Heart-Shaped Stone by Arby Corry

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Arby Corry will be awarding $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Enjoy visiting with the author!

On Character creation:

I love this question because it’s my favorite part of writing. The thing about character creation, for me anyway, is I never go in with an outline of exactly who that person is. I know she’s female, likely conflicted, or a guy who’s about to give up everything he loves for the woman he loves – that’s it! As soon as type hits paper, so to speak, the characters slowly start to reveal themselves to me. They tell me what to say, where they’re going and how we’re going to get there and I just type. I have a writer friend who plots everything, including her characters, ahead of time. She knows their age, what they look like, what they do for a living. Still, she creates amazing reads. I cannot plot effectively. It just doesn’t work for me. I feel it’s much more natural to just let the characters do the talking and I’m always happy with the results.

10 things most people don’t know about you;

Well, I got a couple for you. My “real” job is as a radio announcer. I’ve done it for many years, working in the radio business as a disc jockey plus creating commercials for airplay. I love it and have found my writing skills come in handy when creating interesting spots. Another thing people don’t know, and probably comes as no surprise for someone who does what I do, is that I’m terribly shy off air. I’ve gotten much better about this through the years but there is definitely a transformation that takes places when one sits in the “air chair” and gets to become the life of the party for five hours a day. People mistakenly believe dj’s are always on, yeah, not so much. When the mic goes off and I leave the studio, I leave it all behind! However, I have gleaned some interesting characters from the request line that ultimately find their way into a storyline.

Lessons I learned from my hero (heroine/villain);

Cliché as it sounds, “don’t give up.” My protagonist, Caila, fights for everything she wants. And when what she wants changes, she’s fights for that. I found this to be true in my own life. The more vocal you are (strange thing for a radio dj to say) the more you’ll be heard. It’s easy to sit on the benches and wait, but much harder to say, “Coach, I’m ready, put me in.” Fight like your life, or more accurately, your self-esteem, depended on it.

One of my own writing quirks.;

I act out the dialogue of the characters. I find it lends a more authentic voice to not only them but to the story. I immediately get turned off when reading a novel with contrived conversations. In radio we speak, and write, for the ear. It’s come in handy when creating interesting characters with interesting, and real, exchanges.

If I’d never heard of me would I read my book?

What a great question. And, yes, it’s true. Instead of falling ever so easily for the “well you never heard of ___ before ___ book,” let me just bring that around to my own personal truth. If just one person read this book and enjoyed it, I would feel as if I had done my job. However, I have tons of faith in this book because I not only enjoyed writing it, but reading it as well. At the risk of sounding braggadocio, let me just say that everything about Heart-Shaped Stone clicked – the characters, the plot, the twists. I can’t say that one-thousand percent with other things I’ve written. I urge people, women in particular, to read this story because the feedback that I’ve had from women is very encouraging. It hits all those things we love.

How to handle negative criticism;

I’ve got one review I can’t shake and it kills me! But it’s a fair and honest review. She went into a lot of detail about, well, detail! I pride myself on being a thorough editor but still, she found things. To me they are minor, to those who love my book, they are minor, but they are still real things. When all is said and done I take heart in that the book is one not to be over-analyzed. It’s simply a very fun ride with awesome characters, twists and turns and an ending no one, not even myself, was expecting. I say read the first chapter and you’ll be hooked.

The making of a writer in your genre;

Easy answer…because I love a good love story and a complicated one all the more. I think it’s safe to say you’re attracted to that which you love most.

What would I tell a new author?

Believe in your product! Yes, I didn’t say story, I said product. Some take umbrage with that but in the end it’s truly a product. And I don’t mean that in the sense of a marketable, “make-me-tons-of-money-now” way, though that would be nice, but that you’ve got to treat what you’ve done like a product. This is what makes the best salespeople the best…they believe in their product. Believe in what you’ve written. If you don’t, that’s a sign something is wrong.

The hardest part about writing is…

I’d say the middle. It became like that couch you just loved in the furniture store. You take it home, admire your “I could have been an interior designer” taste, throw pillows on it and invite everyone to come see it and sit on it. But by month three you notice it’s sagging in the middle. The ends are still quite lovely, giving your couch a great beginning and ending, but there’s something about the middle that’s not right. You throw more pillows on it, hoping no one notices the middle is just a means to get to the end. But in the end there’s no getting around that your middle needs less cushion and more fabric.

Caila, like most dreamers, just wants to be wanted. Unlike most dreamers, she’s wanted by the CIA.

When the last decade of thirty-two year old Caila Domenici’s life disappears, destroyed in a car accident, she is forced to begin again. Defying doctor’s orders to slow-go-it, she sets out to navigate the world on her own. It’s not going well. Coddled from birth, everything from a bus schedule to how to boil water confounds her. Worse yet, she’s about to accept her meddling mother’s offer to pay for food and rent. With just a hunch her talents extend beyond that of daughter of privilege, Caila searches for her past. Before she can find it, it finds her. And the handsome azure-eyed stranger who’s saying he knows her is somehow part of it.

Caila always believed there had to be more, but now, on the verge of discovering the truth, she must decide which is worse – never knowing who she really is, or knowing too much.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Reese was being too nice. Something was up – their deep conversation the night before, the bubble bath, the tea, turning down her bed and now breakfast? Caila wasn’t suspicious by nature, and in most cases trusted more than she should, but where Reese was concerned she dropped all pretenses and questioned his every move. He was much too calculating to not see opportunity in everything he did. Caila recognized that in him right away. Her mind was now churning with theories. Why, if he was up to something, would he be so blatant with this sudden kindness? Did he think she would not notice?


Then she imagined the most unexpected thing.

Maybe he wasn’t up to anything at all. Maybe this was another side to the man she detested right from the start. The invader, the man who came to make her life a living hell and push aside her father may not, after all, be the man she believed him to be. But even that theory was short lived. No, she thought, he has a motive.

About the Author:Arby Corry has spent the last twenty-five years in the radio business. Performing every job from radio announcer, to program director, to commercial producer to copy writer, Arby gives voice to characters found just on the other end of the request line. Her debut novel, Heart-Shaped Stone, has received critical acclaim as well as delighting readers with its fresh approach. Arby believes in real characters, with real voices. And while a happy ending is always satisfying, she believes life has other plans. When not on the air or writing her follow-up to Heart-Shaped Stone, Arby enjoys spending time with her husband, children and the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. I really enjoyed your comments. I agree with most of it. Can just imagine you walking around talking to yourself as you see if the words and conversation are right. This story sounds really fascinating.

  3. Nikolina says:

    My favorite part of the post is the great interview, thank you!

  4. Last day of your tour Arby and I must tell you how much I’ve enjoyed meeting you and discovering your book.

    I’ve often wondered if authors ‘act out and/or speak aloud’ the words/scenes while they are writing…just to listen to the flow of the conversation. There have been numerous times that while reading, the conversation stumbles and is very difficult to read and understand. I don’t think the author felt the need to ‘feel the flow of her written word’. To me, it’s important…if it doesn’t flow, I can’t keep on reading.

    OK, so you don’t have a character outline before you start to write. If you don’t have the details of the character, do you at least have his/her name when you start?

    • Arby Corry says:

      Oh, good question Karen. The answer is no, have no idea. I see my characters and that’s the extent of it. Caila, my protagonist, the name just seemed to fit. She’s half Italian, and her full name is Micaila, just don’t call her that unless you’re her father! 🙂

  5. Rita Wray says:

    I enjoyed reading the ten things.

  6. amy bowens says:

    Really enjoyed reading your comments

  7. As a former college DJ, I admire those who work in radio!

  8. I enjoyed getting to know you better through the interview.

  9. THe author interview was fun to read!

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