Your latest book THROWN TO THE WOLVES was released on April 1! Can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Hi! Thanks for having me on Smexy Books to celebrate the release of Thrown to the Wolves, third in my Big Bad Wolf series. In a world where only a few know werewolves exist, human agent Cooper Dayton gets partnered with Oliver Park, a werewolf himself, to solve beastly mysteries. Of course, they accidentally fall in love along the way. Cooper and Park have come a long way from their prickly start and their relationship is finally in a good place. But an unexpected loss brings them to Park’s hometown where Cooper gets to meet the family, uncover some secrets about Park’s past and maybe solve a murder or two!
What would you say Cooper Dayton’s best quality is?
He’s very independent. It can definitely come across as being grumpy, sometimes, and has made him a bit of a loner. But I like that he doesn’t necessarily depend or even seek out others. I think it makes his choice to let Park get so close rare and sort of precious.
What would you say Oliver Park’s best quality is?
His patience. He doesn’t get flustered or frustrated often. Cooper flusters him, though.
…As I’m writing this I’m realizing my main characters disrupt each other’s best qualities?! Hmm. Love works in mysterious ways.
What has been your favorite part of writing the Big Bad Wolf series?
The kindness and excitement of the people reading them genuinely explodes my brain. I get giddy thinking about it. But also working with the series’ wonderful editor Mackenzie Walton who is endlessly insightful, clever and generous and from whom I’ve learned buckets upon bucketsful.
With THROWN TO THE WOLVES being the third book in the Big Bad Wolf series, was there anything that surprised you about writing it?
How sad I’d be! There are a couple of reveals in this I’ve been planning since I first conceptualized the series and I’ve been so eager and impatient to get to them. But once I was actually writing those scenes I got caught up thinking about how this was the end of an arc. It made me extra determined that Cooper and Park hashed out multiple aspects of their lives. So whether or not the series continues someday, I’ll know they’ll have their happy ever after.
What would you like readers to take away from reading THROWN TO THE WOLF or the Big Bad Wolf series as a whole?
I think a lot of this series is about recognizing the ways we’re influenced by our own past experiences and systems of power. And how, to be a good partner and person, we need to unlearn a lot of resultant toxic behaviors. That process of recognition and unlearning is continuous work. Both Cooper and Park are imperfect. They make mistakes that hurt and keep secrets they shouldn’t, even after becoming a couple. It was important to me in this series to stay true to the idea that just because you love someone doesn’t mean all your baggage has disappeared. I wanted to show people who fall hard, want to do right by each other, but still have to put ongoing effort into themselves as individuals and as partners.
Where did your inspiration for the Big Bad Wolf series come from?
I know it’s a bit odd, but the location is what kicked it all off. I was hiking in Maine and couldn’t stop thinking what a good place for a mystery it was, especially a paranormal one. Location is also what inspired the third book. I always knew I wanted to set it in Cape Breton. It’s one of the prettiest, most atmospheric places I’ve ever been. Looking out over the cliffs there, I just felt like the curtain between me and the “unknown” was at its thinnest.
What do you love most about writing Paranormal Romance and/or Romantic Suspense?
I’m a sucker for a secret. Who has them, why do we keep them for longer than we should, can we really keep them from ourselves, etc. I think both paranormal romance and romantic suspense have endless potential for keeping secrets. Building tension up to that reveal moment is one my favorite things to write and to read.
What do you do when you get stuck?
I jump to any part I can write. So if I’m stuck I skip ahead to whatever scene I’m most excited about even if that means working on a book completely out of order. I’ve found that will sometimes resolve the issue that had held me up before because it becomes less about writing into the blank space and more about finding a way from point a to point b.
Do you listen to music while you write? What are some songs on your playlist?
I can only listen to music I’m already super familiar with when writing, otherwise I get distracted. I love old sixties songs, blues and soul. One song even snuck its way into Thrown to the Wolves. See if you can spot it!
How much of yourself is reflected in your books?
I don’t set out to include too much of myself. I think you can tell how much I like moody settings, the woods and sarcasm from reading. But I don’t have much in common with my characters themselves (Well, we have the same sense of humor). There are some things, Cooper’s anxiety for example, that I share nominally but experience differently.
What advice would you give to any aspiring romance writers out there?
Write characters you respect for readers you respect. As a reader the difference is obvious and essential. As a writer it’s frankly just more fun.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
“You don’t have to do this if it really makes you that unhappy”. Okay, bear with me. I know that doesn’t sound like the most encouraging advice. But for every project there’s been a point where I’m miserable and the work feels unsalvageable. Then I think about this advice and it helps because I remember I’m choosing to do this. Something, somewhere in me, at some point, had a good idea and wanted to write this book. It just puts everything in perspective and I get that spark back again.
Would you like to share a favorite moment from your writing career?
I think it has to be when I first found out Carina had accepted my proposal for the Big Bad Wolf series. I’d missed the call and was checking my voicemail while standing in a soccer field alone. I couldn’t stop grinning. Then a dog trotted by and I give him a big thumbs up. I felt simultaneously ridiculous and on top of the world.
Is there a TV show that you’ve recently binge-watched?
Ordeal by Innocence. I’m not sure if a mini-series counts, but I did spend 4.5 hours in a row watching it so that’s a binge in my book! Very fun if you like those dark, Agatha Christie, big-house mysteries. i.e. my jam.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Reading, of course! Hiking and running. Thrifting. I love a bargain hunt. One day I want to write a romance of competing flea market vendors. Of course knowing me they’ll probably be vampires. Insert your bloodthirsty haggling pun here.
Do you use a bookmark or dogear pages?
Okay… If I’m being completely honest what I really do is keep the book cracked open at all times like a monster. I only close them in an emergency.
What are you currently reading?
Ling Ma’s Severance. Not “smexy”, but enjoying it so far!
What are three novels on your to-be-read list?
Allie Therin’s debut- Spellbound
Em Ali- Graham’s Delicacies
Adriana Herrera- American Dreamer
Who is your all-time favorite fictional character?
Ooof, this is hard, but I’m going to have to go with Sherlock Holmes. I was obsessed as a kid. Made myself consulting detective business cards. Dressed up as Sherlock for more than one Halloween. This was before he got popular again so deerstalkers weren’t cheaply available. My mom found an old-fashioned velvet horse-riding helmet in a thrift store and thought that would work just as well… Not sure about that. And neither was anyone else who saw me. But I was in my element…ary.
Thanks for stopping by Charlie!
Charlie Adhara writes mystery, contemporary and paranormal queer romance. Or some assortment of the above. Whatever the genre, her stories feature imperfect people stumbling around, tripping over trouble and falling in love.