Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Introducing Carina Press Author Mary Campisi!

More Carina Press goodness continues.  Today I'm so pleased to be talking with Mary Campisi.  I knew that I had to get to know her better, especially after I learned about our mutual fondness for linguini and all things Italian.  She's written a contemporary romance that I'm dying to get my hooks into called THE SWEETEST DEAL.  But, first, here's a little bit more about Mary:

1) I'll start with the most important question: What's your favorite chocolate?

Hmmm. That’s a two part question. I’d say Godiva dark chocolate truffles, but don’t think I’ll turn down other chocolate! I like dark chocolate because I can kid myself and say it’s good for me, thereby rationalizing overindulgence. My all time favorite chocolate are milk chocolate haystacks which are tiny mounds of milk chocolate and coconut rolled together. My mom used to buy me a box at Easter and I have been known to polish it off in 3 days…or less.

2) Okay, you had me at Godiva.  Moving on...When did you realize you wanted to become a writer? Was there a defining moment? How long have you been writing?

Interesting question. I loved the written word from the time I could read and loved to recite poems. I stood in front of my second grade glass and recited Joyce Kilmer’s poem, ‘Trees’. Loved that poem. Unfortunately, by fourth grade, my friend and I were begging the teacher to let us sing ‘Teen Angel’ in front of the class. Lucky them. She actually let us- can you tell I’m from a small town?! In school, I mostly wrote essays and read the old literary big hitters; Tolstoy, Dreiser, Wharton, Steinbeck. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second daughter and had to slow down and put myself in cocoon mode, (I had placenta previa at twelve weeks and almost lost her), that I started reading romance. Voraciously. Judith McNaught, Janet Dailey, Julie Garwood. I couldn’t get enough of them and anyone else the librarian would recommend. I started writing when I was going through a painful divorce. With three small children I couldn’t afford therapy and at night, after I’d put them to bed, I sat at the old 286 computer and wrote a love story where I could control what happened. There was amazing power in that. It was a Regency historical – single spaced!- can you imagine?! Half way through, I got on with my life and put the old 5 ¼ floppy disk away. Years later, I’d remarried and we were unpacking our new house. I found the old diskette while searching for the PAC man for the kids and there was my story! Right that day I knew I wanted to finish it and many more. That was thirteen years ago.

3) What was the inspiration behind your current novel, THE SWEETEST DEAL? Did the idea come to you in a dream? At a restaurant? Where?

There was no dream involved in this story. It was called, an editor is sitting at your table, are you really going to let the night pass without asking her to look at your work? It was our chapter’s annual conference and I’d been invited to the Friday night dinner. I’m not a pushy person but when the opportunity arose, I asked if she’d like to see my work. She was interested. Problem was, I didn’t write what she bought. That did not deter me. I ran back to the hotel room that night and spent an hour jotting notes while my roommate tried to sleep. That was the beginning of THE SWEETEST DEAL. I came up with the cookie concept because, well, I like cookies, and chocolate, and I thought it would be intriguing to tie them into a story. In the end, the book didn’t fit that editor’s needs, but she had a few good suggestions on where it might fit….

4) So, if you were stranded on a deserted island, what book couldn't you live without and why?

That’s a tricky question with more than one answer, but I think I’d like the Webster’s New College Dictionary. That way, I could improve my vocabulary and let new words spark my imagination so when I got off the island, I’d be bursting with bestseller ideas!

5) What do you do for fun when you're not writing?

Hack away, transplant, and care for my overgrown perennials. Walk with, talk with, and sing to my faithful rescue lab mix, Cooper, who can hear the snap of a banana from across the room. Ride on the back of my hero husband’s Electra Glide Classic. Read. Read. Chit chat on the phone with my kids, my mom, my sister, my brothers. Watch the following shows, not in order of importance – Mad Men, Dexter, The Big Bang Theory.

Thanks, Mary! Best of luck with THE SWEETEST DEAL.  If anyone has any questions for Mary, please ask away!  She'll be here all day. 

Here's a little bit more about Mary's novel:

Max Jernigan will close the most important business deal of his life – if he agrees to impregnate the business mogul’s daughter.

C.C. Crowell gave up on dreams of a family long ago and is more than a little suspicious of Max’s advances and then she learns about the deal and plans to pay Max back in kind….

To learn more about THE SWEETEST DEAL, click here.


Liz Fichera said...

Mary, Thanks for stopping by the blog today! I forgot to ask you: What are you working on now?

Joanna St. James said...

I just cant get over her book cover

Liz Fichera said...

Joanna, Carina Press designs some pretty cool covers. I love this one!

Mary Campisi said...

Hi Liz:

Thanks so much for having me on your blog. Yes, we are kindred spirits and lovers of Italian food! I've got a lot going on and a long list of to-do's. I recently submitted a Regency historical to one of my editors and am currently revising another that I sold to Kensington 10 years ago and just got my rights back to- amazing how one's writing changes/matures over time:) Once I get that done, which should be soon, I have one more Regency project to complete (when you have an editor waiting, you put that project on the fast track), and then I am going to write Roxie and Rhyder's story. They were two fun secondary characters to write. Let me find the mini synopsis on them and I'll post it- sneak peak!

Mary Campisi said...

Here's the snippet I promised for the follow up to The Sweetest Deal.

Roxie Revito wants a piece of Rhyder Remington- sperm that is. What better
person to expand the gene pool than one with an I.Q. equal to hers? And
what better gene pool than Rhyder Remington? He’s not interested until she
turns clinical on him and sites his duty to procreate genius. She’s
thinking invitro- he’s thinking sex. Roxie’s calculated the number of times
they’ll need to be together - but the only calculation she hasn’t factored
in is the heat and lust they’ll generate with their togetherness.

Amber Scott said...

I love the Big Bang Theory! SO funny. Great interview! I must say, and don't shoot me here, I prefer See's to Godiva. My Grandma used to sneak it to us.

Sondrae Bennett said...

Nice interview. I never would have thought of a Dictionary for the "deserted Island" question but what a great answer!

mary campisi said...

Hi Amber!

See's? My mother is obsessed with See's candy. When she heads to California for the winter, she always sends her friends Sees candy and never fails to tell me how pricey it is:) As for The Big Bang Theory, we just happened upon it several months ago, and I'm hooked. I see they switched nights to Thursday and I'm thinking about buying the first season. That's one of the only shows where I honest to God laugh out loud.