In honor of National Women's History Month, the next interview will be with Caroline Clemmons, another Woman who Writes stories that take place in the West, mostly the Old West. We hope you are enjoying this short series.
And now we give you Caroline Clemmons.
Did you chose the genre you write in or did it choose you?
I think it chose me. My first book was contemporary, but then I wrote a couple of western historical romances for Kensington. I felt and still feel so comfortable with post-Civil War historical settings. My dad used to tell stories about his family’s adventures after they came to Texas in 1876. He didn’t mention the year, but I learned that when I became interested in genealogy. I loved hearing the stories no matter how many times I’d heard them before.
Oddly enough, my mother-in-law gave me a grocery bag (remember the large brown bags?) filled with romance novels and told me I could write them. I always thought she didn’t like me so that was a BIG surprise. I used to write long, long letters detailing everything my Hero or our precious children did. She said she could tell from my letters that I could write books. Hero agreed. Up until then, I’d only written newspaper articles. Soon after that, I had pneumonia. While I was ill and recovering, I came up with a plot. My sister complained that once I started writing books, she never got nice, long letters again. That’s true.
Did your life experiences influence or hinder your writing?
In my opinion, our life experiences influence our writing in many ways. I don’t mean I take a real event and use it per se. We are the sum of all we have seen, hears, read, or experienced. When writing, we draw on our inner well and pour out the necessary emotions and events to convey what we want our readers to experience.
Where did you get the idea for your latest release and tell a bit about the story?
For a while now I have been participating in multi-author projects (MAPs) in which the MAP creator sets a parameter and each author sets her story within the context. The one I’m writing now is for the Proxy Brides series. Thinking of reasons for a woman to become a proxy bride or mail-order bride is difficult. There were not enough eligible men in the East after the Civil War and that left many women unable to marry unless they did something drastic. I love marriages of convenience such as mail-order brides or proxy brides or Pinkerton Matchmaker brides. Having the husband and wife getting to know one another while forced to battle an assailant adds complexity to the story. The current story is A BRIDE FOR HOUSTON, and V. McKevitt of Black Widow Cover Designs created the gorgeous cover.
Is there a writing routine you follow or do you write when the muse strike?
I write every day. I’m NOT a morning person, so the first thing I do when I sit at the computer is answer email, comment on blogs, and check my groups on Facebook. By then I’m awake and can dive into my work in progress. I usually take a break with my husband and watch a movie on television at about six. Often, I go back and work a while afterward.
If you had a choice, which is your favorite to write, short stories, novellas or full-length novels?
Ah, I DO have a choice because I’m indie-published. I choose novellas of 30K-50K. With that length, there is room for secondary characters and their stories. My second choice would be full-length novels. I do enjoy writing the longer story but have become used to writing novellas. I’ve tried but don’t like writing short stories.
Is there anything else you feel people would like to know or would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m an introverted homebody. However, I love to travel with my husband, whom I call Hero but am not one who enjoys huge conventions. The Western Fictioneers conference I attended was a perfect size and my husband could attend with me without feeling out of place. Jacquie Rogers “nudged” me to attend and I’m glad she did. She’s a great “nudger” and a great writer—and not an introvert!
Do you write in other genres?
Yes, I have written a couple of mysteries and have a third ¾ complete. Our youngest daughter and I are considering writing a duet where we each write a cozy mystery set in the same small Texas town with overlapping characters and businesses.
What are your favorite areas of research and why they are important to you?
Having details right are important to make the story credible. Many people who read historical novels are familiar with the history. An error in one place makes them suspicious of other details. A friend and I stopped reading one author because of her anachronisms. The friend’s mother insisted she didn’t care and kept reading the author’s books.
Even if only part of a sentence appears in the book, it’s worth researching to be certain it’s correct. In addition, I love learning the unusual facts of each locale. Getting sidetracked by research is all too easy for those who love history.
When do you start to ‘market’ your new release?
Thank you for that opening—I already have. A BRIDE FOR HOUSTON will be released in April of 2021. It will be available in e-book for $2.99 and in print (I don’t yet know the print price). Where available, it will be free on Kindle Unlimited.
To follow Caroline or learn more, check out the following links: