by Arby Corry
Caila, like most dreamers, just wants to be wanted. Unlike most dreamers, she’s wanted by the CIA. When the last decade of thirty-two year old Caila Domenici’s life disappears, destroyed in a car accident, she is forced to begin again. Defying doctor’s orders to slow-go-it, she sets out to navigate the world on her own. It’s not going well. Coddled from birth, everything from a bus schedule to how to boil water confounds her. Worse yet, she’s about to accept her meddling mother’s offer to pay for food and rent. With just a hunch her talents extend beyond that of daughter of privilege, Caila searches for her past. Before she can find it, it finds her. And the handsome azure-eyed stranger who’s saying he knows her is somehow part of it. Caila always believed there had to be more, but now, on the verge of discovering the truth, she must decide which is worse – never knowing who she really is, or knowing too much.
Reese was being too nice. Something was up – their deep conversation the night before, the bubble bath, the tea, turning down her bed and now breakfast? Caila wasn’t suspicious by nature, and in most cases trusted more than she should, but where Reese was concerned she dropped all pretenses and questioned his every move. He was much too calculating to not see opportunity in everything he did. Caila recognized that in him right away. Her mind was now churning with theories. Why, if he was up to something, would he be so blatant with this sudden kindness? Did he think she would not notice?
Then she imagined the most unexpected thing.
Maybe he wasn’t up to anything at all. Maybe this was another side to the man she detested right from the start. The invader, the man who came to make her life a living hell and push aside her father may not, after all, be the man she believed him to be. But even that theory was short lived. No, she thought, he has a motive.
Today I have the privilege of welcoming Arby Corry, author of Heart-Shaped Stone, to Room With Books.
Hi Arby. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Well, I’m a wife, mother, and even, gasp, a grandmother. So far I’ve only got one and he’s three years old and my little precious love. Although writing is my passion, I’ve spent most of my career working in the broadcast industry as a radio announcer. Heard on stations coast to coast performing radio shows, and the occasional audiobook, I now mostly work in the commercial production end of the radio business. I love it as I get to write (radio spots mostly) and create. Writing has always been my refuge and I feel fortunate to incorporate some of that talent, if you will, into a career I love. Would I love to write full time? Yes, but until then, I write when I can and hope that’s often.
What were you like at school?
Total introvert. I think that’s why I gravitated toward being a disc jockey because it’s the exact opposite once you’re in the “air chair.” I was likely a pretty awful student too, ever distracted by people and things that no one else would bother to notice – or think of. I believe a lot of that power of observation shows up in my writing.
Were you good at English?
Yes! So much so, I just knew that resounding yes deserved an exclamation point. Seriously, I’ve had a lifelong love affair with words. I usually qualify that with the being lousy at math statement but as time goes on I’m starting to get it a little bit more. Words, however, have always been there. English, whether storytelling or spelling, has just always come naturally to me.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Honestly, just to have people enjoy what I’ve written. However, I’d like them to enjoy it to the point where I get to keep doing what I’m doing.
Which writers inspire you?
Laura Esquivel, I love how she incorporates food, love and, mostly crazy, family into her stories. Pat Conroy as well. He, like Laura, writes about real life experiences. I try to do the same. Not because I’m trying to emulate great authors, my talents only run so deep, but rather because I feel so compelled. I find I’m at my best when I speak (write) from experience.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
She is not only the perfect protagonist for this story but she easily reminds one of a close friend – one you’d just love to save. The flaws are all too evident to the world and Caila knows this, she just refuses to get specific. She wants what she wants and will never back down. And this is true even when what she wants changes.
What are you working on at the minute?
A follow up to Heart-Shaped Stone. I’ve had a lot of people ask me what happens next, so it’s in the works.
Which actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Likely that’d be Emma Stone – but she’d have to dye her hair!
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
That’s a great question without an easy answer because I’m just not sure. All I know is once I started writing the story just sort of took off from there. The characters, as silly as it sounds, told me where they were going and how they were going to get there. Once I was involved in “their” story I just knew I had to keep going. This is likely the first time I’ve enjoyed reading a story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Fortunately, my husband works nights. Once all is done, I head to bed and sit with my laptop for a couple of hours just batting it out.
Where do your ideas come from?
Since most of what I write is character driven, I feel if I just have a general idea of who they are and begin to write the rest takes care of itself. That’s how most of my writing evolves. Just begin with a general idea. I truly don’t think anything in writing should be overthought. However, I have gleaned ideas from own real life experiences and do “lend” my footsteps to places I love and experiences that I haven’t loved so much.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Little bit of both. But in the end, the story wins out, taking me on a wild ride that I never expected, and an ending I never expected.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
I’d say the middle. It became like that couch you just loved in the furniture store. You take it home, admire your “I could have been an interior designer” taste, throw pillows on it and invite everyone to come see it and sit on it. But by month three you notice it’s sagging in the middle. The ends are still quite lovely, giving your couch a great beginning and ending, but there’s something about the middle that’s not right. You throw more pillows on it, hoping no one notices the middle is just a means to get to the end. But in the end there’s no getting around that your middle needs less cushion and more fabric.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.
I really like Debbie Macomber. Her novels are not only so well written, but they’re sweet. I know that might not be the storyline du jour at the moment but her stories entrance me. I’ve taken some inspiration from that approach and made sure my novel is “sweet” where it has to be, but I never forget to add the salt.
For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Old habits die hard – I love paper! Of course, I have eBooks but you cannot dog-ear those and there’s something to be said about that.
What book are you reading at present?
A friend of mine, Beth Cook Maranville, wrote a book called Closer Than Your Breath. It’s a story of hope and recovery after a terrible divorce. Although I’ve been there (nasty divorce with kids) my life is in such a great place right now, but I can relate to her words. We have promised to review each other’s books and so I have it in my hands right now.
Tell us about the cover and how it came about.
Simple! That’s was my main requirement for the artist. Yes, my protagonist’s love interest is hunky, but I’d rather have the reader see that in the story, not on the cover.
Who designed your book cover?
A wonderful digital artist by the name of Sandy. She nailed it.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one?
So far no, but will look into it at some point. I think, what’s the use of having that voice-over skill if I can’t at least use it for my own work.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Yes, because as stated earlier, I just want people to read and enjoy the book. I’m good with that. Getting it reviewed on Amazon is a whole other story, but I’ll take the personal feedback even if it doesn’t make it through Amazon’s rigorous posting guidelines.
How do you relax?
I live in a beautiful place, Washington State, so anything outdoors suits me. However, writing would have to be there at the top of the list. Getting it all out on paper, the day’s frustrations, relationships, your job, traffic, can all make for not only a great outlet, but sometimes a great story.
What is your favorite quote?
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
What is your favorite movie?
I can’t help but be mesmerized whenever it comes on TV – Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Any final words?
Thank you kindly for your time and for presenting my book, Heart-Shaped Stone. I’m super excited about the feedback I’ve gotten and I know you’ll enjoy it as well.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join our readers and for this interview.
Arby Corry has spent the last twenty-five years in the radio business. Performing every job from radio announcer, to program director, to commercial producer to copy writer, Arby gives voice to characters found just on the other end of the request line. Her debut novel, Heart-Shaped Stone, has received critical acclaim as well as delighting readers with its fresh approach. Arby believes in real characters, with real voices. And while a happy ending is always satisfying, she believes life has other plans. When not on the air or writing her follow-up to Heart-Shaped Stone, Arby enjoys spending time with her husband, children and the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.
Arby Corry will be awarding $50 Amazon/B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.