Spotlight On...

C.A. Szarek

by Molly Cannon

Give us some background on yourself.

Here’s my bio from online. (I guess I cheated)
Bestselling, award winning author of romantic suspense and epic fantasy romance, C.A. loves to dabble in different genres. If it's a good story, she'll write it, no matter where it seems to fit!
She's a hopeless romantic and always will be. Risking it all for Happily Ever After is what she lives by!
C.A. is originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She's happily married and has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.
She works with kids when she's not writing.

As my bio says, I moved here from Ohio. I’ve been in Texas since 2002, and I love it here. I am a busy girl, I work 2 jobs (as the Juvenile Case Manager for the Cities of Keller and Colleyville Municipal Courts) and on the w/end overnights, I work at a Shelter for Teens (ACH Child and Family Services). I work about 60 hours a week, and even though I’m super busy, I try to write every day.

Please tell us what you write and a little bit about your writing journey.

I have been writing my whole life. I decided to “get serious” about it in 2011. I found RWA online because I hadn’t a clue how to go about being publishing, and I found DARA first, then NT. I picked NT to check out in April of 2011, ‘cause it was closer to where I live. I never left.

I got my first contract, on my first book, through a small publisher that’s in Texas, Gypsy Shadow Publishing, for the first book in my epic fantasy romance series, The King’s Riders. The book is called Sword’s Call, and released in 2013. I have since left that publisher and am self-publishing this series. There are two books out in the series, and the 3rd one releases late March or early April. I also self-publish historical fantasy, and currently have a Scottish Highlander Time Travel Trilogy out.

In 2013 I got picked up by Totally Bound Publishing, a digital first publisher in the UK for my steamy romantic suspense series, Crossing Forces. There are currently 4 books out with 4-5 more to come. Book 5 is my current WIP.

2014 was a big year for me. I finished 6 books, and had 7 releases. I am going to keep going!

Plotter or Pantser?

Panster.

Do you use critique partners?

Yes. I belong to a group of NT Members, and I have a few other go-to people as well.

Do you have a writing schedule? How do you organize your time?

Yes. I write in the evening when I get home from work from about 6-8pm. I also write at my overnight job Fri-Sat. As long as my kids are kosher, I can get a lot done. My w/end record is 12k.

Tell us something about yourself that will surprise us!

Hmmm…I like to scrapbook.

Favorite Authors? Is anyone an auto-buy for you?

Gawd yes. Too many to name. J.R. Ward, Pamela Palmer, Robin D. Owens, Julie Garwood, Julia Quinn, Coreene Callahan, and too many more. (All NT Members. LOL. I always buy them, it just takes time to READ them). I honestly buy books ALMOST every day. It’s a habit. Obsession?

Tell us about your first book and what’s next. What are you working on now?

My first book is Sword’s Call. It’s epic fantasy, as I mentioned, and it’s the first book of a series. It’s about a girl whose family was murdered for the magic sword she has in her custody. The bad guy is after her. Then she runs into the hero by chance—she actually saves him in a bar fight and then won’t go away—and he helps her defeat the bad dude.

I’m working on book 5 of my romantic suspense series, Crossing Forces. It’s called Superior Collision and it’s about a tough female FBI agent named Taylor. She’s after the leader of an organized car theft ring who murdered her FBI Agent fiancé. The hero is a uniformed Sergeant named Shannon Crowley. He’s been an “extra” in all the other books, and he’s my first non-detective hero. I’m excited about that.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing? How do you relax?

I like to scrapbook, I love to read as much as I write and I watch WAY too much TV.

Thanks so much for letting us get to know you better!
Molly Cannon

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