I am a big fan of the lovely Carolyn Crane and her fabulous Disillusionists books. I highly recommend you check out the series if you haven’t already! Carolyn was kind enough to chat with me about the books as well as some of her upcoming projects. Please help me welcome her to the blog!
Jen: Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today.
Carolyn: Hey, thanks so much for having me! I was so happy to be invited. I know these spotlight interviews are a lot of work for bloggers, but so much appreciated!
Jen: The Disillusionists series isn’t your standard Urban Fantasy fare. For those who haven’t read the books, how would you describe them?
Carolyn: The Disillusionists trilogy follows the journey of Justine Jones and her friends—former losers, whose weaknesses were turned into crime-fighting powers—and Justine’s suitors: two flawed but brilliant men—one on a journey of redemption, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.
Jen: When we first meet Justine, she is as far from a kick-ass heroine as anyone could imagine. Did you consider it a risk to make her so damaged?
Carolyn: I really didn’t think of it as a risk – it just seemed like a more interesting scenario to me. Like so many writers, I write the books that I want to read, and I tend to enjoy psychological drama and also, everyday people.
Jen: Moving on to the men in her life. In the first two books, I really found my loyalties torn between Otto and Packard. And even at the end, I still felt a little sympathy for, well, let’s just call him “the loser.” Talk to me about creating these two very different characters who both connect to Justine in such a major way.a href=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-I_I84UCjGys/TztNBawHYSI/AAAAAAAAB9c/FD34joaiKQE/s1600/dcr.jpg”>
Carolyn: LOL the loser!! You are funny. But thank you for being so non-spoilery! I actually love both of these characters. I think it would be so boring if Justine had two men to choose from and one was great and the other sucked. All my characters get redeeming qualities.
The thing is, Justine is on a journey, and growing and evolving as a person, and the stronger and more true to herself she becomes, the more clarity she gets in her romantic choices. One guy is more appropriate for Justine when she’s the weak old Justine. The other fits with her highest self, her strong and true self she is growing toward. The love triangle was part of the character arc.
Both Packard and Otto have upsides and downsides. Otto is the dashing hero with a dark side. Packard is sort of inspired by Sam from Casablanca, the man always out for himself who has to step up in the end or lose out.
Jen: Was the series always a trilogy in your mind?
Carolyn: Yes. I felt like readers might get a little bit claustrophobic inside Justine’s head for too many books. And there is something I just so love about a trilogy; it gives you the ability to tell a nice big, fat, juicy story without dragging it on.
Jen: You changed publishers between the 2nd and 3rd book. How did that impact you and/or the series?Carolyn: Well, the biggest impact is that it put such a delay between the Double Cross (book #2) and Head Rush (book #3). I had originally imagined there would be 6 months between them, but when Spectra declined to buy book #3, honestly, my thought was, Noooo! after the ending of Double Cross, I can’t make readers wait!! I knew people liked the series and that somebody would pick it up or that I’d put it out myself, but it killed me to have people wait like that.
And of course, Head Rush is a digital-first book, so poor print readers are still waiting, and I feel for them, because I hate to wait for things myself. But that is part of what makes Samhain nimble, and I feel happy in my new home with them. They took a chance on book #3, and have been awesome in general, and I love the cover of Head Rush! I love how action-y she looks, and no knife.
Jen: (I never did why she had a knife on the other covers.) I loved Shelby so much!! Who was your favorite among the secondary characters and why?
Carolyn: I’m so glad you like her!! Shelby is one of my favorite characters to write for sure. It’s always fun coming up with lines for her, because, there is always just a bit of truth in her dark vision of things. I also love working with Simon, because he insults the other characters and just breaks things up.Jen: I’m so excited that Simon is getting a story. Can you tell us anything about Devil’s Luck?
Carolyn: Fawna, the heroine, sees the future and feels trapped by that knowledge. Simon wants nothing to do with the future – he’s into recklessness and taking losing gambles. So, they want nothing to do with each other, but when they come together, everything just ignites. It’s the most intense thing I’ve ever written.
Jen: Do you think you’ll revisit any of the other Disillusionists?
Carolyn: I might. If I get a great idea for one of the other characters I will.
Jen: What is you favorite scene from the series and why? (Mine is the bathroom scene with Packard in Double Cross… Duh.)
Carolyn: Oh, how I labored over that bathroom scene. It was so important to me. (obviously!) And I’m glad you like it. You know my favorite scene is the interrogation with Marty in the beginning of Double Cross. I loved how it turned out, with the power shifting back and forth, and then the end when Packard arrives.
Jen: What are you working on right now?
Carolyn: I’m working on my paranormal romance spy series. I should have news of when it will be out by the end of March.
Jen: Can you give us a little snippet from one of your upcoming projects? Just a little, bitty, teeny, tiny, super-awesome peek?
Carolyn: Nobody has ever asked me to do that. I would love to! My Ghost story is coming out in the Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance this summer. It’s a straight paranormal that I had so much fun writing.
Cassie Nolan addressed the tourists in a solemn tone. “Ready?”
They nodded and murmured their yeses. It was a small group tonight—six adults and two kids, standing out on the porch of the Old Salt Tavern in the growing dusk.
She raised her eyebrows as the town clock rang eight chimes, scrutinizing their faces, as though she wasn’t convinced they could handle Old Salt’s nightly haunting…as though it might be too frightening, too horrifying, too shocking.
Old Salt William McHenry was the most pathetic haunter ever. Clearly he was a real ghost, that’s what frustrated Cassie. Could he not come up with something cooler and scarier than dragging an invisible chain around on a dock? Maybe throw stuff around? Smash something?
The tourists would stand there in awe of Old Salt’s ghostly clanking, and she would stand in awe of his ghostly ineptitude, thinking, A chain? Really? That’s what you came up with?
So, she totally insults this ghost all the time when the tourists aren’t around, but then something happens to bring her and Old Salt the ghost into contact, and he is mad about being insulted by her all those years, and also totally hot and hunky.
Jen: I will have to check that one out! What are you looking forward to most about AAD in NOLA?
Carolyn: Just meeting everybody! So many readers and authors and blogger I feel so warm toward from twitter and elsewhere online are going. I’m looking forward to talking books, and being in a place where it’s not uncool to have a half-naked man on the cover of your book, and to be with those who understand why a totally messed-up guy with a name like Zsadist can be awesome, and on and on.
Jen: Thanks again for taking the time to do this! I can’t wait to meet you this summer.
Carolyn: Jen, I am really looking forward to meeting you. I think this is going to be a really one in a million convention. Also, thanks for inviting me over to your blog!!
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