This brand-spanking new, overhauled and waxed-to-a-shine edition of Divide and Conquer builds a world you haven’t seen before—only to disassemble it before your very eyes. Expect danger, romance, and a chain-smoking gargoyle that will steal your heart. Well, he did mine.
Will your heart be safe? Risk your heart while Carmen Fox and I chat about the prophecy, adventure and touch of romance that makeup Divide and Conquer. Carmen, where did this story originally start?
I was in the middle of editing another book when an idea struck me. Several ideas, actually. Like all plot bunnies, they ended up in a file on my computer, but they didn’t let go. Why can’t we have a ‘buddy story’ like Lethal Weapon, but with women? Why are prophecies so vague, they never make sense until after the events? What if one of the main characters died? What if the world as the characters know it gets an overhaul halfway-through? One by one, elements of these questions formed into a plot.
Once you have a basic idea of what’s going on in your book, do you find that your thoughts tend to keep gravitating back to the plot, or do they settle elsewhere?
When I write, I’m the characters. I live in the scenes and typically write them in terms of dialogue first and fill in the details later.
Are you ever tempted to flesh out these details with events from your own life?
Oh yes. I’m not a fighter like Nieve, but I do understand the life of a geek and scientist. Lea is me on many levels. I share her inability to relate to ‘ordinary’ people and was surprised when Nieve had her own difficulties relating to what we consider normal.
Was differences in personality between people the central message that you wanted to share with your readers in this book?
I don’t write books with a message in mind, but what I did like about Divide and Conquer once it was done was how Lea’s scientific mindset juxtaposed with Nieve’s warrior life; Lea’s obvious geekery with Nieve’s overtly jaded outlook; and Lea’s hidden strength with Nieve’s secret need for love and friendship. I guess we’re never just one thing.
Indeed we’re not, and just as well because it would be boring otherwise! And being bored isn’t fun. Some of our readers today may have already finished Divide and Conquer, and might be teetering on the edge of said boredom, so is there some reassurances you can give us with the status on the sequel?
I’m working hard on Hide and Seek, the sequel to Divide and Conquer.
That’s awesome news! As a writer who has been turning out completed works for a little while now, I’m curious to find out how you’ve seen your writing develop over time. What trends are you seeing so far?
I’m less snarky than I used to be. At one time, all my characters were sassy and funny. I have since learned that you also need straight characters in your books, the ones that remind us that life has a serious side, too.
Has your movement away from the snarkier side of life translated into an overall change on how you present yourself as an author?
My author brand is not about a slogan (although I have one), but about my identity. I am a feminist. Many people associate this with some anti-male agenda, but feminism is the belief that women deserve equal treatment and the same access to opportunities as men. In fact, I strongly believe in celebrating our differences, but making sure we all get our chances, no matter your gender, race, religion, or abilities. All my books explore different aspects of this.
Let’s celebrate some of the subtler differences in your personality today through some quirkier questions that will get your mind moving, starting with why is a square meal served on round plates?
It’s too complicated to explain, but it’s to do with imaginary numbers.
Oh, I’d love to do an exam on imaginary numbers, it should be easy to ace! What is your zodiac sign?
Please! I believe in astronomy, not astrology. You should know better than to ask a Leo this question!
*Laughs* My apologies! I don’t have any astronomy questions in my set today, but I have one about space which migh suffice. If space is a vacuum, who changes the bags?
The man in the moon.
I’m glad to hear that he found himself some steady work. It’s a bit isolated up on the moon and I was a tad worried for him. If you invented a monster what would it look like and what would you call it?
My mother beat me to it, and I call it my sister. [Oh no, please don’t tell her!]
*Laughs* I’ll keep your secret! Can you cry underwater?
Sure, but you’ll raise the salt content.
Not enough to make any difference, so it should be fine. Finally, what happens if Batman gets bitten by a vampire?
He becomes his own signal.
Now that must be handy for marketing! I’m sure it would be handy when sharing your books with the world! Since we don’t have a signals of our own to share we’ll wrap it up here. Carmen, thanks for sharing your book Divide and Conquer with us today, and I can’t wait to hear more about the sequel.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Divide and Conquer ( ASIN: B07GVP9XZ4 )‘.
Want to find out more about Carmen Fox? Connect here!