on June 1st called A Shot at Forgiveness. It’s part of Dreamspinner’s sports daily dose. Here’s the blurb:
A dozen years, two thousand miles, and a law degree after high school, Rafi Steiner continues to harbor resentment toward Isaac Jones, his childhood bully turned NBA star. When Isaac appears at Rafi’s favorite restaurant acting like a long-lost friend, Rafi bluntly dismisses him.
But Isaac is tenacious and has his heart set on the grown-up version of the boy he always wanted and never forgot. The way Isaac sees it, he and Rafi are perfect for each other, if only he could sink the most important shot of his life: his one shot at forgiveness.
After that, the next book in the Family series will be released in August. It’s called Strong Enough. Much like the differences between the relationship dynamics in the first two Mates books, the characters in Strong Enough, the way they relate to each other, and how they meet each other’s needs, are very different in Strong Enough than in the first book in the Family series, Something in the Way He Needs.
Excuse me while I
We know you like to maintain anonymity as a writer, but hopefully you can give us a little tease. What kind of place do you live at? Beach, mountains, big city? Prairie, plains? Frozen tundra? Hobbit hole?
I live in a fairly big city, relatively close to mountains, beaches, and prairies. What’s a plain?
I think it’s a lot of flat…I don’t know, Oklahoma. Anyway…
It’s been a pleasure having you.
Oh, sorry, where was I? Oh yeah…
Tell us where we can find out more about you:
My website has information about my books, my blog, and other stuff: www.cardenoc.com
Well, darling, I appreciate you coming along and visiting my humble little blog. Hope I didn’t probe too hard. LOL
So that’s it folks! Toddle on down to Dreamspinner and pick up Cardeno C.’s backlist and new release. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Until Forever Comes
Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, he hopes to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack. Instead, Ethan learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate – a vampire named Miguel.
Miguel Rodriguez is more than four centuries old. Strong, powerful, and vicious, he walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent, and Miguel can’t resist for long. Once Miguel gives in, being together comes naturally. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.
“Listen very carefully, wolf,” Miguel whispered in my ear, still covering my mouth with his hand. “I’m going to step over there to deal with the humans. You’re going to wait until they’re focused on me, and then you’re going to quietly, but quickly, head in the other direction. And you will not stop until you are out of town and back with your pack. Have I made myself clear?”
I tried to think of a way to stay with him. I might help by… help by…. Yeah, no way to end that thought with anything helpful I could do. I was doing much better than earlier that day, true enough. But just because my veins no longer felt like they were going to burst didn’t mean I was anywhere near as strong as Miguel or Ted. Plus, Ted wanted to kill me, so getting involved meant I’d be trying to help him at the same time I’d be trying to avoid him. That was a surefire way to distract Miguel in the midst of a battle. I sighed in frustration.
“Ethan.” Miguel said my name for the first time. He didn’t call me wolf. I supposed that meant he was serious. “Do you hear what I’m saying to you?”
I nodded and he dropped his hand. Miguel took two steps forward, then paused, turned on his heel, and returned to me. He gazed into my eyes for several long seconds, and then he dipped his face and kissed my cheek.
“I won’t forget you, Ethan Abbatt,” he said. And then he really did walk away.
Seconds later, I heard the start of a scream, then a gurgling sound. I peered over to where the half-souls had gathered and saw the one who had been walking toward Ted down on the ground with his hands around his neck, trying to stem the flow of blood. Miguel was standing above him, red dripping from his claws.
“I believe my friend told you to keep walking,” he growled at the other half-souls. “This is your last chance to listen to his advice. Because if you don’t walk away now, you won’t be walking. Ever.”
Lord, he sounded cold and cruel. I did as I’d been told and walked in the opposite direction, quickly but quietly. It sounded like at least one of the half-souls hadn’t taken Miguel’s generous offer, because another scream rent the air. This one was cut off just as quickly as the first, so I reckoned the half-soul had been injured, or worse.
Okay, so I might have underestimated how dangerous Miguel was. Maybe I even underestimated how dangerous it was for me to be in Kfarkattan. But I was right about what was important: Miguel was my true mate. That meant my home was with him. Even if he was a vampire and a male and, all right, I’ll admit it, a bit of a ruffian.
Because if I knew anything, it was to be grateful for whatever blessings were sent my way. Nature hadn’t gifted me with much in my life, and I was starting to suspect that my share of the good stuff had been set aside because I’d been slated for a whopper: I had myself a true mate. Now I just had to figure out how to prove it to him.
Happy book birthday! Have some champagne.
Cardeno C. is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a little happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno often feels that characters write their own stories and just hopes to find enough time to get those stories on the page. And Cardeno loves to hear from readers so please drop a line to share your thoughts on a story.