Welcome to BRB, sweeties. Normally interviews are Wednesdays, but today's guest is special. Please welcome M/M author Carolyn Topol! Love your book covers, Carolyn. And thank you for stopping by today. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Carolyn LeVine Topol and it’s a pleasure to get the opportunity for this interview. I am a huge reading, writing, and theater enthusiast and have always been in love with the written word. I’ve always wanted to write and have written on the non-paid level for many years. My family completely respects and supports my writing and know to leave me alone when I’m writing in “the zone”.
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer of some sort from my high school days.
Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
I get inspired by those I spot in my day to day life and will suddenly let my I imagination take these people into new worlds of drama and romance. Frequently, I find the characters, and their journeys, find their way into my thoughts when I fall off to sleep at night.
What made you chose to write erotic literature in particular? And is there any other genre you’d like to write? And if so, why?
I enjoy imagining the intense romance and passion that leaps from the pages of erotic literature. I believe passion is a significant part of love. I’ve also toyed with writing mystery and crime drama as those are some of my favorite genres to read, in addition to erotic literature.
Which appears first when contemplating a new project: A character, the plot and/or the title?
For me, it’s all about the character. The character is developed first, and he or she drives the plot. I believe this works much more smoothly.
What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: Beginning, middle and/or end? Why?
I find writing the middle chapters to be the most difficult as by this time I already am completely aware of the characters’ journey to come and am anxious to bring them to their happy ending.
Has your own life influenced your novels? And if so, how?
I tend to be very passionate and have a bit of a dramatic and enthusiastic nature. I also have lots of energy. I’m drawn to developing protagonists who have some of these qualities.
Writing sex/romantic scenes can be a challenge for some authors. Do you find it difficult? If yes, how do you compensate? If no, where do you draw your inspiration?
When I’m writing a sexually explicit scene, it is because it works seamlessly into the story, and helps to drive the story forward. I don’t write any sex scene that doesn’t have a purpose in moving the characters’ journey and the plot forward.
Do you have a method you use to write the sensual parts? Do you prefer the sex to be open and bold? Or left to the imagination?
I’ve written both. When the characters involved have been growing in their relationship, I believe it’s important to demonstrate how their physical connection has grown as well. When the actions themselves are inconsequential then I don’t worry about illustrated a detailed erotic scene.
Are your characters based on people you know? Or are they completely fictitious?
The characters I write are mostly based on my imagination, however I’m always drawing on the qualities of people I’ve met, read about, or admired – usually from a distance.
Who is your favourite character, which you’ve created? And why?
I usually fall in love with my most recent protagonist. It’s one way to further the writing and “live in their head” as I’m creating a new work. I must admit that I do have a bit of an affection for the main characters in Seasons of Change as that was a book that became an emotional journey for me, along with the characters Andy & Jake.
Tell us about your newest release.
Although I do have another book coming out in January, with Silver Publishing, my most recent release(s) were this past summer. I wrote a series of three long novellas, THE MALE ROOM trilogy, including THE MALE ROOM, THE ATTORNEY, and THE PLAYWRIGHT. The trilogy was released by Dreamspinner Press. Here is the link to the specific page for the first book in the series, THE MALE ROOM:
Just for fun–What is your favourite colour(s)?
I’m crazy for anything in the purple family, with a close runner-up of red.
Which do you prefer a great hero or a great villain?
I’m a sucker for a great hero, especially if he or she is a romantic, sexy hero.
What is your favourite movie? And why?
I adore “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Casablanca”. I’m an Agatha Christie admirer and I thought Sidney Lumet’s interpretation of the Christie book was brilliant, as was the cast selection. I find the story, combined with acting of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman completely irresistible. For the period that Casablanca was produced, it was daring, bold, and still continues to hold its ground as one of the best films ever produced. In addition, Humphrey and Bergman heat up the screen with their intense chemistry.
If you could be anyone in the world who would it be? And why?
This is particularly hard for me. I do love my life and family, but I admire the qualities of Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Hilary Clinton, and Ellen DeGeneres. How’s that for an eclectic combination?
Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
I would love to have at least 2-3 more full-length novels published in print and e-book format and possibly cross genres.
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Carolyn. You're a wonderful lady and I must admit, I'm quite taken with your books! All the best for the future.