Alright y'all, I reached out to this lovely after I received a few of her books from Forever Pub. She is the author of Big Bad Cowboy and Cowboy Come Home. She has also write novellas that appear in the back of other Forever Pub books. I was surprised when she agreed to do this interview, because I know that she has a busy schedule, especially when I asked her about this during the summer time. I am still waiting to find a weekend that I can devote to just Cowboy romances, but we all know what my TBR looks like lol. Anyways, I still wanted to know a little more about her. So let's dive in shall we??
Q: What is your name and where do you live?
A: I’m Carly Bloom and I live on a cattle ranch in South Texas (where unlike the cowboys on my covers, the men wear shirts to work). Our place is close to San Antonio, so I get to enjoy country life while being only minutes away from downtown.
A: I’m currently under contract with a publisher.
A: My Once Upon a Time in Texas series is published by Forever, which is Grand Central Publishing’s romance imprint. The first book, BIG BAD COWBOY, released in 2018, and it was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. The second book, COWBOY COME HOME, released in 2020, and the third, MUST LOVE COWBOYS, releases in 2021.
Are you sensing a theme here?
Q: What genre(s) do you write?
A: I bet you’ve guessed it by now! I’m a romance author, and my Once Upon a Time in Texas series falls within the western/cowboy subgenre. Each book is fairy tale-themed, but they’re definitely written with a contemporary romcom vibe.
A: Like most writers, I’ve always loved to read. And I’ve written ever since I learned how to hold a pencil. After I had children, I journaled a lot, and that turned into published essays, short, non-fiction stories in anthologies, a couple of blogs, and a weekly newspaper column. When my kids grew old enough to realize they were being exploited (my newspaper column was based on their antics), I switched to writing fiction to protect their privacy.
A: I write full-time (with five kids).
A: From 2015 to 2020, I published three novels and a novella. In the romance industry, this means I’m moving at the lightning speed of a tortoise.
A: I’m a one-book-at-time girl, and I have exactly one book in the works.
A: Can the year 2020 be considered a scene? Because I wrote a book in 2020, and it was incredibly difficult. I know I’m not alone in that, and my hat is off to anybody, anywhere, who completed anything in 2020. That said, I always have trouble with endings. I’m not exactly graceful in making exits or leaving conversations, so I suspect it has something to do with that. But also, I just really want perfect endings for my books, and I’m always a little sad over having to say goodbye to the story.
Q: How many books do you have that are not being currently worked on, but are half-written or complete but unpublished?
A: None. I was freakishly lucky to sell the first book I wrote to Entangled Publishing, and then super lucky to sell a series to Forever Publishing. There were no books before or in between.
A: I have one percolating, and I’m really excited about it.
A: I love developing supportive communities in real life, so it makes sense that I do it in my books, as well. In my Once Upon a Time in Texas series, the small Hill Country town of Big Verde is a delightful community of quirky (and supportive!) characters. It’s really fun for me to create connections between books within a series. But ultimately, each book stands on its own as a complete story. So, you don’t have to start with Book 1 (but I think it’s fun if you do).
Q: What is your next book that is set to be published and when is the release day?
A: My next book, MUST LOVE COWBOYS, releases on April 27, 2021.
A: It took me about nine months to write it (the same amount of time it takes to grow a human).
A: I hate being blocked, and it’s almost always the result of deadline-induced panic. Having an editor who knows how to talk to me without inducing that panic is important, and so is having friends to turn to within the writing community (I’m exceptionally needy, but I try to give as much as I receive). I find that my best ideas come when I’m not thinking about writing. But I’m almost always thinking about writing. Especially when I’m under a deadline.
A: I write in the mornings, and I do it with coffee. If I have a particularly good writing day, I will use the same mug the next day (and I’ll keep it up until it lets me down – then I switch to a different mug).
A: I’m a sprinter. I like to set a timer and work until it goes off. Then I take a small break before hitting the keyboard again. With the general anxiety of 2020, I consider myself lucky if I can maintain my focus for even ten minutes at a time.
A: Absolutely exhausted. In fact, I sweat when I write. It’s an all-encompassing mental exercise. Also, I’m a pretty extreme extrovert (I’m energized by being around a lot of people), so writing is a bit lonely for me.
A: Usually just from daydreaming. I always start with a single scene, and then I build the story around it. For the book I just finished, the scene came to me in a dream. And even though it was the catalyst, it didn’t even make it into the book.
A: Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my queen, and I was absolutely thrilled when Publishers Weekly said that fans of her work would enjoy mine.
A: Show me a writer, and I’ll show you a reader.
A: I have three critique partners I read for: Alison Bliss (contemporary romance), Sam Tschida (romcom/chick lit), and Amy Bearce (kid lit).
A: Romance is my go-to, but it’s not all I read. I love mysteries, suspense, horror, literary, and women’s fiction. And I am an absolute freak for anything written by Haruki Murakami.
A: I like to reread the Outlander series, which is a huge commitment because those are some big books. But I find something new to love each time.
Q: Have you ever cried, laughed, or had a real emotional response to a book?
A: Oh my God, of course!
A: I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
A: Yes! Hearing from readers and getting to know them is my reward for writing. There is really something magical about having imaginary places and people in your head and then suddenly, someone else can see them, too. I love having that in common with my readers. And I have a lot of fun with the members of my Facebook readers’ group, Carly’s Bloomers.
A: Yes, in addition to my critique partners, I have several authors I turn to for support. And when I’m drafting, I really depend on my writing coach, Jessica Snyder.
A: I haven’t spent as much as I’d like to, honestly. But being able to hand off tasks that I don’t have the time (or inclination) for is a real game-changer. For example, I’m not very good at updating my website or designing graphics. I pay people to take care of those kinds of things.
A: My family is super supportive (although my kids could probably do without the half-naked guys on my covers).
A: I’m coming up blank. As I stated earlier, I’m not very good at graceful exits. So, goodbye, I guess?
*Trips on way out*