Do you have other Carrero books planned after book 9 is finished?
Yes I do. Firstly the Alexi’s view bonus book of course and after a short break working on 2 other projects I will start a new trilogy with Book 10, called ‘The Carrero Girl’. It’s going to be back to Giovanni’s family and settings and will bring in the original first 6 book characters.
Would you ever do a ‘where are they now’ book for the 2 previous couples?
I think them showing up in other books sort of does that and with the book 10-12 trilogy it is back to the main family so there will be natural updates on where they are now. You will get to see enough of them to have that answered, although I am not saying no to future possible novellas revisiting. The magazine might have some sort of character catch up mini stories in the future.
Who was the easiest character to create?
Sophie. We share so much about our personality and traits that it was almost like going back to my younger days in some ways and just writing a type of memoir. She is not everyone’s cup of tea but she is a character I do see myself most like. I feel like with her I didn’t have to over analyse the psychology too much as I knew how certain things at that age would have made me react. We are similar kind of people with similar reasons for our behaviours.
Who was the hardest character to create?
Alexi. Not because I found it hard to get into the head of someone like him but just the fear that I might make him too dark, too villainous and fans would literally despise him. He gave me the most stress because I really believed book 7 would harbor awful reviews with a lot of Alexi haters. I was constantly second guessing and seeking reassurance from my team on whether he did paint too much of a sadistic arse to ever be liked.
Looking back, do you wish you’d done any of the stories differently?
No. Not at all. They played out the way the characters pulled me to write them. I think they are how they should be and I have no doubts that they are right for the personalities within. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Would you have continued writing when you were younger If you knew they would be as successful as they are?
No. I was offered publishing at 17 years old with the original version of Just Rose. I had so many things I wanted to experience in life and sitting down at that age to write books would have stopped me following some of my wild paths which actually help me write better books. I needed the life experience and the time to observe and learn about people.
I didn’t have the ability to write Carrero books at that age while I had so much to process, learn and let go in life. I needed to grow up and learn a lot about mental healing before I got to where I am now.
What was the first thing you remember writing? Did you write it for pleasure, a distraction, or something else?
I remember writing a little book when I was just about 6 years old or thereabouts. It was a school competition to write a story and I made mine into a little book with illustrations and a cover. I won the competition and the book earned me an art set and vouchers for books. I was really proud of myself. It was called something like ‘The cat next door’ and was about trying to form a friendship between my pet dog and the wild cat who lived beside me.
If for some reason you had to keep only one couples story, which would you keep and why?
I couldn’t. They are all necessary and it would be like choosing which of your children you had to give up for adoption. I can’t sacrifice any of them.
They all have different things that endear me and connect me. Jake and I are very alike but at the same time Emma is someone I will always hold special. Sophie and Arrick are every personal for various reasons and ‘Camlexi’ are just not a couple you would want to forget or throw away. They are the most damaged.
Did you originally plan Jake and Emma to be a trilogy, or did it just get too big?
I did yes. I set myself a challenge to write a trilogy as I had always written standalone books in my youth. I wanted to see if I could find enough plot to fill three books without it just seeming like I had dragged something out way too far. I was needing something as a goal and I guess this was just a self set one that worked.
I wanted something that fed all the little fantasy things I liked in some movies and such and brought together things that made a good read for me without being just a book that you read and wished for more, when it was over. I wanted it to be something more addictive than a single read.
Did you know you would go for the shocking twists? Or did they just naturally happen?
They are just how my brain works. I like a little drama an life is full of the unknown. People do not always react or behave how we think and I wanted the books to be that way too. I gravitate to those sorts of plots in movies and books so it’s completely natural for me to write them.
Do you know before hand what the cliffhangers will be, what the shocks will be? Or do you see where the story takes you?
A bit of both. I know before I write a book how that one will end. My brain always gives me the first and last scene and a sort of middle point when thinking of a plot and I usually know the full 3 book plot in advance of starting one. I have 6 future books in my head at one time. Saying that however the plots usually have wide open spaces in the original thoughts and when I sit to write, it just comes out and flows from somewhere as I type. I don’t plan those ones really, but the characters lead me that way and I end up with twisty plots and a lot more ‘WTF moments’ than I planned on.