Friday, November 12, 2010

Today's Special - - Kate Carlisle

Mystery Author Kate Carlisle – The Lies that Bind

I'm delighted to welcome one of my favorite people, Kate Carlisle, back to The Romance Dish!  A New York Times bestselling author, Kate  worked in television, studied acting and singing, toiled in vineyards, collected books, and joined a commune, but it was the year she spent in law school that drove her to write fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Those professors are breathing easier now that she spends most of her time writing near the beach in Southern California where she lives with her perfect husband. Visit Kate online at and

Please give Kate a warm welcome!

This just in...Kate's new release, The Lies That Bind, has hit the New York Times Bestseller List at #31!  Congratulations, Kate!

Would You Willingly Become a Ghost?
by Kate Carlisle

Lately, I’ve been facing a pretty major dilemma. Have you seen the TV show Castle? Rick Castle, the hero, is a bestselling mystery author so, as you can imagine, it’s one of my favorite shows. To get inspiration for his Nikki Heat series of suspense novels, he shadows NYPD detective Kate Beckett and helps the police catch real-life murderers.

The thing is, Hyperion is now publishing mysteries written by “Richard Castle,” the fictional character from the show. The fictional character is a real-life author. (Genius in marketing!) These are real books, people – hardcovers – and they’re bestsellers, too. They’re Nikki Heat books, written by Richard Castle. Who doesn’t exist.

Get it?

Richard Castle even has an Amazon author page. I would click the “Like” button if it had one because honestly, it’s pretty damn funny. His Amazon bio says he lives in New York City with his mother and his daughter, who infuse his life with humor and inspiration. (If you watch the show, you’ll know why that’s funny.)

So I’m wondering, who’s really writing those books? Do they need help? Hmm.

And that brings me to my dilemma: Should I temporarily set aside my own career writing the Bibliophile Mysteries and agree to ghostwrite a Richard Castle book?

Oh, they haven’t asked me. But I want to be ready in case they do.

On the one hand, I enjoy seeing my name on the cover of a book, such as my latest, THE LIES THAT BIND, which was released simultaneously in paperback and on audio November 2. (Yay!) I enjoy doing book signings and meeting the readers who have been entertained by my books. I got real thrills and chills out of seeing my name on the New York Times bestsellers list.

We all enjoy positive feedback for the work that we do which is, at most times, a solitary profession. I can usually rely only on my gut to tell me whether the story is working. Well, my gut and my editor’s. So when we get good reactions to our work, it makes us happy. Of course it does!

But ghostwriters must check their egos at the door. While I don’t think I’m completely full of myself, I do take pride in my accomplishments, but I’m not sure anyone would be interested in meeting the ghost behind the famous name and face.

I think it would be difficult to write a slammin’ story that hits all the bestsellers lists and not want to take credit for it. If your book hits the bestsellers lists with someone else’s name on the cover, does it still make a sound?

On the other hand, I’m looking into the future and I’m seeing Nathan Fillion, the actor who plays Castle. He’s really, really cute. And if I were to ghostwrite a book supposedly written by a character he plays, there’s a chance they would ask me to be on the show. I have studied acting, after all. (Really! I was once Hermia’s understudy in a local theater’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I could’ve been a star!)

So if they asked me to be on the show, there’s a chance I would play a damsel in distress. Nathan would rescue me. He would carry me in his big, strong arms with concern etched in his beautiful blue eyes …

What? Hey, it could happen!

Okay, so maybe I’ll never be a ghostwriter for Castle. But that’s okay, because I am actually only separated by two or three (or four) degrees from the very cute Nathan Fillion – who, it turns out, is not just a pretty face. Last year, I did a Barnes and Noble book signing from which the proceeds went to an organization that he co-founded called Kids Need to Read  . The mission of Kids Need to Read is to create a culture of reading by sending inspiring books to children’s libraries, underfunded schools, and literacy programs. They carefully cull the list of books they donate so that kids don’t pick up a boring book and decide they hate reading. Think about it. Getting them hooked on books while they’re young is our job security! Is that cool or what?!

What about you? If you’re a writer, would you be willing to sublimate your own identity in order to ghostwrite a book under someone else’s name? What if you were legally prohibited from ever revealing the truth, even to your closest friends and family? Would it make a difference one way or the other if that book was a #1 bestselling hardcover?

If you’re not a writer, think of the question in terms of your own life. Would you be willing to [fill in the blank] even if no one could ever know that you were the one [filling in the blank]? 

One randomly selected person leaving a comment will receive Kate's new book,  The Lies That Bind!  (U.S. mailing addresses only)


  1. Hi Kate,
    Congrats on the new release and on hitting the NYT bestseller list. I'd like to think I would be willing to do a job for someone else and not get recognized for it, but I'm not sure I could. It must be a little uncomfortable to see some take the credit for your work.

  2. Whoo Hoo Kate huge congrats on the release and hitting the bestseller list again way to go. I am soo looking forward to reading this new one and I have been so busy I still haven't put in my order must do so this weekend.

    As for me I don't think I would let someone take the credit for something that I have done it just doesn't seem fair to me

    Have Fun

  3. Hi Kate -
    I'm not a writer, so my answer would be...

    No - I wouldn't be willing to ?
    even if no one could ever know that I was the one that ?

    (As you see, I'm not very creative. But, my answer is still NO. lol)

    Lea Ellen {night owl in IL}

  4. I would see a two issues.

    Let's be honest-money. If ghost writing one book would set me up with enough money that I could then comfortably pursue my own writing career without the need of a job for a few years, I'm not sure how I'd turn that down.

    The second is that pat on the back that we all love. Not seeing my name up in lights or ever being able to take credit for the book, would be okay IF IT WAS A GOOD BOOK. If I got to hear how critics were wondering why that one was so much better than the other ghostwritten books or even just speak to one fan who couldn't stop talking about it. That would be enough. It would let me know that my writing, even without a name like Rick Castle, would have a chance of making it to number 1 someday again.

    But only for one, maybe two, books. Anymore and you'd get lost in who you aren't instead of who you are.

    Also Castle is a weekly must watch for me and my husband too! Love it!

  5. Welcome, Kate! We're so happy to have you with us today.

    Congratulations on The Lies That Bind hitting the NYT List! I was so excited for you when I saw the news on your facebook page last night. I finished reading Lies yesterday and, again, thoroughly enjoyed Brooklyn's adventures. Can't wait for the next one...especially after that final scene in the teaser! Yikes!

  6. Morning All! I always enjoy waking up to Dishy comments from our Aussie and night-owl friends. You make me smile every morning. :)

    Jane, I'm with you. As much as I'd like to think I could be happy with the money and not the public recognition, I'm not sure I could.

  7. Helen, you are so going to enjoy The Lies That Bind! We get a lot more Derek, a lot more Gabriel, more quirky neighbors for Brooklyn and a terrific murder mystery adventure all expertly woven together by Bandita Kate!

  8. Hi NightOwl! My goodness! 2:24am? You really are a night owl! ;-)

    I think I'd probably have to agree with you. I'm a chocolate maker and, though I don't need oohs and aahs and pats on the back for what I make, I do like people to know that *I* made them. I'd have a hard time letting someone else take all the credit for my work.

    On the other hand, if they paid me oodles and oodles of money, I just may have to reassess my position! lol!

  9. But only for one, maybe two, books. Anymore and you'd get lost in who you aren't instead of who you are.

    Have to agree, Lindsay. I think that could be a distinct possibility. However, like you, if the money is good enough, I'd probably do one or two just to be set financially...though it still wouldn't be easy letting someone else take the credit. ;-)

  10. Hi Kate!! I've had so many people ask me if I watch Castle...and I don't. I need to pick up season 1 and check it out.

    As far as your questions...would I ghostwrite? Yes, I would. I'm not I'd be a good ghost writer but I'm willing to try.

    What if you were legally prohibited from ever revealing the truth, even to your closest friends and family?

    I'd have to explain the buckets of money they're paying me to my husband but that's it.

    Would it make a difference one way or the other if that book was a #1 bestselling hardcover? Nope. Will write for food :)

  11. Congrats on the success of your latest book. I'd prob be willing to be a 'ghost' for someone I'm very close to for a one or two time type of thing (as long as legal/ethical) to help them out but that would be about it. More than that I think it would be difficult to maintain the secrets and avoid any conflict that would strain the relationship.

  12. Hi, Kate, and welcome back to The Romance Dish! We're thrilled to have you dish with us. Congrats on hitting the NYT...again!! This series sounds terrific!

    Hmmm, what a tough question! I really don't know how to answer it. Both sides have pros and cons so I guess it would depend. It's too early to think so hard! LOL

  13. Thank you, Jane! I just found out yesterday that THE LIES THAT BIND will hit the New York Times list at #31! So exciting!

    Thank you, too, Helen! It is interesting to think of ghostwriting in terms of a regular job. If one of your coworkers paid you, would you do a report for her and never tell anyone you wrote it? I guess it's a lot like doing someone's homework for them in high school. Of course, back then, we might've done it for a cute boy even without the money.

  14. Hi, Lea Ellen! You may say you're not creative, but your answer still made me laugh. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Lindsay, Very thoughtful answer. So for you, it sounds like the recognition of a job well done is enough, even if no one knew that you were the one doing that job. But what if you couldn't even tell your friends and family? So truly, no one else knew?

    I'm not sure I could do it.

  16. PJ,

    Thank you so much for the warm welcome and for hosting me here today! The Romance Dish is one of my favorite stops on blog tour because you're always so enthusiastic and friendly.

    I'm glad you enjoyed THE LIES THAT BIND. The next book, MURDER UNDER COVER, is scheduled for May release and, believe it or not, it's already available for pre-order! I hope you'll get a kick out of the rare book that's featured in that one. ;)

  17. Christie, I know I'm supposed to be here to promote THE LIES THAT BIND, but seriously... you must watch Castle! It's a fabulous show. Gripping but still lighthearted. Really great! And even if you don't happen to like the show, you can watch it on mute just to get a Nathan Fillion fix.

  18. gamistress, How interesting that you would be willing to ghost for a close friend. For me, I think that might be more difficult than ghosting for a stranger (or in this case, a person who doesn't actually exist). Because every time my friend showed pride in her new book, I would be cringing inside thinking, "It's my book!"

  19. Hi, Kate. Cute post. Great book. I'm halfway through Lies that Bind. Loving Brooklyn's story, as always.

    RE: ghostwriting. Um, actually I met a ghostwriter and he told me all about the gig, much for not being able to tell friends and family and mere acquaintances. The guy (yes, it was a guy) would make a lousy spy...or he was lying and I was duped... :)

  20. Good morning, Andrea! :) Thank you so much! I've been getting lots of terrific reader feedback on the series. Hope you'll love it!

  21. Hi, Avery! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Seemed like a fun topic, and Castle is one of those shows that straddles the line between mystery and romance, so I thought I would find other fans here at The Romance Dish.

    I'm sure there's no way that they can keep ghostwriters from telling that they wrote the book... but the question is more interesting when you assume you couldn't take credit even with your closest friends. ;)

  22. Oh no, you can't quit writing your own books Kate, I would be supremely upset!

    I believe if you do the work you deserve the credit. I work too hard at whatever I do for someone else to take the credit.

  23. Hi Kate,

    Major congrats on hitting the big list!I am an ardent fan of Castle(and Nathan Fillion) and when the first Richard Castle book came out, I thought, GENIUS! Then I went seeking out the real author. My inquiring mind HAD to know. Well, I sit here frustrated that I can't find that answer. And when it comes to connecting with the author, from a reader stand point, who's gonna sign my copy? From a writer's perspective, I couldn't do it. I would want the book to say, by Deena Remiel, writing as Richard Castle. Recognition is so important when you spend hours alone at your computer. I want to be connected with my readership.
    If you ghost write, Kate, you couldn't be doing this right now with us! That would be a crime! ;)

  24. Hi, Kate! Congrats on another NYT bestseller! I'm looking forward to reading The Lies That Bind, and how great that we only have a few months to wait for the next one.

    You know I think I'd like being a ghost writer. I'm such an introvert that missing out on book signings and public appearances would be a boon. As long as the checks had my name on them, I'd be happy. :)

  25. I'm a mother and grandmother, so
    I feel like I do frequently sublimate my identity, preferences, etc. But I wouldn't trade that role. Congrats on your latest.

  26. I think it would be fun for awhile to be the anonymous author - but that would fade shortly! BTW, I do read the Richard Castle books and knowing the author is fictional makes the stories even more an integral part of the series itself. Good luck on your own success!! Just finished your latest Brooklyn adventure last night and it was great.

  27. Dianna, thank you! That's so nice to hear!

    Deena, how interesting that you've tried to figure out who really writes the books but haven't been able to do so. There's a lot of speculation online.

  28. Janga, LOL!!! Yes, the checks must definitely have the right name on them. That's crucial.

    LSUReader, that is such an interesting take on things. Parents do often sublimate their identities and needs in favor of their children's. The natural order of things.

  29. Kuzlin, I truly do think the Castle books are genius in marketing. The books help the world of the show to feel more real. Of course, it only works if the books are good. :) I haven't read them yet. Are you enjoying them?

  30. Kate, congrats on Brooklyn's third outing! I'm reading The Lies That Bind now and loving it.

    I would ghost-write if I thought it would open doors for my own writing. Or if it paid boatloads of money. Or if I got to meet the cast of Stargate SG-1. Or Nathan Fillion. Or Hugh Jackman and his wife, who seems like a fascinating person in her own right.

    Or if I got to play a SHIELD agent in the next Iron Man movie.

    Hmm. None of those seem highly likely.

  31. LOL, Nancy! But it's fun to dream, isn't it?

  32. I believe if you do the work you deserve the credit. I work too hard at whatever I do for someone else to take the credit.

    This is where I'd have the problem too, Dianna.

  33. Hi Deena! Thanks for popping in!

    You said, And when it comes to connecting with the author, from a reader stand point, who's gonna sign my copy?

    Good point! I'd feel kind of cheated having the book signed by the person who did not write it!

  34. As long as the checks had my name on them, I'd be happy. :)

    If those checks had enough zeros, I guess I could be convinced to shelve my pride...for one or two books. ;-)

  35. Kuzlin, I'd love to know what you think of the books!

  36. LSUReader said, I'm a mother and grandmother, so
    I feel like I do frequently sublimate my identity, preferences, etc.

    I do that as well but that's something I do from the heart so I view it differently.

  37. Nancy, I love your ghost-writing reasons. You have me grinning from ear to ear! :)

  38. Kate, thanks for being our special guest today and congratulations again on the success of THE LIES THAT BIND!

    For those of you who don't know, Kate also writes contemporary category romances for Silhouette Desire. Watch for her December 7th release, Sweet Surrender, Baby Surprise!

  39. Thank you so much, PJ! I had a lovely time here today. Thank you for being such a gracious hostess.

  40. I think it would be very hard not to take credit for a book if it became a big hit. I would hope people would be curious enough to dig up who the real author is.
    Being part of a series like that could be interesting and maybe even fun. When Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys came out, it was a variety of authors writing the book under a single authors name. Since the authors are the same today as 50 years ago, I assume they are still continuing the practice.
    I do find it interesting that a fictitious author is putting out these books. As you say, great marketing.

  41. Librarypat, I never knew that about the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. That's fascinating!