Author Interview: Caroline Clemmons (Out of the Blue)

Today, I'm thrilled to post my author interview with romance author Caroline Clemmons.  For my review of Out of the Blue, click here.  My questions are in purple.  Make sure you read the answer to my question about the romance genre---I agree completely! 

Did you base any of the characters in Out of the Blue on real people?

No, I never use real people. Elmer Kelton once spoke about the only time he used a real person, and everyone in town--except that person--recognized the identity of the character. Not good! Frankly, the characters pop into my head fully formed and I see them as clearly as you would see a live person. No, I'm not insane--just a writer. You may have heard Meg Chittendon's quote. "Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing."

Which character did you relate the most with?

With the heroine most. Although I loved Blossom and Mildred. The truth is (more danger of being locked in a straight jacket here), I identify with the POV character of each scene. I become that person and view everything through his or her experiences. Each of us is a conglomeration of our life experiences, and that includes personal experience as well as observations. There is a deep well inside each creative person from which he pulls that which he needs to share his talent. In no way am I comparing my talent to Ken Follett or Kathryn Stockett. I am, however, making a comparison to all writers, artists, composers, seamstresses, knitters---any form of creative expression. We share that deep compulsion to draw our creations out of our subconscious.

Do you have any must-haves while writing?

Obviously I must have my PC. Mine is a Dell which my sweet husband gave me for my birthday to replace an aging mishmash he'd built out parts from first one brand and then another. He's an electronic genius, so that was easy for him, and how we've always had powerful computers. This time I didn't want flea market finds, but all parts of one brand new at once.

Aside from that, I must have a good desk chair so I don't tire too easily before my day's page totals are completed. A writing instructor once told me that a good desk chair is a writer's best friend and I believe he was correct. We sit for long hours that can damage posture and circulation if we're not careful.

Of course, chocolate and a Dr Pepper are always welcome!

Do you have a specific time or place where you do your best writing?

Although I have a laptop, the place is my office. My husband and I tried to share an office but that drove us both nuts. Each of us is messy in different ways, so I moved across the hall into what was formerly our youngest daughter's bedroom. Once again, my sweet husband came through. He bought me a great desk and also a corner computer station with lots of cubbies. On one side of the computer station I have a desk-high cabinet for the fax, phone, and my CD player with bookshelves beneath. On the other side there's a cabinet for the printer/scanner with room for paper, etc. beneath. My file cabinets--you're beginning to see why we had trouble sharing a room, aren't you?--and my bookcases complete the room. The daughter whose room this used to be bought prints to enhance the ambiance for what she correctly believed would appeal to a romance writer--a Monet print, a Victorian cherub circled by flowers, flowers prssed in a heart of rice paper, and a lovely print of a pink rose that she knows is my favorite color for my favorite flower. I also have framed my book covers and a couple of awards and display family photos. It's definitely MY office even though I share it with our three cats. Because of the color and the fact that I tend to hibernate in it, I refer to it as my pink cave.

As for time, I am NOT a morning person. My best work is done later in the day/evening. I tend to use the time after breakfast to take care of business and email, promo, etc until my brain switches on.

Why did you choose the romance genre?

I suppose your question is why I write romance when I also read mainstream, mysteries, and cozies as well as romance. I believe romance offers hope to its readers. Most of us lead hectic lives filled with stress. Many readers face untenable situations that would depress the bravest of us. They hardly need to read a gut wrenching book that leaves them even more depressed. Romance offers an escape into a world where characters are able to overcome difficult problems, escape whole from perilous situations, and where justice is served and the good always triumph over evil. People accuse romance of being predictable. Of course it is! Why do you think over half the mass market books sold are romances? Romance gets a bad rap. Mysteries are predictable, too. Ian Fleming was predictable. No one looks down on them. Romance readers especially are looking for what one friend calls "my mind candy." That friend's husband has cancer and she has to be the strong one of the two, always with a cheerful appearance to buoy him. No one can maintain that level of stress 24/7 without a break--not even someone whose faith is as strong as is hers.

To get down off my soap box, I'll just repeat that romance offers hope and entertainment in a stress-filled world.

What's next for you?

In early September my western historical romance set in 1885 in the Texas Hill County, THE TEXAN'S IRISH BRIDE, will be released from The Wild Rose Press and will also be available from Amazon. In this story, Texas horse breader and rancher Dallas McClintock gets more than he bargained for when he rescues Cenora Rose O'Neill from kidnappers. Before he knows what happened, he's married to the lovely lass and has her entire family at his ranch. I love Texas history, especially the post reconstruction period. In addition to thoroughly researched details on that Texas time period and locale, this book is filled with Irish superstitions, blessings, humor, and serious mischief. It was a pleasure to write.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me, Ms. Clemmons!  We're looking forward to your next book. 


4 comments:

  1. Hey there, I shall read the interview soon but for now

    http://thesubtlechronicler.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-first-award-d.html

    I just gave you an award. It's over at my blog. =D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Michael! I will post the award in the morning!

    ReplyDelete
  3. awesome interview kelli! :)

    ReplyDelete

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