Interview with romance author: Caridad Pineiro

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Would you please introduce yourself and tell us what made you decide to write romance?

Hi, this is Caridad Pineiro. I'm an eclectic writer who likes to do all kinds of different things, from contemporary romance to paranormals to women's fiction. As a kid, I was an avid reader and the same kinds of books called to me all the time. I finally realized that almost all of the novels were either romances or had strong romantic elements. Since I'd wanted to be a writer for some time, I decided that I would write what I loved to read.

What was the inspiration for creating 'The Calling' books?

I had been doing straight contemporary romances and wanted to do something different. Something darker and more of an edge. At the time, I was seriously into Buffy and also, lots of movies, books and television shows which had both paranormal and suspense elements. The more I considered it, the more I realized that by incorporating the supernatural in a romantic suspense, I would not only have something different, but I would also be able to explore the darker side of both the human and vampire characters. THE CALLING vampire series was born. THE CALLING is a series of stories that have both paranormal and suspense elements together with a strong and sexy romance.

How did you come up with 'Devotion Calls', your January 2007 release?

Those who have been reading THE CALLING may have noticed that the stories are varied, with some stories revolving around real life mysteries and others centered around the vampire subculture I've created. When I thought of THE CALLING, I had also planned to not only introduce other supernatural demons, but also humans who possessed extraordinary powers. DEVOTION CALLS does both of those as we once again meet Ricardo Fernandez (who first appeared in TEMPTATION CALLS, Oct 2005). Ricardo is a man who naturally possessed the power to heal. Through many years of exploration and training, Ricardo has discovered how to strengthen and focus that healing power. The dark side of the power is that Ricardo also has the ability to steal life by taking the life force from others. The foil to all of Ricardo's good points is a demon who only cares about itself ' a chupacabra (or goat sucker). Why a chupacabra' I wanted to introduce a demon that some readers had possibly not heard of before, but I did alter the mythology of how this creature came to be. Think Beauty and the Beast - the creature was once a man who had been evil and becoming a chupacabra was his punishment for lacking a soul. Because he was once a man, the chupacabra believes Ricardo can 'heal' him and make him human again.

Do you do research for the books you write?

I do research for every book. For example, I research the weapons and dress of the characters, the eras in which the vampires were turned, new demons to include, etc. It's one of the fun parts of writing - learning new things that you can share with your readers.

To date, which book has been the most difficult to write? Of all the books you've written do you have a favorite?

The most difficult book to write was DANGER CALLS. I had a set idea for a beta hero (Sebastian Reyes) which is not a common thing in romances. There was a battle with making him more alpha, but this conflicted with my idea of Sebastian's basic personal conflict -- his inability to see himself as worthy and a hero. So, Sebastian ended up somewhere in between, but since the response to him was very positive, I'm glad that it worked.

Of all the books I've written, DARKNESS CALLS is my favorite. I wrote it after the line for which I was writing folded. I wrote it because the characters screamed to have a story and even though editors and agents alike told me that vampire stories were not selling. In fact, I finished the entire book as a Christmas gift to myself and boy am I ever glad that I did! I listened to my heart and it didn't fail me and that's why DARKNESS CALLS is my favorite. That I've been allowed to explore the characters again in DEATH CALLS (Dec 2006) speaks to the impact that the book had on both readers and editors alike.

Do you usually outline your stories before you write them, or do you "go with the flow"?

I go with the flow, kind of. I usually envision three key parts - the beginning, ultimate conflict and the end. Once I delineate those, I fill in the gaps along the way.

How long does it take you to write a book?

If I am writing a category book, I can usually write one in about 6 to 8 weeks. I like to set it aside the first draft for a few weeks and then do a final polishing. For my single title books, like SEX AND THE SOUTH BEACH CHICAS (Sep 2006), it's a longer process because there are generally more characters and a secondary plot line. A single title may take 3 to 4 months to do the first draft and again, a month to set it aside before polishing. During the time I set aside the book, I usually work on a new proposal - a synopsis and three chapters. That usually takes about a month to do and polish so that it can be sent out.

What is the best thing about being a romance writer? Do you have any fears about writing?

The best thing about being a romance writer is the romance readers. They are so receptive and open to all kinds of new ideas. They are also so supportive and wonderful. It's always wonderful to hear from the readers about they liked (or didn't like) your book. As for fears about writing, I think I have the fear that most writers have - that you'll run out of ideas or won't be able to sell the next book. A lot of times people think that once you've sold one (or even a dozen) that you'll automatically sell the next which is not the case. You face rejections of your work all the time and it takes a thick hide to learn from those rejections and make your work better with each one.

What are you working on next?

I'm working on a bunch of different things! I've got a werewolf urban fantasy with a twist on the werewolf mythology. I'm revising another paranormal romantic suspense and also, working on a sequel to MORE THAN A MISSION, my August romantic suspense (sans any creatures of the night). One of my New Year's resolutions for next year is to do a romantic suspense single title.

So far what do you consider the highlight in your writing career?

That's a tough one! I think the highlight was seeing my 13th book (DEATH CALLS) come out in December and be part of the Nocturne launch. From being told that vampires don't sell to helping launch a line with that vampire series is quite an accomplishment, IMHO.

What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have a favorite?

I love reading all kinds of books, although my tastes run to what I write, namely, paranormals, romantic suspense and women's fiction. My favorite is J.D. Robb. I love Eve Dallas and Roarke.

When away from writing, What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Spare time' Honestly, there is very little of that. I still have a full time job and a family. I love spending time with my husband and daughter. We are very close and do all kinds of things together, from going out to dinner to Broadway shows. I also love to cook and garden and built myself a pond two years ago. I added a waterfall this year and next I'm adding another bigger section since I've discovered that my fish and water lilies don't do well together (and I do mean I built it, from digging the hole to constructing the rock wall around it, although I did use those pre-made plastic liners for the actual pond!)

Any tips about writing and getting published?

Never give up and always keep on writing. The adage about success being 10% talent and 90% perseverance is totally true about publishing! Also, if you're pre-published, try to network and stay abreast of what's happening in the publishing world. If you're a romance writer, RWA is immensely helpful as are the local chapters. If you can afford it, try to get to a local RWA conference near you so that you can meet other writers, editors and agents. I can honestly say that it was thanks to my attendance at the NJRW Conference many years back that I sold my first book.

Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for We Really Dig Romance Novels.

Check out the Caridad Pineiro books we have.

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