Book Giveaway & Author Interview: Cari Kamm

Tell us about your new novel, For Internal Use Only.
For Internal Use Only is a modern-day romance that uses social media and modern technology. It deals with the sensitive fact that it’s not always a given that we know everything about a person just because the information is more readily available. With the ability to be whoever we want to be, ambiguity has never been higher. The story is told through a unique social commentary, and although entertaining, it also debates the pitfalls of today’s level of transparency.

What inspired you to write this book?
Inspired by the notion that women grow up with ideas of true love and destiny, For Internal Use Only approaches those ideas with a decidedly twenty-first century viewpoint. By incorporating problems inherent with today’s dating world, this book is meant to enlighten readers to stop chasing fairy tales and start creating their own. My goal was to write a humorous love story with an edgy and dramatic twist that gives each of us a new fairy tale to look forward to: our own.

Describe the characters in the book.
Chloe Kassidy has just been accepted into one of Manhattan’s most exclusive art exhibits, Love Through Light. However, with her singular dedication to her career, she soon realizes that in sacrificing her personal life, she has never been in love. A hopeless romantic who is terrified of heartbreak, Chloe begins to enlist the help of her circle of friends to learn about love through their very different stories and experiences.

Chloe’s circle of friends include: Kate Watts, a.k.a. Kit Kat: who preferred to be solo, breaking off the male pieces that attached to her. The word soul mate almost made her nauseous. Stephanie and Alexander Cudney: who met and married with fairy tale love. Emma West: who saw signs and soul mate potentials everywhere.

Oh! Let’s not forget about the mysterious international diplomat... Christoph Kostas.

What is your philosophy on dating?
It’s super simple! When it comes to all things love, especially dating, my philosophy is For My Internal Use Only! I believe that we should follow our own rules, listen to our own head, and follow our own heart. Dating is an emotional investment and I don’t think any rules truly apply.
‘Do you wait for him to make the first move?’
‘Is it 2 or 3 days after our first date that he’ll call?’
‘Should I play hard to get?’
‘When should I let him kiss me?’
‘Is he right for me?’
I think we have the ability to create such chaos and that only leads to doubt, worry and torment. I stopped following rules several years ago. Then, one evening I bumped into a man. Our first date was on Valentine’s Day and we’ve been together ever since. That was four years ago. We probably broke every rule in the dating guidebook. He’s my partner in crime for life.

Why do you write women’s fiction?
Back in my mid-twenties, I finally figured out the value of self-worth. I write women’s fiction because I love writing and reading stories of women, their issues and gaining that sense of empowerment. Yes...we can be intelligent, funny and have a shoe obsession, even though we’re struggling. I love creating characters that are on this journey and it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a romantic one or about a man. 

Who do you turn to for encouragement when you’re writing a novel?
I turn to the amazing, supportive, and talented authors that I’ve connected with on social media! I’m grateful to be a part of several groups on Facebook. The daily sharing sends me warm fuzzy feelings, especially when I need a kick in the encouragement department!
What are your favorite genres to read?
Women’s Fiction / Chick Lit / Mystery. Until recently, I’ve been reading a lot more romance. My 80-year-old Italian grandma would be thrilled! I always caught her reading books with Fabio decorated covers.

What are your top five favorite books?
Oh...this is hard!
Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
The House of Sleep by Jonathan Coe
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Do you prefer to write in the morning, afternoon, or at night?
First thing in the morning. Before anything can shift my mood or motivation, I make coffee and hit the keys. Even if it’s for thirty minutes or an hour. Writing is my morning stretch.

What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
Eat! I’m a huge foodie. I blame New York City. I love to talk about food. Look at food. Eat food. I should mention that this refers to restaurants and not cooking. I don’t like to cook. I’m too exhausted to eat afterwards!  Also, I’m addicted to Soul Cycle classes. I never thought I would consider working out to be such a blast. Thankfully so... it helps with all the eating I do!

What are you working on now?
In November 2012, I participated in National Novel Writing Month and completed my third novel. It’s my first romance novel and takes place in Costa Rica. I hope to release it later this year. To learn more, please check out

I would like to give a HUGE thank you to The Chick Lit Bee for hosting me on their blog today. It’s an honor.

Thank you, Cari!
To keep in touch with Cari, connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Book Giveaway! US only. Please leave a comment to be entered to win 1 of 2 copies of For Internal Use Only (eBook or paperback). Be sure to include your email address or Twitter/Facebook information so that we can get in touch if you win. The winners will be chosen on Friday, March 8th. Good luck!