Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Carolyn Crane

Posted October 25, 2012 by Jen in Author Guest Post, Giveaway, Guest Post Tags: , ,

Hello Readers! Today I bring you one of my favorite authors and all-around awesome peep, Carolyn Crane. Carolyn lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daring cats. She works a day job as a freelance advertising writer, and has for years (Carolyn says “think low-rent Don Draper”). She’s also waited tables at a surprising number of Minneapolis restaurants and bars (though not as many, incidentally, as her writer husband has). She’s been a shop clerk and a plastics factory worker, which she was dismal at (think I Love Lucy).
As a side note, Carolyn can relate almost any life experience to one or another Star Trek episodes, and if you invite her to your party, your cheese plate will be in grave danger.
During rare moments when she’s not at her computer, she can be found reading in bed, running, helping animals, or eating Mexican food.


Carolyn is here today to talk about her upcoming release, Mr. Real, a story about a computer graphic hottie that comes to life. Keep reading to learn more about Mr. Real and enter to win a copy! GIVEAWAY details are below.
Please help me welcome Carolyn to That’s What I’m Talking About.
Are all characters Frankensteins when you bring them to life?
It’s funny, the unexpected things you start pondering super deeply when you get into writing a novel. The questions you find yourself exploring. 
Like so many books, Mr. Real started out in my head as a what if. What if a woman conjured a TV spy to come for a sexy visit, and then the actor who played him found out and crashed the party? I just thought it was kind of a fun set-up. Like there would be this two-dimensional character hanging out with the heroine—a character who looked like the real guy—and it would totally bug the real guy. 
But then, I really had to start thinking of my spy, Sir Kendall. What IS he, really? Sir Kendall is vaguely based on James Bond. So, what if James Bond came to life? 
For example, there’s no question, in my mind, at least, that Zsadist or Vishous would not be able to function as normal guys living on my street in Minneapolis. Even taking the vampire liabilities away, a lot of these super alpha types are a bit psycho. This isn’t an original thought of mine – I think a lot of people feel the super alpha is best kept in a book. 
But what about the less-psycho alphas? Or even the slightly normal heroes? Like, Roarke from IN DEATH seems really human, but would he be a Frankenstein if you blinked him onto your doorstep?
James Bond, if you’re just going by the movies, doesn’t have good friends or even parents. He doesn’t have a childhood or a favorite radio station. He doesn’t ever get ingrown toenails or cavities or bad breath. He has never smelled a real flower or read a bestseller or voted or gotten caught picking his nose while driving. I mean, these things are assumed by the viewer, but they are not there in the script or on the screen. 
So what if you brought that guy to life? Would he be a man or a monster?
I ended up thinking about Frankenstein, who was designed to replicate a human, but was just different enough to make him a monster.  
Can a character, transferred from pages or screen, ever be like a human? What is a human? Is it the big accomplishments? Or is it the little things, like relationships or noticing nature or the boy bands you liked in sixth grade? That is some of what I was thinking in the book.
Beware: deep thoughts ahoy! But sometimes you can start with a funny idea, but in order to execute, you have to answer new questions. 

LOL aren’t you glad, Jen, that I have come to your blog to ask what makes us human? I hope you weren’t expecting a cartoon. Actually, I just drew you two. But it’s weird and interesting to me, to start out writing a funny book and end up there. 
That would be kind of funny to ask that as a contest question – “win a book! All you have to do is answer this simple question: What makes us human?”  
Wait, but I’m underestimating your readers. I’m going to ask it: what makes a person human? – to win an ebook download of Mr. Real. Yay!! 
Jen!! Thank you so, so much for having me here at your awesome blog!!
Thank you, Carolyn for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure to chat with you!
You can find Carolyn on line at 
More on Mr. Real (October 30, 2012):
He finds the girl of his dreams…with the secret agent of his nightmares.
Alix Gordon is a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. What’s the fun in that? So when she stumbles across occult software that can bring any computer image to life, she conjures up lots of awesome outfits and accessories. And then, on one drunken, horny night, she conjures up Sir Kendall, the sexy TV ad spy . . . who looks exactly like Paul Reinhardt, the super-sexy martial arts teacher who kicked her out of class three years ago.
Fighter Paul Reinhardt has good reason to hate Sir Kendall, the character he brought to life to land a part in a TV ad; he’d do anything to forget him. A cross country road trip seems just the thing . . . until Paul finds himself inexplicably drawn to Minnesota and is shocked to discover Sir Kendall – in the flesh – with the girl he’d once loved from afar. He barges into Alix and Sir Kendall’s love nest, determined to stop the madness – somehow.
But is superspy Sir Kendall transforming into something more dangerous anyone can imagine? And what will Sir Kendall do when Paul and Alix finally give into their mad lust for each other?
GIVEAWAY Thank you, Carolyn, for stopping by That’s What I’m Talking About.  Carolyn is graciously giving away one (1) electronic copy of Mr. Real. Please leave your comments for Carolyn, and answer her question: what makes a person human? Comments must be received by Tuesday October 30, 2012, at 9:00 PM CDT to be eligible for the contest. One entry per person, the winner will be selected from eligible entries by the author using Contest is open internationally; please leave your email address so the author can send you the book. Thank you to Carolyn for this fun giveaway!

Stop by later today for my review of Mr. Real!


12 responses to “Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Carolyn Crane

  1. Hi Jen and Carolyn —
    You had me at Star Trek, Roarke and those awesome drawings. Mr. Real sounds like a fun read.

    What makes a person human? Maybe the ability to love or the ability to evaluate what’s wrong and what’s right? Tricky question…

  2. Thanks for a fun post and giveaway! This book sounds awesome and I’m dying to get my hands on it 🙂

    What a very thoughtful post. I totally agree with you that most if not all of our favorite heroes would be dismal failures in real life. That’s probably why we love them b/c they are the extreme opposite of real. I’d say what makes a person “human” is the choices they make and how they react to the consequences. You choose to love, hate, be logical or have integrity. So I always thought that Mr. Data from ST:NG was a person 🙂

  3. I’m really looking forward to this book. Disillusionist is one of my favorite series. I was really sad to see that world/series end.

    I have to agree that the guys I like in my books I wouldn’t want anything to do with them in real life for the most part. Oddly, on TV I identify with guys who I’d totally like. Maybe the visual makes me chose more realistic men. My favorite would be John Crichton from Farscape.

  4. Ivy

    Sounds like a really fun read.

    I think a soul is what makes a person human. Therein resides the conscience (or lack of) & all the other qualities that make them individual and “real”…..

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Twimom, thanks so much for having me.

    I’m loving seeing these thoughtful answers. I’m so impressed.

    Readers: At first, the question was a kind of joke, because it’s a hard question, but then the thinking was, well, it goes with the post. And look! You are all awesome for coming through.

  6. Carolyn I love the Disillusionists series and I look forward to Mr. Real as well. Will it be available on Amazon?

    What makes a person a human? I’d say heart (such as love, fortitude, ethics, morals etc…everything that makes up what it means when someone says so-and-so “has heart”.)

    alwaysasmartass82 [at] hotmail [dot] com

  7. One of my favorite book bloggers and authors in one place? Perfect way to start a rainy morning 😉
    Coffee and chocolate make me human. And, the fact that I walk my princess golden retriever with the husband’s golf umbrella in said rain! Cause, really, choosing to do that, in the name of love, is human 😉