I love getting to know other authors who write romance with ghosts!
Today I’m honored to welcome one of my favorite authors, Carrie Pulkinen to Haunted Pathways. I can’t wait to ask her a few questions and get to know her better. So let’s get started!
Q: Were you already a great writer? Have you always liked to write?
Carrie: I have always been good at writing, but I haven’t always liked to write. When I was in junior high, I made a 100 on my first all-essay test, and then the teacher signed me up to write a little column for the small-town newspaper. Words have always come easily to me, but I didn’t start to enjoy writing until I began writing fiction in 2009.
Claire: You know, I have a similar story. In the seventh grade, after I’d agonized over a creative writing assignment, my heart sank when Ms. Prather called me to the front of the room. I stood there in shock as she handed me back the paper with 100 written in red ink at the top.
Q: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Carrie: I would call myself a plantster, I suppose. When I first started writing, I was a total pantser, but writing that way was stressful for me, because I was ALWAYS thinking about my work in progress, worrying I would forget where I wanted it to go next. Now, I jot my general ideas and major plot points down on notecards to keep everything in order in my mind. It’s just a loose outline, and I’ve been known to scrap the cards and write new ones when the story starts taking me in a new direction, but it works for me.
Claire: Me too! A detailed outline kills my muse, but if I totally pants it, the book never gets written.
Q: When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
Carrie: I was at a Twilight convention with some friends in 2009. We spent A LOT of time waiting in lines for things to start, so I kept them entertained by making up fanfiction stories on the spot. They asked me how I came up with the ideas, and I said that I do it all the time. When I’m bored, I tell myself stories to pass the time. I thought everyone did that. Apparently, they don’t. My friends convinced me I should try to write a book, so when I got home from the convention, that’s what I did. Six weeks later, I had a rough draft of my first novel!
Claire: Wow! Six weeks. I don’t think I’ve ever written a rough draft that fast.
Q: Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Carrie: Silence is definitely golden. I need complete silence to write. Sometimes I put on headphones and play white noise to drown out the sounds of my dog snoring!
Claire: Ha! Too funny.
Q: Real settings or fictional towns?
Carrie: I have done both, but I prefer real settings. A lot of my books (Love & Ghosts included) are set in New Orleans, which is my favorite city in the world! I love describing actual places I’ve been to and bringing them to life for my readers. Sometimes people tell me that, after reading my books, they feel like they’ve been to New Orleans, even if they’ve never visited in real life.
Claire: I’ve never been to New Orleans either, but look forward to experiencing it through your books.
Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Carrie. Now, as a special treat, Carrie has agreed to share an excerpt from her latest release, Love & Ghosts.
Her gaze traveled up and down his body, and when she met his eyes, he smiled.
Her pulse quickened. She could definitely burn for this guy.
He sauntered toward her with a cocky gait—completely in character—and his playful grin and full, kissable lips sent her stomach flipping.
“What’s the Queen of Hearts doing all alone at a party like this?”
Emily sat up straighter. “I could ask the same question of you, Dread Pirate Roberts. Where is your Buttercup?”
“I’m currently interviewing for the position. Would you like to apply?” His devilish grin widened; her heart pounded harder.
“And how many applicants would I be competing with? It must be a coveted position.”
He chuckled. “So far tonight, ma’am, you’re the only candidate.” He cleared his throat and whisked her glass from the table. “Your drink is empty, and that’s a shame. Let me get you another one.” He examined what was left of the contents. “Gin and tonic?”
“I’ll be right back.”
He strode to the bar, and she got a view of his backside as he moved. Nice. Everything about the man was scrumptious. She inhaled a deep breath to calm the swarm of butterflies in her stomach. What on earth was she thinking agreeing to a dare like this? She didn’t go around kissing strangers.
“One gin and tonic for the beautiful queen.” He slipped into the chair next to her and set the drink on the table.
“Thank you.” She could do this. It was just a kiss, and he was just a man. An incredibly sexy pirate tonight.
He leaned an elbow on the table. “You know, you’re the first person who’s gotten my costume right.”
“Really? The Princess Bride is a classic. I can’t believe people don’t recognize you.”
“I know. It’s one of my favorites.”
“And you look so authentic. You’ve got the mustache and everything. Is it real?”
He smoothed the thin strip of hair above his lip. “Of course. But everyone thinks I’m—”
“Nailed it. By the way, my name is—”
“Westley.” She stirred her drink and swallowed before raising her gaze to his. “Your name is Westley tonight.”
“Oh, we’re being mysterious?”
She shrugged. It was better if she didn’t know his name. Trish was right: she didn’t need to attach herself to the first man she met. And this guy was way too magnetic.
He smiled. “I get it. It’s a masquerade. We can reveal our identities at the stroke of midnight.”
She tilted her head. If she was still talking to him at midnight, she’d be in trouble.
“Okay. Westley, it is. Can I call you Buttercup?”
Covering the tip of the straw with her finger, she brought the other end to her lips and released the contents into her mouth. “I’ll let you know.”
She refuses to believe in ghosts.
He makes a living on their existence.
Love in the Big Easy shouldn’t be so hard…
Trying to add some excitement to her life, Emily Rollins accepts a dare to kiss a masked stranger at a charity ball. Fireworks ignite with that simple kiss, and she longs to learn more about the enchanting man. But Emily has lost so much of her heart already…
Succumbing to his charm will turn her world inside out.
Sean LeBlanc is a medium who runs the most popular haunted tour company in New Orleans. When Emily shows up on his ghost tour, with no idea he’s the mystery man from the ball, the long-buried emotions she unearthed in him are rekindled, and he’s convinced he can learn to love again.
The problem is Emily doesn’t believe in the supernatural.
Just as Sean begins to open her mind to the existence of spirits and the possibility of love, a mysterious wooden box with a sinister power arrives on Emily’s doorstep, threatening her sanity and her life.
If Sean can’t convince her ghosts are real, her disbelief will doom them both.
If you like a swoon-worthy hero and the magic of New Orleans, you’ll love this steamy, heart-melting romance.
Carrie Pulkinen is a paranormal romance author who has always been fascinated with things that go bump in the night. Of course, when you grow up next door to a cemetery, the dead (and the undead) are hard to ignore. Pair that with her passion for writing and her love of a good happily-ever-after, and becoming a paranormal romance author seems like the only logical career choice.
Before she decided to turn her love of the written word into a career, Carrie spent the first part of her professional life as a high school journalism and yearbook teacher. She loves good chocolate and bad puns, and in her free time, she likes to read, drink wine, and travel with her family.
Find out more about Carrie and her fantastic line of books at her website