BLOG BITE with…Cara Gabriel

Cara is the first author in our special Little Gems feature Blog Bite. With three Little Gems Anthologies on her writing resume now, who better to ask for her  tips and her inspiration when it comes to writing a winning short story….

So firstly, Cara, tell us about writing short stories …

It may sound obvious but the trick to writing a short story is to keep it, well, short. Every word counts and has to pull more than its weight. My first drafts are usually way too long, then it’s a case of refining, cutting, slashing… it can be heartbreaking to see your perfectly formed turns of phrase in the recycle bin, but it’s the only way.

Like most writers, inspiration can come from anywhere. The scene at the end of THE REAL ME where Mark shows Jules around his home came to me when I was sitting in the garden, sipping coffee in the sunshine. It was so peaceful, such a haven from the hustle and bustle of the city – one of those pure moments when you could relax and really be yourself. What if your life was lived so much in the public eye that you had to fight for those moments? The rest of the story grew from there.

What else can we learn about you Cara?

Three words to describe me… Away. With. The. Fairies. Sorry, that’s four. Intuitive, considered, gentle
At home I cook… nothing! My gorgeous man takes care of all that. I’m the washer-upperer.
My worst habit is… I’m really pretty untidy, and have an amazing ability to ignore mess.
It’s a bit daggy but I love… Most Haunted. I can spend hours watching it – of course it’s all research!
My first job was… I must have been about 15 when I worked in a peanut factory. My job was to sort through huge bags of peanuts to make sure there weren’t any cashews in there by mistake. Truly adding value!
My day job is… I’m a financial accountant for a large Aussie corporate
Saving for… a deposit on a house.
I procrastinate by… watching Most Haunted. Oh no, wait, that’s research. Facebook, playing with my cats, gardening or cleaning.
Three things people might not know about me are… I have a masters degree in Post Colonial Literature, I read tarot cards and I’m about to become a great-auntie for the third time!

My secret skill that is no longer a secret… I speak French, Spanish and (a little) Italian
Favourite author… The impeccable Miss Austen. And Douglas Adams.
Currently reading… I’m rereading Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Plotter or pantser… Half and half – I pants the first half of the novel, then sit down and work out where on earth its going next and do some serious plotting. The half/half technique has taken some time to evolve though – I’ve tried everything from planning every scene out to just completely winging it. I think now I’ve found a balance between allowing the inspiration to take me without the fear of getting really stuck overwhelming me. However, before I start pantsing the first half, I’ve worked out the GMC for each character.
I would most like to meet… Douglas Adams because…his books had a massive influence on me. He created worlds that were a unique mixture of imagination and scientific truth.
If I was stranded on a desert island, the three things I would take are… My man. A never ending and self-cooling packet of Arnott’s Mint Slices. The combined works of Jane Austen.

I write… Mostly paranormal romance – out of this world romance! – but I tend to experiment a bit more when I’m writing short stories. Bizarrely enough, that means things like THE REAL ME are a lot more mainstream romance than my normal writing.

Visit Cara’s website for more information www.caragabriel.com

Cara is giving away a copy of Little Gems Garnet Edition to her favourite comment. You have until 5pm (ESDST) this Saturday. Winners will be notified and also posted here.

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23 Comments

  1. Hi Cara,
    Great to see you here fellow MRWG member.
    Congratulations on your little Gems success! I can’t wait to get my copy at the conference.
    Tracey O’Hara converted me to the paranormal genre with her first book and now I’m hooked although still love my M&B Presents.
    Always wanted to be first ☺
    Cheers,
    Margaret

    Reply
    • Cara

       /  April 8, 2011

      Hi Margaret,

      Yay you for being first! 🙂

      It’s lovely to see you here, and thanks for you comment. I’m really glad you’re converted to paranormals, they are so much fun – and of course Traney’s book is great.

      Cara
      xx

      Reply
  2. Louise Reynolds

     /  April 8, 2011

    Hi Cara,

    Congratulations on your Little Gems placing. Lovely to see you on Blog Bite!

    Reply
  3. Serena

     /  April 8, 2011

    Hi Cara,
    Lovely to see you here!! I’m enjoying the party along with fellow-MRWG members and RWAus members too. It’ll be lovely to see your name in print for the third time in the Garnet Little Gems Anthology.

    Am leaving some Dreamy Swirl Chocolate Cheesecake for the party!!

    And I’ve learnt a little bit more about you. Allora parli italiano? Wait until Josie finds out!

    Hugs and congrats on your wonderful achievements.

    Reply
  4. Hi Cara
    Major congrats on placing in the Little Gems.
    Loved your Blog. Very interesting, and so much I didn’t know about you before.
    Can’t wait to read your ‘little gem’!
    Angexx

    Reply
    • Cara

       /  April 8, 2011

      Hi Ange,

      Thank you! You’ll be able to pick up copies of the Little Gems at the conference this year – one more great reason to go!

      xx

      Reply
  5. Cara

     /  April 8, 2011

    Ciao Serena,

    Sì parlo l’italiano! But I think Josie would have a field day correcting my pronunciation!

    It’s so lovely to see you here too. As always, the MRWG girls are super supportive – I do count myself lucky to have found such a great face-to-face group.

    And the cheesecake sounds divine!

    xx

    Reply
  6. Hi Cara, great to see you in the spotlight! Congrats on three years of making the little gems anthologies. Woot!

    Reply
  7. Hey Cara,

    Congratulations on the Little Gems placing, and also being a featured guest on Blog Bites.

    The degree sounds like a super interesting subject, Tarot cards? I had no idea!

    I love reading these interviews as they give me a little more insight into my fellow MRWG friends.

    Cheryl

    Reply
    • Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I did the degree in my spare time (!) when I was still living in the UK – it was hard work but fun at the same time.

      And tarot cards – yes, I got my first set when I was 18, and now have an every growing collection.

      xx

      Reply
  8. Hi Cara,
    Congratulations.

    Too late for Douglas Adams. Next choice?

    Reply
    • Hi Shayne,

      Yes, I should have clarified that first of all I would have invented a time machine….

      If I’m picking someone who’s still with us… I’d like to meet the Dalai Lama. For me, he’s a fascinating mix of spirituality and humanity.

      xx

      Reply
  9. AND THE WINNER chosen to receive a copy of the 2011 Little Gems Anthology (courtesy of Cara) is…drum roll pls…Margaret Midwood. Yay Margaret. Contact either Cara or me to claim your prize

    Reply
  10. Congratulations Margaret!

    Reply
  11. Wow!! Fantastic that I won the copy of this years Little Gems.

    Thank you very much and I can’t wait to read the wonder stories!

    Cheers, Margaret

    Reply
  12. Elvina Payet

     /  April 10, 2011

    Cara,
    Dropping in late to say a BIG congrats in being selected for the Little Gems anthology. I can’t wait to read your entry.

    And nothing wrong watching “Most Haunted” – I love it too. And yes, it’s research!

    Can’t wait to see you at the next MRWG meeting to celebrate all your success.

    Hugs
    Elvina

    Reply
  13. Emmie Dark

     /  April 15, 2011

    Can’t wait to get my hands on Little Gems this year and read all the goodies inside! Congrats again on placing in this year’s collection.

    Reply
  14. lynne kokshoorn

     /  April 25, 2011

    Hi Cara
    congratulations on your Little Gems story, I can’t wait to read all of them.
    And what a beautiful cover- what talent.

    Cheers, Lynne

    Reply

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