Goodness, I can't believe The Wild Rose Blog Tour is almost at an end! Time flies when you're having fun and it practically whizzes past when you're in great company! Today I have with me the last of my fabulous Wild Rose authors, Caroline Clemmons, who kindly hosted me on her blog last week. It's a pleasure to return the favour, Caroline. Please pull up a chair and tell us a little about yourself.
Caroline Clemmons: As long as I can remember, I've made up adventures. Okay, I admit the early creative stories featured me riding the range with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and saving the West. What a disappointment to learn that Roy was exclusively committed to Dale! Eventually, my best friend from across the street and I decided to become better detectives than Nancy Drew. We drove our parents and neighbors crazy sticking our pert little noses where they didn't belong. About that time I started writing down my adventures, but mostly I was a reader. Not until I read Nora Roberts' early novels did I decide to create my own romance manuscripts. My road to publishing was a lot slower than Nora's was. No surprise there! I still read Nora's books—as well as those of countless other authors—but now I write full time. Unless life interferes, that is.
My Hero and I live one a small acreage in the ranching and horse country of North Central Texas. Our two daughters are grown, and supportive of my writing. Living with Hero and me now are Webster, our sweet black Shih Tzu, and our two shorthaired cats: Sebastian, a black and white tuxedo who thinks he's our watchcat; and Bailey Erin, a shy apricot tabby. When I'm not writing, I love spending time with family, reading, traveling with Hero, browsing antique malls, and digging into family history and genealogy. Writing about strong heroes and heroines who overcome amazing obstacles to forge a meaningful life together is my passion.
Maya Blake: Nora is a worldwide inspiration, isn't she? At what age were you bitten by the writing bug?
CC: I loved reading and making up stories earlier, but my eighth grade journalism teacher inspired me to write. Strangely enough, her name was Mary Stewart—not THE Mary Stewart of gothic novel fame but very important to her devoted students. I didn’t decide to write a romance novel until much, much later when my mother-in-law and husband encouraged me. My first novel was pretty bad because reading is a lot different than writing. Fortunately, I learned about RWA and attended local chapter workshops.
MB: What genre are you most comfortable writing in?
CC: Romance, although I also like writing mysteries. I guess that’s why all my romances have skulduggery of some kind in them. In romance, I write contemporary, historical, and paranormal time travel. I enjoy writing and reading all three.
MB: Writing-wise, where do you expect to be in five years’ time?
CC: NYTimes Bestseller List. Wouldn’t we all? LOL Hopefully, I’ll be writing for an advance-paying publisher. I love everything about The Wild Rose Press except that they don’t pay an advance or furnish more than one print author’s copy. Perhaps The Wild Rose Press will be so successful by then that they can pay fat advances. Who knows what the future of publishing holds in store?
MB: What’s your perfect writing habit e.g. do you prefer background noise (like music? birdsong? tinkling waterfall?) or complete silence when writing?
CC: I write with instrumental music or chakra attuning CDs. I listen to other things when checking my email, but I need classical for writing. Otherwise, I find my mind singing along instead of concentrating on writing. I find classical music promotes a good rhythm for keying in my words. I have Don Campbell’s Mozart series as well as numerous other beautiful works to soothe me as I write. And I prefer writing in my office at my desktop rather than with my laptop.
MB: If you had to pick just one, which do you think is the most important in a good story: character, voice, or plot? Why?
CC: I believe individual voice is powerful, but it’s the characters that readers either fall in love with or toss aside. Some writers get away with sloppy research or less than credible plots because they write engrossing characters.
MB: I so agree with you on voice! Writing is a consuming business. Do you ever get down time and how do you spend this time?
CC: Spending time with family is first, but I love reading, travel with my husband and/or daughters, browsing antique malls and estate sales, and family history/genealogy. My husband and I enjoy reading together in the evenings or watching a Netflix. We’re not the most exciting people. LOL My brother and I are compiling/writing a family history of our father’s Johnson/Johnston family, and that consumes part of my free time. We’re almost finished and hope to print later this fall.
MB: How exciting! Good luck with the family project. Now tell us
about your latest book or project.
CC: Currently I’m working on another time travel set in the Central Texas Hill Country. All my books are set in Texas, except for one novella. Also recent is OUT OF THE BLUE, a paranormal time travel in which a woman from 1845 Ireland plops down in a 2010 Texas lake, released in June.
My latest release is THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, which is a western historical in which Texas rancher Dallas McClintock is trapped into marrying Irish lass Cenora Rose O’Neill and taking her wild family home with him. Both books were fun to write, and both bookcovers were designed by Nicola Martinez.
THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE is the most eye-catching cover I ever had.
MB: They're both absolutely beautiful. I've got cover-envy, lol. So, as an author, what’s the best advice you’ve been given or would like to give new writers?
CC: Hone your craft and persevere. Find trustworthy and informed critique partners who will offer constructive critiques. Don’t write to trends. Be faithful to yourself and your writing. Most important—don’t let anyone steal your dream!
MB: It's been absolute joy having you here today, Caroline. How do readers contact you?
CC: My email is email@example.com
Website is www.carolineclemmons.com
Blog is http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com and I also post on the 7th of each month at http://seducedbyhistory.blogspot.com
I have a fan page on Facebook, although there are several Caroline Clemmons on Facebook.
On Twitter I’m @CarolinClemmons (no E in Caroline)
Seems I’m everywhere—Goodreads, Savvy Authors, RWA chapters, etc.
And now for some more exciting news. Anyone who has commented so far (or about to comment) will be in with a chance of winning a prize basket of 10 (yes, you heard right) e-books! You also get to name the hero in Rae Summers' next book and receive a web banner created by Aileen Harkwood. The draw will be held at the end of the month. Click on the banner for more details and don't forget to check back next week to find out if you're the lucky winner.
I'll leave you in Caroline's capable hand while I pop over to Rae Summers' blog for a visit. Come say hi!