Sunday, September 14, 2014

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with 'Meet Me in Barcelona' Mary Carter

Mary 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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About the Book:

A surprise trip to Barcelona with her boyfriend, Jake, seems like the perfect antidote to Grace Sawyer's current woes. The city is dazzling and unpredictable, but the biggest surprise for Grace is discovering who arranged and paid for the vacation.

Carrie Ann wasn't just Grace's foster sister. Clever, pretty, and mercurial, she was her best friend—until everything went terribly wrong. Now, as she flees an abusive marriage, Carrie Ann has turned to the one person she hopes will come through for her. Despite her initial misgivings, Grace wants to help. But then Carrie Ann and Jake both go missing. Stunned and confused, Grace begins to realize how much of herself she's kept from Jake—and how much of Carrie Ann she never understood. Soon Grace is baited into following a trail of scant clues across Spain, determined to find the truth, even if she must revisit her troubled past to do it.

Mary Carter's intriguing novel delves into the complexities of childhood bonds, the corrosive weight of guilt and blame, and all the ways we try—and often fail—to truly know the ones we love.

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Thanks for joining us at the book club, Mary!  I have been a huge fan of yours since Sunnyside Blues.  I saw your book advertised on another tour company’s site and I went SNAP why can’t we have her?  LOL, and here you are!  

Mary: That's funny. Sunnyside Blues was one that fell into the cracks, although I still like the novel. Glad to be here.

You have published eight novels and six novellas with Kensington Books and you’re working on your ninth novel which I’m so happy to hear!  How did you get published with Kensington?  Did you need an agent?

Mary: Yes, I did go the traditional route and got an agent. I know that's a daunting process for many, but it's well worth it.

MEET ME IN BARCELONA centers on a country singer, Grace Sawyer.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Mary: She's a typical, artist. Struggling for her talent to be noticed, working a day job, living with her boyfriend, dealing with an ill parent. Life is difficult, but pretty normal. Until Barcelona.

Can you tell us a little about your secondary characters?

Mary: Carrie Ann is Grace's foster sister. She's a mercurial character that's about to shake up Grace's world. Jake is Grace's boyfriend and they're in love. Rafael is a street performer in Barcelona, Stan is a boy from her past, and Jean-Sebastian is a handsome fellow traveler.

Why did you set your book in Spain?  Had you ever been there before?

Mary: Yes, I spent 17 days in Spain. Ten of them in Barcelona. I absolutely love traveling although ironically the trip was pretty stressful at the time. It's only through looking back at my impressions that I've truly enjoyed it. It sounds very strange I know, but it's true.

MEET ME IN BARCELONA is a little different from the rest of your books.  Can you tell everyone how this is so?

Mary: My agent said it reminded him of a Hitchcock thriller. I loved that description. I want to write suspense and thrillers, so my editor gave me the leeway to do a psychological thriller. Barcelona is the perfect backdrop.

They say all books have a pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down.  What’s one of MEET ME IN BARCELONA’s pivotal points?

Mary: Honestly, I think you have to ask readers that. While I'm writing, it's all pivotal to me, and to the characters.

What’s next for you, Mary?

Mary: I'm working on a novel called London From My Windows. It's about an American woman who suffers from agoraphobia, and inherits a flat in London. I also have a novella coming out at the end of September in a collection with Lisa Jackson and two other authors. Our First Christmas. I will also be writing a mystery series set in Ireland but will likely use a pen name. The first one will be released on Saint Patrick's Day of 2017 so it's a ways away. Thank you for the interview. I hope readers contact me on Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, or my website. Happy reading!

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