Name: Carla Caruso

Age: Just turned 37 on January 17 – yikes!

Where are you from: Adelaide, Australia – it’s a small city, but some say it has the vibe of a large country town.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

 I’m a contributor to an ebook anthology with three other fabulous Aussie writers – Maria Lewis, Alli Sinclair, and Tess Woods. We’ve each written a short tale with a focus on hot-looking surfers, and it’s a bit of summer fun. The tagline is: “Hot sun, warm bodies, tight skin, electricity in the air … four top romance authors give you their take on summer.” Doesn’t it just make you want to head to the beach and check out all the bronzed bodies on display?

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 No! But I do remember I love-love-loved Enid Blyton as a child, everything from her Famous Five series to the Secret Seven, the Adventurous Four, the Wishing-Chair, the Magic Faraway Tree and Cherry Tree Farm. I could go on… I also adored a lot of American teen series, like Sweet Valley Twins and The Baby-sitters Club, plus Judy Blume. Although, Melina Marchetta’s Looking For Alibrandi is my favourite childhood read. It’s about an Italian-Australian kid trying to find her way in the world. As such a child, I could well relate!

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 Laugh…good romantic comedy films (or books)! Plus, my kids. And cat. Cry…I went to watch the movie, Joy (starring Jennifer Lawrence), with a writer friend the other day and any scenes that involve mother/children relationships really make me cry now that I’m a mum with two-year-old twin boys. You totally get that strong bond once you become a parent. And wonder how anyone could do anything to harm their own kids. Seeing harm to animals also affects me in a bad way.

Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?

I’m pretty interested in Jerry Hall right now, since she’s just got engaged to Rupert Murdoch! She’s led such a crazy, glamorous, exciting life. I’m a little envious. Hence why I’ve recently put on reserve at the library her autobiography, Jerry Hall: My Life In Pictures. I can’t help being intrigued by the lives of the super-rich and famous. Seeing them tanning themselves on yachts in St Barths. Hanging out at the polo with royals. Choosing which supercar from their garage they want to drive today… I know it all looks better from afar, but it would be nice to have a taste of it just once in your life, hey?

Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone and why?

Oh my gosh, I’ve never even thought of that before. I feel a shiver down my spine haha. Um… ‘Loving wife and mother. Creator.’ Something like that!

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

A lot of my time is filled up with looking after my kids – and hanging out with my husband and our rescue cat, Luca! I also enjoy socialising with other writers and good friends. Plus, my two sisters. And just being curious about the world, getting out and about. I’d also describe myself as a fashion lover, horoscope junkie and keen runner! Oh, and I love a bit of trash-TV watching, but that’s your next question…

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Film-wise, I love rom-coms, though there’s less and less of them around these days! And they tend to try too hard to be gritty/quirky/cool for my liking. I grew up loving any feel-good such flicks starring Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker and Sandra Bullock. That’s my rom-com era. TV-wise, I like glamorous escapism. Currently I’m obsessed with UnReal, which is a fictionalised behind-the-scenes look at a reality show like The Bachelor. Other series I’ve recently watched and loved include Jane the Virgin, Devious Maids and Revenge.

Fiona: Favorite foods/colors/music.

I’m a savoury girl, so anything salty or cheesy or fried usually wins it for me. Especially with a side dish of chilli or lemon! I’m Italian – I love to eat. I always say white is my favourite colour, though it’s really a non-colour. Yellow also makes me happy! Music – I’m a ‘90s R&B lover from way back.

Fiona: If you weren’t a writer, what else would you like to have done?

 I used to like playing around with jewellery as a kid. I’d sell vintage pieces I found at charity shops and ‘reinvent’ for sale at a top fashion boutique in Adelaide and markets. I wasn’t good at working out how to make a decent profit out of it back in the day. Lacked the business nous. But I do like finding trash and turning it into treasure. I think that might be in my genes, because my parents and grandparents have always been good at finding old stuff and giving it a new purpose. So I guess I’d be like those American Pickers guys…but with jewellery!

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

Yup and yup! You can find me at my author site, www.carlacaruso.com.au, my blog, www.theunitalianwife.com, at ‘Carla Caruso Author’ on Facebook, and ‘@CarlaCaruso79’ on Twitter. Thanks so much for having me!

Carla Caruso, a co-author of the anthology, Hot Stuff: Surfing Love (Harper Impulse). Find it at:  http://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781460706527/hot-stuff-surfing-love

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