The Most Frequently Asked Question:
Will There Be More Books in the Enchanted Inc. Series?
Not for now. I'm not closing the door on the possibility, but it seems to have pretty much closed out in my head. I don't have any ideas at the moment, and I have a lot of ideas for a lot of other things. If an idea does strike me, I'll write it, but in the meantime I'm working on a lot of other things.
About the Books
Is anything in the Enchanted Inc. series based on real mythology?
I obviously used Merlin, but otherwise, it's all made up, and even my version of Merlin is made up, with some elements that are common to the mythology thrown in. I do like reading Welsh and other Celtic mythology, and some of that may slip in, but I haven't yet done anything deliberately, beyond giving Owen's pet a name that comes from a story about Lord Owain in folklore. I'm more likely to retroactively go back and try to find mythic parallels to things I've already written. Most of the references have more to do with business and corporate culture than they do with magic. I start with real-world ideas, and then find magical metaphors for them.
Do I have to start reading the series at the beginning?
I think you'll enjoy the series more if you start at the first book. Since I wrote all the books, it's really hard for me to judge, but I've heard from readers who read a later book first and then went back and read the earlier ones. The fifth book sort of starts a new plot arc, though it does resolve the ongoing arc of the earlier books, and I think it makes an acceptable entry point to the series, though you'll obviously get more out of it if you've read the earlier books. I don't think you'll be entirely lost, though.
Enchanted, Inc. would make a good movie. Why don't you sell the story to Hollywood?
The book was optioned by Universal Studios, and they renewed the option once, and then let it lapse. But I keep getting e-mails from producers, so you never know what will happen.
Where did you get the idea for Enchanted, Inc.?
Mostly, I wrote the book I wanted to read but couldn't find. I've always loved fantasy, and I love chick lit, and one day the two ideas crashed together in my brain.
What else have you written?
See the Books page for info on all my books.
Where can I find your old books?
They're all out of print, but it looks like you can usually find copies offered used at Amazon and eBay. I will warn you that those books are nothing like Enchanted, Inc. The first three books, especially, are definitely beginner efforts. I don't think I started hitting my stride until the third book. I was really, really young (and kind of stupid) when I wrote those early books. I doubt those three books will ever see the light of day again, given that the rights have reverted to me and I will not be agreeing to have them published again. Harlequin has released the two romances I wrote for them as e-books.
Where did you get your old pen name (Samantha Carter)? Is that a reference to Stargate SG-1?
I prefer to think that the character in Stargate SG-1 is a reference to me. My first book under that name was published in 1996, and the contract for that book, with the pen name in the contract, was signed in 1995, long before Stargate SG-1 went on the air. The name was actually an X-Files reference. At the time, that publisher was requiring pen names, and they couldn't go to contract without a name, so I had to name myself, fast. I wanted something that started with the same letter as my real name, in case I suffered brain freeze while autographing books, and I wanted a last name in the top part of the alphabet because I thought it would be fun to switch things around. The X-Files episode where the fake Samantha clones showed up for the first time aired around the time I sold that book, and my friends thought I looked a lot like the fake Samantha. They were already jokingly calling me "Samantha," so I went with that. And it's now a moot point because Samantha has been retired and I'm just me again (I'm not good at alter egos. I'd never make it as a superhero.). Incidentally, I first discovered Stargate SG-1 when I was egosurfing after the release of the second book under that name and got all these entirely unrelated web sites. I didn't have Showtime, so I didn't catch the series to see what my alter ego was like until it was syndicated. I'm glad they mostly called her "Sam" or "Captain/Major/LTC Carter" because I couldn't help but giggle whenever they said her full name.
Chocolate: Dark or milk?
I never turn down any chocolate (though I will confess that I'm not crazy about white chocolate except in the form of peppermint bark, preferably with a dark chocolate layer), but I prefer dark. I was always the weird kid who wanted the Special Darks that nobody else wanted from the Hershey's miniatures variety pack.
Can you help me get published?
Sorry, but I don't have that kind of influence. The best advice I can give is to go about it the way I did: educate yourself on the craft and on the industry, write, then submit to editors and agents after researching them carefully.
Can you recommend me to your editor or agent?
I doubt my recommendation would do you much good. It really is all about the work rather than who you know -- unless you're a celebrity or have slept with a celebrity and are writing about your experiences (in which case you really don't need my help). I also don't feel comfortable recommending someone when I don't know their work, and I don't have time to read and critique manuscripts. It would probably be faster to wait in the slushpile than to wait for me to read and recommend something. You can learn a lot about my agent, what she likes, and how best to approach her by reading her blog.
How much money does a writer make?
Believe it or not, that's up to you, the reader. Most authors are paid a percentage of the cover price for each copy of the book sold. When you buy a book, you're helping pay that author's salary (unless you buy from a used book store, buy one of the used copies from Amazon or download a pirated copy -- then the writer makes no money at all). Authors do generally get paid an advance based on how many books the publisher thinks might sell, but it's an advance against royalties, so it still comes down to how many books sell. A royalty rate is generally in the neighborhood of 6-10 percent, depending on the kind of book, the publisher, how big a bestseller the author is (sometimes the royalty rate goes up after a certain threshold, like after 100,000 copies). If you want to know how much money I make, well, to find that out, you'd have to volunteer to do my taxes for me (and didn't your mother teach you it was rude to ask how much money someone makes?).
What's it like to be a writer?
It's the best job ever. I get paid to sit at home and make up stories. Contrary to popular belief, however, I don't wear pajamas to work. I do wear houseshoes or old ballet slippers most of the time, though.
There are some downsides. You have to develop a thick skin because you get rejected often. Others don't love your baby as much as you do. Enchanted, Inc. was rejected by more than ten publishers on its way to finding an editor and publisher who loved it, and some of those rejections were pretty nasty (they regret it, I'm sure). Although the series has been popular, they decided not to publish more books.Even if you sell a book and get it published, then people who read it may not like it, and that hurts. Then there's the financial insecurity.
But I still don't want to go back to having a real job where I have to go to an office every day and do real work. Fictional people are so much easier to work with than a lot of the real-life co-workers I've had.
Can you provide a promotional blurb/quote to go on my book?
The best way to approach me about providing a quote is to go through my agent. I'm usually open to doing these, depending on my schedule, but I can't promise anything. I'm probably not the best person to approach about a book that is on the more erotic end of the scale because that's not my thing. I'm also really picky about what I put my name on, even if I like something. I won't give a blurb unless I can recommend something to all my readers with no reservations.