Today’s interview is with C.C. Warrens. I’m so excited about this interview! C.C. Warrens writes crime novels. This is a genre that I love, and to tell the truth, I don’t think there’s enough out there.
Her crime series:
Criss Cross (A Holly Novel, book 1)
Cross Fire (A Holly Novel, book 2)
Crossed Off (A Holly Novel, book 3)
So let’s get to it. Tell us a little about your new book, C.C. What is the main storyline?
My newest book is the 3rd in the series for The Holly Novels: Crossed Off, so I’ll talk about the first book, Criss Cross.
It unfolds from Holly’s perspective—a young woman who has lived her life on the run—and the reader knows only what she knows. The memories of her childhood before the age of ten have been wiped away, leaving her with no idea who she truly is or where she came from. All she knows is that she has to keep moving if she wants to stay one step ahead of her past.
Years of bouncing through the foster care system have left her cautious and skeptical of people, especially men. When she runs into trouble walking home one night, a Southern Detective is assigned her case. Equally strong-willed, they butt heads. But if Holly wants to survive, there’s only one option: recover her lost memories and trust the detective who promises to protect her.
Cross Fire follows a month later with an unwanted “family” reunion and a drug battle that leaves children and officers dead, and Holly lands smack in the middle of it.
Crossed Off drops the reader immediately into the scene that follows the epilogue of book 2. I’ve been told by readers that it’s the most anticipated book of the series because the tension between Holly and her “family” member has been climbing since the beginning of Criss Cross. It all unfolds in Crossed Off, and I think my readers will be pretty surprised at how things play out.
That sounds really exciting! I can’t wait to learn all the details. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing most of my life (though the idea of punctuation came LONG after I started writing stories), but it wasn’t until my husband encouraged me to publish last year that I decided to share my imagination with others.
I’m glad he did. It’s so important to have that kind of support at home. What inspired you to write this book?
Oh, so many things! Holly’s character had been floating around in my head for years. But she is a representation of so many things to me: resilience, hope, faith, and good old stubbornness.
I know most of us writers have stories floating around ‘up there,’ did it turn out the way you first thought it would? If not, what was different?
I didn’t have a whole lot of expectation going into it. Every chapter was an adventure, but I never expected the characters to take on a life of their own. There were times when I thought “if Marx did this, it could move the story along this way,” but then I realized, no, Marx couldn’t do that, because he WOULDN’T do that. Their personalities became so developed that they solidified as people.
That’s so true. The characters seem to write the book at times. How long did it take you to write? Tell us a little about the process.
It took me 3 months to write Criss Cross, and that was the easy part. The difficult part was the nine months that followed where I was cutting, refining, and editing scenes. I did absolutely no research before diving into my book, and when it was finished, it was 189,000 words (yep, the length of two books.) It cracks me up when people who read it now say that it’s long…oh, but you should’ve read it before!
Didn’t you need to do any special research?
I did research into the city where the story is set, but . . . I did that after I finished it lol. And I’m glad I did because it made me rethink a few things.
I’ve done that before. Then I have to change it in my second or third draft… lol. Do you have a special place or atmosphere you like to write in best?
In the summer, my atmosphere is the outdoor patio at night, sipping some stevia-sweetened tea, surrounded by twinkly porch lights. Magnificent. In the winter . . . by the Christmas tree with a cup of hot cocoa.
You make even your writing atmosphere sound artistic. So, are you like your main character?
Haha… my father-in-law gave me a funny look after he read the book and asked, “Just how much is Holly like you?” I laughed kind of awkwardly because she did inherit some of my qualities and quirks (not the marshmallows. Unless we’re talking Lucky Charms marshmallows.) She definitely inherited my weirdo-magnetism and my sometimes-irrational stubbornness. Physically though, we’re nothing alike.
Hmm… Should we hide this interview from him? lol… What character do you relate to or like best?
I relate to Holly the best. While my history is not nearly as traumatic as hers, I do have a history, and I can understand the stages of healing she goes through. And of course, we have those few similar personality traits and the hatred of the color yellow. But the character I LIKE the best is Detective Marx. He’s so very southern and grouchy, and he makes me laugh the most.
I learn something from every book I write. Did you learn anything new about yourself while writing this book?
I really did. Not only did I learn that I can actually write and finish a book, this book series has actually put me on a path of healing and dealing with things from my past that I kept buried. I’ve also learned that as an author, I have an excuse to talk to myself in different voices and not come across as crazy (I’m just planning what my characters will say next!)
I think it’s amazing how writing a book can do that. What project are you working on now?
I’m working on two projects right now: Injustice For All (which primarily follows Detective Marx on a murder case) and my as-yet-unnamed Christmas novella.
Oh… Christmas! I can’t wait for that. What advice would you give a new author?
Write what you love, and know going into it that there will be people who disapprove of or don’t like your work. Your writing style won’t be for everyone. But the people who do like it, will probably love it and become your cheering squad.
Don’t get discouraged. Keep pushing forward. Befriend other authors.
Great advice. How many books have you written and how can we find your books?
I’ve written 3 books—4 if you count my super short story Winter Memorial—and they’re all available on Amazon. But the short story is free to my newsletter subscribers. So instead of paying .99 cents, there’s a “subscribe to newsletter” form right at the top of my author site, and the link to the story comes in the welcome email.
Nice to know, thank you. Do you have any closing comments for us today?
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I hope all of you aspiring writers out there keep working toward achieving your dreams.
Thank you for the interview… now, here are the links C.C. promised:
Social Media Sites:
Author Site: https://www.ccwarrensbooks.com/