trueThe number one question I get asked in interviews these days is “What is New Adult romance?”

The short answer is that it’s a romance that features a heroine between the ages of 18 and 25.

The long answer is that it fulfills not only the age gap between YA and adult romance, but it delves into the pivotal life choices that females make at this age without the presence of parents, and with friends and romantic relationships as the strongest influence.  It’s a time of great freedom and exposure to new people, but it always means new responsibilities and messy mistakes.  Wince-worthy mistakes.  Hey, they don’t call them beer goggles for no reason.

Personally, I find the intensity and the passion of that age awesome and fascinating.  I remember staying up all night at Denny’s talking about how we were going to change the world and attending protests against human trafficking and rallies for Green Peace.  I also remember choosing to go out for Backbeat Night at the club instead of studying for an exam and totally sleeping right through it the next morning.  Which would fall under the category of Poor Choice.  But the friends I made in college are still some of my best friends and I think I matured more in two years than in the previous six before that.

So I enjoyed revisiting those years in writing True, my first New Adult novel.  Rory is the silent observer at college, a pre-med student, the sidekick to her more vivacious roommates.  When they introduce her to Tyler, a charming bad boy with tattoos and a dysfunctional family, she finds his interest puzzling, but is willing to ignore the red flags in order to experience her first sexual experiences.  What she doesn’t expect to do is fall in love with him.  Tyler doesn’t either, and he realizes that he has made a huge mistake in involving Rory in his life, which includes a drug addicted mother and a father in prison.  Will logic win out over love?

I hope readers will have fun (and maybe cry) reading True and if you bump into my mother, let’s not mention to her that I skipped class because I was hungover, ‘kay?  Thanks. :)



Seeing is BelievingAround the age of nine (give or take a few years) a lot of kids stop believing in the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, and the conviction that their parents are invincible and have all the answers.  In the Disney movie, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, they labeled it as the Age of Not Believing, and Angela Lansbury sings a tune to that affect.  It’s that transitional age from childhood to the teen years and it can be a tough and frankly, scary, time.  For the heroine in my March release, Seeing Is Believing, Piper Tucker never believed in fairy tales, given that she was raised by an abusive stepfather and abandoned at the age of eight.  But she did believe in ghosts, since they have always manifested to her.

Brady Stritmeyer believed Piper was telling the truth, just like he believed that his dreams for a better future lie outside of their small town and in the big city.  Now, fifteen years later, he has returned home to Cuttersville, dream shattered, to find that Piper has grown up and no longer talks to ghost, but still has a crush on him.

I’m a child of the eighties, and to me everything is an eighties song lyric, so I think Journey sums it up nicely by reminding us never to stop believing.  Sure, by the age of ten a bit of the wonderment of life has been knocked out of us by reality, but part of the journey (yes, that is a pun) is to recapture our awe as we pass beyond our teens and enter adulthood.  We learn to redefine what is means to believe in the mysteries and the magic of the world around us, and most of all, in ourselves.  We don’t need to see something to believe in it.  So while we can puzzle over the fact that the modern interpretation of Cupid is a rather bizarre chubby arrow-wielding kid in a diaper, we believe in the sentiment behind it: love.

If we don’t, we’ll have to answer to Steve Perry.

fangoverSince there are dozens of haunted houses to visit each Halloween, it seems I’m not the only person who enjoys the thrill of being scared. One of the perks of writing paranormal fiction is that I get to indulge my hobby and call it research so in the last few years not only have I gone to staged haunted houses, I have checked out some supposedly real haunted sites in the US. I tend to be a skeptic, but I love the stories, love the spine tingling feeling, and love the possibilities of future novels that spring from my adventures. Do ghosts exist? I have no idea, but all of these places certainly have a rich and intriguing history.

Waverly Institute in Kentucky: An old asylum that eventually housed tuberculosis patients, it had a body chute to carry the deceased to the mortuary. Seriously creepy place and well worth getting on the waiting list to visit.

erin_mccarthy_fangover1Haunted Hotels of New Orleans: I have stayed at the Olivier House, Hotel Monteleone, Andrew Jackson Hotel, and the Provincial. In the Olivier House, we have definitely heard odd things and had items appear such as straight pins sticking out of our mattresses (which could be a maid resenting her tip I suppose) and a black crow (yes, a live black crow was in the room!). In the Andrew Jackson, my sister complained of children running and laughing in the hallway late at night only there were no children staying there. Turns out, it a dozen or so boys died in a fire there when it was a boarding school.

LaLaurie Mansion: This house is privately owned but just looking at it from the outside is enough to raise the hair on the back of your neck. A doctor and his wife tortured their slaves here and managed to escape punishment. The window that is blocked off (and where allegedly they did the torturing behind the bricked over window) reminds you that ghosts or not, a real life evil couple did indeed live here. My book, The Taking, has a house in it I based off of the LaLaurie mansion.

Franklin Castle: This house in Cleveland was built by a German immigrant who lost his wife and children to disease. Supposedly children can be heard crying and there are sounds of parties. There are also odd peepholes and secret doors in the very stately home.

Gettysburg: Enough said. Thousands of men died there, and it is a sad, solemn place.

erin_mccarthy_fangover2Mansfield Prison: I actually spent the night in the empty prison, where they filmed The Shawshank Redemption. There was no electricity and no heat, and it is one crumbling pile of brick and metal. It has the largest free-standing cell block (six floors high, cells all stacked on each other with a main hallway) and the worst offenders were housed here. I spend some time in solitary confinement, but the only vibe I get is that murderers and molesters lived and died in this hopeless place. The pictures are of me in the prison, and yes, I laid on the bed, and I found an old Harlequin romance novel in there!