Interview with Miranda Rae Carter

Thank you so much for hosting me, Cynthia. I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of your blog today, and offer some advice to other self-published authors.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]Give us an elevator pitch for your book.

Oh, that is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. At the Surrey International Writers Conference last year, I had to do it twice! Ken Sherman (whom I did a practice pitch with) and Michael Slade (whom I conveniently got caught in an elevator with. Seriously.) were the lucky listeners. I was literally sweating bullets, intimidated like you-know-what, though I did receive really good feedback from them. I thought it sucked, but apparently they didn’t! Both men were extremely polite, which went a long way, when I was trying to calm myself down. So here’s how it went down:
“Well, Mr. So-and-So… It’s a young-adult paranormal romance, Beauty and the Beast-like story, based here in Vancouver. My heroin, Liss, is rescued from a deadly car crash, and then pursued by her malion savior, who is wanted for murder.”
“Did you say malion?”
“Yes, Sir, I did.”
“Did you make that up?”
“Yes, Sir, I did.”
(Insert their good feedback, and me wiping sweat from my upper lip here)

Tell us about your current series/WIP.

Beneath the Surface is book one in my malion series. Altogether, there will be six books and one novella. The entire plot of the series is complete in my head, as well as the titles, so now it is just a matter of writing and editing time before the next book will be published. Like Harry Potter, each book builds on the previous story, so I look forward to giving readers much more in book two, three, and so on. For the duration of the series, Liss and Rion remain the heroine and hero; however, the novella and two other books in the series will be from a human, a malion male (though not Rion’s), and a malion female’s perspective. Getting into those minds will be very interesting for me.

How does your family feel about your writing?

It took me a long time to tell my husband that I was writing a book. No one knew except my best friend, Kim. I was incredibly shy about it, and I wasn’t sure, for the longest time, if I would ever tell anyone else about it. However, when I finally got up the courage to tell the rest of my family and friends, they were extremely supportive, and they all bought copies when it came out. It was my husband that convinced me to pursue publication, though I do keep it hidden from our children. They were here before my book, and I never want them to feel like I spend more time at the computer than with them, which is why I write when they are in bed or at school.

What is your writing routine like?

110% scheduled. My biggest struggle with writing the first book was finding the time, and not pushing my family aside, especially because I also work as a Dental Assistant. What I found was that I needed to schedule it, like work. I write five days per week, either late at night, early in the morning, or when everyone is at school or work, for a 90 minute sprint. I set the timer, when it beeps, I’m done. Housework, exercise, meals and kids activities must also be fit into my day, so my life just doesn’t allow for all-day writing marathons, unfortunately (though some days, I wish!).

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you combat it with?

Absolutely. Writer’s block plagues me, sometimes, every second chapter I write. How I combat that is by plotting during the day in my head where I want the chapter to go, so that I make the best of my 90 minute sprint, or just walk away from it for a week or two. Sometimes I’m just burnt out and need some time away from the computer. I think it’s good to take short breaks and refresh yourself, or stop and read a good book, just to get away from your story for a while.

How far do you plan ahead?

With this series—or any future book I have planned in my head—I need to know, roughly, what is going to happen, including the arc of the love story (because it is a romance), as well as where the characters will be/not be. As I get to writing each book, I have something in point form where I believe the plot will go, but not too much detail, as the fine points iron out as I write. I use Michael Hauge’s “Six Plot Structure” to keep me on track; having that template is very helpful. I also use the “Snowflake” plotting software, which, I find, works fantastic for making me think, and keeping me organized and on track.

What did you do to promote your work?

In the beginning, I made a website, a Facebook page, got onto Twitter and the Goodreads Author Program. All of those things, I believe, are the essentials. Having Goodreads giveaways, I found, were really helpful for getting people to see my book, and I received some fantastic reviews from the winners. Afterwards, I hired Book Enthusiast Promotions, and had a Review Blitz. That, my friends, was amazing! I got 20 new followers on Facebook, lots more Twitter followers and more great feedback from bloggers. For a brand-new author who is self-published, it was the best thing I ever did. I will definitely be using Debra’s services in the future, she is fantastic. Lately, I’ve been pulling back on promotional things (other than a guest blog appearance when I can snag one), because I really want to get the next book finished. I want to have it out as soon as next spring, and I’m trying really hard to meet that deadline.

All self-published books are said to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?

It’s sad to hear there is a stereotype floating around like that. Some of the very best books I’ve read lately are self-published: Eileen Cook’s Do or Di; Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster (which I read before it went mainstream); Nashoda Rose’s With You (which just became a NYT Bestseller) and Torn from You; and the very best, T. Rae. Mitchell’s Fate Fables (wow, what a fantastic novel!). What I do have to say, is that if you are unsure of whether to buy a book because you’re worried you’ll spend money on something that is poorly edited, download the excerpt first. This is also the reason I posted the first four chapters of Beneath the Surface on my website, which is longer than the excerpt you get from an online retailer. Furthermore, have a look at a few websites who have reviewed it. I tend to read the very lengthy reviews, myself, because they are, usually, most honest. For self-publishing authors, all I can say is, editing your book before it’s published is crucial. Editors are on your side, and they want to make your book better (don’t forget, their name will be on it, too). Putting your well-edited and polished book out there is your chance to prove to the world you’re worth reading, following and spending money on.

Do you have critique partners?

YES. The hardest part of having a critique partner(s) is finding the right one. They are very, very helpful, if you can find them. If at all possible, it’s best to have one that writes the same genre.

What are you reading now?

Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt.

It’s a young-adult literary fiction, and incredibly well written. I have a hard time putting it down.

I would like to giveaway a signed paperback copy of Beneath the Surface.

A short scene from Chapter III. Dr. Abeo “Abby” Mubarak (a human friend and ally of the malions) has come to check on Liss, and tries to help her walk for the first time since her accident, but it’s not as easy as it seems. Liss also doesn’t expect to see Rion’s face for the first time; up until this point, he’s been covered by a creepy, dark hood.
I stood still for a second to balance myself. I knew that I could
walk on my own, even if it wasn’t very far. I took one more deep
breath and raised my left leg slightly, but as soon as I transferred
all of my weight to my right leg, it gave out and I fell backward.
Abby was standing too far in front of me to catch the hand I
reached out for her, and I squealed thinking about my head hitting
the rock hard floor. But I didn’t get that far; two giant arms were
around my waist and legs instantly, lifting me before I could hit.
I sucked in a breath, just as my face turned to the side, and my
mouth dropped open—Rion’s bright green, almond-shaped eyes
were staring directly into mine.

We stood there for a moment, staring at one another, both in
shock. He was like nothing I had seen, or known to exist outside of
the movies. The closest face I had seen to his was constructed of
latex and makeup. I wanted to reach out and touch him to see if he
was real, because his features were distinctly catlike: his nose was
broad and square, just like a cat’s, and his upper lip was indented
down the middle, like a cat’s, although it wasn’t split in two. His
face was covered in golden peach fuzz, but the hair on his head
was dark brown, long, and mane-like, hanging just past his shoulders.
When I touched it with the tips of my fingers behind his back,
it was soft and fine, not like a human’s. I couldn’t see his teeth, and
wondered for a moment if they were sharp.

It was then that I noticed the scars. The tip of his left ear was
missing, and there were two long lines that extended from the
upper left corner of his forehead, to the lower right side of his
bottom lip. I wondered who could have done such a thing.
He looked down as if he was ashamed of himself, and took a
step toward the bed, whispering, “I will put you back on the bed
now, you have had enough for today.”

I couldn’t speak. I was still in shock. This massive man seemed
to be shying away in my presence, and the only thing I could do
was swallow—hard. He turned around to leave. I was going to call
him back, but he raised his arm and angrily swept a mug off the
side of the desk as he stormed past it, and slammed the door behind
him on the way out. I winced as the cup shattered into pieces on
the stone floor.


I recoiled. I’d completely forgotten Abby was still in the room.

Miranda Rae Carter has lived in British Columbia her whole life, and is a self-proclaimed home-bug. She spends most of her time doing what she loves, and that is being a mom and wife—and trying to master the art of cooking. The rest of her time is divided between looking in mouths and writing.


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5 thoughts on “Interview with Miranda Rae Carter

  1. How fun to have to give your book pitch to some wonderful people. I can imagine the challenge of writing, family and the day job. 🙂 I love the cover and wish you all the best!

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