Monday, May 28, 2012

Guest Ute Carbone and Double Trouble

I started the P-Town Queen in third person. Traditionally, romances are written this way and P-Town Queen is a romantic comedy. I ran into trouble about fifty pages in. The hero was doing fine, but the heroine…not so much.  I was having a hard time relating to her and couldn’t quite figure out why. It finally occurred to me that it was because, in third, I wasn’t getting to see the real Nikki.  On a whim, I switched to first, telling the tale from the heroines point of view and then the hero’s in alternating chapters. The story started to take off and I knew I’d done the right thing in switching.

But now I had another niggling problem. The hero and heroine don’t know each other in the beginning and, in fact, live entirely separate lives.  Because I was using two first person POVs, I had to have not one but two hooks to open the book.   This was a little tricky and took several tries.

The story begins with Nikki in Chapter one:

I did not blow up the Mona Lisa. Not only did I not blow up the Mona Lisa--an old leaker  of a boat whose blowing up could be construed as a favor to the aptly named Rusty Cook--I did not blow up any part of Rusty’s marina. My brothers will, of course, say otherwise. They had quite the laugh at my expense over coffee at Ella’s Place.

Rusty had been on the lookout for a boat for me. It had taken a lot of gumption and crow-eating to get to a place where I could consider buying a boat. I needed a cheap one, because God only knew how much money I’d be able to squeeze out of the Massachusetts Bay Commission via the research grant proposal I’d spent three long months laboring to produce.

The head of the commission was Ned Anderson. Ned, a brilliant shark researcher in his own right, had tumbled a long way: to full time administrator of a bullshit state commission. Though to hear Ned say it, it wasn’t a tumble but a reward for all the years he’d spent roughing it on a California channel island-- an island that only had electricity every other day-- in order to unlock the mystery of white shark feeding behavior. I had spent five years on that island with Ned. We were married at the time.

And here’s the start of Chapter Two, where Marco is introduced:

I’ll never make gnocchi again. Don’t get me wrong, I like a nice gnocchi and I do it up pretty good, if I do say so myself. With just the right balance of cream and garlic, it’s food for the angels as my Nona would have said. But some foods, they have memories attached, and gnocchi, that’s a memory I’d just as soon forget.

It was me and Angelo Del Rossi in the kitchen at Roma’s. Angie, he’s this big slow thug of a guy. Jesus and Mary, he didn’t know a paring knife from a carving knife and was not likely to learn anytime soon. I was cooking for my silent partner, Fat Phil Lazario. Fat Phil would have owned the place outright if he didn’t need somebody who knew what was what in the kitchen. Fat Phil was also my father-in-law, being as I had been married to his daughter, Lark, for a few months. Only, by then, things with Lark and me weren’t so good and the week before all this happened, I’d moved out of the apartment. Lark wasn’t about to tell her old man that I was living in the storage room on account of the fact that she had lied and cheated. But I got to thinking that if I came clean, Phil would recognize my value and see that Roma’s could be a real jewel in downtown Newark, an up and coming area, and he’d keep his end of the bargain we’d struck and finance the place until I could buy it outright. Truth was that he’d probably keep up his end because then he could continue meeting with questionable people about questionable business propositions about which I would plead ignorance. Which was my end of the bargain. I just hoped, that after hearing my side of the story about what happened between me and Lark, Phil would think twice about meeting with some questionable guy about ending our partnership on a permanent basis.

Do you like books with multiple first person points of view? Or does it drive you to distraction? I’ve heard reactions both ways.

The P-Town Queen will be available on June 4!

Here’s the blurb:

Nikki Silva feels like she’s blown up her life even as her brothers tease her about blowing up a boat called the Mona Lisa. Divorced, funding for her shark research cut off, she’s moved back to Provincetown to live with her father in her childhood home. Nikki hopes to regain herself. She’s written a grant proposal for the newly formed Massachusetts Bay Commission to fund a study that will get her back to the sort of research she loves. The commission is run by her ex-husband Ned, who would rather have a migraine than give money to his ex-wife.

            Marco Tornetti wants to turn a hole-in-the-wall Newark spaghetti joint into a trendy bistro. His silent partner, Fat Phil Lagosa, wants to use the place to solicit questionable business deals.  When Fat Phil accuses Marco of a double cross and has him taken for a ride by one of his hit men, Marco knows he’s in too deep.

            Marco escapes the hit man and takes the first bus out of the New York metropolitan area, a bus chartered by the Greater Teaneck Gay Men’s Choir and headed for Provincetown. Marco figures that Phil would never look for him in Provincetown‘s gay community. But when he meets Nikki and falls hard for her, he finds that pretending to be gay isn’t as easy as it would seem.

Ute Carbone Bio

I'm a novelist and sometimes poet who lives in Southern New Hampshire. I’ve been married to the same great guy for a lot of years. We have two grown sons. I love hiking, skiing, and generally communing with nature. I'm a big fan of wine, chocolate, theater, and really good stories.

I write women’s literary fiction, romantic comedy, and just a bit of romance. My women’s literary novel, Blueberry Truth, was published in August of 2011.  I have two romantic comedies due for release: The P-town Queen,   in June 2012 and Afterglow, in January 2013. My novella, The Whisper of Time  is to be released in summer 2012.   And my short story trilogy, I’ll be Seeing You, will be released in summer 2013.

You can find me at: ; or at my blog:  on twitter at!/Wildwords2 and on Facebook at


Ute Carbone said...

Thanks for having me, Laura!

Jude Johnson said...

This sounds fascinating, Ute! I like how you've structured this, letting us see through different eyes. It makes the story more immediate. Looking forward to the release in June!


Ute Carbone said...

Thanks Jude!

Susan Roebuck said...

No problem at all about alternating points of view. As long as it's clear, you can do whatever you like...I reckon. I do so love your writing voice, Ute - and I'll be at the bookstore (Amazon - on the uk site!!!!) on June 4th. Oh! I'd probably love your speaking voice too (except I've never heard it LOL)

Jannine Gallant said...

Frankly, I like first person. Makes everything more immediate. This sounds like a hoot!

Ute Carbone said...

Aww, thanks Jannine and Sue! I'm not sure I know what my real voice sounds like either!