Today’s Featured Author – Jo Carey
Today, author Jo Carey visits my blog. Her book, Winter, the first in her Seasons de Santa Fe series, came out in July.
Where you were born and where do you call home?
I was born and raised in Ohio, but have lived in 7 states. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to live and work in Ireland for 3 years. That was a great experience. My husband and I now call Texas home.
Who or what inspired you to start writing?
My husband started writing to relieve stress. I read and edited his books so that we could discuss them. It was something we could share. We found that my editing took a lot less time than his writing, so he suggested I try writing. With one story under my belt, I was hooked.
How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?
I write in a number of different genres and many of my books are set in the League of Planetary Systems—a universe Frank created, and we now share, but when I write non-scifi I often set my stories in locations I’m familiar with. The first book in my Cassie Carter Cryptid Hunter Series—The Thunderbird Op, is set in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where I lived for a few years. Book two in that series, The Black Fly Op, is set in the Connecticut Lakes of northern New Hampshire, a place I visited often when living in New England.
What do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have a full-time job in government compliance. After self-publishing our first few books, Frank and I decided to dedicate all our free time to writing and self-publishing. We still make time for family and friends, but we’ve given up all our other hobbies to ensure that we have time to write. I usually get an hour or two of time to work on writing or publishing each night and then several hours on the weekend.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Since starting our author journeys Frank and I have tried various methods for planning our books. I don’t outline. When I get close to finishing the rough draft of a book, I decide what I’m going to write next. I usually make a few notes about the main story line and list the major characters, then start writing.
Please tell us about your current release.
I recently published the final book in a traditional romance series called Seasons de Santa Fe. There are four books in the series—Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, each based around the staff and guests who stay at the Seasons de Santa Fe Hotel in New Mexico. Now I’m working on a new YA scifi mystery series called ORBS. It follows four young people as they find their own paths in life while solving mysteries in the League of Planetary Systems.
How do you select the names of your characters?
We have a lot of whiteboards in our living space. One of them we use to write character names. We hear names or words and think it would make a good character name. Sports on television provides a lot of ideas. We sometimes change a letter or two or use a last name as a first name or vice versa.
Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?
That’s an interesting question. Each of the books in my Snapdragon Ladies series focus on one particular woman. The main characters of the first two books Ciara and Nebulon are both characters my husband, Frank, created in his books. I liked them so much that I used them, but the third book in that series is Melicity—featuring a character I created for a scifi holiday book. Melicity is my favorite, though it’s hard to choose.
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I think it would be Cassie Carter from the Cassie Carter Cryptid Hunter series. She’s smart, strong, and unique.
If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Definitely my Galactic Cruise Lines Series. It’s a traditional cozy mystery series set in the League of Planetary Systems. There’s an elf who is the Chief Sleuthhound (detective), a sexy Venlanten ship’s security officer, and they both are vying to win the heart of Kat, the cruise director. There are exotic ports, interesting characters, and lots of fun on board.
Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you right?
There’s always a small bowl of Coffee Nut M&Ms on my desk beside my glass of water. At least with a small bowl, I have to get up often to refill it.
Ellie’s life hasn’t gone the way she expected. Forty something, divorced, she’s moving to Santa Fe to help her dad run the family’s art gallery on Canyon Road. It’s another big change in a series of changes that has Ellie doubting herself at every turn. Right now the only two men she wants to focus on are her son, Tristan, and her dad, Gene. Romance is the furthest things from her mind.
Rod has enjoyed the time he’s spent in Santa Fe overseeing the building of his family’s newest boutique hotel, the Seasons de Santa Fe. He’s finally found a place in the family business that suits him. If he could just get his mom to stop fixing him up with women, his life would be darn near perfect.
When fate throws Ellie and Rod together, neither of them is ready for what happens next.
About the Author
Jo Carey grew up in the Midwest but her curiosity and gypsy-spirit has kept her on the move. She’s lived in eight US states and spent three years living in Ireland. She has always loved creature movies, so creatures and bugs often show up in her books.
Jo, a former information security compliance guru, writes fast-paced, character-driven stories in a variety of genres from medical thrillers to space operas and cozy mysteries. Her novels are filled with humor, romance, and sometimes creatures or aliens, or maybe even all of the above. She often builds her stories around a strong female lead character surrounded by plenty of hunky male heroes.
Jo’s been under fire on a golf course and climbed out the roof of an elevator in the Netherlands. Life hasn’t been boring. Now residing in Texas, setting often plays a huge role in her stories. Jo was intrigued by the League of Planetary Systems, a world her husband, Frank, created for his science fiction books, and she now writes mysteries and other types of tales sets in that world. Jo was bitten by a cat, a fire ant, and a snake, before succumbing to the bite of the writing bug.
Jo is currently working on a romance series set in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The four-book series has a story set in each of the four seasons. Jo hasn’t had personal contact with a cryptid or an alien, but it’s never too late. Jo and her husband, Frank, produce a podcast—Xtreme Self-Publishing—which details their self-publishing efforts.
You can purchase Winter on Amazon.