Katie and I had the pleasure of meeting with Caris Roane to talk about the latest release in her World of Ascension series, Wings of Fire. This is a repeat visit for Caris, so I hope this means the smell of sheep agrees with her. We ask all the questions that other blogs are afraid to ask, like if Caris is willing to lend out her warriors. Notice I said “lend” not “pimp” because that would be illegal ;) Stay tuned because there will be a give away at the end and this one is international too!
Second Earth. 2 Sheep and 1 Guardian meet. again.
Katie: Welcome back Caris, how have things been since we last spoke?
Caris: AWESOME! Both ASCENSION and BURNING SKIES, the first two books of the series, have gone into second printings so I’m out of my mind excited! *air boxing* Oh, yeah! Go fans!!! And today…TODAY…August 30th, is the official release of the third book, WINGS OF FIRE!
Sharon: (whoa, did you see her right hook?)
Katie: We know! And hoe freaking exciting! We have Kool-Aid and cookies in the back so let's have at it after.
Katie: For those that don't know about your series can you give them a little crash course?
Sharon: That would be me! I am new to I Smell Sheep and new to you, but not for long. I just went through your website and “damn!” I think I need a winged vampire warrior…
Caris: Hi, Sharon! Great to have you on board.
And hey, we’re women, we should each have a winged vampire warrior. *groowwwwlll*
Sharon: I like her, she shares ;)
Caris:As for the series, I’ve called it Guardians of Ascension because each of these warriors is also a guardian, a protector. The word ‘ascension’ refers specifically to the passage of a human from Mortal Earth into vampire status on Second Earth. The really exciting part is that there are six dimensions in all, which means that vampires can then ascend to Third Earth, Fourth Earth, etc., as their powers grow and as they are ‘called’ to ascension. For now, through the first 10 books of the series, the action takes place primarily on Second Earth, with a really bad vampire intent on taking over both Second Earth and Mortal Earth.
Are you with me? Or is this clear as mud!!!
It makes more sense in the reading, as scene folds upon scene. And for those of you who are familiar with the series, you’ll know I just ‘punned’! *loud groan*
Katie: Someone insert a rim shot sound here please...
Sharon: You said you were a big fan of JR Ward. Which Brother floats your boat ;)? I kind of like Rhage.
Caris: Oh, I hate to admit this because it says waaayyyy to much about me, but I’m very fond of Vishous. No, don’t ask! I won’t answer any of those questions! LOL!
Sharon: *looks around innocently* I have no idea what you are talking about, unless you are talking about that whole bondage/pain thing ;)
Katie: *puts away ropes, straps, leathers, whips and chains* yup, no idea whatsoever.
Caris: *blushing* would you guys please stay out of my closet!
Katie: Wings of Fire unveils so many new plot twists and turns, without giving too much away how did you come up with the stories for Parisa and Antony?
Caris: I have the most amazing editor at St. Martin’s Press and she chose the title for the third book, WINGS OF FIRE, because it just sounded so great. The thing is—without giving away too much—I ended up being totally inspired by this title and I actually created the central struggle and resolution of the story from this title—so yes, I’m talking about ‘wings-of-fire’! How’s that for a teaser?!?
Sharon: Sounds “hot” (snicker, okay that was a bad pun)
Sharon: The women in your books have very unusual names. Do they have special meanings or were you just looking for something unique?
Caris: For the first five heroines, I wanted names that flowed with three syllables, but that was just an instinct and had nothing to do with ‘meaning’. So, I hunted around through the ‘baby-name’ websites and found ‘Havily’, the heroine of BURNING SKIES and ‘Parisa’, which in my head is pronounced: Pah-reez-ah. Don’t these names look pretty on the page? Don’t they have a flowing sound? These are the things that impact me when I write: how does it look, how does it feel, how does it sound? Sorry…no special meaning…just ‘feel’…
Sharon: I think the fact that they ‘feel’ right is the special meaning for you.
Katie: And I might just add that Katie or Katherine has a great ring to it AND looks good on page. Just saying….
Caris: Oh, I think Sharon has a much better sound…HEY! Stop hitting her! Okay, Katie, I’ll use them both! Geez! What an author has to do to keep the peace around here!
Sharon: *looks at Katie*, does she really want to know?
Katie: We talked last time about Endelle, the leader of the vamps, and all her outrageous outfits. Did you get any new fashion ideas from all the comments on the last interview?
Caris: I did, I did, I DID!!! That was the most fun exchange, so starting with book #5, Thorne’s book called OBSIDIAN FLAME, I’ve branched out into the sea. In one scene, Endelle has starfish strategically placed on her bustier. She just cracks me up and no, I don’t wear clothes like her. I admire her soooo much probably because my wardrobe is basically black pants and black shirts with a little bling here and there! She’s…outrageous!!!
Katie: Oh geez, I think that idea might have started with one of our commenters,
Nathan. hahaha Or was it jelly fish?
Caris: Wasn’t it octopus tentacles?
Sharon: where the heck did he come from!?
Sharon: How many books do you have planned for this series?
The truth is before I wrote paranormal, I wrote Regency romance and LOVED living and writing inside that world. What I’ve transferred from that experience is how much I absolutely adore living within the structure of a specific world, only my world of ascension is better in that we get to know specific series characters, we get to meet them and be with them over and over. So, honestly, I’m not kidding when I say I could write a hundred.
BUT, let’s talk more realistic numbers. The first part of this series is set on Second Earth, involves 9 specific Warriors of the Blood (and a number of Militia Warriors depending on how many novellas I get to write), plus Endelle. That number of full-length novels for this first part of the series comes to 10. But from the first, I set up a huge world so that I could keep writing in it for a long time, which means that should we develop a wonderful following---fans who love the world, love the characters, and enjoy how I write---then, oh, yeah, we’re going to Third Earth for another 10. I’m keeping my fingers crossed because this series has my heart 100%. But after this proposed 20, I honestly don’t know. We’ll take this one book at a time and see how things develop.
Sharon: Wow, your enthusiasm is infectious
(guess what? I just felt my first earthquake! Right now during this interview! Or maybe it was just your winged Vampire warriors rocking my world ;) but seriously, the house just shook)
Katie: Brown chicken brown cow! We're having too much fun, the earth is quaking baby!
Caris: I have one for you! At the exact moment that my agent was talking to my editor about beefing up Thorne’s guns on the cover of his book, oh, yeah, the earth shook!!! And I’m not kidding!
Sharon: Winged Vamp Warriors are certainly smexy, but have you thought about any other supernatural creature you might want to write about? Some secret new series you have been thinking about?
Caris: Actually, I’ve had an ongoing dialogue with my fans, sometimes on other blogs, sometimes on Facebook, about other supernatural creatures. To date, I’m pretty sure there are shifters on Third Earth! What’s so much fun about creating a series with multiple dimensions is that I can do anything I want to do…so there ya go! If we go through all 6 dimensions in the course of the series, my guess is you’d probably see about every paranormal creature that exists…is that an oxymoron? “Paranormal creature that exists”? Well, they certainly exist in my imagination…
Sharon: Yay! Katie is the vampire lover, but I am a shifter lover, of course I can be won over by an exceptionally smoking vampire occasionally ;)
Katie: For me, daily. *winks*
Caris: I’m a sucker for the paranormal warrior, period. Any vein will do. I mean, wow, I guess I really am into vampires!
Katie: If you could go out to dinner with anyone from the past or present who would it be and why?
Caris: I can’t answer that question! I’ve tried a dozen times. I feel weirdly embarrassed by it. Since it would be with someone I totally admire, I’d be super-shy and couldn’t say a word, so what good would that be! I can’t believe this question stumped me! Score 1, Katie!
Sharon: Don’t worry, I can’t think of anyone either.
Katie: Hands down it would be Dracula. Love that guy.
Caris: Yeah, but you could never trust him in bed afterwards. So, again, what would the point be? Oh, I can’t believe I just said that. Something’s wrong with me today. Sharon, what did you put in those cookies or was it the Kool-aid…
Sharon: *whistles and does not make eye contact*
Sharon: Can you tell me about your writing space/environment? (where you like to write, stuff you like around you, ect..)
Caris: I have a separate computer in a darkened corner of my bedroom where I write. I keep the lights low, the drapes pulled and I kind of sink into my writer’s coma. I fall deep into my world, and into my characters and stay there, watching the brightly lit monitor until the next scene emerges and I am once again exhausted but sooooo happy. Side note: my screen is permanently dark olive green and each page is a lighter version of that shade of olive because green is easy on the eyes.
Katie: What's the funniest thing you have done so far this summer?
Caris: I was trying to find a way to coax a scorpion out of my house. I’d been moving some travel books around and had one in my right hand. My two hopeless cats were crouched staring at the scorpion on the floor hoping it would move so they could play with it, but I could see they would let it get away, so I was really frustrated. BTW, these scorpions are kinda big and they’re really fast. I didn’t know what to do so when the scorpion made a dash in the direction of my couch, I reacted badly and in great fear that the d**n thing would then sting me while I was watching Dexter, or something, so I dropped that travel book on him and, ick, squished him. I still feel guilty, but why, why, did he have to come into my house? Sometimes tragedies happen when you least expect it and sometimes a book can be a serious weapon!
Sharon: *note to self, don’t go visit Caris at home. Scorpions, shudder*
Katie: Yeah I'm with Sharon on this one and PS you did the right thing squishing him.
Caris: You don’t know the half of it. I just found a baby scorpion in my entry, which means, ugh, I probably have more in the house. *races around, tearing her hair out*
Sharon: I get in your car and turn on the radio. What will I hear before the cops take me away?
Caris: I’m a musical dolt. You would hear nothing! Just SILENCE screaming at you! You would wonder about my soul. You would question everything about me! I have such a ridiculous relationship with music even though the rest of my family purchases music by the ton, and I do mean by the ton. Me? I have to find some kind of inspiration, like a fan recommending a song to me, before I’ll take the trouble. AND YET, the whole time I wrote WINGS OF FIRE I played the sound track to “Inception”! Go figure…aaaargh!
Sharon: I have a teenage daughter and music is her life! So I get to hear all kinds of cool stuff.
Katie: Hans Zimmer did the score for Inception btw. Amazing talent.
Caris: Yes, he’s freaking amazing so when you read WOF, put on the soundtrack…
Katie: This is a very important question Caris, which one of the Warriors can I have dibs on?
Caris: Katie, I’m only doing this for you…no one else…you get to take turns with each one! Oh…wait…the thought of doing that…I think I just passed out then woke up. *staggers around for awhile*
Katie: I LOVE YOU SOOOOOO MUCH CARIS!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!! *passes out*
Caris: Tell you what, Sharon, with fingers-crossed that the gods of bestsellers smile on my series and allow us the privilege of going to Third Earth, where there will be hunky warrior shifters, they’re all yours, baby, one-at-a-time! KATIE, catch her! Oh, too late…! Hey, she looks exceptionally pretty when she’s unconscious.
*elevator music playing in background* Sorry for the interruption. If you’ll give us a minute, we will return to our regularly scheduled program as soon as Sharon rejoins the world of the living….
Sharon: NOOOO! Don’t make me come back! There is no place like Third Earth, there is no place like Third Earth,…*Katie smacks Sharon with stuffed sheep*
Sharon: Let’s say the cops let me off with just a warning. I am now checking out your DVD collection. Which one will I most likely find in your player?
Caris: I’m a sucker for the latest version of Pride and Prejudice, with Keira Knightley. (Remember, my first love was Jane Austen…) See, movies are much easier for me than music…again…go figure!
Katie: Where can fans find you in the coming months?
Caris: I’m doing several blogs for the next couple of months in celebration of WINGS OF FIRE. You can check out my website at carisroane.com for info on where I’ll be and when. I’ll also be the keynote speaker at the Desert Rose Fall Workshop event, free to the public, on November 19th, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Put that date on your calendar, then come talk to me! For information go to the Desert Rose website at desertroserwa.org/.
Katie: And now it's time to ask you once again some rapid fire questions. You know the drill. Ready…….set…….go!
Katie: Oven baked or Pan fried
Caris: Pan-fried...uh, hello!
Sharon: Roadrunner or Wile E. Coyote
Katie: *gives Caris the sexy eyes* meep meep baby.
Katie: Axe or Hammer
Caris: Axe…I write vampires…there has to be blood somewhere really fast.
Caris: Axe…I write vampires…there has to be blood somewhere really fast.
Sharon: Twinkies or Ding Dongs
Caris: DingDongs…again…hello, chocolate!
Caris: DingDongs…again…hello, chocolate!
Sharon: *ding* score one for the chocolate lover what about Susie Q’s?
Caris: Actually, my favorite is the never-goes-out-of-style chocolate cupcake, the one with the little wavy white line across the top.
Katie: Taco or Burritos
Caris: Tacos, I like the crunch.
Caris: Tacos, I like the crunch.
Sharon: Solitaire or Marquise
Caris: I use the quick version of basic Solitaire when I write. Anytime I get stuck in a scene, I play a quick game, you know, 1 card at a time, and voila, my brain starts moving again.
Sharon: I was referring to the shape of a diamond
Katie: psst Sharon. Don't piss her off she knows warrior vamps…just saying.
Caris: Ohhhhhh, diamonds. Isn’t ‘Marquise’ a kind of card game? *wrinkles brow*. Ya know, I don’t get out enough and I really don’t own enough jewelry!!! But now that I know the direction, ‘marquise’. So, pretty.
Sharon: see, she didn’t get mad *slips Caris a Ding Dong* (wow, taken out of context that probably wasn’t the best thing to say
Katie: Sweet Tea or Lemonade
Caris: Sweet Tea…I’m into ‘bitter’ big time.
Sharon: Prince Charming or Prince of Darkness
Caris: If you would just put the two together, I wouldn’t get out of bed…ever.
Sharon: 10 coolness points for you! Good answer ;)
Katie: Scottish Vamp or Irish
Caris: Scottish…in a kilt…with that accent. *sigh*
Sharon: Hovercraft or Jetpack
Katie: Late night or Early morning
Caris: The dawn is for me.
Sharon: Hanna Barbara or Warner Brothers
Caris: Warner Brothers
Katie: dog ear or bookmark
Caris: I used to use bookmarks then got so sick of the d**n things falling out. One day I woke up and said, ‘This is my book. I’ll never sell it or give it away. I’m going to dog-ear from now on.’ It was soooo liberating. I haven’t looked back since. The bad news? I have some of the most beautiful bookmarks! Maybe I’ll make a collage or something…
Sharon: Do you have one of our most awesome I Smell Sheep bookmarks? After the interview send me a mailing addy for you and I will send you one along with some cool sheep swag!
Caris: Sheep swag! Yippppeeee! (See your Inbox!)
Sharon: mountains or beach
Caris: beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach. Did I make that clear enough?
Katie: Maybe say it one more time just in case. hahaha
Katie: Thank you so much for hanging out with us again Caris, would you like to add anything before we wrap up?
Caris: Yes. This is one of my favorite blogs because you guys make it sooo much fun! Also, I want to thank Katie for sending me the pair of wing earrings (which is really hard to say, BTW)! She inspired me to finally pierce my ears, which I should have done a long time ago but was too chicken! So, thanks, Katie! Because of you I was brave. I love my new earrings and I love my pierced ears and I was really ridiculous not to have done it sooner…but there’s always time to grow and to keep growing!
Sharon: You are a fun person to play with Caris! I sure hope you come back again to talk about your books!!
Katie: WOW! I'm so flattered right now Caris. Thank you for the kind words and lets keep growing together!
Caris: Just like last time, this was a blast. BTW, where’s Ben? I miss his jokes! Didn’t he want to talk hunky warriors with us again, LOL! Blessings, everyone!
Sharon: *sheepish grin* someone might have locked the dungeon door so someone else could do the interview. Now someone might feel really ashamed.
Prize giveaway: This is international
One lucky commenter gets a signed copy of one of the following Guardians of Ascension novels: ASCENSION, BURNING SKIES, or WINGS OF FIRE! Yay!
Plus the Sheep will be adding to this:
1 iron on silver wings for a t-shirt
1 vamp lips with the teeth showing tote bag
1 "same as above" notebook
1 Sheep member magnet
1 Sheep Book mark
1 Sheep Pencil
1 Sheep post card
Question for commenters: My series is building to a battle that may or may not include a mano-a-mano scene between Endelle and the evil Commander Greaves. If you could have Endelle annihilate Greaves—and they are the same height by the way, and both extremely powerful—what would you have her do to him? I know I have a dark side…what’s yours!
Katie: (drag him to a cellar and peel his skin off bit by bit. then light him on fire and cackle while he burns. then take whatever is left of his corpse and fill him with liquid lead and let him sink into the ocean so the sharks can feast on his brain! lol sorry was that too much? ps that was me, Katie, who wrote that.)
Caris: *shuddering* Good God! What have I wrought?!? (Actually, it was kind of awesome…)
Sharon: *backs slowly away from Katie*
To win: answer Caris' question along with a way to contact you in the comments. Double entry for followers! The contest will run till Monday Sept. 5th at midnight