Love the hat and boa, Carole! Tell us when and why did you begin writing?
I wrote my first novel in 5th grade, but it didn’t get published. It took me another 25 years to get serious about writing. I went back to college and discovered my love for the written word. It wasn’t until I met Princess Diana in 1985 that inspired an article that became my first published piece. And from that, ambition was born.
What is your genre?
Women’s fiction…and, in some books, heavy on the romance but not in all of them. Every book is different—and I know publishers/promoters don’t like that, but it’s the way I write. I can never fit into a mold.
What’s your process? Seat-of-pants, well-devised outliner?
My first three novels were seat-of-pants, but when it came to book #4, “Understudy”, I wrote a plot outline, and I’ve done that ever since. It helps me stay on track.
What other writer inspires you? Your work?
I adore Anne Rivers Siddons, and wish I could write like her. When I read her books, I drool. And then I give myself a stern talking-to. “Why can’t YOU write like that?” But alas, I am who I am. And in the end, I’m pretty happy with that.
What is your favorite work by you? And why is it your fav?
Oh, what a tough question. It’s like having to choose between your beloved children. But I guess if pinned down, I’d have to say it’s always my most recent. I guess because I feel the closest to it. So that would be “Lily of the Springs” right now. But when “Cinnamon Girl” comes out (probably this summer) it will be my favorite.
Where does your character inspiration come from?
I don’t know! My characters talk to me. They come alive as if by magic. So, I try not to question that too much. I just let it happen.
Another writer with voices in her head! There seem to be a lot of us. What’s your best/worst experience as a writer?
My best experience was getting nominated for a RITA award with my first book, “Border Crossings”.
The worst was getting the news from my agent that my book sales were tanking. It felt like my career was over. But like a phoenix, I’ve risen from the ashes. And I’ve learned from that experience not to take it all too seriously.
How about the best/worst writing advice you ever got?
Best- Believe in yourself, and never give up.
Worst–Write what you know.
What is your latest work?
“Lily of the Springs”, a novel set in 1950’s Kentucky about a young woman who marries the wrong man way too young. And how she develops into an independent, courageous woman after years of trying to make her husband love her.
What do you want your fans to know about you and your work?
If you want to get lost in a good story that will touch your emotions, I’m the author for you.
Tell us something about yourself that your readers don’t already know.
I love to sing karaoke. And I’ve performed as Marilyn Monroe, Nancy Sinatra and Karen Carpenter in a USO show.
I would have loved to see that show!
Where can your readers find out more about youyou’re your work?