March 5, 2013

interview with the author of 'for internal use only'

Blogger's Note: After reviewing For Internal Use Only, yesterday (read the review here), I am pleased to welcome the wonderful author, Cari Kamm. Be sure to leave a comment, with your email address, as a comment to this post by Friday, March 8 at 11:59 p.m. EST for your chance to win a copy of Cari's book.

Change the Word: What was the inspiration for this book?
Cari Kamm: Inspired by the notion that women grow up with ideas of true love and destiny, For Internal Use Only approaches those ideas with a decidedly twenty-first century viewpoint. By incorporating problems inherent with today’s dating world, this book is meant to enlighten readers to stop chasing fairytales and start creating their own. My goal was to write a humorous love story with an edgy and dramatic twist that gives each of us a new fairy tale to look forward to; our own.

CTW: Tell us a little about your writing process? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
CK: Writing isn’t my job. It’s my habit. I begin first thing in the morning. Before anything can shift my mood or motivation, I make coffee and hit the keys. Writing is my morning stretch. I write from anywhere, anytime, and on anything. A notebook, a cocktail napkin, or even taking a photo of a person, place or thing that inspired me. I love being surrounded by music, strangers, voices… simply just life. When a theme moves me, I sketch out an outline breaking down Act I, II & III and write up descriptions of the characters I have in mind. Then, I just write. I don’t look back. I don’t reread. I would say it’s a crappy first draft and then I spend months on revising – editing – revising – editing. My favorite part of the writing process is creating the outline of the story I have in mind. Then several months down the road realizing where the characters actually took me while reading the story they created.

CTW: Do you share any characteristics with your main character?
CK: Chloe was created from a combination of numerous people that I know, have met and was inspired by. Chloe is a dreamer. She’s fighting for a passion. She’s a hopeless romantic, but cautious because she’s terrified of heartbreak. On some level, I feel that I’ve experienced a taste of this character. To be successful. To be loved. To find love. To succeed.

CTW: What was the greatest challenge you faced writing it? How did you overcome it?
CK: Not giving into fear. For Internal Use Only took me two years to write. This wasn’t because I had writer’s block. It was a matter of allowing my heart to control the keys without second guessing myself. To open myself up as a writer and tell the love story I wanted to tell. I overcame it by hitting it head on. I told myself if I was going to be a writer then I better just write!

CTW: Are there any must-haves for you to begin writing?
CK: No matter where I’m writing from, I find comfort in wearing really hideous socks that no one else can see! Recently, my fiancĂ© bought me a pair to add to my collection. Dorothy ruby slippers! These even have glitter. It reminds me to laugh at myself and not be too serious. Oh...and coffee!

CTW: What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
CK: Writing has taught me one of the most important lessons. If I could go back in time and tell my younger self one thing, it would be that... ‘You grow more from criticism than you do from compliments.’

CTW: Who is your author crush?
CK: Sophie Kinsella inspired me to write. I adore her writing and am obsessed with her novels. Her book Can You Keep A Secret? inspired me to become a writer. It created the desire to want to humor people through words. Imagine making a total stranger smile after a bad day.

CTW: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take one book with you to read for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? Oh, and you can't take your eReader because the battery would die!
CK: Mark Nepo The Book of Awakening. Nepo calls it, "a book to help people meet their days and inhabit their lives.” I’ve read this book for the past three years. Each day has a designated read. This book keeps my perspective in check. It’s definitely a life changer! Also, since it’s organized into days, it could be used as a calendar while I count the days until my rescue!

CTW: What is up next for you and your writing career?
CK: In November 2012, I participated in National Novel Writing Month and completed my third novel. It’s my first romance novel and takes place in Costa Rica. I hope to release it later this year. My 80-year-old Italian grandma will be thrilled! I always caught her reading books with Fabio decorated covers.

CTW: Anything else you would like to share?
CK: I wanted to mention why I write women’s fiction/chick lit. I’m truly inspired by combing single letters to create words that are elegantly beautiful, defining, and powerful. To create words that when a reader connects to them, they pause, smile or even become melancholic. They may become inspired or see something familiar even sweeter. In a world so huge that can make us feel so small, writing reminds me how tall I truly am and the heights that I’m capable of reaching.

CTW: Thank you for joining us on the blog, Cari. And readers, don't forget to post a comment with your email address for your chance to win a copy of this book.

About the Author
Cari Kamm has worked in the beauty industry for over a decade, building brands, working behind the scenes, and even selling her own skin care line. She has a master’s in clinical nutrition from New York University. Kamm currently works in corporate social media management with clients in the beauty, fashion, and restaurant industries. Living in New York City with her mutt Schmutz, Kamm loves finding inspiration in the most unexpected places, being a novelist, and convincing her fiancĂ© that ordering takeout and making dinner reservations are equal to cooking.

More information can be found on her website, To check out the book trailer, click here:

Contact Cari

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  1. This sounds like a great book! Can You Keep a Secret? is one of my favorite books too!

  2. just ordered all the books you love, i read two, anxious for good reads, other then ya girl, cant wait for new book, i am gonna wish the summer away now, trisha parker,