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Interview with Candice

An Interview with Candice Poarch About BARGAIN OF THE HEART


What prompted you to write Bargain of the Heart?
            We’re hearing a great deal about the problem of divorce.  Divorce is at an all time high, so I wanted to explore what might happen  when a major crisis threatens the bonds of marriage.  What can a couple do to keep their marriage together if love in and of itself isn’t enough?  In addition, the problems associated with adult illiteracy are interwoven into the plot and characters of BARGAIN OF THE HEART.

Tell us about Bargain of the Heart.
            After suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage, soft-spoken elementary school teacher Crystal Dupree is determined to end her marriage to Richard, who seems to love his law practice more than his wife.  Richard promises a very protracted divorce fight unless she agrees to try to work through the shattered remnants of their marriage for the next three months.  Even when he persuades her to “date” him, she’s convinced that nothing can bring back the sweet, fiery intimacy they once shared, or their hopes for the future. 
            Adding to her distress, Crystal finds that she can no longer bear to be around children.  Desperate to assuage her pain, she agrees to teach in an adult literacy program, substituting for her aunt, who was injured in a shooting.  As Crystal derives great joy from working with the appreciative older people who need and benefit from her skills; her desire to teach returns.
            Unfortunately, Crystal’s “dates” with Richard provide less joy, especially since he’s defending the criminal who shot her aunt.  Amidst surprising revelations, danger, and hard truths, can Crystal and Richard re-discover understanding and each other...and strike a bargain of the heart?

Why do you write romance?
I enjoy entertaining readers with novels that focus on love and hope.  I like to create strong family plots where women and men struggle to give their families the best that they can provide.  There’s an underlying spirit in romance novels that individuals can make things better for themselves and for others.  But most of all, I enjoy creating a special relationship between the two main characters.

How did you begin your writing career?
After the birth of my son, my sister visited.  She was reading a romance novel, which she left when she returned home.  When I read it, I was hooked.   Here were people I could identify with. I thought this was an excellent way to talk about the kind of family I grew up with.  Years passed before I made an attempt to write.  Once I started, writing became my passion.

How do you choose your characters? 
I try to create strong characters who fight for what they believe in.  My parents taught me that there were no limits on what I could accomplish.  I try to give my main characters that same determination and strength.  I want to pass that vision on to my readers.  Also, I have many ideas and characters in my head all at once.  Eventually, they come together to form a cohesive plot.  I see things from many different angles. A glitz writer would write about glamourous situations,  but I like to explore the problems everyday people—lawyers, cops, teachers, business owners—encounter in small towns.  I also like to explore the kaleidoscope of romance— whether between young people just starting out, or a mature  couple experiencing a second chance at love. 

Why do you choose fictional settings?
I like to create my own special world, so that I’m not limited by the boundaries of a particular town or city.  The characters and circumstances can be whatever I imagine them to be.  I enjoy helping them work out problems I’ve created for them.  I’m in charge, but my characters, sometimes surprise me.

Why do most of your characters engage in business?
My parents were always in some kind of business, and since I grew up in that environment, I like the freedom of ownership. Along with that freedom comes lots of hard work.  But there’s no greater joy than owning your own business.  Before integration, many more African-Americans were in business for themselves.  More and more of us are attempting entrepreneurial activities once again.  I consider writing to be my business.

What does you family think of your writing?
My family is very supportive.  My husband has always supported me, asked me for promotional materials.  My children think it’s just another parent thing.  My parents and sister are very proud of me; they promote my books and attend many of my booksignings.

What made you decide to write issue books?
            Although first and foremost I want to entertain my readers and invite them into a world where they can just relax and have fun, tackling issues is very important to me—and to certain of my books.  While some books lend themselves to pure entertainment, in others, issues provide a critical backdrop to the characters and the way they interact.  In THE LAST DANCE, the issues were rape and club drugs.  Many women don’t realize how quickly and easily a drug can be slipped into a drink at a club—and the trauma of rape is too often a consequence.  In BARGAIN OF THE HEART, one of the main issues is adult literacy.  Our world revolves around the ability to read; it is difficult to function well without it.. As a writer, this issue is very close to my heart.  My mother taught adult reading classes when I was a child, because so many of the people of her generation did not have the opportunity to get an education. I felt that in the context of the novel, I would be able to explore the problems that people face when they don’t have the basic skill—reading—to understand the words on a street sign, a prescription bottle, a bank statement—or even a cereal box.

Where you do you your research?
I use the library, surf the Internet, and interview people.  I try to give my characters different occupations.  Through the necessary research for their “careers,” I learn interesting facts that I might never have explored otherwise.

You write about romance and mystery?
Yes.  I like to combine the softer side of romance with the spine tingling aspect of mystery and suspense whenever possible. People like both, and romantic suspense is one of the fastest growing areas of fiction.

What do you like to write about most?
I love writing about two people in a committed relationship—as they struggle through various conflicts.  Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t read romance for the sex.  They  read it for the story.

Since becoming a writer, what has impacted you most?
            At my first book signing back home, a woman approached me and said, I’m so proud of you.  All we read about in the papers are negative images.  When I read that article about you, it made me feel wonderful that something good was being printed about us.”
            For me, that says it all.  We don’t have enough positive images that reflect all of us who are trying to do what’s right in a difficult world.  I think that is why romance is so popular.  Readers want to red novels that leave them feeling good and refreshed.


                                             Bargain of the Heart BET BOOKS/Arabesque
                                                                     ISBN 1-58314-222-3



Copyright 2014 Candice Poarch