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Friday, July 27, 2012

Interview with Author Charlotte Stout and Giveaway


Today I would like to welcome to RFTC author Charlotte Stout. Charlotte is currently on tour for her book Seattle Delight, and has stopped by to chat. Before I give the floor over to Charlotte, lets get to know her a bit.

Charlotte lives in Arizona with her hunky husband Warren, and her spoiled Silky Terrier, Tess. Her life has been filled with serious endeavors, including earning a Master's degree, owning her own business, consulting and working in the corporate world as a human resources executive. Before penning her first novel, Charlotte had written several practical guides for business applications, not exactly steamy stuff. Luckily, she never lost sight of her dream to write a novel that would encompass her passion for gorgeous men, adventure and a love of life.

Places to find Charlotte:

First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I am an optimist at heart, believe there is good in every person, am a loyal and true friend, love dogs, feel deeply, love passionately and cry hard.

I have an ability to befriend almost anyone I meet. I am adept at finding common ground with strangers, putting them at ease and getting more information from them than they may have wanted to share. I delve into a person’s life, interests and dreams not because I am nosey but because I am genuinely interested in people.

I have often felt the word “Confessor” is tattooed across my forehead.

People I have just met or barely know share the most interesting and intimate things with me about them and their lives. I am honored that these people trust me enough to share such intimacies and I hold them close to my heart.

A person feeling comfortable to share freely with me is probably what made me successful in my human resources career when conducting sensitive investigations into alleged infractions. I got the goods and was able to reach sound and defensible conclusions to the good or bad. OMG, I sound so professional, don’t I. I am having a déjà vu moment, a throwback to the corporate world.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Not always. I started out wanting to be a bus driver when I was very young. I loved riding the bus and watching all the people. I would sit quietly and make up stories about why they were dressed the way they were, where they might be going, if they were married, had siblings or children. I could come up with some quite inventive dialogue in my head about people.

To this day, drop me at a bus station or an airport and I am a happy camper just watching people and wondering what their story is.

I have been an avid reader since I was a young child. I love being swept away by a story. Back in 1997 I decided I wanted to work toward being a writer and doing what all the wonderful authors I loved were doing.

I set pen to paper and finished writing 120 pages of a novel. I shared those pages with a couple of girlfriends while we were on a trip to the Grand Canyon. They were hooked and continually asked me when I was going to finish the book. I consider these two ladies, who are avid readers like me, to be good critics and if I had them hanging by pins and needles for the next chapter, who was I to deprive them. However, I pursued my career full time and put writing on the back burner, writing a few pages here and there.

It wasn’t until 2007 that I declared, “I am going to be a writer.” And, the rest is history.

What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
I am definitely a Panster. I feel confined by an outline. I start my books with an idea or the image of a character. I rarely know exactly where the story is going until I get there.

For example, I am working on a book that has a great opening and closing sentence. I am building the entire book around those two lines. What comes between that opening sentence and the last sentence in the book develops as I write it.

On other books I start with a first chapter. After the first chapter I do think a little bit about whom the characters may be and where the story may go and put my musings on a sheet of paper. One single double spaced sheet of paper can hold the whole “outline’’if that’s what one wants to call it.

As I write the book I may develop new characters, which I add to my musings page. I may change the plot and I add that to my musing page. I truly am a Panster through and through.

Where do your ideas come from?
I believe ideas for stories come from our daily lives. For example, the story for Seattle Delight is based on my happy romantic days living in Seattle, meeting my current husband there and remembering all the fun we had.

The story idea for a book I am currently working on comes from some social interaction with a prominent surgeon in Seattle, his wife and their strange relationship. It makes for fun writing and hopefully it will be a fun book too.

The idea for the book I am getting ready to publish following Seattle Delight comes from something that happened in my hometown when I was growing up. I took the incident and created a story around it. It is a romantic suspense due for release in July 2012.

I feel everyday life provides so many opportunities for story ideas. When I hear or see something I think would make for a good story idea I quickly jot it down and put it in my writing file. The file is overflowing!

A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less?
Wow! You challenge me. I’m a writer and tend to be verbose but here goes.

A chance encounter with a dark, handsome, hot stranger sends Charly’s hormones into sexual overdrive, puts her life in danger, and turns her world upside down.

What are some of your favorite stories to read?
I am an incurable romantic. I want romance, sex, deep feelings and good dialogue.

I enjoy reading stories with strong men and even stronger women. I want the woman in the story to challenge the man, make him squirm, sit up and take notice of the woman and maybe change how he views women in general. Men can be so controlling and believe they must and can “fix” everything. I like stories that help educate men that women can take care of themselves and can also take care of a man. We are independent, smart and strong in body, heart and spirit.

I also enjoy stories that are action packed with hot guys and romance. J.R. Ward’s BDB books come to mind. If I had to choose, those would be my all-time favorite books to date – other than mine of course.

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
I have many favorite books. As stated earlier, J.R. Ward and her BDB series is wonderful. I love all of the Brothers. I want to live in their mansion and be part of their life, that’s how much I like the books. Alas, I don’t have any psychic tendencies so I am not sure I would survive the change and that would be a drag.

Lynn Viehl is another one of my favorite authors. Her Darkyn series is wonderful. The books are action-packed, have hot sex, strong women and leave you wanting more in so many ways.

In addition to romance I like autobiographies about the European aristocracy, artists and statesmen. I tend to go in spurts. I read a lot of romance and when I feel I need to challenge my brain a bit more I pick up an autobiography. I recently completed a book about the life and death of Vincent Van Goh. The book was so wonderful and gave me such insight into the tortured life he led.

What are the scenes that are hardest for you to write?
They all require so much consideration I think they are all challenging. However, I am a good Catholic girl so the sex scenes are difficult for me.

I remember when my husband was reading Seattle Delight on a flight back from Hong Kong and read one of the many sex scenes he turned to me and said, “where did this come from?” I replied, “From my experience with you of course.” He rolled his eyes and continued reading.

In my family you never discussed sex. No one has ever had the sex talk with me. Of course, I have and do talk about sex with girlfriends but never in a descriptive way. So, to write a sex scene, I put myself in the position of the woman and write what I envision as sensual, sexy and will result in mind blowing sex and orgasms (multiple). That is difficult for me.

I actually blush when writing some scenes because I feel like I need to go to confession afterward.

Friends who have read Seattle Delight tell me the sex scenes are hot and always ask how I came up with them. I just keep them guessing. I am sure they believe Warren, my husband, and I have mind-blowing sex like what is in the book all the time. It would be unladylike for me to confirm or deny this point. Wink! Wink!

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
J.R. Ward, Lynn Viehl and Laurann Dohner. Those are the three authors of the hour. If you ask me on a different day, it may be three very different authors.

Each one of the authors noted above has created stories that intrigue me. The characters captivate me and I want to have dinner with every single one of them individually or in a group. They are so believable to me. The camaraderie amongst all the characters in their books reminds me of a family with all of the associated rivalries and a deep unconditional love for one another.

I want to know how the authors developed such rich characters and what their thought process was for developing the plot.

Since I am truly interested in learning about others, I would like to ask about their personal lives. What they do on a typical day, what they do for fun and about their family. If I could be so bold, I’d like to ask them about challenges they have faced not just in being an author but in life and how they handled those challenges. I’d be interested in knowing what challenges they may be facing now and I would ask how I might be able to support them in overcoming the challenge. Because, isn’t that what life is about, learning about others and supporting them through the god and bad.

Are you working on anything right now?
I am working on a few things. I am working feverishly to complete the editing of my first romantic suspense novel. It is set in Minnesota and Alaska and I hope people find it to be a fast moving, yikes – I’m scared, kind of book.

I am also working on finishing the novel I started back in 1997 that I mentioned earlier. My girlfriends still ask about that book and wonder when it will be done. I want to finish it not just for me but for them.

Then there is the sequel to Seattle Delight. Julien and Charly are not finished with their journey together. I actually love both of these characters and it is so fun to pretend I’m Charly when I am writing.

In between all of this I have started a blog, continue to work on my website and find time to spend with friends and do something physical to expend all that pent up energy from sitting at a computer all day.


Thank you again for this interview. I appreciate you taking the time to host me on your blog.

Bonne Journée
Charlotte Stout

Charly’s life was simple and uncomplicated, just like she wanted it. Or so she thought! One chance encounter with a devilishly handsome stranger in her local coffee shop would turn her world, and her heart, upside down. She would be thrown into a realm of privilege and romance, and more than just a little danger.

How will she handle the dark gorgeous man who has inserted himself into her domain? When danger threatens those she loves, will she have the strength of heart and spirit to do whatever it takes to save them? Share Charly’s adventures as she navigates through the quickly changing landscape that has become her life.

Places to Purchase:

“Focus Charly! You have got to get out of these Spanx.” The first thing she looked for was a wastebasket but didn’t see one. She checked in the dressing room, in the water closet and in the storage cabinet where the linens were kept. Then she saw what looked like a drawer. She pulled it open and voila there was the wastebasket. “I truly do covet this bathroom,” she exclaimed.

The wastebasket was empty. Dang! Charly realized that if she took off the Spanx and tossed them in the basket Julien would undoubtedly know they were hers. That is, if he happened to use the bathroom during the cruise. Maybe he won’t come in here. Maybe he has his own personal bathroom. He had to, didn’t he? She said a silent prayer to the bathroom gods while searching for other options.

Charly checked the picture window but it didn’t open. There was no way to dispose of the Spanx in Puget Sound. She sat on the toilet in the water closet while conjuring a plan to dispose of the Spanx. Her thoughts were jarred by Julien’s voice. “Charly, are you alright? Is there anything you need?”

How long had she been in here? “No, no – I’m fine. I’m admiring the décor, and trying to dispose of my girdle. I’ll be out in a minute.”

“Tres bien – very well. I’ll meet you in the salon.”

Want to win some goodies from Charlotte? Check out what's up for grabs.

Up for grabs:
  • 1 lucky commenter from the ENTIRE tour will win a $75 Amazon Gift Card.

To Enter:
  • Please leave a meaningful comment or question for Charlotte. 
  • Please leave your email address along with your comment to be entered. No email address, no entry.
  • Giveaway ends August 10th

Good Luck =)

33 comments :

  1. I had to laugh at the thought of you having CONFESSOR tattooed on your forehead. Making people comfortable & confiding is quite a gift.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - I feel blessed that people seem to be comfortable around me.

      Thanks for stopping by today.

      Delete
  2. Promotion of yourself as an author and your book must take a lot of time and energy. Besides blog book tours, what other forms of self-promotion do you do?

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Morning Karen H;
      Thanks for stopping by this morning. I use Facebook, Twitter, friends, writing groups and lots of talking about the book to anyone I meet.

      Chat with you tomorrow?

      Delete
  3. Danielle;
    Thank you for hosting this stop on the tour. I especially appreciate the explicit directions regarding the giveaway. I am so glad you mentioned that people need to leave an email address. If they don't, I have no way to let them know they won. Thanks again for making folks aware of this important point.

    Charlotte

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  4. I will be out of commission the balance of today but will check in with everyone tonight.

    Thanks everyone for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think some great stories come from daily life. Many times when things happen I say "I should write a book". The feeling passes though.LOL
    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rebecca HipworthJuly 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Thanks for the great giveaway! It was fun reading your interview. :)

    Becky01x@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good luck with the drawing!

      Delete
  7. Great interview! Seattle Delight sounds really good! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  8. "Seattle Delight" sounds like a very intriguing novel and I'm looking forward to reading it. Congratulations, Charlotte, for choosing to write fiction. I know that this first novel will be a great hit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment. I do hope you read the book and enjoy it.

      Good luck with in the drawing!

      Delete
  9. Oops! My email:

    conniecape@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. congrats on the new release! It sounds amazing! have fun on the tour!

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Erin - It's been fun so far! I hope you enjoy the book!

      Delete
  11. I've always found bus stations intriguing, too! Great luck with the release...

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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  12. LOL...My hubby seems to have that "gift"...Nearly complete strangers tell him their life stories, intimate stories about their health or family life, etc. I'm often shocked when he comes home and says "So and so told me about her tilted uterus today." I'll say, "WHO is so-and-so and WHY did she tell you about her uterus?" For a writer, it may be a gift. For the yard guy, it's a bit of a curse!
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very funny comment - love it! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  13. Awesome interview! I am so excited to read Seattle Delight-- it sounds AMAZING!!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chelsea B - Nice to see you on the tour stop today. I do hope you read Seattle Delight. Let me know how you like it if/when you do read it.

      Delete
  14. The book sounds interesting. Good luck with it!

    niteofblu at gmail dot com

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  15. I loved the interview and finding out more about Charlotte and her books!

    In the time period I was growing up it wasn't "fashionable" for women to be strong and independent but as the youngest of three girls I broke the trend at a time it wasn't popular to do so.

    I actually moved across country against my parents wishes and worked full-time, going to school at night and made my own way so the decisions, right and wrong, were of my own making.

    Being so independent I actually didn't know if I'd be content to ever take the "rule" of a man over my independent nature but I did meet that "strong man" who equally needed a "strong independent woman" who could stand up to him!

    We celebrated our 42nd anniversary this year and especially when I read whether I read historical or contemporary romance I love to see women who are independent thinkers and strong enough to stand up to the men they love!

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  16. Nice excerpt and interview. Sounds like a good book.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Will Seattle Delight be part of a series? :)

    Becky01x(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. Do you have things you like to do to get in the mood for writing?

    authorleighsavage@gmail.com

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  19. Great Interview, can't wait to read Seatle Delight :)

    amy2read89@gmail.com

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  20. Husbands are too funny when it comes to our love scenes, aren't they? Appreciate the giveaway!

    dianne@diannevenetta.com

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  21. Great Interview!! Thanks so much for sharing a new author to me. This book sounds so good~I can't wait to read!!!Great giveaway and thanks for the chance to win!!!
    mariann297@gmail.com

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  22. A question I have for Charlotte is, what was your favourite scene to write in Seattle Delight?

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. @Charlotte, I just wanted to say that I love the fact that you get the ideas for your books from everyday experiences that you have seen or have went through. The adage, Truth is stranger than fiction, is definitely true, so there is not better place to draw inspiration from. How many books have you written? Are they all in the same genre? Is there a website that I can get a list of books from? I am really looking forward to reading this book, definitely going on my TBR pile. sam1slim1@gmail.com

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  24. good news, its only $1.99 on amazon.com. wow!!

    ReplyDelete