Name Caroline Clemmons
Where are you from
Texas in the Southwestern United States but I’ve also lived in California and Florida
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Except for seven years in Southern California as a child, I grew up in the Lubbock area of West Texas and that’s where I met my husband, who is also my best friend. I’ve worked as bookkeeper, secretary, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, and assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal. For most of our married life, we’ve lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, which is North Central Texas. We now live in Hurst, a Fort Worth suburb, with our menagerie of rescued animals.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
In addition to the book I’m sharing today, I’m involved in the American Mail-Order Brides Series created by Kirsten Osbourne. This is a project of fifty books by forty-five authors (some authors have more than one book) which will be released one a day starting November 19th through January 7th. My book is PATIENCE, BRIDE OF WASHINGTON and will be released December 30th. The prequel to the series is FREE at www.newwesternromance.com and you can also see each of the covers and a brief blurb at the same site. Each of the books can be preordered now and mine is at Amazon USA http://amzn.com/B017HLR6CE and Amazon UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017HLR6CE
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I made little illustrated stories as la child. In junior high, I took journalism and loved it. One year I was editor of our school paper and won awards for my editorials and for the newspaper. I switched to fiction in the 1990s.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I made my first sale in 1998. Actually, if you write, then you’re a writer. Making a sale validates your work. Even though I didn’t make much money from the initial sale, I was published!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A story my high school theater teacher told of driving through floodwaters. Once when my husband and I were driving past the spot my teacher had mentioned, the story popped into my head.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Caroline: I believe everyone has a unique writing style and voice. The trick is to edit carefully to correct errors without deleting the voice.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Caroline: This one had to fit the series so we decided THE SURPRISE BRIDES would be the first part of the title followed by our hero’s name. Hence, mine is THE SURPRISE BRIDES: JAMIE. The other brothers are Caleb (by Callie Hutton), Gideon (by Cynthia Woolf), and Ethan (by Sylvia McDaniel). Cynthia Woolf conceived the idea and I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Caroline: Most of my books are about redemption—not religious redemption, but of dreams and self-esteem. Of course, finding that special soul mate is also a message, as I believe there’s “a lid for every pot”, as the saying goes.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Caroline: I try to keep locale, mores of the time, dress, speech, and other everyday things realistic. The characters are fictional, but I intend for them and their story to appear real to readers. For THE SURPRISE BRIDES: JAMIE, for instance, I did a lot of research about surviving in the wild in winter.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Caroline: Not exactly. You know we are all the sum of all our experiences. I draw on the way I felt when a certain thing happened to let readers know how my character felt. I’ve never shot anyone, for instance, but I know I could if my family’s safety depended on me doing so. We’ve all been angry, sad, afraid, and in love. Those recollections are a part of us. They’re there waiting for me to pull them out to fit my story.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life? a mentor?
Caroline: A couple of books made me want to write like that author: Julie Garwood’s PRINCE CHARMING and Maggie Osbourne’s THE PROMISE OF JENNY JONES. I loved Julie Garwood’s medieval stories and enjoy her current contemporary suspense, but PRINCE CHARMING is a perfect book in my opinion. So is her FOR THE ROSES.
As far as a mentor, early on Lorraine Heath of Dallas Area Romance Authors encouraged me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Caroline: THE ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline. I just completed Debra Holland’s HEALING MONTANA SKY.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Caroline: Geri Foster’s Falcon series and Women of Courage series can’t be topped. Geri grabs your attention on page one and won’t let you stop reading until the end of the book.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Caroline: After the American Mail-Order Brides are released, I’m part of another secret project that will release in February. Then I’ll be writing more on my Bride Brigade series and my other series in 2016. I’m always writing on something.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Caroline: My critique group. No one understands what writers endure more than other writers. Having someone who “gets” that having voices in your head or seeing movies play out in your imagination doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Of course, it doesn’t mean you’re sane, but it could just mean you’re a writer. J Also, when I’ve been discouraged and ready to about give up, writer friends have cheered me to continue. They’ve forced me to stretch and do things I didn’t believe I could do.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Caroline: Certainly. I write every day for at least a part of the day. I have to admit I get more done now that my husband is retired and does the cooking and clearing away of dishes and also his laundry.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Caroline: I don’t think so. Better to move forward.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Caroline: My dad was such a good storyteller. He encouraged me to write. I think that’s why I prefer writing historical to contemporary, because his stories were all about how his family came to Texas and events that happened to them.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Caroline: I’d love to.
Olivia Stewart risks everything to accomplish her dreams. She’s tired of being pitied because she’s been jilted, tired of teaching other people’s children without any of her own. When she signs with a matrimonial agency, a letter from Jamie Fraser sounds perfect. A widower with two young children will give her a head start on the family she’s determined to have. But Colorado holds surprises for Olivia that endanger her goals and even her life.
Rancher Jamie Fraser is shocked to learn his mother has written for a mail-order bride for him! He has two children and no plan to marry again. Ever! His late wife taught him women can’t be trusted. Even his beloved mother isn’t above tricking her sons to achieve her heartfelt ambitions. Now he’s stuck with a wife he didn’t want—a stubborn woman bent on changing his home and his life.
Can two strong people at odds achieve happiness? Angel Springs, Colorado is a small town that inspires big dreams. Olivia and Jamie just might find their dreams meld to form a powerful and enduring love.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Caroline: Yes! Marketing and social media. If an author does all the social media needed for promotion, there’s no time to write. Also, getting enough reviews is difficult.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Caroline: Oh, I have too many author friends to single out just one. I will say that my friend Geri Foster is able to write rapidly and still maintain a high quality. She and Kirsten Osbourne have helped me learn to write faster.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Caroline: I should. Conferences and research trips are fun, but I’m a homebody who just sits in my office that people call my “pink cave” and write. Travel to conferences is an excellent way to network and I should do more. I have a brace on my left ankle and a limp, so I don’t go places where I’ll have a lot of walking to do.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Caroline: Jennifer Zigrino did the cover for The Surprise Brides. I’ve used several designers. Kim Killion, Skhye Moncrief, Erin Dameron Hill, and Covers by Roberta.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Caroline: Distractions. I love writing but LIFE has a way of interfering, doesn’t it? Right now, my eldest daughter is staying with us after she badly shattered her femur. Since she lives alone, she has to stay with us until she can safely life on her own. She’s very considerate, but still has needs during the day.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Caroline: Writing a series with other authors is much harder than writing a series on your own. We each had to coordinate our stories to make sure we didn’t just tell the same story from a different viewpoint or contradict something in one of the other books. I believe we succeeded rather well.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Caroline: Don’t let anyone discourage you! Hone your craft so you know the rules even if you choose to break them later. Find a good critique group who offer positive criticism, never personal. Develop the habit of writing every day even if you only manage a sentence.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Caroline: Thank you! I appreciate each of you and love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you sign up for my mailing list at http://carolineclemmons.us5.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=0a24664c906875718d975ad7b&id=7c2e488a51 I’ll send you a free e-book of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Caroline: HEIDI. First, my mom read it to me. After I learned to read. I poured over it again and again. I have to confess I was a big fan of comic books, too.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Caroline: Laugh—lots of things, especially getting together with friends. Cry— Sappy stuff. I’m a sucker for a sweet story on TV. I don’t usually cry when reading, but I did for Debra Holland’s HEALING MONTANA SKY. She is a super writer.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Caroline: My father’s mother. She died when he was four. There are a lot of people I wish I could have met, but you specified only one.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Caroline: My husband and I plan to be cremated and then enurned together with one headstone that gives our names, dates of birth and death, and then under that “United Forever” because I believe we truly are soul mates and will be together in the hereafter.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Caroline: Reading, of course, and spending time with family. I love visiting antique malls, travel, and getting together with friends. I used to play bridge and oil paint, but now I use that time to write.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Caroline: For a movie, I like romantic comedy like “Leap Year”. Once in a while I watch a mystery or action adventure. The TV shows I enjoy are (don’t laugh) The Great British Baking Show even though I seldom cook, many BBC mysteries, NCIS, NCIS New Orleans, and Blue Bloods.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Caroline: Foods: Spicy TexMex and Oriental; Colors: periwinkle blue, sage green, and lavender; Music: depends on what I’m doing. For writing, I listen to classical. For other times, I listen to an eclectic mix of artists like Carole King, James Taylor, the Beatles, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Caroline: Antique dealer or women’s shelter volunteer (or both).
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Thank you, Fiona, for having me as your guest.
THE SURPRISE BRIDES: JAMIE Links
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015272I3Wv
Apple (it’s there but I don’t have a Mac and can’t find the link)
THE SURPRISE BRIDES series buy links:
Caroline Clemmons, JAMIE http://amzn.com/B015272I3W
Cynthia Woolf, GIDEON http://amzn.com/B015JLMQBU
Callie Hutton, CALEB http://amzn.to/1KvP4id.
Sylvia McDaniel, ETHAN http://amzn.com/B015PG1FOI
Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest. Subscribe to her newsletter here to receive a FREE novella.