Now, let's talk with her for a bit. Robin . . .
How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
I decided I was going to be a writer almost as soon as I learned to read. I loved books so much and couldn’t believe there were lucky people who made a living making up stories! The “calling” part…that’s harder. The road to make a success out of my writing has been so hard and I’ve struggled so much with whether it’s just a selfish desire that I’m praying for God to bless—or whether he has a plan to use it and I need to stick it out through the hard times for him. Wish I could say I have a definitive answer! (This might be a good place to give a plug for a whole blog post I wrote on this subject last week.)
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
Well…I have a nasty habit of combining genres. You never know what I’ll throw into the story next—but at least I keep you guessing and turning the pages! So far though, every story is some form of suspense with a love story thrown in for good measure. They’re all atmospheric and a little bit creepy. My first one, Summer’s Winter, was a romantic suspense about a Georgia college student and her obsession with a movie star. My current one, Jordan’s Shadow, is a little weirder, has more supernatural or fantasy elements, but is still a fun creepy suspense. I think my tagline, “Mind-bending mystery…love beyond the boundaries space and time,” sums it up nicely.
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
I have absolutely no writing routine. I work full time and I’ve been one of the main care-givers for elderly parents for the last few years, and I just grab time when I can. So all of my novels have been multi-year projects. But I’m like the tortoise in the race. I keep plodding along. I keep working whenever I can snatch a few minutes or a couple of hours until I finish a project. Another complication these days is that, since I’ve published, I feel I could spend hours a day marketing and not have done enough. I’m not very good at focusing on writing and marketing at the same time. This summer, I’m planning on scaling back the marketing so I can try to write the sequel to Summer’s Winter.
What is the spiritual message in your latest book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?
First of all, I hope to give readers—skeptics, seekers, and Christians alike—a sense of the awe and wonder of God, of his majesty and eternity. I hope to do that with all my books, but the supernatural and fantasy elements of Jordan’s Shadow emphasize that. Also in this story, the matriarch of the family is a pragmatist who thinks that messing with supernatural foolishness is dangerous—psychologically, financially, whatever. And that supernatural nonsense includes the church. She forbids her family to have anything to do with such rubbish, but tragically learns about the “God-shaped vacuum” in all of us when she sees the effect her prohibition has on her family.
Where do you get ideas? Character names? Do you find your characters similar to you in any way?
Normally, characters occur to me first, and I start building situations and plot around the characters. Jeanine in Summer’s Winter is probably most like me—although she’s an idealized version of me. She’s what I wanted to be like when I was younger.
Jordan’s Shadow is the only book I’ve written that started with a premise.. I was thinking how parents start out with a baby, and they know nothing about what that infant will eventually become. Really, not even what she will look like when she grows up. Being the weird writer that I am, that got me thinking…what if the
Do you have hobbies, special interests?
I have so many hobbies and special interests that I’m constantly frustrated by my lack of free time. I love knitting and quilting and lots of other kinds of sewing. I’m also interested in a lot of geeky stuff like Star Wars (thrilled there’s a new movie coming out!) and Harry Potter and Hunger Games. Lately I’ve been combining my sewing and quilting and geekiness. I’m attaching a picture of my multi-fandom quilt.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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?
Connect with her here:
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/