Monday, April 29, 2013


Usually I ask about the same questions to my guest authors. Today I thought I would interview—ME. I know, you think you know quite a bit about me already, maybe all you ever wanted to know. Please don’t give up on me. Here I go:

Tell us about growing up:

Whew, glad no one asked whether I was sweet or horrid. My parents moved to the Bakersfield, CA area when I was a baby and then moved back to Texas the summer before third grade, when I was seven. We eventually settled in Lubbock when I was ten, a few months after the birth of my younger brother. (Then he was ten years younger than me, but now he’s passed me and is my older brother. Funny how age works, isn’t it?) 

Lubbock, Texas bills itself as the Hub of the Plains
We were our dad’s second family, and he was a lot older than our mom. Our half-siblings were near our mom’s age. In fact, our eldest half-brother was two years older than our mom.  Our half-siblings and their children live in California and look as beautiful as people who live there are supposed to. Many of them could pass for movie stars or models. I think I’m the only chubby one in the family.

As an adult, Hero and I lived in Oxnard CA one summer and loved it, in Cupertino CA a year and loved that, and in Windermere near Orlando FL for two-and-a-half years. The rest of the time, we've lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Although we currently live on a small acreage, we're selling that (hopefully soon!) and moving into Fort Worth.

When did you decide to write?

I loved reading as long as I can remember. My dad taught me to read when I was very young, four. I think his motive was he wouldn’t have to read me the funny papers every evening. I loved Bugs Bunny.  Yeah, I still do. 

But I didn’t write until I took journalism. Then I didn’t write books until my mother-in-law gave me a grocery bag of romances. That’s when I wanted to become Nora Roberts.  Yeah, I still do.

Nora Roberts
Writing is not quite as easy as reading, but I love both. To date, I’ve written three novellas and thirteen novels that include a time travel romantic suspense, a cozy mystery, a mystery, three contemporary romances, and the rest are western historical romances. All except one novella are set in Texas. Write what you know.

What is your favorite way to relax and recharge?

I love reading, family, getting together with friends, working on genealogy, research (yes, I get lost in it and love it), and travel.   

What’s a quote that sums up how you feel about life?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Ghandi

Where do you prefer to write?

Hot tea and a couple of cats for company

I write in what I call my pink cave, which is a lovely room that used to belong to Darling Daughter 2. She decorated it with prints and photos and I’ve added to them with family photos, knick knacks, a couple of plaques from my friend Geri Foster, and assorted clutter. I have all my research books here in my cave. I prefer my PC to a laptop and save the laptop for travel. I like classical music when I’m writing because I believe it adds rhythm to the words. For email, I like Ella Fitzgerald or Carol King or others. We have our house listed for sale, so I hope I'll have a nice cave after we move.

Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Definitely a plotter since I heard Laura Baker and Robin Perini give their “Story Magic” workshop years ago. They saved my life! 

My critique partners are terrific at helping me plot. Darling Daughter 1 recently helped me with a current plot problem. Whew! Nice to have talented friends and family members.

Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

I do use some real events as secondary mentions, but not as main events. For instance, in the Men of Stone Mountain series, I mention Brit Johnson being murdered by Kiowas near the site of the book. That’s true, sadly. The closest I’ve come to using real people as characters is basing the aunts in that series on my mom and her sister. I love those two characters because of that connection and happy memories.

Do you set daily writing goals?

Sure I set page counts. Do I make them? Seldom, but then I have spurts where I amaze myself. Life often interferes.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

An escape from reality or whatever bugs them and a pleasant way to spend a few hours, that they end each book with a sigh of contentment wishing for my next book.

What long-term plans do you have for your career?

To keep writing as long as I can sit in my desk chair and prop my fingers on the keyboard. LOL I have too many characters in my head begging me to write them for me to give up now.

Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

I’m finishing up a novella that is a spin off from the Men of Stone Mountain series. In the third book, there’s a character briefly mentioned named Bear Baldwin.  For some reason, he appeared in my head as a terrific guy who’d written away for a mail-order bride. This is an extension of a short story I wrote, but I’m having lots of fun with my heroine. She’s a substitute for her friend and the hero is a bit miffed he’s been passed off like a pair of old boots. There’s a bad guy—isn’t there always in my books?—after the heroine, so she’s eager to get wed before the cad shows up.  The title is TABITHA’S JOURNEY and it will be out the first week of June, 2013.
Tabitha Masterson

After that, I’ll be working on Storm Kincaid’s book, THE MOST UNSUITABLE COURTSHIP. I hope to have it released in mid September and resume the Kincaid series concurrently with the Stone Mountain series.I love both those series. I hope it's all right to say I like my books and characters. I do. I can't expect readers to love them unless I do, too.

Storm Kincaid

Next will be another spin off from Men of Stone Mountain about the first of November, CHRISTMAS ON STONE MOUNTAIN. I haven't narrowed down the cover for it yet. The hero is Buster Parish, the new sheriff of Radford Springs, Texas. 

What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Don’t let anyone steal your dream! Hone your craft and persevere.

A fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.

Darling Daughter 2 and I used to have three antique booths. We brought home the best stuff. It's not that we're such bad businesswomen, really, but we love antiques and hate to part with them. We have a new rule that we can't bring anything else home unless we get rid of something. If we won the lottery, though, we’d  each buy a bigger house and get back in the antique business. ☺

Something about you that would surprise or shock readers.

I am afraid of the water and am a lousy swimmer. Even though I'm chubby, I sink like a stone. In spite of that, I love watching water and also boating. Yes, I ALWAYS wear a life preserver.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?

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Thanks for stopping by! 


Jacquie Rogers said...

I love your books, Caroline! Haven't read your novellas, though. Do you enjoy writing novellas as much as novels? Do you structure them the same way?

Lyn Horner said...

Caroline, I'm scared of water too. Can't swim a stroke. That's why I made my kids take swimming lessons every summer for years. I didn't want them to grow up a couple of landlubbers like their mama. :D

My husband's family was a lot like yours. His dad had been married before and had two nearly grown children when he married Ken's mother. Family stories just fascinate me. I imagine it's the same for you.