BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF WESTERN HISTORICAL ROMANCE!
Caroline Clemmons writes historical and contemporary genre fiction. Historical romances, contemporary romantic suspense, mysteries, and paranormals are among her current works. Learn more about her at www.carolineclemmons.com
Friday, February 19, 2016
LOVING MATILDA BY E. AYERS OFFERS LOVE AND ADVENTURE
Some time ago I met a lovely
author and am very pleased to have her as my guest today. Please welcome E.
Readers love to get to know authors. Please share
anything that lets readers get to know the real you.
There's nothing very exciting
about my life. It's very quiet. I left the excitement behind when I married my
husband. I was still seventeen when I met him. I thought he was crazy to ask me
out. But a friend assured me that he was a nice guy, so I let him buy me a
sandwich. Apparently he'd fallen instantly in love with me, but it took me that
whole night to realize I was falling in love with him. Five weeks later, we
were married. Two children, several houses, quite a few cars, and almost
thirty-seven years with that wonderful man and I was a widow. That wasn't
supposed to have happened. That was not in our plans. We were supposed
to grow old together. We were going to finish renovating this old house, sell
it, and build that retirement house with heated floors, solar panels, and floor
to ceiling windows.
So here I am in this old
pre-Civil War house that's only half renovated. With my eight-pound dog and a
cat that is three times larger than the dog, I sit and write books, while
praying that nothing else goes wrong in the house.
Our house is not as old as yours, but it seems plenty
of things go wrong. When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax
I love to take a ride into
the country, out to the mountains, or head to the seashore with my camera. I
also love to do pen and ink drawings of what I’ve photographed. The drawing is
actually tedious and very time consuming, but it takes such concentration that
everything else has to leave your mind. Depending on the detail, it takes about
an hour to do a square inch. It’s a real stress buster. I've enclosed a picture
of a pen and ink drawing I did. Once they are framed, it's hard to take a
picture without glare on the glass.
Pen and Ink drawing by E. Ayers
You should be very proud of that drawing. How long have you been writing?
Seemingly forever, maybe not
quite, but close.
Why did you choose to participate in Debra Holland’s
A few years ago, she asked me
to be part of her Sweetwater Springs Christmas anthology. That was a
collaboration of all the authors in that anthology, and it was so much fun. So
when Debra Holland asked me to be part of her Kindle World, I said yes!
Where do you prefer to write?
I have a desk and a PC in a
“computer” room. I have total solitude in that room except for my dog that is
usually at my feet or at my side, and she never talks to me. With the doors
shut, I’m very isolated, making it easy to slip into my writing world.
I write the same way, except it’s my cat keeping me
company. Are you a plotter or a panzer?
I’m a planner. I don’t start
writing until I have a certain amount of the story in my head. Then I’m along
for the ride and I allow the characters to direct the rest of the story.
What research did this project involve?
I’ve been working an old
diary and my research is only to the time of the Lakota Alliance. Then I
skipped to the 1890’s. That leaves a big gap and I had to fill in the blanks,
plus research gold, the mining techniques and the geology behind the formation.
I now know how to pan for gold! Don’t you think that’s a really handy skill for
a novelist? I wonder if I'll ever have a chance to try it. (My granddaughter
loves to go gem mining. So I have done a few odd things with her. She'd
probably be willing to give it a go. I know there's a gold mine in North
There is one gold mine, the Capps mine, that was owned
by an ancestor of my dad’s first wife—thus of my half-brothers and
half-sisters. The man married a Capps daughter and when she died, married her sister. Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you
I write at night while the
world sleeps. I don’t set word limits because when writing historical I often
stop to look up something. Besides word limits and/or goals can be restrictive.
There’s no point in setting myself up for failure. I just celebrate what I do
I also write better at night. Do you write full time
or do you have a day job.
I write full time now. Before
I married I worked as a bookkeeper, then my hubby had me stay home and once the
girls came, I stayed with them but as they got older, I knew I need to work to
help pay for their college, so I went back into bookkeeping as the youngest was
about to become a teen. I wound up as an office manager to a large medical
practice, went from that to a CPA's office, and then into officer manager for a
large property management firm. I quit when they girls were married and out of
school. That's when my hubby and I started renovating houses. Then a dear
friend asked me to come teach at her school. So I did. It was fun. But it was
during that time that I knew I wanted to seriously write. I went back to
college and took classes in English as a refresher. Then I started to write.
I was enjoying the freedom
when my husband died. Everyone thinks you get Social Security when that
happens. No! I wasn't old enough, nor did I have small children at home. I had
to go back to work if I wanted to keep my house and pay the bills. I went into
medical records. Nice easy job that paid well. Several times they wanted me for
supervisory positions because of my background, but I didn't want the hassle.
I'd come home and write. When I realized that I was making more money by
writing than in my job, I quit. Oops! A few months later, the tables turned and
had to fight my way back financially. But I'm glad I've persevered. It's
difficult some months, but it's worth doing what I love.
Certainly there’re ups and downs in writing. Losing your husband was the worst blow. Tell us
something about yourself that might surprise readers.
I think I'm out of surprises.
Okay, here's something that I find almost hysterical looking back at it. My mom
tried to push me to apply to colleges in the west. She really wanted me to go
to the University of Wyoming. She figured that since I was such a nature girl
and I loved horses, I needed to go to school there so I could meet a young
rancher, marry, and live on a ranch.
The problem with that was
Wyoming is not against the ocean. It wasn't even a day's drive from the ocean!
I learned to surf when I was fourteen and I loved it. I surfed almost year
round. I was a strong swimmer, competed on swim and diving teams, etc. There
was no way I was leaving the ocean! So until someone moved Wyoming a little closer
to the ocean… The answer was no. I was not going to go to college out there.
Yet here I am. I'm not
writing about surfers, I'm writing about ranchers. Maybe my mother saw
something in me back then that I failed to see in myself. Is there a wonderful
man who's a rancher looking for someone to share his life? I'm an extremely
good cook and with my writing, I'm very quiet. I know how to ride a horse. I
still love nature and I can balance a checkbook! J
What is something unusual you learned while
researching and writing this book?
I’ve got to say the
commercial mining operations of gold. Yet I really don’t mention much about it
other than the constant pounding from the stamp mill.
What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Ultimately…enjoyment of their
time spent between the pages with my characters.
Don’t we all? What advice would you give to
Take classes, learn the craft
of writing, and never ever put out a book until it is properly vetted, edited,
and ready for prime time! Too many think they've written a wonderful story and
honestly many have written a wonderful story but crafting that story is a skill
that is learned. Remember when I said I was on swim teams and diving teams. I
knew how to swim before I was on those teams. I knew how to do a few dives from
watching others do them. But until you've been coached and practiced for hours
and weeks and months, you aren't ready to do it in competition. You think you
are straight going into that water, but you aren't, and you will throw a
rooster tail! It's the same thing with a book. Readers don't want rooster
A great analogy. Tell us about your Kindle World novel
with a blurb and an excerpt.
LOVING MATILDA Blurb:
Matilda “Matt” Berwyn, forced to live disguised as a boy in
a mining town, longs to escape and blossom into the female she's always wanted
to be. But her desire to leave Morgan's Crossing escalates when she realizes
she's being stalked.
Stockyard hand Zeke Hillerman knows her secret and has
fallen in love with her. He helps her flee to his parents’ home in the east to
learn to be a lady, while he struggles to start his own ranch. As Matilda
grapples with Victorian expectations of young women, Zeke’s plans for their
future unravel, and he realizes that the cost of her ticket out of Morgan's
Crossing may have been his own heart.
LOVING MATILDA Excerpt:
Zeke awaken and
stretched. He had found the perfect spot for sleeping. Using his bedroll as a
pillow, he’d slept through the night and well into the morning hours, leaving
him feeling refreshed and ready for the ride to the Reiner stockyard. He
scanned the water below and didn’t see Matt. Unfortunately, he couldn't wait
forever. It was important that he return to the stockyard in a timely manner.
But that didn't stop the disappointment that ran through him.
As he prepared to
leave, movement caught his eye and he stopped long enough to realize it was
Matt. She's not playing. She really is panning for gold!
He stood there
mesmerized. Whatever she was finding wasn’t small. He left his horse and went
back down the pass to get a better look. A spear whizzed through the air and
landed near Matt.
stiffened. His rifle was with his backpack, leaving him only with his knife.
There was no time to think. He had to protect Matt. He took off in a full run,
his boots barely touching the ground. A blood-curdling yell resonated across
the peaceful landscape as an Indian ran towards Matt. He saw the Indian attack
Zeke dove for the
young man slamming him into the creek bed. With his fist raised, Zeke looked
into two dark orbs that instantly widened…
he?" Gray Fox asked.
Matilda sat in the
creek after she dragged the man from the water and watched him. "Not sure.
Think he's going to die?"
"As hard as
you hit him with that rock, he might."