Welcome, Carol Ann! It's great to have you stop by and share a bit about yourself, and your latest book:
(see Lilly's Book Club for a peek)
(see Lilly's Book Club for a peek)
First of all, Why did you write this particular book?
There’s no particular reason that I write any book. TRAPPED began with a character in mind…a man who loved animals. After tossing around several ideas, I just started writing and developed a chapter showing his passion for caring for others. I developed an inciting incident around a school bus accident after reading a newspaper article that squeezed my heart. All the things began to gel and soon the story developed with the characters revealing layers of themselves that surprised even me…something that seems to happen with each book I write. I’m not a deep plotter, though I’ve tried every method possible to become a plotter. What works for me is doing a lot of “thinking” and jotting down notes and ideas. Then I just write and the story develops naturally.
Well, it's an interesting method, and it seems to work well for you. Is there any particular theme you most like to write about?
Seems all my books end up being about forgiveness and trust. Again, stemming I believe from my own past experiences and the trials of dealing with these issues.
Two important things I'm sure many of us can relate to. Which of those experiences would you say has contributed most to your writing life?
Growing up as an only child, I lived in books and the adventures swept me away. Once, in third grade, I was reading Bambi in school and didn’t hear the teacher calling my name until the entire class burst out laughing. As I grew older, I daydreamed a lot, creating my own stories which eventually found their way to paper. The stories stopped when I married and started my own family. I continued to read voraciously, but my daydreams were interrupted with a full-time job and raising kids. Then one day I lost my senior management job due to a corporate cut-back. The shock of having nothing to do and being an empty nester drew me into writing again. I started writing short stories for children but the dream of writing a book took hold and I penned my first novel in three months while searching for a job. Since then I “can’t not” write. I believe it wasn’t just one experience, but the culmination of all my life experiences which propelled me into writing. That, and God’s plan, of course!
It is definitely revealing to look back and see God's hand throughout our lives, isn't it. Now that you have found this "storyteller's calling," what do you like most about being a writer?
Being incredibly rich and lazy…NOT!!! Seriously, I love being a writer because I can work from my own home in the quiet solitude of my little office cave. I don’t have to dress up or put on makeup, don’t have to get up at a particular time or drive in bad weather. I enjoy the flexibility of setting my own hours. The very best part of being a writer is hearing feedback from readers who enjoy my stories. When someone tells me they cried while reading a scene…that to me is so rewarding. My boss is the best because I write for God.
That's absolutely wonderful. Do you ever use music for inspiration? If so, what kind?
The music I play isn’t something most people would listen to. I listen to CD’s in the Creative Mind System which are supposed to stimulate the creative mind pattern in my brainwaves. The recordings are like background music that I tune out, but keep me in a creative zone. Not sure if they would work for everyone, but it sure works for me. The 2-CD set came from therelaxationcompany.com and I purchased through Writer’s Digest several years ago.
Well, it must have worked, because I really enjoyed reading TRAPPED (you can read my review over on Lilly's Book Club page), and am looking forward to what comes next. Speaking of which, what manuscript are you working on right now?
Currently I’m working on the second book in the Havens Creek Series. In the first book, TRAPPED, the readers are introduced to the hero’s sister, Rebecca (Becca) Middleton. This new book, as yet untitled, is the continuing story of Becca and her daughter Jenny and a new hero, Chance Stevens. Chance is fulfilling a promise made to a dying soldier when he builds a home near Becca. The last thing he expects is to fall in love with that man’s widow. Is it God’s plan that drew them together? Chance needs to reveal the truth about that fateful day in Afghanistan, but if he does he risks the chance of losing Becca and Jenny.
Sounds like another one I won't be able to put down, so I'll be looking forward to it. I think you did a marvelous job of making Haven's Creek a place people will want to come back to time and again. I'm sure I definitely will!