1) Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what made you decide to write, and how long have you been at it?
I remember the first time I wrote a fiction item. My sixth grade teacher assigned us the job of creating a week-long journal of a caveman family. That was fun, and I wish I still had the piece, although I’d probably cringe while reading it and hide it from all eyes except my own. Lol. I’ve always loved writing, loved writing research articles, short stories, etc. But, of course, life got in the way. Along with teaching and a lot of traveling, we raised two sons. But once they were on their own, I sensed the desire to write resurrecting! I finished some computer classes and re-entered the writing field. I had to re-learn a lot of things that had changed through the years, but never quit, never gave up the dream. I’ve always believed in shooting for the stars. I may only reach the moon, but at least it’s higher than I would have been.
2) Are you a plotter, a pantser, or a combination?
Mostly a pantser, although I do my own form of outlining. It’s not narrowly confined to an outline, but in a general way, I know what I want to bring to pass and where I want to go. Many times I’ll know what comes next in a new chapter, too. The downside to being a pantser for me are the writing blocks I get. Rereading, brainstorming with either my husband or critique friends help a lot and keep me on track.
And, of course, I use some old tricks:
1. Imagine your hero/heroine in a worse situation. Perhaps the scene is too tame. Or the h/h should have done an action differently. Something more severe should have happened.
2. Or change the scene. Sometimes we write a scene and end up not knowing where to go. It’s then I realize he/she should have gone a different direction.
3) Do you write full time, or do you work it in alongside a full-time job?
I no longer work outside the home, but still have plenty of obligations that kill my time. I love being with my family and we do a lot of things together so that’s not really a problem. My husband is great about helping around the house, so that’s a real blessing. Mostly, if I discipline myself enough, I can find the time to write.
Now that my debut novel is out and another one out this month, I’m marketing like crazy! That’s a time-taker, but necessary. Still in my mind, I plot and think about my current projects. I jot down ideas for my novels. And I write as I can.
4) What do your kids think about your being a writer?
They actually love it and are delighted I’m being traditionally published this year. Probably because they’re tired of asking me when. And I’m sure they wish I’d hit the bestseller list, if for no reason other than making money. Still they like to read my work and tell me how great I am (big smile), they give me ideas and plot thoughts, suggest people to send my book to (even trace down famous people and suggest I send to them! Lol). I think they might be proud of their mother! At least I hope so.
5) What do you do to get past writer’s block?
This is an easy one: two of my best ways is to talk with my husband who is a great brainstormer (and comes up with some super plot ideas too!) and to attend writing meetings with my friends. They inspire me to get home and begin again.
6) What’s your favorite method for keeping a story’s middle from sagging?
Kill someone? Just kidding. But that is one solution to a sagging middle: increase the odds, up the stakes, create new tension. I believe in having chapter endings that will make the reader say, “I’ve got to read a few more pages to see what’s happening.” If you can work toward that end in every chapter, I think, overcoming that old sagging middle can be avoided.
From the endorsements and reviews I’ve received so far, it seems I’ve succeeded in doing that with The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. It’s wonderful to hear readers say they “were turning pages as fast as they could” to see what was happening next.
7) Do you have any pets? Do you own them, or they you?
Love my pets. We have too many cats and three dogs:
* Mackie (a Boston terrier and a stray brought home by one of our softhearted sons) who’s been with us forever it seems;
* Noah, a black and white rough collie (full blooded), who was “donated” to us because his first owner couldn’t keep him any longer and who traveled all the way from Pennsylvania with us stretched out on the back seat of our Cadillac;
* Taffy, another mix (looks a little like a Jack Russell) who turned up on our doorstep--so to speak--after one of our horses died and the other one was grieving. When we got home we found her close by Cheyenne and from then on Cheyenne was fine. I don’t know what Taffy did or said to the horse, but it worked!
By the way, Taffy figures in a mystery series I’m writing with the first book--Hog Insane--out in October. Hint: it is not about pigs! (Grin)
Carole Brown’s debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, was a semi-finalist in the Genesis contest. Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, she enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled across the country. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
I’d love to connect with readers at:
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
I also participate on:
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net
Geezers Gals and Guys: http://geezerguysandgals.blogspot.com/
Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for a chance to win a copy of The Redemption of Caralynn Hayman!
After reading the first chapter of a little girl witnessing the murder of her mom by her boyfriend, I was a little hesitant to keep reading. This was my first novel that I have read addressing women physically and sexually abused and the horrors they are forced to endure. Carole Brown did a great job writing the story plot, which also incorporated a mystery and a love story. I had a hard time putting the book down hoping that justice prevailed in the end and that the bad guys got what they deserved. I would recommend this book.