[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Caro! Can you please describe yourself in five words or less.
[Caro] I’m not easy to describe. (That was five words—or was that cheating?)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Doctor’s Former Fiancée?
[Caro] I’d love to. It’s a reunion story between a man and a woman who were engaged in medical school until their careers took them in different directions. He went into the corporate side of medicine and became a billionaire CEO. She is fighting to keep underfunded studies going for obscure medical conditions. The twist is that the heroine is the one who dumped him, and the man is the one who has never really gotten over her.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Caro] Gosh, these characters go way back for me. About ten years ago, I sat next to Kathryn Falk at a dinner. She’s the founder of the Romantic Times magazine, which has become RT Book Reviews. I told her I had just started writing, and she told me I should write about a pharmaceutical representative, since I was one. So, I made up a storyline about a male doctor and a female representative. As we ate Chinese food, I pitched my story idea, and she gave me a single line of advice: “Flip their genders to make it more unique.” These characters have been percolating on the back burner in my brain ever since. They grew and changed a lot in the past decade, but that’s how they got their start.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
[Caro] It was a pleasure to go back to my fictional hospital in the real town of Austin. I loved writing scenes between the hero and his brother, since his brother had starred in my first novel (DOCTOR, SOLDIER, DADDY, a September Harlequin Special Edition in September). It was fun to bring back side characters, like the hero’s mother. She played a bigger role in this book. The hero is a billionaire CEO of a biotech firm; who else but his mother can put him in his place? (The answer, of course, is the heroine!)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?
[Caro] The story opens with the hero and heroine battling over the funding for a study of migraines in children, which is a personal issue to me. My own child suffers from frequent migraines. Ironically, I was the representative for an effective migraine medicine, but like nearly all treatments, it was only effective in adults. I had a huge inventory of migraine medicine, yet it was useless for my own four-year-old. I could identify with both the hero and heroine’s sides of the argument as they squared off over the boardroom table. It was cathartic to write that scene, actually, to lay out the challenges behind medical research for rare conditions.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?
[Caro] Whatever it would be, it would be sung by Adam Ant. I’m a child of the 80s, and his swashbuckling pirate videos on early MTV were the soundtrack of my youth. I actually wore out a vinyl Adam and the Ants album, because I played it multiple times a day. In retrospect, I’m guessing my mother wasn’t nearly as fond of his music as I was.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Caro] I don’t pull out of the driveway without my seatbelt. I served as a Military Police officer in the U.S. Army, and I saw firsthand how dramatically seat belts save lives. Buckle up, everyone. Please.
Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.
[Caro] Let’s see…I’ve got a pile of my son’s geometry homework which I really don’t want to review, a tacky souvenir coffee mug in the shape of Rome’s Coliseum which brings back happy memories, and a brand new toothbrush. Let me explain the toothbrush. You know how you go to the dentist, and they send you home with a new toothbrush and a sample of toothpaste? Yes, well, I dropped them on my desk, and I’ve got some kind of mental block about remembering to pick them up and carry them into the bathroom where they belong. It’s been a month! Enough. I’m picking them up and moving them right this second.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
[Caro] Wait, this is an interesting question. I’ll just put the toothbrush down again for a moment so I can type an answer. I’d trade places with whichever ballerina was dancing Swan Lake at the Met in New York City. I’d love to know what it feels like to have such sublime control over every muscle in the body. I know ballet is physically demanding, but what an experience it would be to pirouette en pointe while an orchestra played Tchaikovsky.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
[Caro] Although I write contemporary romance, I tend to read historicals. I’m grateful to have just discovered Courtney Milan. I started The Countess Conspiracy this week, which is only the second book of hers I’ve read, so I’ve got at least a dozen more to read. Isn’t it wonderful to discover a new-to-you author with a long, juicy backlist that you can dive into?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Caro] I love to watch live performances. Whether it’s a full staging of a Broadway musical or a solo singer with a guitar in a restaurant, I’m thrilled to be in the audience. There’s something magical about a live performance. No step will be danced or note sung exactly the same way twice. It’s a gift to witness that fleeting moment.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Caro] I’m on Facebook all the time, so you can easily touch base with me at http://www.Facebook.com/authorCaroCarson .
I’m on Twitter pretty often, too, @TheCaroCarson .
Or, you can drop by my website if you’d like to send me an e-mail. I write back! I’m a pretty chatty person on paper. I don’t like the telephone much, but I could write one hundred e-mails each day: http://www.CaroCarson.com .
It’s been a pleasure talking with you. Now I’ve got a mission to complete that involves a certain toothbrush. After a month of forgetfulness, today is the day! Cheers!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
When Braden MacDowell is reunited with Lana Donnoli, will their rivalry douse the last spark of their youthful infatuation—or ignite embers that never stopped smoldering? Don’t miss this new installment of Caro Carson’s miniseries, The Doctors MacDowell!
She didn’t want to imagine that the Braden MacDowell she had once loved could have turned so cold and calculating. But the billionaire CEO was taking away Dr. Lana Donnoli’s funding. Just what was going on beneath her ex-fiancé’s icy facade? And just what could she do to get him to change his stubborn mind?
The last place Braden wanted to be was back in his family’s hospital, close to the woman who had owned his heart. His business was all about the bottom line, a fact Lana just couldn’t comprehend. But their passion for each other was still just as intense, still impossible to resist. Would those old feelings be enough to get them to a place where love was the best medicine?