Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!
Book and a Beverage was a featuring originally designed to spotlight book bloggers but I’m thrilled to extend the feature to interview authors and highlight their works as well! This is a special Author Edition of Book and a Beverage.
Give a big welcome to author CARA BERTRAND!
Name: Cara Bertrand
You know her best as the author of… LOST IN THOUGHT (4/15/14), AFTERTHOUGHT (5/27/14), SECOND THOUGHT (10/1/14)
What are you reading? To maximize my reading time, I’m almost always reading three books in three formats. Right now I’ve got The Book of Speculation in print, Conversion on Kindle, and Princess of Thorns on audio.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? Princess of Thorns is a Sleeping Beauty retelling with a strong heroine and a tortured hero (my favorite kinds). The audio is well-done and compelling enough to hold my attention while I walk or do chores, which is always my challenge with audio books. Conversion I just finished today—this book is a great example of voice and, since it’s a sort of dual narrative, there are two of them to enjoy. It’s a fictionalized account of a modern occurrence paralleling an historical one, which I was most surprised to learn at the end was inspired by a real event that happened in 2012. The book is set on the North Shore of MA, a place very familiar to me and richly drawn in the story, but the actual 2012 incident happened just a few towns over from where my family lives in Western NY. I loved this one and zoomed through the last half. An important thing to know is that the cover—while intriguing and definitely related to the book (which you’ll understand if you read far enough)—doesn’t quite…fit the feel of it, in my opinion. Don’t judge, or misjudge!, it by the cover, is I guess what I’m saying. The Book of Speculation just came in (I was hold #80-something at the library!), so I’ve only read about two chapters. It’s got a unique voice and a compelling opening, so I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes!
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Wow, what a tough question! Recommendations are so dependent on the person and what they’re looking for, but three books I love enduringly and unerringly: Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, and Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night.
What can you tell us about your current work in progress? Well, it’s the final book (#4) in the Sententia series, so I can’t tell you much! 🙂 I’m also finishing up a series novella to be released this fall, that takes place during the summer between Second Thoughts and Book 3 (coming Spring 2016). In the novella, Lainey and Amy have a crazy “Yes Day” that’s a sort of spontaneous local road trip. A lot happens—including a trip to a cemetery, and dancing, and kissing. And Carter.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? Panster, for the most part. Sometimes I call myself a “pointer” but that sounds rather canine. I typically have in mind a beginning, an ending, and a few points along the way, and I pants my way between them. I’ve tried to become a plotter, Lord have I tried, but I just can’t seem to make it work with my brain. Kind of like when I’m painting a room—I know that the actual painting would go faster if I did more prep, like taping the edges and putting down drop cloths, but I prefer to just get to work and take my time.
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? My favorite place to write is in a cabana on the beach in Mexico, but that only happens ~once a year if I’m lucky. Other than that, I write all over the place. In the early mornings, I write in my office. Afternoons, I write at my FitDesk. Evenings on my couch, usually with a dog’s head in my lap. A lot, maybe most, of Second Thoughts was completed at my local coffee shop, and a good portion of Sententia 3 was written sitting in the back of my boat!
What are you drinking? Well. Most everyone seems to be drinking coffee, or tea, or water—and I drink a lot of those things—but I’m doing this at night, after my daughter has gone to bed, so honestly, I’m having a glass of wine. Tonight is a Rioja.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? Coffee or water while writing. Tea or wine while reading!
If you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be? If I were to write a Sententia spin off—and I’m definitely not saying I’m going to!—it would feature Alexis Morrow and a character from Sententia 3 and be called Charmer. But I’ve only thought about that far.
What type of scene is your favorite to write? I mean, honestly, it’s kissing scenes. Who doesn’t like those? 🙂 I write completely out of order, and in almost every book I’ve written/started, the progression goes something like this: write the beginning/inciting incident, write the ending/climax, write a kissing scene. Or two.
Thank you so much to Cara Bertrand for taking part in Book and a Beverage today!
One thousand percent YES to your Scorpio Races recommendation (I listen to the audio every year now!) and you are a woman after my own heart with your reading formats!! I’ve always got a physical book and audiobook going, usually with a Kindle book in between!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cara is a former middle school literacy teacher who now lives in the woods outside Boston with: one awesome husband, two large dogs, one small daughter, and lots of words. Her first novel, Lost in Thought, was one of three finalists for the 2011 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the Young Adult category.