Q&A With C.A. Szarek

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Q&A With C.A. Szarek

I have the honor and pleasure of doing my latest Q&A with my next guest C.A. Szarek. C.A. Szarek is the USA Today & Award Winning author of romantic suspense and epic fantasy romance, and Scottish Highlanders. 

Q: What drew you into writing romantic suspense and epic fantasy romance? What do you enjoy about writing in both romance genres and why?

A: I grew up reading all sorts of fantasy, Anne McCaffrey, Tanith Lee, Tamora Pierce, Isaac Asimov, and I loved the comic, ElfQuest, by Richard and Wendy Pini, so writing fantasy was natural for me. Also I have a background in law enforcement and working in the courts, so that felt like another natural draw for me, too. As far as romance, love is in everything, and I am a hopeless romantic, so there you have it. LOL!

Q: Do you currently have a new release and/or an upcoming release? If so can you reveal any details?

A: Yes! I also write Scottish Highlanders books. Some are time travels, and some within the series are historical fantasy, because one or more of the characters is Fae. The 9th book, Highland Skies, releases 11/6/2023. It is available for preorder now. It is the 3rd book of my spinoff series, Highland Treasures, and I write about the MacLeods and MacDonalds of the Isle Skye, and of course the Fae. Highland Skies was a lot of fun, because the hero, Liam, has wings, he’s half-Fae/half-human. 

Q: Do you get inspiration from bits and pieces of real places and people to create your fictional worlds and people?

A: I’m not sure that my inspiration is conscious. I just have people/things pop into my head and run with it. I do write about Scotland and two clans that were/are real, the Isle of Skye, and the MacLeods and their castle that is still standing, Dunvegan, as well as the MacDonalds, but their castle on Skye, Armadale is no longer standing, it is in ruins, but people can visit and they have gardens people get married in today.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to become an author? 

A: I’ve been writing my whole life. I started a book when I was 14, then 16, and I wrote one and finished it when I was 17. So writing is like breathing to me. It was first published in 2013, with Sword’s Call, and it is book 1 of my King’s Riders Series, and I am actually working on book 4 right now.

Q: If Hollywood were to get their hands on your books (if they haven’t already) who would be your ideal cast to play the characters you created? 

A: Oh Gosh. LOL I would love a Netflix or HBO series. I don’t really have a cast picked out, but I do know what my characters look like in my head and there are some really talented people out there so I am sure they would find good fits. In my head, Alex O’Loughlin IS Cole Lucas, from my book Collision Force, but he’s too old to play Cole now, LOL. He wasn’t when I wrote the book in like 2011 or 2012, but he IS how Cole looks in my head.

Q: If you had to choose which genres would you explore writing outside of romantic suspense and epic fantasy romance and why? 

A: I actually have some YA fantasy, adult urban fantasy (angels and demons) and paranormal romance books (wolf shifters) in various stages of in-progress on my computer, LOL. As far as why, I just write what occurs to me, whatever story is in my head. Eventually I will get those all done and published!

Q: How long does it typically take for you to write a book? What is the process like when you are plotting, writing and editing your work?

A: For me, every book has been different. Sometimes it’s months, sometimes it is longer. I guess it just depends on time to write.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to write romantic suspense and epic fantasy romance and on how to ignore negative critiques from online trolls, negative reviews and family and friends who may not support them?

A: Well, I don’t read reviews at all. I know they are important, but I stay away from them, because they get in my head. So I advise other authors to avoid them as well, and if they want to write fantasy, just do it. Follow your story!

Q: How does it feel having your books be on the USA Today Bestsellers lists? It sounds like a dream come true and so exciting! 

A: Well, it was one title, Highland Valentine as a part of an anthology in Feb 2017, but it was very exciting! I hope to do it again.