Friday, May 6, 2016

Interview with author Scarlett Cole

Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in the shadows of George Orwell’s infamous Wigan Pier. I’m an A-type personality who works out to offset an epic sour candy habit. I collect shoes and Mason jars, and I’m a citizen of two great countries, the United Kingdom and Canada. Oh, and I am a city girl through and through.

Q ~ What’s something that you never leave home without?
My phone. I’d be lost without it. I haven’t remembered a phone number in a decade. And I have the worst sense of direction, so I am always using my map apps. Plus, it allows me to sneak in extra research when I have a few minutes standing in line at the Post Office.

Q ~ If you were stuck on a deserted island, who and what would you want with you and why?
I’d want to be stranded with someone like Mykel Hawke or Les Stroud because I am no survivalist and they are. As I said, I am a complete city girl. My idea of survival is dealing with the 5pm tram out of Manchester, so I would last all of a day.

As for what would I want with me… tarpaulin, rope, a knife … wait, that sounds like the supplies you need to hide a dead body!

Q ~ What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam which is Latin for I shall either find a way or make one. It is often attributed to Hannibal, which is unlikely because he spoke Punic, not Latin. I love it because it sums up how I approach everything. I believe you can do pretty much anything you set your mind to… you just have to believe you can.

Q~ Who is your favorite literary hero(ine) and why?
I love Sydney Carton in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. His final act in the story is one of the most poignant I’ve ever read, and a true act of redemption. It also contains one of the most famous quotes in English Literature… It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done.

In romance, it is Matthew Wellesbourne in Kathryn Le Veque’s The White Lord of Wellesbourne. He is such a fiercely strong character yet utterly devoted to his wife.

Q ~ Ebooks, paperbacks, or hardcovers?
All of the above. I love the smell of a new book, but ebooks make it convenient to carry around hundreds of books with me. Especially those I like to reread.

Q ~ How did you begin writing? Was there a single catalyst or a series of events?
It was always something I had considered doing, but the decision to move back to the UK from Canada for a few years was the catalyst. If figured if I was leaving my job anyway, I might as well give writing a shot. I’m fortunate that it paid off.

Q ~ What’s the best interaction you’ve ever had with a fan?
Oh my gosh – I love my readers. I get all kinds of lovely messages, photo montages, and emails. But for me, the email that stands out the most is the one I received after the release of The Strongest Steel which involves a young woman in hiding from a violent ex-partner. The reader wrote and told me that the book was the impetus to make some changes in her own life so that she didn’t become my character.

Q ~ What are your biggest influences in life? Who are your biggest supporters?
Music has always been a huge influence in my life. I listen to all kinds of music in just about every genre there is. You are as likely to find me listening to metal as you are medieval chants. I pick the type of music depending on my mood.

I am very fortunate to have a few great groups of supporters. My family, obviously, keep me very grounded. I have a great group of girlfriends in both Toronto and Manchester. I am a member of Kathryn Le Veque’s World of De Wolfe pack, a group of unrivaled historical and contemporary romance writers. We chat on a daily basis and are a great support network for each other. And my street team, Scarlett’s Stars, who work tirelessly to spread the word about my books, are such a wonderful group of ladies.

Q ~ Why did you choose to write contemporary romantic suspense as your primary genre?
It wasn’t really a conscious decision. The idea for the series came to me, and I knew that beyond the love story, I wanted a strong external antagonist that would either force the characters to work together, or push the characters apart.

Q ~ When you write, do you try to reach a specific word count or simply write until you are done?
I try to write 4,000 words every day when I am writing. Obviously that changes depending on what stage of the book I am at. This month I will finish writing book one of the PRELOAD series, edit book four of the Second Circle series, THE DARKEST LINK, release book three of the Second Circle Tattoos series, THE PUREST HOOK, and begin plotting book two of the PRELOAD series. I use a planner to tell me what needs to get done on what days to make all the deadlines. Making it all work is the best problem ever, because it means my stories are selling.

Q ~ Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release and what inspired you to write it?
THE PUREST HOOK is the third book in the Second Circle Tattoos series and is completely standalone (the series has overlapping characters). It is about Pixie, the show tune-loving studio manager of Second Circle Tattoos, and metal rock god, Dred Zander. Pixie is happy with her life as it is, until Dred crashes into it and tries to convince her that they are worth a shot. But just as he makes progress, a blackmailer threatens their present, and a juicy expose stirs up their past leaving Pixie and Dred fighting for what really matters.

I was inspired to write both Pixie and Dred’s characters after reading a book about the long term impact on children who have survived highly traumatic events. It was a fascinating insight into the role of modern psychology, and the characters immediately began to shape.

Q ~ What music did you listen to while writing THE PUREST HOOK?
I listened to lots of different music but the coolest part for me was listening to the recordings from Broadway shows and famous film musicals. Pixie loves show tunes, and it will be fun to see which references readers find because Pixie often thinks and sings in show tune lyrics. So I listened to Wicked, The Sound of Music, Chess, Rent, and lots of others.

Q ~ What type of characters did you find yourself especially drawn to and why?
I like people who have real histories, who are not perfect. I like that they make mistakes and pick themselves up again. And people who have heart and don’t go down without a fight.

Q ~ If you were stranded on a desert island with one of your characters (from any novel you’ve written) who would you choose and why?
I’d pick Cujo from The Fractured Heart, because he has the best sense of humor, and is the most outdoorsy type of hero I’ve written. I’m all about survival – LOL.

Q ~ Do you have a favourite character (or two) in your latest series? What is it that draws you to them?
Picking my favorite would be like choosing between my children. Each of them is very unique in their own way, and I fall in love with them all as I write them.

Q ~ Do you have anything in the works at the moment? Care to give us a hint about it?
I recently announced a two-part seven-book deal with St. Martin’s Press. The first is a four-book dark contemporary spin-off from THE PUREST HOOK, and is called PRELOAD. This series is about the four other members of Dred’s band. And the second, called the LOVE OVER DUTY series, is a high stakes romantic suspense series about three recently retired Navy SEALS who set up their own security firm.

Q ~ Do you have any conferences/book signings/events coming up?
I will be at RWA in San Diego in July so please come and say hi if you see me.

Q ~ If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice, what would it be?
Get on with it. Figure out how to organise and preserve slots of time to write, then get words down on paper. It is easy to dwell in the perfection of a single word, or to spend months researching what will ultimately turn out to be an insignificant detail. Just get the bones of the story down with a sense of urgency. Then fix it afterward.

About the author:

Scarlett Cole is a writer of contemporary romance and a two-time RITA finalist. Her debut, THE STRONGEST STEEL, has already become an Amazon best seller in romantic suspense, was a Best Debut Goodreads Author Finalist 2015, and Authors On The Air Global Radio Network Contemporary Romance Pick of 2015. The FRACTURED HEART was released in early 2016. Look for THE PUREST HOOK, book three of THE SECOND CIRCLE TATTOOS series out May 3rd.

When Scarlett isn't writing, she spends her time reading, hoarding mason jars, and working out to off-set an epic sour candy habit. She likes hot men, cold beer, and expensive shoes.

Having travelled the world for work and fun, Scarlett is a citizen of both Britain and Canada. A true city-dweller, she considers Toronto and Manchester home and likes to set her books in vibrant locations such as Miami and Los Angeles.

Rep'd by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency, and published by St. Martin's Press.

She'd love to hear from you on twitter @itsscarlettcole or stop by her website at

About The Purest Hook
Series:  Second Circle Tattoos #3
Publication Date:  May 10/16 by Swerve
Length:  273pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
My Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links: my reviewGoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play

Back Cover Blurb:

Can a love built on secrets survive?

Rugged, hot, and rock hard, Dred Zander is exactly the type of man that normally sends Pixie running. Not dreaming about running her hands down his washboard abs...and lower. The lead singer and guitarist for the band Preload embodies trouble behind his quick smile and guarded eyes, and Pixie left trouble behind her years ago along with the name Sarah Jane Travers and the pathetic trailer her mom called home. With her abusive past in her past, she has a new life, a new family at Second Circle, and a dream of opening her own business. She needs capital and time. What she doesn't need is a tempting long-haired rocker or the paparazzi that follow him around.

But Dred has other ideas. Pixie's sweet hazel eyes, purple hair and kaleidoscopic tattoo of exotic flowers that swirl up her arm haunt his dreams, and he knows she wants him too. He just has to convince her. But as a juicy exposé threatens to expose their pasts, and a blackmailer terrorizes their present, Pixie and Dred have to decide what really matters and fight like hell to keep it.

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