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Friday, January 6, 2012

INTERVIEW: CARLA ANGELA

Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Carla Angela, whose debut novel Full Exposure is out from Siren-Bookstrand. I asked her to tell us a little bit about her book.


Full Exposure surrounds photographer Lake Silva and her new business venture—taking professional online dating photos. Slick, appealing, and sizzling hot...with Lake behind the camera lens! What Lake doesn’t count on is meeting one male client who stirs up more than just business sense in her.
Carla has wanted to write novels since she was five, but it wasn't considered a typical career path at her school.


"So even though I was whipping out 100-handwritten-page novels as a teen, I never sent them anywhere, and instead went down the more predictable route in writing as a print journalist," she said. "One day though, I hope to bid adieu to the journalism work forever and just focus solely on fiction. That’s the dream!"


Carla didn't start out to write erotic romance, but she's always liked romance and glamour, so it just made sense to her and was a natural progression.


"I’m in a romance writers group and an older woman was talking about how they used to write erotic fiction for fun in their youth, and I thought, ‘Why not give it a go? It’s been around since time began.’ I haven’t looked back since!" she explained.


She also has a chick-lit manuscript. I asked her about the differences.


"I guess the difference with chick-lit and romance is that there are the relationships with other characters in chick-lit that need to be considered, such as, the protagonist’s siblings, parents, friends and colleagues," she said. "Erotic romance is much simpler in that it’s all about the hero and heroine, or two heroes and heroine if it’s a ménage a trois! Erotic romance distils things down to the scenes most people are actually flying through the pages to actually get to."


"What are the biggest public misconceptions about erotica?" I asked her.


"That it’s just porn. Unlike porn though, which often doesn’t require much of a plot (or a good musical backdrop for that matter), characters in erotic fiction must have depth, must grow and must have a real connection with the object of their affection – beyond just sex."


Carla always carries a little notebook with her in her purse, and everyday things will make her pull it out to make notes: from overheard conversations on a bus to an interview she reads in a magazine. Anything can serve as inspiration to her.


"Watch out if you’re a family member or friend of mine as chances are your life events may in some way inspire what happens between my pages!" she warned. "I also love researching subjects online and physically going to places if I can, such as a beekeeper’s place if I’m writing about bees! If I’m writing about exotic locales, it’s always fun to have travelled to them too, of course."


"What does your family think of your writing?" I asked. "Do they read it?"


"My family are used to my crazy creativity! However, I won’t be showing my parents my erotic fiction anytime soon – or my siblings. It’s like an actor having their folks sit in with them at a movie screening during a sex scene. There are just some lines you don’t want to cross with your family. My tamer stuff though, sure."


She told me that the most embarrassing sex scene she's ever written was probably her first one.


"It takes a while to get your head around where all the particular body parts go and what to call them too, so they still sound sexy," she explained. "First one over though, you get over yourself and you’re on your way!"


If she could entertain a character from a book, she wouldn't mind hanging out with Hunter Dex from Full Exposure.


"He has ocean-blue eyes, a tanned, muscular body, plenty of cheek, and a fat wallet to boot. I can imagine things getting pretty saucy at his palatial pad," she said, adding, "Just don’t tell my husband!"


"If you could be anyone you wanted, who would it be?" I wondered.


"A famous novelist, like Sophie Kinsella, because then all I’d have to worry about career-wise is writing books – and I’d even have sold movie rights on a tome. Living the dream!"


On a personal note, if Carla had to pierce a body part, she would choose her bellybutton, even though she has, as she put it, "one of those squeamish bellybuttons that feels funny if you touch it." She still thinks it would look sexy—especially if it were a silver butterfly pendant against tanned skin.


Her favorite foods run to the salty side, because instead of a sweet tooth, Angela has a savory tooth. Some of her favourites are antipasto-type fare, like salami and olives, and she puts lots of lemon and chili on everything. For things a little more healthy, she chooses avocado and mango.


On the other hand, she can't eat any cut of meat that's not the norm, such as kidneys, brains, tongues, and tripe.


"I wouldn’t want to go on Survivor and be dared to eat such stuff," she admitted. "I can guarantee I’d puke."


"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked her.


"A bad hairstyle choice in the 90s when I did Princess Leia-style hair buns and added real flowers at school. It didn’t go down so well with my class mates and there was much jeering. I’ve had a much safer ‘do since!"


Finally, I asked Carla, "If you could give a new writer one piece of advice, what would it be?"


"It’s an oldie, but a goodie – keep writing and reading. Expand what you read by joining a book club. Read outside your genre and try new authors as it will make you a better-rounded writer. And write, write, write! Don’t wait for the muse to strike ‘cause it never will – just turn up at the page, even if the laundry pile is growing and the carpets need vacuuming. There will always be some excuse. Personally, I’ve found your first book won’t likely be The One (though some authors, of course, have had overnight success). Many say you can often strike it lucky by about the third manuscript in getting it published. I really believe you need to hone your writing skills and get better at polishing your manuscript within an inch of its life, before you put your material out there to the world. After all, your earlier work may come back to bite you later on – and have you cringing!"


About the Author:
By day, Carla Angela is a freelance journalist in Australia and, in the inky night, an erotic fiction writer. When she’s not tapping away on her keyboard, she loves shopping, socialising, renovating, and listening to music—from 90s R&B to retro 80s. Watching telemovies and obsessing over her star sign are also guilty pleasures. More on Carla Angela can be found at http://www.bookstrand.com/carla-angela or www.CarlaAngela.com. She writes exclusively for Siren-BookStrand. Full Exposure is her first tome.

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