Chocolate, Plagues and Gift Cards

My author interview today involves all of the above…so stay with me.  Blogging has been a fun way to meet other writers–kind of like high tech Pen Pals. Today’s spotlight author is CARRIE RUBIN.  

Carrie was one of the first bloggers I met. She’s a funny gal from Ohio that makes me laugh.  I’ve been excited for her new book, and bought it as soon as it was released. I really liked it! Now on to the good stuff…chocolate, plagues and gift cards.

Tell us a little about yourself, Carrie.

I’m a mother, wife, and daughter. I’m also a pediatrician (which helps with the first one). And most recently, I’m a…um…a…writer. Still can’t get used to using that self-description.

You’ve earned the right to call yourself an author. Your book was great! Tell my readers a little about it.  

The Seneca Scourge is a medical thriller with a side of science fiction. It centers on an influenza pandemic. Yes, I know. That’s never been done before…

PLAGUES! Your flu epidemic was scary! Made me go out and buy masks.  I hope Halloween masks protect from germs.  Speaking of Halloween, what candy bar would be your motto for life?

A frozen Snickers bar. Sometimes you have to gnaw at the thing, but the extra effort is worth it.

English: A Snickers candy bar, broken in half.

Awesome! Everyone now knows what the Rubin’s are handing out for Trick or Treating. But sorry…forget Halloween. We are doing an interview. What’s your favorite children’s book?

Piggie Pie! by Margie Palatini. I used to love to read it to my kids—mostly because her books are great but also because I do a pretty mean witch’s voice.

You know how to pull me back to the Halloween theme, don’t you? Too bad we don’t have a YouTube video of this interview. You could use your witch voice, and I could ask questions with my mouth full of frozen snickers. I know it would be a hit!

All right…next life-changing question. If you could be an animal, what would you be?

A cat. Seems a natural fit for an introvert. Then again, so does a hibernating bear. And he gets to sleep. Hmm, maybe I’ll go with that one.

Go with the bear. I’d be allergic to you if you were a cat.  What are some of your favorite things?

Chocolate. Chocolate. Oh, and chocolate.

CHOCOLATE! This is one of the reasons I like you so much! You’re a woman after my own heart. Chocolate is the foundation of all great friendships! But, I must not get sidetracked by the ‘C’ word. On to the writing questions. What are some of your favorite books?

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Those are the respectable answers. Thrillers, however, are my favorite genre.

Seneca Scourge was definitely a thriller. How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing? 

As this is my first novel, probably a fair amount. It’s that whole “write what you know” phenomenon. But I’ve never saved the world from a pandemic. Just thought I should disclose that…

Well, you can’t do everything. But your main character sure did! If you could sum her up in 5 words, what would they be?

Loner who saves the world.

Thank goodness for loner Sydney McKnight! Give her a round of applause! She might just have saved YOUR life.  Now to conclude this interview, can you tell everyone in 2 sentences why they should read your book?

Because it’s a fast-paced, easy read without heavy prose. And because it’s the safest way to encounter a killer influenza virus.

I felt very safe reading it (of course, I was wearing my Frankenstein mask. I didn’t want to take any chances).  Thanks for stopping by, Carrie

I’d like to offer my thanks and gratitude to you, Char, for allowing me this chance to discuss my book. As I told you in a recent comment, YOU are the Joy in the Moment.

Aw Shucks! You’ve made me blush. To celebrate the release of her new book, Carrie is giving away 2 $10 gift cards to a couple of lucky commenters. Yes! You read that right.


I told you we’d get chocolate, plagues, and gift cards into this interview. Leave a comment and I will draw 2 winners on Sunday, Oct 7th, and notify Carrie to send out gift cards. If you’d like to read The Seneca Scourge, I’ve put the Amazon link below for your convenience. It’s an exciting read! 

Have a great week! And remember to wear your masks so you don’t die from Carrie’s Scourge (or immunize yourself with chocolate. Does that work, Carrie?  Um, Carrie…are you still here? Darn! She left. I’m stockpiling chocolate…just in case.)


Amazon: Seneca Scourge

***For non-Wordpress users, leave me your email in your comment so Carrie can contact you should you win.

124 thoughts on “Chocolate, Plagues and Gift Cards

  1. Great interview Char. I waited for months for this book to come out so I could read it. It did not disappoint. Now…I’m waiting for the next one!! Get crackin’ Carrie!

  2. I have been following Carrie for a long time now. She is intelligent and has a razor-sharp wit. Yes, I said razor-sharp wit. I can’t wait to read her book. Oh yeah, Char and I’m in the I LOVE CHOCOLATE club myself.

  3. Thanks, Charissa! You are a gem to post this, and the chocolate references could not have pleased me more. Loved how you put this together!

    I will link to this in a post on Wednesday or Thursday (usually I post on Thursday, but I have to leave early for a conference so I might post it Wednesday night), and I’ll mention the two $10 Amazon gift cards. Thanks again!!

    • I asked my kids to make dessert last night because I was tired of cooking since I’d done a big dinner. And, sadly, no one made dessert. So my cravings came through in my post as I wrote it up wishing I had brownies or some other luscious thing to eat. I had to appease myself with internet chocolate (which is not nearly as good as real chocolate). I’m glad you’re not on a diet. This ‘sweet’ post might not have pleased you then. Have fun at your conference this week!

  4. I love Carrie’s blog and chocolate too. Strangely enough, some of my favorite books lean toward the apocalyptic so I’ll have to read this one. I’m glad to hear the world was saved though too.

  5. Fun, fun post. I always love your interview style, Char. You might have missed your calling. As fate would have it, my bday was this past week and hubs surprised me with an e-reader last night. The very first thing I did was download Carrie’s book because I figured I couldn’t wait for the paperback. Page one had me cringing immediately at all the sneezing and mucous going on. That’s all the spoiler I’ll give. 🙂 But if page one is any indication of what I’m in for, then I am certain the book is going to be very thrilling indeed.

    Good job on the 5-word description, Carrie. That’s a tough one!

    • Happy Birthday…and yippee for the e-reader. You’ll love it. I download so many free books from blogs all the time. It’s fun. I don’t always read them as fast as I should, but I eventually get to all of them. Glad you are liking Carrie’s book. Yeah, that guy on the airplane made me nauseous! Please don’t let me sit by him next time I fly.

  6. Drat, did I miss out on all the chocolate?! Is there any left? 😉 Great interview, Char. I’m jealous of your creativity with your blog posts! And Carrie will undoubtedly be an entertaining interviewee as her books become more and more popular. 🙂

    Since I’ve already won a signed copy of Carrie’s book, could you please not include my comment in the contest? I’d feel bad if a got another prize. Thanks! 🙂

    • There’s a lot of chocolate out there. Google ‘Chocolate’ and your taste buds will start salivating. Then you’ll want to either bake or go somewhere yummy to get some of the real thing. Thanks for stopping by, Jacqueline, and for letting me know to not include you…although it’s cash, so you shouldn’t feel too guilty for trying for the bonanza. Carrie’s doing the gift cards in case someone that already has her book can still win. So I might still throw you in the drawing even if you protest!

    • You are too chivalrous. (Can a woman be chivalrous?) But if you win the amazon gift card, you can download a book about unicorns and rainbows to counteract The Seneca Scourge’s nasty pessimism. 😉

  7. Great interview! You both had your laugh-o-meters set to high. I love Carrie’s five-word description of the protagonist. I’ll have to try that. Ah, another person who likes cold chocolate! I’ve always found it lasts longer that way. 🙂

    • Cold chocolate…heavenly. I can make a box of See’s truffles last for weeks. I savor one a day. Thanks for popping in for our interview, Justin. I still remember your chocolatey post (it made me drool).

  8. Great interview! Sounds interesting… have not yet read a medical thriller… there will be a first yet on my reading list 😉 Oh & about the ‘C’ word – i love love love & i live in a country with some of the best… so can i tempt you with some? hahhahaa 😉

  9. What a fun, casual interview style you have! It was great to read more about Carrie and her book–and I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone pull off “chocolate” and “plagues” in the same title. I’m impressed! And thinking “yum” and “achoo” at the same time. My kindergartener, thank goodness, knows the sneeze-in-your-elbow trick.

    • I can work chocolate into almost any conversation when I’m hungry. I need to learn the sneeze in your elbow trick; I still naturally use my hand (the old fashioned way) and am jealous that my son’s instinct is his shoulder. Maybe someday my brain will get this new fangled germ-free hand trick.

      • Ooh, shoulder, that’s fancy! I hadn’t thought about that one.

        I have made a study of dark chocolate bars over the past nine months… and it has been a very satisfying exploration, I have to say.

    • You could definitely use a good book after all you’ve been through. This one would be right up your alley since it takes place in a hospital. You’re kind of familiar with those, aren’t you?

  10. This book sounds intriguing…loved the interview…both your humor was fun to read! I agree, I think the Youtube video of the interview would have been very entertaining for all us! =)

  11. I bet you had fun with this interview! I knew you’d talk about chocolate but I can’t believe Carrie mentioned a frozen snickers bar without throwing it into a Dairy Queen Blizzard!

    I still have to download a PDF of her book to read. My DSL connection is dying and completely unreliable so I won’t do it until I have something better for downloads. I can’t believe Carrie said her loner saves the world. Damn it, spoiler alert was missing!

    • After reading it, I will tell you that loner saves the world doesn’t spoil the book. There are a few surprises in there, but thankfully it doesn’t end like “The Beach” where everyone in the whole world dies. I hate those kind of endings.

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  13. I’d answer, but I’m smitten with the Seneca Scourge and can’t get away from it lest more deaths occur because of my negligence. How someone so funny can be so scary is a mystery. A medical mystery. A Scourge.

    But real chocolate don’t identify themselves that way. They say “Dark Chocolate” lover, because the other kind isn’t even chocolate in my estimation or taste buds.

    • I know what you mean about not putting the book down for fear more people will die. That plague was SCARY! And yes, you’re right, dark chocolate is the best. But I’m pretty easy going and will take any kind of chocolate over other snacks any day. Peanut butter sandwiches with a few semi-sweet morsels sends me over the edge at lunch time…especially if the bread’s toasted so that it melts the chocolate chips. Yum! Thanks for stopping by! I’ll put you into the drawing.

    • You’re right–I should have specified–because I, too, am a dark chocolate lover. But milk will do in a pinch. Especially when it’s in the form of a Snickers blizzard…

  14. Very interesting…we have many things in common…midwest, chocolate, family, and I can handle easy to read medical thrillers…nice interview I look forward to reading The Seneca Scourge

  15. What a fun interview! I’m definitely going to read Carrie’s book at some point too – why are there not enough hours in the day to read all the books we want to read?! It seems all of us do posts about chocolate now and again too. Oh and I’ve been meaning to come over and check you out properly Char because you’ve commented on my posts a few times. So now that Carrie has lured me over here, I have no excuse! 😉

    • You’re like me, Marti. Every time I put my name in a drawing, I try to ensure mine will win (bend the edges of the card–I’ve tried everything). I’m going to put everyone’s names on cards and let my dog draw the winner. That might be more fair than if I draw it out.

  16. Great interview. I especially like the Chocolate part…which is like 78% of it, at least!

    Still only 1/4th through “Seneca Scourge”, but really enjoying it. Here’s to more of the same…books, that is – not killer pandemics!

    • Yes, I was hungry when I wrote this post and there was no chocolate in the house. If I’d even had so much as a Hershey’s kiss, I might have gone another direction. Oh well!

  17. I knew it! I just knew we were related, Carrie…Snickers…Snickers and more Snickers. Feel as if I’ve just been to “our” first ever Family Reunion for the 10th time. Wait!!! The maths are wrong…whatever…works in politics so skewed maths works for me, too. And, Char…there you were standing by the dessert table. I would have recognized you even without the yellow caution tape draped around the brownie plate. Nice touch!
    Well done, All….looking forward to next year’s reunion…

  18. Glad you stopped by to support Carrie! Have a fantastically chocolatey week (if you like chocolate…and if you don’t, then have a carmely week, or tofu week–whatever perks you up).

  19. All that talk of chocolate had me searching the house for some. Sadly, all I was able to find was an unopened package of Oreos which I promotely devoured with my 3 year-old (she thanks you, by the way). Loved the interview! Congratulations on your book Carrie!

  20. Oh my goodness! You’re still alive! The blue alien chick hasn’t killed you yet. I’m so glad. Don’t worry about me–mum’s the word. I won’t let her get wind that you’ve found a way to defy her and comment on blogs. Is there a secret code you need me to pass along to someone else (because I’ll be honest and admit I’m no good at helping people escape from bad guys–let alone aliens with crazy guns that might burn me to a crisp.

  21. Wonderful interview, Char. I absolutely fascinated with pandemics for some reason. I can’t wait to read your book. I also loved Memoirs of a Geisha. And, chocolate, who can live without that?!

  22. Can you sign me up for some of the white chocolate, please?

    Besides being incredibly funny, Carrie is a very tuned-in and generous blogger. (The best bloggers always seem to be all three of these things.) And who doesn’t want to be a hibernating bear? I would suggest the life of a dog is also pretty awesome, but they are allergic to chocolate…

    • You’re like my daughters. They think white chocolate is best (which works out well; I give them white; they give me all dark). The bear will have to be my animal, and not the dog (for the chocolate alone). I don’t know how my dog looks so happy when she is allergic to such a good thing (of course, if I ate poop or grass, like I’ve caught her doing a couple of times…it would probably kill me; I guess a stomach of steel makes up for the lack of chocolate intake). ***You are right about Carrie! She’s an amazingly genuine blogger that makes the blogging world a better place.

    • It’s a good one. Carrie has a sharp, precise writing style that made the story easy to read (even with all those hard Dr words)

  23. That really was a great intervie I enjoyed it. Carrie and chocolate fun. I can’t wait to read her book. I’m slow to get to it because I have this strange habit of reading books in a certain order. Now chocolate… I wonder if I have any choclate anywhere in this house? :+)

    • Sorry about reminding you of chocolate. It’s a bad habit I have. I know what you mean about ordering books for reading. I feel bad when I jump over books I’ve downloaded earlier than another one. I try not to do it. Carrie was an exception this time. I’ve been excited about her book for a while.

      • I understand I may have to break my rule soon. It’s nice to hear Carrie’s book is getting great reviews. I’m very proud of her as a blogger friend can be. :+)

        I did go to the store near by and look for choclate. I found some nice French chocolate cookies :+) I’m easily suggestable. I should just have a nice big stash of choclate for just those moments.

  24. Hi Char. Great interview. I bought Carrie’s book as soon as it came out as well (then I got sick and since I leave my kindle at work, I went a week without being able to read it 😦 ) I am with you both on the chocolate…and I like mine frozen as well, but not snickers. I love O’Henrys…the new one with Reese’s peanut butter. If I win a gift card, I’m buying chocolate bars…if Amazon sells them. 😛

    • That is a super idea to use your gift card for! I will have to try the new O’Henry’s. I usually only get Twix, Mounds, or Almond Joys when I grab candy at the checkout. But I do love peanut butter, so maybe I’ll have a new favorite if I branch out.

      • The new O’Henrys (which are hard to find, even here) are….how can I describe them….heaven in a wrapper. And it’s probably the ONLY chocolate bar I don’t mind unfrozen…it’s just THAT good. Definitely keep your eyes peeled for them. 🙂

  25. Cool interview! I’ve been following Carrie’s blog for over a year and she’s a talented writer for sure (although I haven’t gotten her book yet. Hmmm I suddenly know what I’d do with an Amazon Gift Card). Anyway, I really like reading Carrie’s blog but in a way I kind of hate her now. I always thought that those of us who were good at the verbal were compensating for being lacking in the math/science department. So now I find out she has it all? I’ve got to go have some chocolate!

    • I hear you! Is there anything Carrie cannot do? Maybe she is a female Clark Kent, acting all meek and mild like she’s an introvert, when in reality, she gets near a phone booth and SHAZAM! She saves the world. She did in her book anyway (minus the phone booth–and the old fashioned SHAZAM…I don’t know where that came from).

    • Haha! I am a rather left-brained person–I do likes me a good statistical study. But unfortunately, that’s also why my writing is so concrete. No fancy abstract prose for me. I wouldn’t know where to begin. 🙂

    • The book does have a very scary scenario that I hope never comes close to happening in real life. Thanks for stopping by, Shannon.

  26. Forget all the talk about chocolates. Carrie Rubin sent me to your website because I might randomly get the joy of sex for under ten dollars. I haven’t gotten the joy of sex for under ten dollars since Warren Harding was president. Carrie also writes a very entertaining book.

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  28. Carrie has always made me smile and laugh out loud in her blogs. Her writing is witty, readable, and just plain perfect! Going to support by getting the book and YES Carrie you have earned the right to call yourself a WRITER!

  29. Fun interview, but how can you want to be a cat when your husband is allergic? Oh…or is that the reason you want to be a cat? Your blogs have a style AND substance that is wonderful, but I don’t know how you can go to a conference that doesn’t serve chocolate. Will they smell it on your breath and kick you out if you sneak in a Snickers in your pocket?

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  32. This interview was a delight to read. Frozen Snickers sound yummie, but I adore Twix more. 🙂

  33. Chocolate and frozen snickers, love it!

    And a current post about cookies and cookie monster?

    Yep, I must be in the right place!

    Loved the interview and am really enjoying your blog Char.

    • Glad I found yours too. I read about your miserable day, and then a better day…and my favorite cookie dough flavor is definitely chocolate chip. It’s just classic goodness, and will bring joy (unless it brings salmonella poisoning, that one of my readers told me I could get since I eat raw cookie dough; I say…it won’t happen)

      • Exactly! I have been living on (or at least snacking on) cookie dough since I was a child many many eons ago. I’ve had lots of weird things happen to me, but never salmonella.

        Besides, why would Ben and Jerry put it in my favorite ice cream?

        I did think it funny about the “cookie connection” though, and I didn’t even realize it was Cookie Month.

        That’s nice that you browsed some past entries, thank-you!

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