Interview with Caroline Clemmons

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Narrowing to five is difficult. Julie Garwood's FOR THE ROSES and PRINCE CHARMING, Maggie Osborne's THE PROMISE OF JENNY JONES, Jodi Thomas' TO KISS A TEXAN, and Lorraine Heath's SWEET LULLABY. Each is a western historical, and each of the main characters were unforgettable.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am an eclectic reader of romance, romantic suspense, paranormal, romantic comedy, cozy mysteries, and mysteries. My favorites are western historical romance and Regency romance--especially if they include humor such as Jacquie Rogers and Loretta Chase's novels. For romantic suspense, Geri Foster is my favorite author.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Mostly my Kindle, but I have many paperback books also. For research, I prefer paper copies. I love my Kindle because my books take up no room and are easy to carry with me wherever I go.
Describe your desk
My computer desk is a large corner unit in fake cherry with lots of cubbies and a top book shelf for research books. I love it and am happiest there. I also have a matching desk behind me. My office is small, but cozy. I have one window, my file cabinets, and a unit that was here when we bought the house. It's huge and would have to be sawn in half before it would go through the door. We just incorporated it into my storage. The top has glass doors so I can store my knick knacks there. I collect angels, nativity sets, and a particular type of ceramic figure my daughter finds for me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Except for six years in Southern California as a small child, I grew up in West Texas. Now I write Texas settings almost exclusively (except for one novella, LONG WAY HOME). My dad used to tell us tales of his family coming to Texas from Georgia, and they fascinated me. I'm sure that fueled my love of Texas history. He also loved reading and encouraged me to read and write.
When did you first start writing?
In school. I loved English classes and essays. Then when I took journalism, I believed I'd found my field. My teacher was wonderful and I became editor and won some state prizes for my editorials.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My three latest books and a novella are set in the Palo Pinto Mountains a couple of hours west of Fort Worth. When my husband and I joined a historic tour years ago, we visited an historic ranch and I fell in love with it. I used the site as the ranch (with a different house) for BRAZOS BRIDE. The ranches in HIGH STAKES BRIDE, BLUEBONNET BRIDE, and TABITHA'S JOURNEY are near the first and the fictional town of Radford Springs and fictional county of Radford. The ranch is actually in Palo Pinto and Young Counties.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was published by one of the "big six" New York house, then by The Wild Rose Press. I became an indie author to have full control of the publishing process. The NY publisher did me an injustice, but I loved The Wild Rose Press staff and other authors. Indie simply gives me more control of my books and I love that, as well as the increased royalties.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords makes it easier to publish a story once and have it fed to all vendors.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sharing the people in my head with readers. If readers respond, I am over the moon. I love writing and would write even if no one ever read my stories, but sharing them with people who enjoy them is my goal.
What advice do you have for unpublished authors?
1. Study the craft
2. Join a writers group in person or online
3. Get a small critique group of three or four people who can critique your work without being cruel or personal. Choose people who are strong in your weak areas and who can be constructive.
4. Never give up. Don't let anyone steal your dream!
What are you working on next?
I'm writing the third book of the Kincaid series and then I plan to write three connected time travels. I have so many ideas for books, I'll have to live to be two hundred to write them all.
Published 2013-09-17.
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