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Interview with Mary Carter, author of ‘Meet Me in Barcelona’

Mary CarterMary Carter is a freelance writer and novelist. Meet Me in Barcelona is her eighth novel. Her other works include: Three Months in Florence, The Things I Do For You, The Pub Across the Pond, My Sister’s Voice, Sunnyside Blues, She’ll Take It, and Accidentally Engaged. In addition to her novels she has written six novellas: Return to Hampton Beach in the anthology, Summer Days, A Southern Christmas in the upcoming 2014 anthology Our First Christmas, A Kiss Before Midnight in the anthology, You’re Still the One, A Very Maui Christmas in the New York Times best selling anthology Holiday Magic, and The Honeymoon House in the New York Times best selling anthology Almost Home. Mary currently lives in Chicago, IL with a demanding labradoodle. She wishes she could thank her gorgeous husband, but she doesn’t have one. In addition to writing she leads writing workshops.

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What made you decide to become a published author?

I decided to write a novel in 2004 (SHE’LL TAKE IT). It was a new year’s goal and I wasn’t even thinking I could ever get it published. I just thought it was enough to say I did it in my lifetime. Needless to say I was pleasantly shocked in 2005 Meet Me in Barcelona 2when I got an agent and then found out that they had sold my first novel to Kensington Books. Since then I have written a novel a year.

Would you consider your latest book, MEET ME IN BARCELONA, to be a one of a kind? How so?

This one is a bit of a departure from my previous novels. Although I often have some elements of a mystery or surprises in a lot of my earlier works, this one gets closer than any of them to playing with psychological suspense. Although Grace is in a romantic relationship, it’s not the central focus of the novel. Instead it’s her explosive past with Carrie Ann and how the past seems to be following her through Spain.

Where is your writing sanctuary?

Would you like to start a fund so that I can build one? I’d probably be happiest with my laptop and constant flights to new and exotic places. I write in my apartment which is the 5th apartment I’ve had since being a published author. I also write in coffee shops when I have the luxury. It’s good to shake it up.

What do you believe a writer should not do as far as getting his or her book published?

Finish it. That’s a big one. And then rewrite until it’s absolutely the best you can get it. Show it to trusted friends and people who love to read for feedback. Rewrite if enough people have the same issue with your manuscript. Then query agents and keep the faith.

What inspires you?

I wish more inspired me. It’s honestly more hard work than inspiration. That said I do pick topics that I hope will hold my attention for the year it’s going to take to write them.

You’re concocting a recipe for a best selling book. What’s the first ingredient?

A character who is absolutely driven to achieve her goal.

What’s one fun fact about your book people should know?

I didn’t have the best time on my first trip to Barcelona, but I ended up enjoying it a lot more in retrospect and would love to go again.

Did any real life experiences find their way into your book?

Reading my mind from the previous question. Just the atmosphere and descriptions of Barcelona. I visited 99% of the places the characters visit.

Aside from writing, what’s your passion?

Travel. And like most people, I don’t do enough of it.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on my next novel, LONDON FROM MY WINDOWS. It’s about an agoraphobic woman who inherits a flat in London. But in order to claim the flat she has to live there for one year and complete a list of tourism “tasks”— that people without agoraphobia could do in a weekend. There’s some romance and competition for the flat, and a lot of fun cultural “awakenings”.



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