Wednesday, October 29, 2014
INTERVIEW WITH BESTSELLING AUTHOR CALLIE HUTTON
Friends, we're fortunate to have an interview with USA Today bestselling author Callie Hutton today.
Caroline: Tell us something about growing up and your life.
Callie: Hi everyone. Even though I now reside in the great state of Oklahoma, I am originally a Jersey girl, born and bred. I’ve branded myself an Okie-Jersey. I have two sisters still in New Jersey and one brother in Florida. My brother is a retired fire fighter who is my ‘go to’ expert when I need something answered on fires. As a child, I was such a bookworm. Oftentimes in the summer mom would snatch the book out of my hands and state, “Go play outside. It’s a beautiful day.” Actually, I think mom just wanted all of us out of the house so she could have some peace and quiet.
I am married for thirty-eight years to my biggest cheerleader, Doug. We have three children, one in Canada, and two in Oklahoma. My son and his wife (in Oklahoma) just had twin boys back in August. I’m really enjoying my grandma role.
Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
There isn’t any way I can state a favorite author because it would overrun the page. Some of them, however, are Lynn Kurland, Linda Lael Miller, Madeline Hunter, Julia Quinn, Amanda Quick, Lynsay Sands, Stephanie Laurens, and so, so many more. I have tons of friends whose books I love, as well – Caroline Clemmons, Merry Farmer, Kirsten Osbourne, Peggy L. Henderson, Char Chaffin, Cheryl Yeko, Sylvia McDaniel. Goodness, I could go on forever.
My favorite genre is historical, both western and regency. I also enjoy a highlander story with a lad in a kilt.
Caroline: Thanks for including me, Callie. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?
Callie: Relax and recharge time is precious. I love spending time with my grandbabies and I read all the time (even at traffic lights). I rarely go to movies and aside from a news program or two, never watch television. I can’t seem to find the time to do it.
Caroline: Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?
Callie: Carpe Diem
Caroline: How long have you been writing?
Callie: I’ve been writing all my life, magazine articles, company newsletters, etc., but only wrote my first book in 2010
Caroline: You’ve achieved a lot in that time, Callie. Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?
Callie: My laptop is my best friend. I write in quiet surroundings (my office). Sometimes I’ll listen to music, but I end up turning it off because I find it a distraction.
Caroline: Classical music helps drown out other distractions for me. Are you a plotter or a panzer?
Callie: Started out a panzer, switched a year ago to plotter, and now I find I’m somewhere in between. My publisher requires a synopsis for a contracted book before I start it, which I run by my editor and we bang out the story. Then I outline the first few chapters and write those. By that time I know how I want the next few chapters to go, and it continues on that way.
Caroline: Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?
Callie: I definitely use real events and places for my stories. I haven’t used real people, though. My book, A RUN FOR LOVE, the first book in my Oklahoma Lovers series, is set during the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889, and takes place in Guthrie, Oklahoma, as does the rest in the series. I relied on The Linnean Society of London for my book, THE DUKE’S QUANDARY, the second book in my Marriage Mart Mayhem series.
Caroline: Do you set daily writing goals?
Callie: Writing is my job. I go to it every day – even weekends. I’m in my office by 8 AM, and with breaks throughout the day I’m there until around 10 at night, Monday through Friday. On weekends I don’t write, but do about 4 hours a day in ‘writing tasks.’ I have a fabulous personal assistant who makes my life so, so pleasant, and relieves me of those annoying things I don’t have time for, and don’t want to do.
When I start a book, I figure out how many chapters it will take to tell the story. Then I look at my deadline (I always have one) and figure how many chapters a week I need to write to get it finished and edited and off to my editor on time. Right now my schedule is for four chapters a week to meet my goal.
Caroline: Similarly, I divide the target page count to get my weekly schedule. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Callie: Fun. Tears. Laughter. Joy. A way to escape. I one time had a reader send me an email where she said my books got her through chemo. It was a humbling moment.
Caroline: What long-term plans do you have for your career?
Callie: Keep on writing and writing and writing. Even if I never sold another book, I would continue to write.
Caroline: Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?
Callie: I’m currently writing the fifth book in my Marriage Mart Mayhem series (regency). After that I will be writing the last book in my Oklahoma Lovers series.
Caroline: What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
Callie: If you want to be published, make writing your priority. After God and family, your writing has to come next. Write every day, read craft books, and read, read, read.
Caroline: Share a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.
Callie: I gave the commencement speech at my college graduation at age 57.
Caroline: Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.
Callie: I one time interviewed Peter Lawford for a magazine. (I think I’ll keep the shockers to myself, LOL.)
Caroline: I know the answer to this but always ask if your book is a series.
Callie: Yes, A CHANCE TO LOVE AGAIN is the third book in my Oklahoma Lovers series. The others are, A RUN FOR LOVE #1, A PRESCRIPTIONS FOR LOVE, #2, then A CHANCE TO LOVE AGAIN, followed by A WIFE BY CHRISTMAS (even though that came out three years ago, time wise the story happens after A CHANCE TO LOVE AGAIN.) They are about the Henderson family, consisting of Tori Henderson and her four nieces and nephews that she is the guardian for.
Caroline: Readers (including me) love series. Can you give readers a blurb about your book?
Callie: Widow Rachel Stevens is very happy with her job as a cook for the Lazy Sunset ranch where she is raising her son. However, the new foreman, Rusty McIntyre, is turning her life upside down. She could overlook how her son has begun to idolize Rusty, but she’s having a heck of a time ignoring the flutters in her stomach every time the man smiles at her.
But Rusty has problems of his own. His previously unknown fourteen year old daughter has just arrived to live with him. Used to always being on his own, now he has a young boy following him around imitating his every move, and a surly young lady glaring at him. Throw into the mix the tug he feels toward the ranch cook—who wants no part of him—and life is no longer as easy as it once was.
Caroline: How about an excerpt?
Callie: Here you are:
Rusty rested his hands on his hips. “Ma’am, I don’t mean to criticize, but you need to take better notice of what your boy is doing.”
“Indeed?” Her eyebrows rose to her hairline.
“He came barreling around that corner like his feet were on fire. Crashed into me, which caused this entire counter of thread to land on the floor.”
The woman turned to the boy. “Will, please apologize to the—gentleman.”
Rusty almost grinned at her hesitation to call him a ‘gentleman.’
The kid hung his head. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s not me you have to apologize to, young man. You have to go on up there to the front of this store and tell that woman behind the counter that you’re sorry. Then you need to fix up the display that you—”
“Wait just a damn minute!”
Rusty jerked and glanced from the boy to the woman. She was so red in the face, he wouldn’t be surprised if her cheeks caught fire. Her eyes snapped, and she worked her mouth as if she wanted to say something, but was too agitated to get it out.
“How dare you presume to tell my son what the proper thing is for him to do!”
She surprised the hell out of him by poking him in the chest. Not once, or twice, but several times until he had backed up and was pressed against the counter with the thread all piled in the jumble in the middle.
Despite her agitation, he couldn’t help but notice her smooth skin, dark blond hair and crystal blue eyes. And when she’d come racing down the aisle after her child, he’d taken in her curves. Yep, a fine-looking woman.
Caroline: Intriguing excerpt. Where can readers find your books?
Callie: A these sites:
Caroline: How can readers learn more about you?
Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Callie: I enjoy hearing from my readers. You can contact me through my website, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
USA Today best selling author of THE ELUSIVE WIFE, Callie Hutton writes both Western Historical and Regency romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). She also pens an occasional contemporary or two. Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs, two adult children, and daughter-in-law (thankfully all not in the same house), and her top cheerleader husband of thirty-eight years. She also recently welcomed twin grandsons to her ever expanding family. Callie loves to hear from readers, and would welcome you as a “friend” on Facebook. You can contact her through her website: www.calliehutton.com
If you would like to keep informed on sales, contests and new releases, sign up for her newsletter, Callie’s Comments here: http://bit.ly/1rsc7Ae or join her street team, Callie’s Cohorts, where fun, gossip, contests, and general mayhem lives and flourishes. https://www.facebook.com/groups/calliescohorts/
On Friday, please return for the preview of the box set in which Callie and I have titles included.
Thanks for stopping by!