Monday, September 21, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Carole Brown

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I began writing in grade school and since I’ve always loved being read to and then reading myself, it was a natural instinct to move on into writing. My first recollection of a written piece was when one of my elementary teachers assigned us the project of creating a week long journal of a caveman’s family. Wish I still had that. I can almost imagine how horrified I would be now reading it! Much better to look back and remember it in my faded memory.


How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

Once I have my normal morning “chores” completed, I take care of important email, give face book and/or twitter a look at (unless I’m promoting, then, of course, that takes a bit longer).  I might do a guest post or two, work on my own blog, etc. After that, I’m free to edit or write. I can finish the morning and on into the afternoon progressing on whatever writing tasks I’ve planned for the day. I seldom write in the evenings unless I’m on a deadline. I like to take that time to spend with my hubby. 

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I have a huge desk that my hubby refurbished for me. Large enough to hold my two laptops plus a variety of useful items--like resource books--and quite a few things that I enjoy: candles, baskets, favorite books, pictures of my grandsons, etc. This is my favorite place to write. I have a nice window beside me to stare at nature when I need a minute or two to ponder.
But since we travel a good bit, I find myself writing in our vehicle many times. On vacations, I prop my faithful laptop wherever, to get in a few minutes of writing time. I’m not a set-in-stone time writer, but when the urge hits--and I always want it to every day!--then I like to capture that bit of inspiration.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Not sure I have a “least favorite” part. I do have “hindrances” and sometimes “mental blocks” but for the most part, I enjoy it all: from the moment I have the inspiration for a new novel, to the research, deciding on how to write the first chapter, to developing the plot and subplots, to getting the final chapter just right. I enjoy the marketing--although I don’t like it that it takes so much time! I love my readers comments and the happy feeling when they clamor for more. It’s a never-ending cycle for me. Being a writer is me. A part of who I am.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Bat Crazy is the second book in my Denton and Alex Davies mystery series. The first book--HOG INSANE--was initially a short story, but later I decided to develop it into a first novel for a series. When I did, I wanted to play on “insanity” type words. Book Three is called Daffy’s Duck and will release sometime late 2016.

Bat Crazy was also the hardest book for me to write, so it naturally took me way too long to finish. Not that it was the book’s fault. It was a difficult year for me, with five deaths in as many months. Thankfully, with God, my editor and hubby’s encouragement, I plowed through, and now see the warm results of my steady efforts. Because of that difficulty I have a particular happiness with this novel.

I like to give myself plenty of time to write, but I know that authors must put out books in a fairly constant stream to keep and gain readers. I’m working on that, and should have one more book out in November: the first book in another lighthearted mystery series, called Sabotaged Christmas.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I’ve tried many methods of marketing; some expensive and some free. Some worked and some haven’t. I like to use blog guest posting and interviews, which are awesome to put your name “out there.” I also use a limited amount of Facebook and fairly inexpensive ads at reputable sites. I believe that each person must research, examine, and experiment to make a healthy decision of what works for them. Word of mouth is still a powerful avenue. Gain readers by giving away copies as you’re able. Hold fun contests. Be generous by reviewing for others, promoting and sharing others good news and books. Remember the old adage: What comes around, goes around. If you’re caring for others, they will care for you.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

BAT CRAZY just released, and I couldn’t be happier! I love this book (but always say that! Lol) It’s the second book in my Denton and Alex Davies Mystery series.
Get the book here
Here’s the blurb:

Red-eyed Monster Bats that attack humans?
Denton doesn’t think so and Alex hopes not, but who are they to quibble with the local gossip?
Transmission problems and a blown tire land Denton and Alex Davies right in the middle of a dilapidated, unfriendly town that’s welcoming no strangers, least of all nosy ones with a bent toward solving mysteries.

But with support from the town detective--an admirer of the Davies--and their own tenacious personalities, Denton and Alex aren’t easily scared off. Not when warnings in the form of painted bats show up on the porch of their rented cabin, not when the mayor threatens to run them out of town and not even when Denton finds the bones . . .

An ancient story, a bit of a map, a lost jewel and even a bat clan serve to provide the Davies and their sidekick, Taffy, the dog, their hardest case so far.

I’m also putting the final touches on book one of a NEW Mystery series, coming out in November 2015. The series is called: The Appleton, West Virginia Mysteries, and the first book is called Sabotaged Christmas. I’m excited to begin sharing about this series and hope everyone will check it out! My agent is also shopping the first book of a romantic suspense Nursery Rhyme Suspense trilogy. I’m working to finish the second book in my WWII Trilogy and several others I’m
researching. So far, I’ve never run out of ideas and don’t expect to any time soon.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

More than one! Here’s a glimpse (or two): I’ve begun, but had to put on a back burner because of other book obligations, a historical romantic suspense set in the 1800s. I’d love to find time to finish this one. I have an injured soldier book that I haven’t had time to begin. I would love to finish a standalone that features an unlikely duo who work/own at a mystery weekend bed and breakfast. And I have a romantic suspense set in Mexico of an idealistic young missionary captured between the glow of a hacienda-owning drug lord (unknown to her) and his sweet sister and a steady, hard-working young man who labors beside his father in a missionary setting which is anything but glamorous.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Never quit writing. I’ve mentored a young woman for several years now and have read either parts or all of her many novels she’s written. This summer she developed a wonderful idea for a series of novellas, and I must say her talent is nothing to be ashamed of! She’ll be able to fit right in with the best of authors. Most authors feel at times they can’t write, but never compare yourself to another author. You must write as you feel called. That’s not to say, you can’t improve or learn more. That’s a good thing, but never doubt the talent you’ve been given. You must find out what you are to write: nonfiction? Articles? Novels? Novellas? What genre suits you? My friend, Jamin (see above comment about my mentee), writes clean historical romance. She tried to write a contemporary and hated it. Back to historical she went, and hasn’t looked back.What time you have. Don’t expect to quit your job, if it’s a main source of income for you or your family. Accept that and work to find out what time you can devote to writing. Have young children? Then you’ll have to pick and choose when you can get in that hour, half hour, or ten minutes to write. Caregiver? Traveler? Co-owner of another business? Whatever the circumstance, you must accept whatever time works for you to write. If you can’t write full time, then be the best part time writer you can be. 

No, don’t quit. Keep writing those ideas and plots on paper. Learn. Listen. Practice. Never, never give up your dream.

***

A Question for me:
What do you do when you feel you’ve “gone stale” or “lost the inspiration”?

Great question. I do a couple of things. Because I am always working on at least two projects at a time, I shift gears for awhile and work on something else. 

I also have a great book I've put together with magazine pictures. I just pull that out, choose a random picture, and begin writing about it. It's amazing what comes out.

***
Thank you, Carole, for joining me today!


Brown not only has her award winning (Winner of the 2015 Christian Small Publisher Award in General Fiction, nominated for an Epic Award, RWA International Digital Awards finalist in Inspiration, Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia.

A fun, lighthearted mystery series began with the first book: Hog Insane, introducing Denton and Alex Davies and now her second book in this series, Bat Crazy. Her WWII romantic suspense Spies series began with With Music In Their Hearts, featuring three red-headed sisters, three spies, and three stories. Late 2015, she will release the first book, Sabotaged Christmas in a series called, The Appleton, West Virginia Mysteries.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown 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 nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/



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