Sunday, July 8, 2012

Author Interview w/Carole Spalino - Romance Author

Carole McKee Spalino
Romance Author

     Joining us this week to share her books with all of you is Carole McKee Spalino. We're excited to help her find new readers and that's why YOU stopped in. She has a surprise for all of you when we're finished.
     She began writing in 1996, when she wrote a heart rending tribute to her black Labrador Retriever after he passed away. Her story brought tears and laughter to readers. Carole writes from the heart, a fan stated. Her writing always cleanses the tear ducts.
     She bases most of her writing around the Western Pennsylvania area, where she grew up and where she resided for much of her adult life. Now living in Florida, she attends Argosy University in Tampa as a non-traditional student, and is working on a Master's Degree. As demonstrated in the writing of her novel, "Perfect" her writing style conveys passion and emotion, inducing the reader to laugh and to cry with the characters in the story. "Choices" is the first of three in the series. Readers will fall in love with Lindy and Ricky as they evolve from youth to adulthood.

Reader’s Haven:  Carole, welcome to our Haven! Tell us a bit about yourself .

Carole:  Something readers may not know? Well, I love a challenge. I have worked in so many different fields and I have lived so many different places because I never stop wanting to learn new things. I have worked in  positions ranging from Nuclear Medicine Technologist to a machinist in a metal shop. I have degrees in three different fields--Nuclear Medicine, Business Administration, and Behavioral Health Science. The latter was a specialization in School Counseling. I have never considered any job beneath me--each one was a way to learn new things.

Reader’s Haven: Wow! That's quite a background and sounds like a lot of school! What made you want to become a writer?

Carole: I always wanted to write. I always felt I could write a novel, but just didn’t have the courage to try. Every teacher or professor I ever had told me I had a gift and I should pursue it.

Reader’s Haven:  Please share a bit about your new release Second Chances without giving away any spoilers.

Carole:  My latest release, “Second Chances” is a little different from most of my writing. The romance part isn’t the primary focus of the book. “Second Chances” is about a woman who believes that sometimes people just need a boost up in life to get ahead. She has found a way to give them that boost, leading to hope, a better way of life, and a second chance at survival. It’s actually based on my own philosophy and what I would do if I suddenly had a lot of money.

BLURB for Second Chances:

Melanie Thomas believes that sometimes people who are down on their luck just really need that little boost upward to improve their quality of life; and she can provide that.  Since she started her tee-shirt embossing shop she has made a difference in her employees' lives by giving them a new lease on life--hope--a second chance.  Her employees are grateful and dedicated to her, but someone else wants her property for his own purpose. Things start happening after he approaches her with an offer to buy her building--an offer she immediately turns down. When inspectors start showing up, Melanie believes it's a ploy to force her to sell and she silently laughs about it, because she knows she has everything in order. But when the building burns, she knows exactly who to accuse. It hurts because she was falling in love with him. Is she right? Did Tim start the fire? It seems everyone may need a second chance now and then.

Reader’s Haven:  Do you write under a pen name?

Carole:  Yes and no. My name was Carole McKee for years, until I married Mr. Spalino. Eventually McKee will be my name again, but I have to find the time to legally change it back.

Reader’s Haven:  What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Carole:  I love a gorgeous, independent woman with a sense of humor and a particular talent or skill--exactly like I would like to be. For a hero, I prefer a strong man--one that makes a woman feel safe. I like for him to be kind and funny and have a lot of respect for his woman. He is protective, but not smothering. I lean toward specialty law enforcement groups or athletics for their occupations.

Reader’s Haven:  Readers like to know how we spend our time. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Carole:  Coffee, first! I get the coffee pot ready to brew and then I feed my cat. I take the readied coffee to the computer and answer emails, which can take up a couple of hours. After that, I play a mindless game just to clear my mind. I write for about 2 hours and then tend to household chores. Since I live alone, that doesn’t usually take very long. I’m fairly neat. I make any necessary trips after that (Grocery runs, pharmacy, bank, mail pick-up, etc.). If I have time left, I write until 5:00 or 5:30 until it’s time to cook dinner. I keep my evenings free for television and reading. I watch television shows and read during commercials. One show I never miss is Jeopardy. I play along and sometimes I do well! I’ve won as much as $24,000 in imaginary money!

Reader’s Haven:  Good job! LOL Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Carole:  I shoot for different themes. Some have damsel in distress, while others involve a man’s near demise. “The Full Nelson” is all about the villain in the two previous books telling his life story in a third book. My very first Novel “Perfect” is divided into three parts--the growing up years of the heroine, then the growing up years of the hero, and in part three they meet, fall in love, get married. I won’t say any more about that one, because the ending is a shocker to everyone.

Reader’s Haven:  That's should grab reader interest! How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Carole:  Writing a story varies. “Perfect” took almost a year, “Choices” took 4 months, and “Second Chances” took 6 weeks. I edit every 3 or 4 chapters as I’m writing, and then I go back and edit a book once it is completed. That is usually a 3 to 7 day process. When it’s done I send it to my editor/proofreader. She sends the corrections and then I edit it one more time before I send it off.

Reader’s Haven:  Edits and several read-thrus can't be emphasized enough for any author. Do you have to be alone to write?

Carole:  Well, I usually am alone. I have no family here in Florida. I have lots of friends that I get together with a couple times a week, if they’re available, but I’m used to being alone. I am always alone when I write.

Reader’s Haven:  How do you go about naming characters?

Carole:  This is a funny question. My heroes and heroines have names that I would name my children. Villains, antagonists, and such have names I don’t like or names of people I met and didn’t like. I didn’t even realize I did that until I thought about it.

Reader’s Haven:  Yes, our subconscious works for us, too! Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Carole:  I create an image in my mind and then find pictures to match. In “Choices” I knew what I wanted Lindy and Ricky to look like, and I searched until I found just the image to represent them.

Reader’s Haven:  How do you pick locations for your stories?

Carole:  Oh, I’m a Pittsburgher. Most of my stories take place in Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania. Well, all but “Second Chances” which takes place in Florida. I know the whole area well and I believe you should write about what you know.

Reader’s Haven:  What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

Carole:  Currently, I’m finishing a third book in a series. The main characters are Kyla Stanford and Storm Galloway. She is a free-lance photographer heiress and he is a narcotics detective. They are both free spirits who end up together, but not before he has to rescue her after she is abducted by her old boyfriend. That is book 1, “Testosterone Poisoning.” Book two, “A Promise Kept” is about his near demise and I’m working on book three now, which will be entitled “Changes,” ‘For Better or Worse.’

Reader’s Haven:  We like those titles! Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Carole:  Here are my links for readers to stop by and/or join me online:

I have two Facebook pages
please visit and feel free to ‘like’ the pages:

This has a listing of my books as well as a short bio.

FREE READS: OMG!!!  Carole has made her three books FREE all this week for those who want to grab their copies! Just click on her Smashwords link above and get your downloads!

Lacy & Angel


  1. Hi Carole, thanks for visiting with us this week. Love the excerpt for Second Chances. Another cat lover. You fit right in with Deanna and me! ~Louise

  2. What a great interview! Carole, your books sound wonderful and I'm particularly intrigued by Second Chances. Thanks for sharing your books with us and I'm looking forward to reading them!

    1. Great! If you love people who give back, then you will love "Second Chances." In this novel, I expressed exactly what I would do if I had money. Thanks so much for your nice comments.

  3. What a great interview, Carol, I really felt I got to know you and loved all the images. Congratulations! Your books really do sound like they are so uplifting and come from a place of great compassion.
    Martha Love
    found you on LinkedIn