Debut author Carrie Pierce stops by for an interview today. Her first book is called LETHAL WOMAN and has just been contracted by The Wild Rose Press. Carrie hopes this book will be the first in a series she plans to call The Lethal Series. There's no release date on LETHAL WOMAN as yet, but I'll keep you posted. Let's get to know Carrie Pierce!
Where did you get the idea for your new novel?
The idea came to me in a dream. I’d been on a binge of super powerful female characters in film, and Lethal Woman just came at me. It all started with a man standing in front of a crowd and as my dream grew, so did the novel.
Why did you choose this genre?
I don’t think I chose the genre, it chose me. Really, I had no idea what I was playing with when I began writing the book, it shocked me when I understood where the novel was going.
Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book you’d like to share?
Lethal Woman is a false legend that I created. In a way she is the type of person I wish I could be. She’s my alter-ego, and she beats the cliché of the bodyguard romance stories.
What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?
The most difficult thing about writing Lethal Woman was creating multiple characters that people want to see succeed (or fail). Each character has their own mood, style, and flare, so keeping everyone in their line was probably the second hardest part about writing the book.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
a. My unusual writing habits tend to involve getting everything I need in order, then when I begin writing I tend to push it all to the side. No matter what, I do a little pre-write, but then don’t use what I wrote out. I also have food and water on hand, because I get bored, or distracted. I have to set my music and leave it or I’ll just keep scrolling through my phone.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?
I want readers to have a pit of their stomach about what the next step might be. But overall, understanding and love is what I want readers to feel as they shut Lethal Woman after the final chapter. These are multi-layered characters that lacked necessities as children, and they are just getting those as adults. I hope to create a story that helps people feel less alone and more understood.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
Umm… paranormal or a sliver of horror. The pulse pounding need to spook is within me, and I would love to give paranormal (romance or just scariness) a chance.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Oddly, no. I have enjoyed writing for a long time. I wrote as a child but gave it up when I was in middle school. But when the idea for Lethal Woman hit me, I picked up the pen and haven’t stopped since.
Do you work on more than one book at a time?
Yes, one at a time is how I work. But I always write down my ideas. If I have a scene that doesn’t work in one book, I find a way to fit that scene or dialogue point into the second or third book. Meaning, I do hardcore writing of a book one at a time, but I always plan ahead, just in case.
Do you have any words of advice to beginning writers?
My words of advice for beginners have been said a million times over, but it’s honestly the truth. My advice is, don’t stop writing, ever. Roadblocks (physically or mentally) come up, you may get rejected, people may not believe in you, or you believe what you’ve been working on is trash. But no, it’s not trash, it just needs work. On my own, I edited Lethal Woman about four times before submitting to The Wild Rose Press. Each time I ran through the manuscript, I learned something new and necessary. Believe in yourself, in your work, and that you will have a masterpiece at the very end.
When were you first published and how did that happen? Was it a long or short journey?
On February 16th, 2022 I was signed on to work with The Wild Rose. Lethal Woman is my first novel to ever be published (and I hope it’s not my last). Lethal Woman needed so much work I almost felt crazy. I wrote it in high school, and then I stopped working on it for over a year. But in total, Lethal Woman has been in the works for about four to five years, so this has been a long process for me.
How did you get started writing romance?
Romance just came with the story. Love is about overcoming, growing, and trusting, so it fits perfectly within Lethal Woman.
What is the hardest part of being a writer for you?
The hardest part about being a writer for me is time. Between working long hours, I would love to write but at times there is no energy within me by the end of the day.
What comes first for you – plot or character? And why?
Ah, I always see characters first. How they look. How they act. What they struggle with. That is all I see, and then the plot is built around them somehow. I love building my characters and their world. The plot is the structure, the drive, and the thing that gives my characters another layer.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Both. I have days where I just stare at my screen, refusing to plot. But then I also have days where I kick up the dust of my mind and just type away. I wish to believe that I’m a plotter, but there are days where I really refuse to.
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
I want the readers to gain strength. No one is perfect. No one has golden childhoods or intentions. We all stumble, so writing characters like that gives the readers something to connect to. And writing characters that struggle, but overcome those battles— it can give someone hope.
What part of the book has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
The easiest part of my book to write was Lindsey. She is at times the opposite of me, but also so much like me. She’s me but with more courage. The hardest thing to write was the layers to the plot, making the pace pick up piece by piece without making things overly clear. And honestly the funniest piece to write was the scenes where Lindsey’s dog, Shadow, pranced around with his stuffed toy fish.
How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?
I have about two completed manuscripts that go along with the Lethal Woman series, and I have recently gotten the spark to add something new into the timeline. But, if those see the light of day is up to the publisher and to the readers.
Do you write in the same place every day or do you like to change it up?
I live with my family, so when I write, I need space. I tend to write in my room, with my headphones on to help cut out distractions, but if I have a few hours during the day, I love to write outside and listen to the sounds of nature.
What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m only nineteen. I'm an adult but very rusty at it.
(Jana's Note: Holy smokes! Way to go, Carrie! It's quite an accomplishment to write a book at nineteen.)
What’s your favorite time management tip?
Set alarms. Do what you can with the time that you have. Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. Do what you can, and always take time for yourself.
What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
My favorite thing about being a writer is being able to create my own world and my own people. If I make it, I can control the outcome.
What’s your least favorite thing about being a writer?
My least favorite thing about being a writer is literally sitting down and having to do the work. I can see what I want in my head, I can understand and hear the tone, but getting it down right, that is a challenge.
Where do you do your best thinking?
When I’m in my own head and alone. Walking my dogs, working and having a few minutes of silence, and as I try to sleep.
What question would you like to be asked that I haven’t asked here?
Ask me how I’m doing… because from day to day, my answer changes. We all have good and bad days. We all get tired and burnt out. And, depending on my day and how everything turns out, you will get a different answer each time.
Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?
I live in El Dorado, California. It’s a small town with history and heart. I’ve been writing for about six years in total, throughout my whole life.
If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
I love helping and bringing joy to people. If I make someone’s day, then I automatically feel better.
Do you have another occupation, other than writing? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?
I’m a caregiver in an Assisted Living unit. Honestly, no it doesn’t help with my writing. I love the people, the work that makes me feel exhausted but proud at the end of the day, but writing and caregiving are two opposites for me. Writing is an outlet for my stress.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?
I’ve experienced a variety of hardships, poverty, mental health decline, and just… a need to escape the brutality of the real world. What I feel, experience, and seem is important, I put it into my writing. Sharing hope, strength, and understanding can help someone, even if you don’t know it.
If there is such a thing as reincarnation, what would you like to return to earth as and why?
A bird. Being able to fly, having to learn how to survive in an internally different way, it would be exciting. That and, my grandmother loved birds, and in honor of her, they seem to always make me think about her.
Name one person, book, or song who/that inspires flights of fantasy.
One person who inspires flights of fantasy is my late grandmother. She inspired me in ways of silence, but support. And music, whatever comes up on my playlist, it helps me relax and let my words flow as I write.
A genie grants you one wish. What is it?
Hard one, I want to be selfish, but honestly I don’t know what I would wish for. I want others to be happy and know they aren’t alone so maybe… The ability to bring joy to all those I encounter. Might be a heavy one, but I want joy to be in the world because I know what it’s like to feel conflicted.
(Jana's Note: What a wonderful wish, Carrie!)
If you could get rid of something in your life that would give you more writing time, what would it be?
Less work hours. I love writing, but everyone has ends to meet.
Do you have any pets? Are you a cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?
I have two dogs, Moose, a pitbull, and Yoda, a little terrier. I love both of them for different reasons. Yoda, he’s older so he loves it when people read to him or let him sit with you as you watch a movie or TV. Moose, he has energy bursts that make me laugh and brings a smile to my face. I don’t have a preference on animals, dogs or cats, I’ll pet them both and love them equally.
What genre is your favorite to read?
I don’t have one. I own romance, thriller, mysteries, a few paranormal, and detective novels,
What are your hobbies away from the computer?
I love reading. I love walking my dogs. I love binging movies or shows. Anything that brings me a sliver of peace, I want it to become a hobby.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? Why?
England or Ireland. I want to live somewhere within either of those, in a small village with quiet and nice people. I love the sound of nature, music, and silence.
What did you want to be (occupation-wise) when you were a child?
An animal trainer. I love animals and I really wanted to work with them as a child. But now, I work with people, and that too, is rewarding in a way that I never foresaw.
Name two authors we might find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
Ummm…I love Jodi Meadows, her fantasy novels are so unique. And, maybe, Harlan Coben? This is a difficult question, I own so many different novels by entirely different people.
What are two (or more) of your all-time favorite books in any genre?
First, In 27 Days by Alison Gervais, her novel is so eye opening. Secondly, Clockwork Angel (the whole trilogy really) by Cassandra Clare, it is inspiring yet so heartbreaking, and then finally, Kissed by an Angel (all three books) by Elizabeth Chandler, it explains loss, hope, and overcoming brilliantly.
What do you like best about your hero?
The thing that I love best about Thomas Pavlov is that he never allows his father's actions to become him. He is a young man who wishes to see the best in people and he trusts Lindsey with everything he has. Thomas fights for the life he wants, and he holds onto the things he demands to keep.
What do you like best about your heroine?
I love Lindsey Vasiliev for a few reasons, she is her own identity. She refuses to let others belittle her. Lindsey is strong in a way I wish I could be. She never really judges others because of her own mistakes. But one thing I like about her best is, when she trusts you, she will give you everything she has.
How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?
The name Thomas is a frequent name in England, and the simpler the name somehow the more sophisticated the person in my eyes of writing. Lindsey’s name was said in the dream that helped me create the book, so I just kept it. And, I don’t base my characters on real people. But there are some features and manners that I did pick off of real people. When writing, there are flashes of a face that comes to my mind, and they sometimes match with a celebrity.
How can readers reach you or find you online?
I have an Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and website.
Here are the links:
i. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carrieiswoke/
ii. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012383318649
iii. Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarrieAuthor
iv. Website: https://piercecarrie1014.wixsite.com/author
Tell us a little about your current work in progress.
I have another piece to the Lethal series in the works, but not much can be said or done until the statistics of Lethal Woman comes through.
What’s your tagline? Why did you choose it?
The tagline for Lethal Woman was hard to choose, but the one that I am weighing towards is, The line between being a killer and a savior is thin and the choice is aimed right at me.
Tell us about your current release.
Yes, here is the information for Lethal Woman:
Labeled as England’s most dangerous bodyguard, Lindsey Vasiliev is a woman who was raised from a young age to take out those who wish others harm, with any means necessary.
But now, with her title on the line, Lindsey must redeem herself. She is hired to protect London’s most prized heirs, Thomas Pavlov, a man who is in the crossfire from a choice he didn’t make.
Faced with a choice, Lindsey must pick her life and legacy, or save Thomas, the man who made her see that she is more than her calling card, and her life has more to offer than endless acts of violence.
Is there anything we haven’t covered here that you’d like to tell readers?
Please give Lethal Woman a chance, when it’s available for review and for buying, please leave a review. Help this series come to life. Spread the word, if you can. And remember that if you have a story that you believe is worth telling, then share it. Live your dream, even if you think it’s unreachable.
Excerpt, Lethal Woman:
“‘You are a soldier for hire,” my mother would recite these words before she left my brother and I every night. “You do as you are told. You do what needs to be done. You don’t hold back. You rise even when you fall. And if need be, you never look back.” My mother, very much like my father, never let us see her weak. We were heirs to the throne, and we had to fight if we wanted to see the world around us. My father was the king of violence, and my mother, she was just as deadly. A feared king and queen fell, and as the next ones in line, my brother and I had to cut a few cords and lash a few rules. We were monsters before we kneeled to the regulations given to us. If we wanted to stay together, we had to bow. So we did, and with that, we thought the file died with us. But we have been lied to.”
Thanks so much for dropping in, Carrie! It was great to meet you. Best of luck with Lethal Woman.
Carrie Pierce is a young woman with a passion to inspire and adapt to the world of the unknown through her writing. While a cadet in high school with the local police department in Placerville, Carrie witnessed the acts of bravery and victory, as well as the loss and pain. Seeing the world through fresh eyes, and seeing the truth of the world's kindness and conflict, the need to write bloomed and took hold.
As a native of El Dorado County, Carrie lives in a remote town with hard work and determination in their blood. At the end of the day, Carrie enjoys writing strong and independent characters that know how to take a hit. At the end of the day, Carrie enjoys watching films, reading novels, and lounging with her two dogs.