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by Barbara Sheridan
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity
To submit articles of interest to our readers Email Barbara.

July 2002 Issue

Fated to Mate - A Date with Destiny!

Carla Cook
A.k.a. Carla Cassidy

Carla Cook is the pseudonym of an award winning author of over seventy books. She lives in the midwest with her husband, Frank and two spoiled dogs. She loves to order things she'll never use through catalogues and thinks exercise should be banned. She spends all of her free time reading and writing!


An Interview with Carla Cook

PNR: Carla you are quite a prolific writer. Romance lovers also know you as Carla Cassidy who in the last decade has written well over fifty series romance titles for the various silhouette lines. In addition to your June single title release, THE MAGICIAN from Love Spell, you have MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE (SR #1602) in the new Tales of the Sea line coming out any day now, and SECRETS OF A PREGNANT PRINCESS (SIM #1166) coming in August in addition to several earlier 2002 releases . First of all what inspired you to become a romance writer? How do you keep the ideas coming, and how do you manage working on severalstories at a time? How do you keep the all straight <g>?

Carla C.: I always loved to write when I was younger, but stopped when I became ateenager and discovered boys! It was when I married my husband and became a full-time housewife that I re-discovered my love for both reading and writing. He didn't want me to work outside the home. (can you say, male chauvinist?) I realized it took only so long to clean and I had long hours of the day to fill.

As far as how do I keep the ideas coming? I'm really not sure what the answer is to this, except that to me, the imagination is kind of like a muscle, and the more you use it the stronger it gets. Ideas are not the problem, finding the time to write all the ideas is the problem!

I don't often work on two projects at a time, but when I do the only way I keep them straight is because I have a good capacity for compartmentalizing in my brain.

PNR: You are no stranger to dark romance stories having been one of the feature authors of the must lamented Silhouette Shadows line (four titles and a novella). This type of contemporary gothic was much lamented by our sub-genre readers until the publisher began their rerelease as Dreamscapes, which has included three of yours so far. What inspired you to write this type of romance? How did you decide that the time was right for THE MAGICIAN?

Carla C.: I mourned the demise of the Shadows line! I loved writing for it. I've been a long-time fan of Dean Koontz and enjoy reading books with things that go bump in the night. It wasn't a stretch to want to write one. I had no idea if the time was right for The Magician. I only knew it was a story in my head that wouldn't let go and I had to get it down on paper.

PNR: Lets talk about the MAGICIAN. It is a tale of fate and of destiny. Lucas Connelly is a carpenter who comes into a sudden windfall as a result of his father’s death, which allows him to indulge in his passion for magic. Things are going fairly well for him until her begins to have visions that make him fear for his sanity. Tell us about our hero and his visions.

Carla C.: I saw Lucas as a simple ordinary man who had suffered tremendous loss in his life, but had risen above it to find a modicum of happiness.

His expectations of life isn't much. Then he begins the horrifying visions of a little girl in danger and he finds himself with powers he doesn't understand. He becomes an ordinary man thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

PNR: The child of Lucas’s visions does exist. She is six-year-old Gina Marlowe, daughter of recently widowed Kathleen. Gina has been afraid to go to sleep since the night of her birthday. The nightmares are no typical childhood fear. What has Gina so frightened? What occurs that convinces Kathleen that Gina’s concerns are serious?

Carla C.: I truly believe young children and animals have a sense of evil, and that's what frightens Gina. She knows she's in danger and she knows sleeping makes her vulnerable to that danger. While Kathleen initially thinks the bad dreams are just bad dreams, it isn't until Gina suffers an episode where Kathleen thinks she stops breathing and Kathleen can't wake her up, that Kathleen realizes something terrible is wrong.

PNR: Doctors can find no explanation for Gina’s affliction, however there are two men who might hold the key, Keith Kelly, a reporter, and Lucas Connelly. What is Keith’s connection to the case. What is Kathleen’s reaction to the two men? What is Lucas’s reaction to her?

Carla C.: Although Kathleen is reluctant to have anything to do with either man, she's driven by a mother's fear...a mother's need to find help for her child. Kathleen is afraid of the information Keith shares with her...but Lucas frightens her on a much different level.

PNR: When Gina’s episodes start to occur in the daytime, Kathleen reaches the point where she will grasp at any straw. What convinces her to trust Lucas, or does she? How does Lucas think he can help the child?

Carla C.: Initially, she doesn't trust Lucas. All she knows is that he's the one person who seems to possess some answers for what is afflicting Gina. Lucas doesn't know how he knows he can help the child...he just knows.

PNR: This feature is about fate and destiny. In addition to the sudden visions, Lucas is instantly aware at first glance that he has loved Kathleen in previous lives. How does this affect their relationship?

Carla C.: The fact that these two have shared lifetime after lifetime makes their
awareness of each other, their knowledge of each other almost instantaneous.

PNR: We won’t talk about the villain of this piece since that would ruin the mystery and suspense for the reader, but suffice it to say that the final discovery is chilling. The longer format of a single title novel certainly lends itself to this process of discovery. How did writing THE MAGICIAN differ from writing the series romances?

Carla C.: The subject matter was a bit darker than series romance and the length
of The Magician was certainly a luxury, but all the elements of a series
romance were also in The Magician.

PNR: I mentioned before that you also have MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE coming out this month. The paranormal romance readers have been curious about the new Tales of the Sea mini-line for several months. Tell us about this line and your story which kicks it off. What other works do you have in progress? Can we expect more paranormal novels by Carla Cook?

Carla C.: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE is the first book of a four book series about
mermaids. The story line follows four siblings who were sent away from their homeland of Pacifica (an island beneath the sea) during a time of war. Their father, the King, assumed he would be able to send for their return fairly quickly, but the war lasted for many years. Now, peace has come to Pacifica, and the siblings are adults. It is the story or rediscovering roots and family, combined with the magicial, fanciful world of mers!

As for me, certainly I hope to write more books under the Carla Cook pseudonym. I'm already working on another dark story. And hopefully,
I will continue to write as Carla Cassidy for Silhouette. I love writing
category romance!

Carla Cassidy

Website NA



Buy it now!

Love Spell
June 2002
320 pages
ISBN: 0505524902

THE MAGICIAN - Katherine Mayfield knows it is lunacy to allow Lucas Connelly into her home, to trust the magician who shows up on her doorstep in the dead of night. To save her mysteriously ill daughter, though, she would do anything—even strike a deal with the devil. And staring into Lucas's mesmerizing eyes she wonders if she has. His intense gaze robs her of all rational thought, and his touch fills her with a passionate longing. Katherine does not know if she is swirling closer to goodness or evil, to salvation or damnation. But as the telltale hour grows near, she will have to decide whether to act with her heart or her head—whether she has discovered love or a grand illusion propagated by a master.

as Carla Cassidy

Buy it now!

SR #1602
July 2002
ISBN: 0373196024

"You're the one..."

Shy, scholarly Dr. Phoebe Jones blushed when sexy private investigator Kevin Cartwright uttered those words. But when the handsome ex-cop explained she was one of four lost siblings he'd been hired to find, she nearly fainted headfirst into his strong, sculpted arms.

Yet someone else was also after the beautiful doctor and her heirloom necklace — the key to her mysterious past. Suddenly she and Kevin were posing as lovers as they raced to the ocean to uncover the truth. But Phoebe's passionate response to "make-believe" kisses was anything but pretend...nor was her desire to hear the sworn bachelor say the most magical words of all....


Featured in this Issue:

Interviews with
Carla Cook

Ann Lawrence
Catherine Snodgrass
Deb Stover
Special Feature:
PNR Career Achievements Award:

Nora Roberts

All book synopsises are copyrighted to the authors/publishers.

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