My guest today is a very dear friend of mine, Carla Swafford. She’s a sweet and funny woman with a heart as big as the Grand Canyon. Let’s jump right in to read her bio and then find out more about her.
Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies, and men, and her books reflect that. And that’s not all, she’s crazy about hockey, and thankfully, no one has made her turn in her Southern Belle card. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.
Betty: When did you become a writer?
Carla: I never considered myself as a true writer until my first book was published. It was number nine out of the ten books I finished. Hard to believe, but the other nine books are still unpublished. All of them.
Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?
Carla: When I was around 29, I tried to write a book. It was set in the Middle Ages. I’ve always been crazy about knights and their ladies. In fact, the first romance I ever read was set during that period. Bond of Blood by Roberta Gellis. My first book took me several years to finish. The next one was a romantic suspense. That took one year to write. I was gutsy enough to send it in to a contest. When I received a handwritten, eleven-page critique, that’s when I knew I needed help. So I bought several grammar books, took online classes, and joined RWA along with the local chapter.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Carla: Any author who I enjoy their books: Linda Howard, Anne Stuart, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lisa Kleypas, Cherise Sinclair, Shannon McKenna, Mary Balogh, Lorraine Heath, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and many more.
Betty: What prompted you to start writing?
Carla: At the time, all of my favorite writers were in-between publishing books, and I was having a problem finding a new author I liked. At night before falling asleep, I would make up stories in my head. You know, the type I wanted to read. Then I decided, what the heck, why don’t I give it a try. As you can imagine, it’s so much harder to write a book worth reading than to dream up a story. They have to make sense, have layers, a plot, and such.
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Carla: Leading up to when my first book was published, I talked with a lot of authors and heard many tales about the good and bad aspects of being published. So I was prepared for the heart wrenching reviews when someone doesn’t like your baby to how it feels to lose your editor (my first editor moved to another publishing house and it was for nonfiction). Editors are your cheerleaders to the publisher. Losing one who loved your work is so traumatic. The next editor they assign to you may not be a fan. Plus I had an author warn me how some of your friends turn out not to be your friends after you’re published.
But the one thing I never heard anyone say or even thought about was how when you finally become published by a traditional house, you’re still a little fish in a little pond with big fishes. Those big authors who have been around a long time and hit the lists with each book. Some will be friendly and others not so much. You get treated by the publishing house exactly like what you are. A little fish. But you know what, I made a lot of new friends (other little fishes), had a lot of fun and enjoyed every second. It all has to do with mindset.
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Carla: My love of romance and hockey. And I love stories where two strangers wake up married after a night of partying.
Two strangers wake up in the same bed after partying in Las Vegas to discover they are married.
Connor Ellison, one of Atlanta Edge’s best wingers and biggest prankster, is given an ultimatum by the coaches and the PR department. He must stay married until the end of the run for the Cup or be available for trade.
Lily Jones wants nothing to do with the insane demand. But he convinces her the best decision is to play along. If they remain married and pretend to be in love, he offers to save her family’s ice rink from bankruptcy. Anyway, it’s only until the end of the hockey season. Then they can go their separate ways.
Easy-peasy. No way will they go to the finals. No way will they truly fall in love.
This is one of my favorite stories by Carla, too. Thanks so much for sharing it with us today, my friend! And I hope you all will give it a read!
P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!
Visit http://www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.