The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview
We would love to get to know you
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I'm Caridad Pineiro and I write in a variety of genres, from women's fiction to romantic suspense to paranormals. I started writing in the fifth grade when a teacher assigned a project - to write a book for a class lending library. From that moment on, I was hooked on writing.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
I would definitely love to be Diana Reyes from THE CALLING series. She's empowered, but vulnerable. She has immense heart and soul and is one determined woman.
What's your favorite genre to read?
My favorite genre to read is definitely paranormals. I love the otherworldliness and the fact that you can have such very different stories because the worlds and characters are usually fictional in nature.
Who or what influences you when you write?
I'm influenced by real life stories usually, but also by ancient legends and myths when I write paranormals. Since I'm a television junkie, I find that the crime and forensic shows always provide something interesting for me to consider for my romantic suspense and also my paranormals since what I write is paranormal romantic suspense.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Since I have a full-time job, my usual writing gig consists of writing on the train to and from Manhattan where I work. I usually reserve the after work hours for family, but when a deadline looms, I sometimes write or research a novel. I do the bulk of my writing on the weekends, when I usually do 3 or 4 hour stretches of writing.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
If I'm stuck on something, I watch television or a movie. Sometimes I listen to music and analyze the lyrics. Other times I will take a few days off and read a book that's on my TBR pile. Usually that will help me find something past the stumbling block I'm having.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
BLOOD CALLS is my May release from Silhouette Nocturne and it's a dark and sexy story. The hero, Diego Rivera, was a Spanish Lord whose wife betrayed him to the Spanish Inquisition because he had been an unfaithful and selfish man. Diego loses his life, but is given a second chance and decides that when the time comes, he will know how to be a better man. Ramona Escobar is an artist with secrets that will threaten her life. She has known Diego for years as he has become her patron and exhibited her work. When one of her secrets threatens her life, she turns to Diego for assistance, unaware that he is a vampire.
I won't say more and ruin any surprises, but BLOOD CALLS is a suspenseful read and I hope you will like it. It's part of THE CALLING vampire series, but each book stands alone. I'm excited to say that THE CALLING will continue in December with a novella that is part of an anthology titled HOLIDAY WITH A VAMPIRE. Also, fans can read a free novella titled DESIRE CALLS at eharlequin.com.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
We have another 4 books/novellas planned for THE CALLING, plus I have a romantic suspense (SECRET AGENT REUNION, August 2007) and some women's fiction (SOTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN, Sept. 2007) coming up. In the meantime, I'm working on a single title romantic suspense that my agent and I are going to shop around.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? In general and in you're writing career.
I see myself continuing to work on a variety of series books, such as THE CALLING, as well as a single title or two every year. I would like to explore the romantic suspense world in greater depth and possibly craft a series there. Plus, I've got some interesting concepts for an urban fantasy as well as another single title paranormal series that I'm currently exploring and hope will be acquired by someone.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
Ryder Latimer is my perfect hero. He's strong, but able to let his lover be stronger. He is compassionate and understanding, but able to take action to protect those around him.
What do you do for inspiration?
For inspiration, and if the budget allows, I like to go to where I've set a story so that I can add realistic details to what I'm writing. Sometimes it's as simple as a visit to a restaurant that's been the inspiration for one I'm using in the book. At other times, it's actually going to somewhere like Rome to see what life must have been like for someone who lived during ancient times. I love that kind of research because it inspires me and really lets me create realistic scenes for readers.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I'd love to do a young adult book and a single title romantic suspense.
I've always wanted to write a book about mothers and daughters. It would be about their relationships and misunderstandings.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
I love the research process since I always learn something new. Usually I begin by searches on the Internet and follow-up with visits to the library. I also will take trips to the places, if I can. All of that helps to create better scenes for the readers since you can truly let them experience al the sights and smells that you experienced when you went to that locale.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I had gone back to writing after taking time to get my law degree and start a family, but I sensed something was missing in my life - the joy of writing. My husband had signed me up for an Adult Education class on writing fiction so that I would try to recover that love. The class was taught by Fern Michaels and she liked my writing. Fern was kind enough to send it out to her publisher, who encouraged me to keep on writing and asked to see something else - a contemporary novel. I kept at it for another 3 years before I had something else to send them. It resulted in yet another rejection, but also a request for something shorter. I had already been working on something and decided to tailor it to their guidelines. A few months later, I sold them the book!
What would you like to tell your readers?
One of the greatest things about writing is being able to share my stories with the readers and hearing from them what they like and don't like about the novels. As a writer, it's good to know what is and isn't working so that I can try to improve my craft.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
The best advice I received was when a published author told me to send out that book. It resulted in selling my first novel.
The worst advice was from an agent who kept on telling me that I should focus on becoming the Latina Terry McMillan. You can't force a story. It has to come naturally. I lost time in my career while I was trying to write something that wasn't calling to me. When I left that agent and focused on what was in my heart, I was happier and also, sold the book myself within six months.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I get a solid idea in my head about certain key parts - the beginning, the conflict and the end. Then I start writing. I usually will write and revise the initial 3 chapters several times as I feel I need to get a solid foundation before proceeding with the story. After that, I usually write until I finish. When I'm done, I set it aside for a week or two if I can and then read the novel from start to finish, revising as I go along.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I have friends with whom I exchange my work, but do not religiously belong to a critique group, although early on in my career I did belong to a group. I'm luck that my agent likes to edit and will review my work and offer suggestions. However, I do recommend such a group for pre-published writers and I run such a group at a local bookstore.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
My first novel was NOW AND ALWAYS and was published by Kensington as part of its Encanto Latino romance line. It was released in September 1999 and helped launch the Encanto line. Since then I've published nearly 15 novels and novellas.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
I don't fret about deadlines. I guess because my other job is being a lawyer, I know that the deadlines are there and I have to keep them. I also know that I need to keep my head about them and just focus on getting the work done. If you don't do that, deadlines could really drain your creativity.