Tuesday, July 8, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe

An Interview with Cait O'Sullivan

Can the tango be tamed? Find out today as author Cait O'Sullivan shares with The Write Way Café the rich background she pulled from to write Taming the Tango Champion.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I can’t quite remember when I first thought I’d write a book. Sounds horribly pretentious, but I just always wanted to. I never actually thought I’d do it, mind you, so it’s a lovely surprise to be published. Still very thrilling!!

Taming the Tango Champion was the second book I started to write but midway through I saw a call for submissions for Gothic romance which I quite liked the idea of. So I wrote two novellas and then returned to the Tango Champion to finish it off. Originally, the start of the book was about Ava in Argentina falling in love with Matthias and doing that all important making babies thing but I was told it needed to start when Bella was alive and kicking, not just conceived. So I rewrote the start. Those original three chapters are available on my blog though, so if you fancy a quick read, head on over to Cait’s Place! Regarding research, I have a friend who is a professional dancer and I also take my two girls to dancing lessons. Like Ava, I travelled the world and had a great time in Argentina. And lastly, I know what it’s like to be a single mother.

When I travelled, I guarded my heart carefully, as the last thing I wanted was to be hankering (!) after a man who didn’t live on the same continent as me. At the same time, I think it is rather romantic so I got me to thinking, and as I had small children, it seemed natural to bring them into the mix. As an avid watcher of Strictly Come Dancing – I think it’s Dancing with the Stars in America, I started to wonder what it would be like to dance in front of the man you felt very passionately about and who would then have to deliver a critique on how you moved. Not to mention practising with him, up close and personal and, yanno, the kinda things that can happen in those moments. J 

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
Tough one really, because my initial reaction is both Ava and Matthias are imagined but! I have travelled like Ava and am a single mum so, yes, I guess some aspects have crept in there. Only because you write what you know, right? As for the gorgeous Matthias, I did actually have the good fortune to meet such a man (looks wise only though, not a dancer or a rancher!!) when I was in Argentina. His name was Alessandro…happy sigh.

Did you face any blocks writing this book?
Yes absolutely. First up was confidence. Then when I sent the first chapters out and was told I had started in the wrong place, that kinda knocked me for a bit. So I wrote two different novellas and sold them, so that gave me the confidence to return to Ava and Matthias. And in all fairness, I love the two of them. I don’t think I could’ve let them die on the page!!!

What have been the surprises you’ve encountered when writing this book and after?
It was intriguing and gratifying the way the emotional content flowed due to having real life experiences, which were painful but it was cathartic writing about it. The risotto scene, for example!!

What did you learn about yourself, the process, the writing world, dancing for TV and dancing competitively?
I learned it was easier to write about sex than I thought it was, and then that practise makes perfect—there’s a lot of sex in the book!! As regards dancing, it was tough, but I was glued to Strictly Come Dancing (think it’s Dancing with the Stars in the U.S.) and have a friend who’s a professional dancer! ‘Nuff said!! (nothing like getting the hips moving in a tango to warm up a book).

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I write in a coffee shop because I like the background noise and the busy vibe, and I do think that switching off hearing it helps creativity. Quite motivational. Until it comes to writing something a little hotter because it’s tough to imagine my characters having sex when you’re surrounded by strangers and you never know who’s going to walk in!

What are some of your favourite books and why?
I read Gone with the Wind at a very impressionable age and fell for romance. To be honest, I read a wide range of books and the book that has stood out for quite a long time is Papillion. Anything by Jilly Cooper is sure fire read for me. I love her audacity!

What are you working on now?
I’m onto the third draft of Indigo Beach, the first in a fantasy trilogy, set and based on the myths of Ireland. It’s a total departure from romance but, of course, there is romance contained within –I couldn’t do without my romance fix.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?
See above!! I have also written Gothic romance, (is that a different genre?!) and love mixing it up. I think the age we live in is all about merging and mixing genres to see what emerges. Great fun!!

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
To be honest, as I’m living my dream being a writer, it’s hard to imagine what else I’d do. Although I would love to illustrate my books as well as write them. Maybe even add some music to it. I play the piano and would possibly have explored that further if writing hadn’t already occupied that space in my psyche.

What aspect of writing gave you the most trouble?
The first line always gets me. Starting is so very hard. It’s time to find out whether those expectations within you will get realised or not, whether those characters that you’ve been slowly building have any substance or is it all a vapid dream.

Thanks so much, Lynn and HiDee for having me here today!! I really appreciate the time you took coming up with such great questions and for featuring me. 

London TV presenter, Ava Whittaker, has a baby by twice-former Argentine Tango Champion Matthias de Romero. The problem? He doesn't know. Fast forward two years and Matthias is the judge on a new dance show,  one where Ava is a contestant. But time hasn 't healed the wound of discovering he became engaged straight after their tryst whilst on holiday in the Andes. Although she's in love with Matthias, she carefully guards her secret and her heart from him.
In search of answers on why Ava walked out on him, Matthias takes a place as a judge on a new London TV show, To Dance or Not to Dance. But seeking answers only creates more questions.

Will the glitterball--and her secret--cause their intense feelings to burn out or fan further the flames of desire?

Amazon UK                Amazon.com

About Cait:  Cait O'Sullivan has a deep love of words, music and magic, having had the good fortune to grow up in Ireland. The wanderlust in her blood sent her out to travel the world and now, residing in a leafy suburb of London, it is her thoughts and memories that journey far and wide in order to create her stories.

Cait’s Place                            Facebook                                Twitter


Cait OSullivan said...

Thanks HiDee and Lynn for making me look so good on your lovely blog!!

Beth Watson said...

Great interview Cait! Good luck with Taming the Tango Champion even the title sounds sexy and romantic. Looking forward very much to the fantasy trilogy set in Ireland!

HiDee said...

Thanks for being with us today, Cait. Enjoyed the first chapter of Ava's story on your website. Looking forward to reading more!

Cait OSullivan said...

Thanks Beth, I hope it is sexy and romantic. And yes, I think you'll enjoy the Irish fantasy alright :)). Thanks for popping by!

Cait OSullivan said...

:) Thanks HiDee...I probably should've said it wasn't edited actually, so sorry about that! The book is edited :)

Elizabeth Meyette said...

I LOVE Dancing with the Stars! Dancing is so sexy and the Tango is the sexiest of all! Your cover is gorgeous and your book sounds yummy! Can't wait to read it.

Cait OSullivan said...

:) Thanks Elizabeth, I thought so too! Dancing is so utterly fabulous, I hope it lives up to expectations!!

Deborah O'Neill Cordes said...

Great interview, ladies. Cait, I'm looking forward to reading your Tango series, and the Irish fantasy has me all a'twitter. And... I'll bet Alessandro still sees you in his dreams. <3

RT Wolfe said...

Writing dancing scenes are tricky. Way to go, Cait!
-R.T. Wolfe

Cait OSullivan said...

LOL Deborah!! I wish...sigh he was so dreamy. Thanks for popping in!!

Cait OSullivan said...

I hope I pulled it off, RT!! You're great to pop by!

Joanna Lloyd said...

Love watching the dancing shows so am intrigued by your ideas in the book. Sounds like you had the perfect life experience to write this book too! Good luck with it.

Cait OSullivan said...

Thanks Joanna, I can't complain, it's been interesting!

JoAnne Myers said...

Great interview and I also enjoy traveling. Good luck with sales.