I'm so pleased to have a chance to host Carrie Summers in an interview this month! As most of you already know, she was my pick for Author of the Month during this Lady Thieves September. As the creator of the amazing Chronicles of a Catpurse series, she really was the perfect choice!
Enjoy the interview, and don't forget the end of the month GIVEAWAY I'm currently running. Members of my reader group will get a chance to win one or several of the awesome Lady Thieves fantasies featured in September. Sign up if you haven't already!
Now time to chat with Carrie . . .
I’m so excited to feature you today, Carrie! I’m such a big fan of the Chronicles of a Cutpurse, and I can’t wait until the next book comes out. Meanwhile, here are my fangirl questions for the first three books in the series:
1. For starters, can you tell us how the Chronicles of a Cutpurse began? What was the initial idea? Did you begin with a character, a world, a plot-twist?
Carrie: Definitely with the character. Or maybe the combination of character and my goal for her. In my mind, there was a female thief who was going to work her way up through a criminal organization and ultimately take control. After that, I started imagining the world and the first few scenes. Of course, the plot didn’t end up quite as linear as that, but some of the notions are still there.
2. I am in awe of the complexity of Ostgard City and the world you’ve created. I imagine it took some work to develop all of those details to such a degree of realism. Can you give us an insider’s peek into how you go about your world-building? Did this world come together quickly for you, or did it take some doing?
Carrie: I do all my brainstorming with a pen and notebook. Often, I don’t come up with the details of a setting until the characters arrive in it, but with the Cutpurse books, I knew the story would be spending most of the time there, especially in the dark corners and thieves’ paths. In a way, I see Ostgard as another character in the books, and I wanted to know a lot about its traits and secrets so I could bring it to life. Before starting writing, I brainstormed about the politics, districts, economy, religion… pretty much everything I could think of. I drew a simple map that over time became the map in the book. Then I started writing.
In some ways, making up the world is my favorite part of writing. This was a fun one for me.
3. Myrrh is such a fantastic lead character, who quickly caught my interest and made me want to root for her. As a character, is she someone entirely of your own creation, or did you base her on someone you know?
Carrie: To be honest, I’m rarely sure where my characters come from. My leads are always someone I would like to befriend, but I can’t say they’re consciously based on anyone. Of course, they probably take parts from me and people I’ve known well enough to imagine their inner world like an author needs to do to bring a character to life. But more than anything, they’re someone whose shoes I can wake up and fill for the days and weeks I’m writing the book. I like to be inspired by them while watching them grow into the heroes they deserve to be.
4. The ongoing plotlines of the series are getting more complex and thrilling with each book. I’m curious to know—did you plot out the entire series before writing the first few books, or are you discovering the adventure as you write?
Carrie: The series has always been envisioned as having an overall story that spans five books, with each installment standing alone as a story with a strong plot and conclusion. I mentioned earlier that I’d originally imagined Myrrh rising up in the ranks of a thieves’ syndicate. But as the story unfolded, some of that happened more quickly than I imagined, while her place within the city and with Glint has built more along the lines that I intended.
When writing, I do some planning to keep moving forward on the books. It’s easier to sit down and produce chapters I’m proud of when I have some notion of where they’re going. But my subconscious is always surprising me with twists and complications as I go along. I’ve learned to let it work, even if it means I find my characters in difficult predicaments that I have to write them out of.
5. How long will this series be, and WHEN CAN WE HOPE FOR BOOK 4?????
Carrie: The series will definitely be five books at least. I’d like to tie up some of the storylines taking place in Ostgard by then. But I love Myrrh and Glint, and I doubt I’ll want to say goodbye after that. I like to write connected series, so I suspect I’ll keep going with the characters even if I put them on a new adventure in a new city after.
Book 4 is underway! My hope is to have it sometime in the late fall or early winter. For the first time, I’m writing two series at once. To put it mildly, it’s been keeping me busy! But given the situation at the end of book 3, I’m rather keen to figure out what happens next. 😊
Thank you so much, Carrie! Before you go, do let my readers know where they can connect with you. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram? Do you have a newsletter?
Thank you! I love hearing from readers. You can find me at:
On my website, you can sign up for my newsletter to hear about deals, new releases, and when my schedule allows, to participate in a running story where I send out little chapters in email and readers vote for what the character does next.
And there you have it, folks--the end of the Lady Thieves September Feature. I hope you enjoyed it and found some exciting new titles to add to your TBR stacks!
Now be watching for October's theme . . .