Name Caroline Lee
Where are you from
I was born and raised outside of Charleston, SC… which is why I chose the pseudonym “Caroline”; I’m a Carolina girl!
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have a Master’s Degree in Comparative World History, which is the study of themes across history. I love social history, and I focused on the history of marriage. I’ve been married to my best friend for ten years, and we have two sons together. #1Son is seven years old, and SquiggLee is four.
I write #HistoryWithHeart, historical romances. I have a series of sweet westerns that take place in Cheyenne, WY in the late 19th Century (the first book is FREE!), and a series that takes place in Charleston, SC after the Civil War during Reconstruction. Here’s The Brothers of Baird’s Cove: Renegade.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A few years ago I read an awesome piece of advice that said basically “If you call yourself something long enough, it’ll stick”. This applies to a lot of things, but I took it to refer to my job. At parties, and in public, and when I met new people, I stopped introducing myself as a “part-time author” in addition to my other work. Instead, I started calling myself a Romance Novelist, and soon I was convinced. It worked! After only a few months of switching gears in how I introduced myself to others, I considered myself a “real” writer. It didn’t have anything to do with the number of books I’d written or sold; it was all mental! Now, I have other jobs, but I consider this one the most important.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
True story: I actually wrote my first full-length romance novel (a Scottish historical) for my husband for our wedding. It’s now buried under the bed in my “do not read” box!
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I’ve been reading historical romance since I was very young (3rd grade), and it definitely influenced who I am today. I studied social history in school because of these books—I firmly believe that historical fiction is applied social history, and that historical romance is the best kind of historical fiction… because they always end happily ever after (unlike real life). I’m not sure that I could choose a specific historical romance that influenced me the most, but I grew up reading Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, and May McGoldrick, and that’s got to count for something!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
In my particularly genre? I’ve recently discovered Merry Farmer’s books, and I have the utmost respect for her and her work. One day I’d love to be compared to her!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I write historical westerns, among others, and I’m currently working on a new series. I’m not giving too much away, but it’s going to be a really fun premise!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
100% yes. Yes, because if I didn’t, what is the point? I have to consider myself an author, and throw myself into it 100%, or it wouldn’t happen. So yes, this is my career, and my dream career.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Writing historical romance involves a lot of research. Luckily, I love social history! I’m not as hard-core as some authors (for instance, I’ll say “the stove” rather than “the Auxiliary Baking Air-Chamber stove”. I might not use these little tidbits of history, but I often share them with my Facebook fans and friends.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
WRITE. The only way to be successful is to write. And then write some more. Write until you tell your whole story, and then write another story. Marketing and social networking is wonderful and necessary, but you need to keep producing books in order to gain an audience. When a reader finishes your book, you need to give him/her a bunch of other books to choose from!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first historical fiction I read was Lucia St. Clair Robson’s Ride the Wind, in early elementary school. I still have a special place in my heart for the Comanche.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Ooooh… pretty much everything.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
<Laughing> I’m a historian! I would love to meet… Oh gosh. Just about anyone. It’d be really cool to meet one of my own female ancestors, and talk about the everyday life of an everyday woman during her time. Also, I have the utmost respect for Robert Smalls, the man who went on to become the first African-American senator, and would love to just chat with him. Smalls was born a slave and sent to Charleston to work on the docks and the ships there. He was piloting a Confederate military transport in May of 1862 when the officers went ashore and Smalls and the rest of the black crew hijacked the ship. They sailed the ship and their families through the blockade to surrender to Union ships, and he became a celebrity in the North. He returned home to Beaufort after the Civil War as a wealthy man, bought his old master’s house, and became a prominent politician in the Republican Party. He was the first black man to become a captain in the US Navy, a successful businessman, an SC Senator, and a member of the US House of Representatives. He was a brave and brilliant man who triumphed over hatred, adversity, and prejudice.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I can’t think of writing as a hobby, or it will become one instead of a career. My real hobbies are reading (of course) and going for walks out in nature. I love to costume, so I’m happy to clear off my desk and whip out the sewing machine whenever the kids request something new for the costume box. Halloween is our favorite holiday, but we play dress-up all year long!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Comedies. The less I have to think, the better. I also watch a lot of animated TV shows (because: kids), and I’m really impressed with some of the writing in them!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My husband is half-Chinese, and we eat a lot of Asian food in our house. Pretty much anything that can be eaten with chopsticks is a winner as far as we’re concerned!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’ve done all sorts of things! Most of my jobs have been administrative- and management-types, and they’ve all been in the fields of academia and special education. I dedicated my last book (Where They Belong) to GMU’s Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities, where I work. The heroine in that story is deaf, and the focus of the story is communication, which is something on which the Kellar Institute focuses.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I don’t blog much anymore, but you can fine me and my works at www.CarolineLeeRomance.com
Amazon authors page amazon.com/Caroline-Lee/e/B00AQ2MHRG