League Interview with Debut Novelist CAROLYN CRANE!
Nicole: Hello, League! I know I haven't done an interview in a while, after someone's lawyer claimed I try to "set her client on fire" because I'm trying to kill off the League's possible competition. Whatever! Such slander! It wasn't my fault there was a bucket of gasoline dripping above her head. Or that I had just taken up smoking. A series of coincidences! Nothing more! But I'm gonna get back into the interviews, now that legal says I'm good to go. In a few weeks, I'm going to launch a "Everybody's Writin' YA Including Yo' Momma" blog event, but for right now, I'd like to introduce one of the NEWEST Urban Fantasists in town, Mizzzzzzzzz Carolyn Crane! Hi Carolyn!
Carolyn: Hi Nicole! Thanks so much for having me. Wow, it's really gloomy in here. Is this your league clubhouse or something like that?
Nicole: Gloomy, what are you talking about? The decor is torture chic! It's the newest thing in Sweden. Philistine. Anyway, why don't you tell us about yourself?
Carolyn: Well, I live in Minneapolis with my husband. I love animals, and Mexican food, running. I write advertising to pay the rent, which involves long meetings and also sitting in my bathtub for hours thinking of slogans and ideas for ads, which sounds way funner than it is. Fiction feels so freeing in comparison, because I can play and be wild. I write my books longhand, but this year I really want to break myself of that, and also try to be a less slobby person. I have many plans to improve myself this year.
Nicole: That's awesome! I totally hear you on the self improvement. If my thighs get any bigger they'll be studded with cloves and roasted like hams. In the meantime, though, have you seen an iron maiden? We have one in the corner . . . I've heard they're GREAT for, um, meditation and stuff . . .
Carolyn: Meditation? Ouch! Why does it have sharp spikes? This doesn't seem relaxing at all, Nicole. Maybe if you guys made the ends soft and rubbery, it would massage your back but this…
Nicole: Fine, whatever. Not everyone wants the sort of clear head and inner peace that only an iron maiden can give you. Can you tell us what's the thing you're most looking forward to about being published?
Carolyn: I’m both insanely excited and SO nervous about my release this March. I’ve been writing books forever, and I can’t believe somebody is going to print one up and sell it now. And the idea some reader I don’t know might buy and enjoy my book, that some little item I put in that amused me way back when might amuse them, it’s awesome. I feel so lucky.
Nicole: That fantastic! It's sort of how I feel about this piece of furniture, right here. Some people call it a "rack," but on Ikea it's called an "avsöndring." If you just put your feet in here . . . and your hands in here . . . move over La-z-boy!
Carolyn: Really? This is from Ikea? Gosh. *awkward silence * The Europeans really come up with some strange furniture, don't they? * nervous laugh, more awkward silence.* Um, do you mind if I sit in this chair instead?
Nicole: What, you don't like comfortable seating? Are you some kind of ascetic? Is that what you're telling me? Fine, while you're all uncomfortable over there on that boring old chair, you can just go ahead and tell me what happened when you got "the call."
Carolyn; When my agent called to ask to represent me, in a way, that was the big call to me. I was in my office and I saw that 212 area code and I almost fainted. She was like, can I represent you? Do you want to think about it? And I was falling all over myself to say yes before she changed her mind. And soon, potato chips, pizza and wine were involved. Really, it was sort of magical.
Nicole: I don't suppose I can get you to stick your head through this noose?
Carolyn: Umm, it seems sort of dangerous. Are you researching your next book or something?
Nicole: Never mind. *sighs* Have you celebrated your deal?
Carolyn: Weirdly, not really. Of course I'm thrilled, but there was never a clear cut “I’ve got it, let’s party!” moment. Everything was incremental or conditional—involving, for example, a difficult decision between publishers, or another round of revisions, or suddenly you have to do this. The carrot keeps being just out in front of my nose. Hmm. Clearly I need to celebrate more.
But then, there are tons of unexpected great smaller things, like this! Finally being interviewed on the League, and you all being so friendly and welcoming.
Nicole: We are friendly and welcoming, aren't we! We rarely, if ever, try to kill people! Would you be willing to testify to that in court? *Carolyn shrugs, noncommittally* AWESOME! I think I like you, Miss Carolyn! Can Tell us about your project?
Carolyn: Well, my heroine Justine is a hopeless hypochondriac. But then this tortured mastermind (who is also, of course, super handsome and mysterious) peers into her psyche and really appreciates her freak amount of fear. He makes her a deal: he’ll help her rechannel her fear to battle depraved and paranormal criminals as part of his psychological hit squad.
At first, Justine enjoys the glamorous, thrilling world of neurotic crimefighters, even though she’s more like Monk than Anita Blake. Things go south when she wades into strange secrets, moral dilemmas and forbidden love - with a dashing crime boss with a penchant for opera and paranoia about brain hemorrhages. Oh, what to do, what to do… and how to keep the city from sliding into a bloodbath.
Nicole: So you got a bunch of neurotic super agents falling in weird OCD love with each other? That's hilarious! I love it! AND you're willing to be my star witness! They'll never make the charges stick with you in my corner! That makes me so happy, I have an offer for you . . . How would you like to join the League of Reluctant Adults?
Carolyn: Really? Hey, I'd love to! Wow! And I'll totally testify as a star witness. Who in their right mind would bring charges against you for anything? Obviously you are a deeply compassionate person who wouldn't hurt a fly.
Nicole: EXACTLY! See, I'm just misunderstood! And we're super excited to have you. Just don't let Mark con you into combing his pubes to get the crabs out. He just likes the feel of the plastic on his skin. And you are not responsible for washing Jaye's underthangs. Or Dakota's hair pieces. Nor are you responsible for anybody's sponge baths. Except maybe my own...
And that, my friends, is how the League won it's newest member . . .
He he . . . Nicole wrote "member" . . .