Grab your favorite beverage and draw up a chair...
Ute Carbone, women's fiction writer, is visiting with her book, Dancing in the White Room. How do you take your coffee, Ute?
UTE: Hot, with just a bit of milk or cream. If there's a piece chocolate to go with it, all the better.
Ally: I think we can handle that. While we're getting settled, maybe readers would like to see your bio.
Ute (who pronounces her name Oooh-tah) Carbone is an award winning author of women’s fiction, comedy, and romance. She and her husband live in New Hampshire, where she spends her days walking, eating chocolate, and dreaming up stories.
Books and Stories by Ute Carbone:
The P-Town Queen
Searching for Superman
The Lilac Hour
To The Wind
Dancing in the White Room
For more about Ute and her books, please visit:
Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads Amazon Author page Pinterest Love Stories (daily newsletter)
Ally: I ask all of our authors to tell us something about themselves that isn't in their bio.
UTE: Apropos of the book I brought today, I learned to ski when I was a little girl.
Ally: Now for a little book talk. What type of books do you write and how did you choose that genre(s)?
UTE: I write in three different genres, which sounds like a lot, but they’re all related—all of them have strong women characters who undergo some sort of change because of the story.
The comedies are fun, I like to laugh and I hope my readers will find them amusing and entertaining. I have three of them currently available; The P-Town Queen, Afterglow, and Searching for Superman, with a fourth title, Confessions of the Sausage Queen, due out this July.
The women’s fiction, also called ‘book club fiction’ allows me to write what I care about most in the world, that is, how we relate to one another and those we love. My newest release, Dancing in the White Room, fits this category, as does my debut novel, Blueberry Truth. I also have a short story trilogy, The Lilac Hour, that’s about love and relationship.
And, lately, I’ve delved into historical fiction, something I’ve always enjoyed reading. The Anton and Lenora series of novellas is a mix of history, romance and adventure. The first two stories, Sweet Lenora and To the Wind, are currently available. A third part of the series, All Things Returned, comes out in April. I’m currently writing part four.
Ally: Was there another author or writing teacher who inspired you to write or influenced your choice of genre?
UTE: There were more influences in my life than I can count on a single hand. I read a lot, and have learned a lot from the writers I love. Kate Gleason, a wonderful poet who teaches writing workshops in my area was a big part of my discovering myself as a writer, first as a poet and then as a storyteller and novelist. I also have a wonderful ‘support team’ of real life writers who have been there along the journey.
Ally: Describe the main character in Dancing in the White Room. What do you like best about her? What is her greatest flaw?
UTE: Mallory Prescott is a professional ski patrol woman, though she is first a mom to her daughter Emily and a partner to the man she lives with, PD Bell. I love Mallory’s strength. She’s physically strong, as a skier she’s athletic, but she’s also mentally strong, and she cares very deeply about those she loves. She’s a woman who lives in a world that’s male dominated, and so she’s learned to be a tough girl. This is also her greatest flaw, because she has trouble opening herself up to others and she’s a bit commitment-phobic.
Ally: Tell us about your writing process. When, where, how long it takes?
UTE: Writing a novel is a back and forth process and, since I usually have about four projects going, it’s hard to say exactly how long it takes to finish a book. I don’t work on them all at once, but I might work on one for a while then switch over to another. First drafts can take me anywhere from a few months to a year or two, depending on what else I have going on. I write, or try to, everyday. I write my first drafts longhand, usually later at night. During the day, I set aside time to rewrite into the computer. I do a lot of re-drafting and a lot of deleting until I get the thing right.
I’m a pantser, I start by just writing. Though, that said, I do have a general idea of the shape of a story and a general idea of how things will progress and turn out. I often think my long hand first drafts work like big, messy outlines.
Ally: Let's finish up with a few quick answer questions:
- Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes, though I do think love can grow and deepen with time.
- Manicure or pedicure: Manicure. I have the world’s ugliest feet. No kidding.
- Number and type of pets: I don’t currently have any pets.
- An item on your bucket list: To visit the great cities of Europe.
- Favorite accessory item: I love earrings. The danglier, the better!
Dancing in the white room is slang for skiing or boarding in deep powder snow. The dancer is PD Bell, one of the best extreme skiers on the planet. Mallory Prescott, the woman who lives with him and loves him, is used to Bell’s exploits. A patrol woman at Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid, New York, Mallory is no stranger to risk. But this time Bell is taking on the West Rib of Denali, highest and most dangerous mountain in North America. It’s a descent that has never been done, though it’s been tried. Five years ago, Bell had tried it. The attempt nearly killed him. Five years ago, he promised Mallory he wouldn’t try it again.
Over the six weeks in which he’s gone, Mallory begins to question her relationship with Bell. Does he really love her? Is he in it for the duration? What has loving him cost her? Mallory’s life choices are thrown into stark relief when her daughter Emily takes a terrible fall. Together with her life-long friend Creech Creches, she must work her way through a maze of uncharted territory at a hospital miles from home.
Dancing in the White Room is the story of the love we keep, the price we pay for that love, and the forgiveness it takes to hold on to what is precious.
Turquoise Morning Press
Barnes and Noble
More about the book
Ute Carbone Website