About Carmen Desousa

Most of Carmen's novels share her favorite hobbies, mostly, anything to do with the great outdoors. She's hiked, kayaked, and dined across the US, so she could bring her stories to life. Other than locations you can feel, Carmen concentrates on the human factor. Her protagonists face real issues — and antagonists. She attempts to help her characters find a way out of their situations and find their happily ever after. Because, let's face it, isn't that what everyone wants … to find their happily ever after? Visit Carmen's website to learn more about what she writes:

I had to stop writing when I broke down over a character dying, and I’m the psycho who killed him. — @Author_Carmen DeSousa #Writing #Reading

When I begin writing a new novel, I generally have no idea where I’m going. My typical start of a story is usually the main character—whether it’s the male protagonist or the female protagonist—and whatever issue they are facing.

From there, I just ask myself questions:

  • Why are they having this problem?
  • Who or what is directly influencing this issue?
  • How will they solve this affliction, ailment, or get rid of the antagonist?
  • And lastly, who will help them through it?

The great thing is, just like the reader, I never know exactly what my characters will do. Sure, I know I want a happily ever after, but I also know that not every character will get a happily ever after when I’m finished writing. And the detours they make along the way sometimes even surprise me. Why? Because I allow my story to progress naturally.

I typically write two thousand words a day, and then every night I read the last few chapters to make sure the story flows, marking any areas that need addressing, and then go to sleep, allowing the characters to come alive in my dreams. And ohhh how they do. It’s not unusual for hubby to see me typing on my iPhone’s notepad in the middle of the night. Often it’ll just be a great line or a missing link I was in search of.

When I finally finish writing the novel, I take an entire day and read from beginning to end, making sure the story flows and that there are no holes or contradictions.

Writing is easy, right?   

I’ve read this story almost thirty times at this juncture. How can it surprise me, how can it make me cry? And yet, here I am, sitting on the sofa, my afghan curled around me, and I’m bawling over something that happened. Hubby, who has been sitting quietly by his computer—because he knows it’s read-through day—whips his chair around to face me and asks, “Are you okay?”

I swipe away my tears and answer, “Yes, I just can’t believe that happened.”

“Wait. I thought you were reading your book?” he asks.

“I am,” I answer. “But it still makes me cry.”

He shakes his head and goes back to typing his nonfiction.

One of my favorite quotes is by Robert Frost: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

Well, I’m always surprised, and I always cry when something happens to my characters.

If you enjoy stories that blend happy and sad, romantic and suspenseful, click the link for your favorite retailer below and grab one of my free books. If you’ve read all my books, make sure you pre-order my new release, Erik’s Revelation, at the $0.99 introductory price, so you’ll know why I was crying!

Erik's Revelation

Until next time, happy reading!

Carmen DeSousa

Learn more about Carmen on her website: www.CarmenDeSousaBooks.com.

Or visit one of her author pages to grab one of her bestsellers!

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Write What You Know by @Author_Carmen DeSousa

A professor once told me that all first-time authors write their autobiography, even if tagged fiction. While I don’t believe that’s completely true, after all, some first-time authors write about vampires and shape shifters, I do think there’s a modicum of truth to that statement. In other words, even if an author writes a work of fiction, there are usually many elements of the story that are factual, and I’d venture to guess that, at minimum, authors probably pattern characters after people whom they know. When my college professor suggested to, “Write what you know,” a quote often attributed to Mark Twain, but some say it is much older I wasn’t certain if I really wanted to do that. After all, who would believe me?

A few subjects I know about:

Child abuse
Sexual abuse
Drug abuse
Alcohol abuse
Abandonment
Rape
Suicide
Depression
Belief in God
The power to overcome adversity…
Love at first sight
Stalkers
Crime
Tragedies
Police
A new family
Happily ever after

Hey, I moved out on my own at the age of seventeen, and I’m married to a retired police detective, so I’ve seen a lot. The problem is … will anyone believe or want to read about “what you know?” Well, I guess that depends. If you put it into a story, add a little, as Hollywood refers to it: Based on a true story, but dramatic elements have been added for the sake of artistic expression, then, yeah, some people will believe and/or want to read because more than likely they can identify with a character and/or a situation. And while they can enjoy an escape into a fictional story, they may take something from it.

The funny thing is most of the stories throughout history are based on a couple of those “unbelievable” elements I listed above. Although they may not all be in the same story, “love at first sight,” “family tragedy,” and/or “an unbelievable or vicious crime” are often the basis of a work of literary fiction. Fairy tales did it. Suspense-thrillers do it. It’s a great start!

So if you don’t believe one or more of the elements of a story, does that make it “unbelievable” or a “bad” story? One of the most popular themes is “love at first sight,” which often gets a bad rap by reviewers. You may not believe in “love at first sight,” but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and many readers love it. In fact, even movies that aren’t tagged as “love at first site,” usually have a hero and heroine thrust into an incredibly unbelievable situation, and are all of a sudden willing to die for each other. Of course, there are many classics like that, too: Romeo and Juliet, all the fairy tales, even The Godfather … ooh, I bet you forgot about that one. Remember when Michael Corleone is walking through the picturesque countryside in Sicily and he spots the beautiful Apollonia… See, even graphic thrillers do it!

Well, as I mentioned in the above list, these are all the things I write about. Why? Because it’s what I know. So, let me share a tidbit of information with the unbelievers of the world who don’t think “love at first sight” exists…

I’ve experienced a lot of tragedy in my life, but I got lucky in love! After my first date with my husband, I called my grandmother and told her I’d just met the man I was going to marry. Thirteen days later, he asked me to marry him. Thirty days later, we got married, and we’ve been married for thirty-one years.

Yes, I believe in “love at first sight,” yes, I write tales filled with tragedy, mystery, suspense, hope and, above all, romance, because I’m living one. I’ll leave the rest of “what I know” situations that I write about in my books up to your imagination, and let you try to figure out what’s real or made up. 🙂

Until next time, happy reading and imagining!

Carmen

If you would like to read a little more about what I write, follow the links below to download one of my FREE bestsellers. I also have two $0.99 deals this week only! My stories are available in print, eBook, and audio formats at your favorite retailer.