Last summer at RWA, I received a copy of Carolyn Brown's I LOVE THIS BAR. Wow - I loved the book ... and I've come to LOVE THIS AUTHOR for her spunk. Please join me in welcoming Carolyn Brown.
Carolyn: Good mornin’ everyone! I’m honored to be here today. I have a special place in my heart for all military personnel. Doesn’t matter if it’s Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy or National Guard Units. If you are serving, here’s a hug for you. When I first “met” my husband he was in the Army stationed in Germany. I was in Oklahoma and my best friend was engaged to his buddy. It started as a letter exchange and blossomed into a marriage two years later. Our son was in the Air Force in the late eighties. Our grandson is in the Army and just finished AIT in Georgia. Honky Tonk Christmas is dedicated to the women who have served or are serving in any branch of the service. Sharlene, the heroine in the book, did two tours of Iraq as an undercover Army sniper. Now she owns the Honky Tonk beer joint down in Palo Pinto County, Texas and the only thing that stops the nightmares of what she’s done is sleeping in Holt Jackson’s arms.
Carolyn: Thank you! I never heard my sense of humor called “flirty” but it sounds fine. I’m not sure the kids (Lemar, Amy and Ginny) think of me as a romance star but I like that picture. Can I get my name on a sidewalk somewhere (anywhere) right next to Nora Roberts? I’m still the Momma who makes Thanksgiving dinner and hosts the annual Easter egg hunt in the back yard. All of them have read my books, along with aunts, sisters and cousins. There’s a family competition going over who reads them first when they hit the market. My wonderful Aunt Mil usually beats everyone and still is hanging on tightly to the crown.
But not a single member of the family gets to see the WIP. Not even Husband, who is a retired English teacher, and I’m quit sure could give me lots of good advice. But alas, I cannot afford the divorce that would go with his critique so that isn’t an option. Besides after forty plus years of marriage (I did mention that I was a child bride, didn’t I?) I wouldn’t want to have to train another husband.
I think eventually every writer uses a characteristic or a personality in their writing. Like the smell of Uncle Jap’s cigar or the way he tapped the ash off out in the dusty yard. Or the way Aunt America (Yep, that was really her name and her brother was Napoleon Bonaparte Chapman) wiped her hands on the tail of her apron. My son is a cowboy. Boots, buckle, swagger (I swear he struts in his sleep), so he’s definitely shown up in my books. Ginny’s sense of humor is there (giving credit here: she’s the one who first said someone could charm the hair off a frog’s ass) and Amy’s cooking ability is always there.
Kim: How do you keep track of 3 kids, fifteen grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren, plus hubby and deadlines?
Carolyn: A very detailed calendar! That’s for birthdays and deadlines. Husband is an awesome author’s husband. He doesn’t mind fast food if I’m working on another chapter and he’ll even call it in and go fetch it. He knows how to do laundry and ignores the dust bunnies under the bed.
|Lighthouse Point, Daytona Beach|
Kim: Your books obviously have a western theme but you like Florida beaches. You wrote that the ocean waves puts your writing brains into high gear. Can you share how the beach inspires cowboys?
Carolyn: The beach inspires a blank mind which is a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen. When I’m sitting on the beach with my toes buried in the sand, the sound of the ocean waves sloshing up on the sand, and the gulls fussing around up high, I forget all about everything but writing. That’s when I can shut my eyes and conjure up visions of my next hero in tight fittin’ jeans, a Stetson hat, a deep Texas drawl and shiny cowboy boots. And a sassy heroine who is about to run right into that cowboy, sometimes quite literally.
Kim: After further investigation of your website, I found your Historical books, the Black Swan Historical Trilogy set in post WWI and Angels and Outlaws trilogy, "Three nuns. Three outlaws. A long journey and many surprises ahead of them !"
Carolyn: I write for two publishing houses. Sourcebooks Casablanca line carries my western romances in paper back. Avalon, a literary publisher, puts out my hard back books, both in contemporary and historical romances.
The Black Swan series, published in 2009, is set at the end of World War I, and right after the great flu epidemic. The Black Swan is a hotel/restaurant in southern Arkansas and the three sisters who share a secret concerning the disappearance of the youngest sister’s abusive husband.
Angels and Outlaws just kicked off last month with From Wine to Water. Walkin’ on Clouds, April; and A Trick of the Light, August, will follow. It’s set right about the time the Alamo fell, and in the first book there’s even a scene with him.
Kim: You you seem most comfortable with contemporary westerns. Is there any difference in writing the two genres? What did you like best about writing historicals? What was its challenges? Will we see any historicals in your future?
Carolyn: I have a dread disease called tunnel vision. If I’m writing westerns, that’s what I’m comfortable doing. If I’m writing historicals, that’s all I see ahead of me on that day. I love going back in time to another era.
Challenges: research! Making sure they had a fly swat in 1918 before my hero used the end of one to shove up under the cast on his leg and scratch with it (Evening Star). Learning how to make soap from lye (Velvet); or how to set up a moon shine still (Sweet Tilly). When the Angels & Outlaws series is finished in August, I don’t have anymore historicals under contract right now. But those ideas in my idea book could call out to me. I’ve been hearing noises from a heroine whose grandmother was an Indian medicine woman up in northern Oklahoma back before the Civil War. She’d like to come out and play someday.
Kim: What's next for Carolyn Brown?
Carolyn: Oh, my! How much room do you have for this interview? I’m working on a new series which will debut in May (Sourcebooks) with Love Drunk Cowboy. Don’t you love those red boots on the cover? It’s called the Spikes & Spurs series and feature sassy women who trade in their spike high heeled shoes for cowboy boots but they keep their kick-ass independence. And the steamin’ hot cowboys who find out trying to tame those women is tougher than stayin’ on the back of a buckin’ bull for eight seconds.
Red’s Hot Cowboy will hit the racks in September and Darn Good Cowboy Christmas in October. I’m currently working on the fourth book in the Spikes & Spurs series which is scheduled for May 2012 and my editor, Deb Werksman, and I still have yet to figure out a title. Who knows if the series will stop at the end of book four or if Deb will let me write Dewar O’Donnell’s story and maybe even Gemma O’Donnell’s (she’s the youngest daughter in the family of horse ranchers). Dewar is already dive bombing my brain at the craziest times and telling me things to put in his cowboy tale.
There will be a contemporary series in 2012 with Avalon called Three Magic Words. It’s set in Texas, also. Beginning in the spring of 2012 look for these titles: A Forever Thing; In Shining Whatever; and Life After Wife. Three friends who say that a man has to say more than the conventional magic words, “I Love You”, before they’ll think the M word; and the men who figure out they’ll do whatever it takes to make their soul mate love them.
Oh, and there’s an October, 2011, release from Avalon called The Ladies Room. What goes on in the ladies room at the church in Tishomingo, Oklahoma stays in the ladies room. But it dang sure doesn’t mean that it’s not going to affect Trudy’s life forever.
Thank you for letting me stop by and visit a while today. It’s been fun. Now back to work. Jasmine and Ace (Book four: Sourcebooks) found out that what goes on in Las Vegas doesn’t always stay in Las Vegas. Sometimes it follows a couple back to Ringgold, Texas and throws horseshoes at them until they see they were meant for each other.
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Join us tomorrow for a Pro Bowl Wrap Up, Weekly Winners, and Surprise Book Giveaway.
Kim in Hawaii
Other books from Carolyn Brown ....