Interview by John Wisniewski
JW: Why did you decide to become an author?
CC: Do you know, it really wasn’t a matter of sitting down and “deciding” to become an author, it was simply a must. I had a plot, I wanted to write a book, and as it turns out, it all worked out. (Thank you, God, thank you, God.)
JW: Any favorite romantic or suspense authors?
CC: I have many authors whose novels I pick up immediately upon their release, e.g., like John Sandford, Jayne Anne Krentz, John Connelly, Iris Johansen, to name only a few. All are very different from each other, all immensely talented and great storytellers. And don’t forget Agatha Christie, my favorite mystery writer of all time.
JW: How do you keep readers interested in a story?
CC: If I’m writing an FBI suspense thriller, first and foremost in my brain is pacing – keeping the reader turning the pages to see what happens next. But bottom-line, what’s most important is that the readers like and root for the characters, without that, the book won’t go far. (At least not far for me.)
JW: Do you get much feedback and comments from fans?
CC: Oh yes. Since I post and interact with readers on Facebook every morning, I get instant feedback when an FBI thriller comes out. And email.
JW: Did you learn anything from working on Wall Street that aided you in your writing?
CC: No, not a single thing.
JW: How does it feel to be on the bestseller list so many times, for the many books you have written?
CC: Honestly? I really don’t think about it. When I’m introduced somewhere and this is read aloud, I sort of jump. It does sound cool, though, doesn’t it? But it’s not everyday life and never will be.
JW: Any advice for people wanting to become writers?
CC: If you assume there’s talent and the ability to tell a good story, then it’s all a matter of discipline, of setting a schedule and sticking to that schedule, come hell or high water, or death. (I’m talking the writer’s death here.) Learning the craft and learning the business – both are equally important. There are so many opportunities today, no longer do the publishing houses in New York have the choke-hold, so people who want to write have to know what’s available to them, e-publishing for example.