Today we sit down for a chat with western historical and contemporary romance author Caroline Clemmons. Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline was not born on a Texas ranch. To make up for this tragic error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a small office her family calls her pink cave. Learn more about Caroline and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I don’t count the “stories” I wrote and illustrated as a child, most of which featured a beautiful blond princess and a castle. In school, I loved journalism and served as editor of my school newspaper. As an adult, I first wrote newspaper stories. When I was ill and confined to bed, I plotted a short romance. The first novel I wrote was poorly written because I didn’t understand the craft. Attending RWA chapter meetings and listening to qualified speakers made all the difference.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
Around five years
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I had four titles traditionally published but now am indie published. I enjoy the freedom and control of being indie published.
Where do you write?
I write in a tiny office my family calls my “pink cave” because the walls are pink. I prefer to write on my desktop PC and have a large monitor. My friend Jacquie Rogers gave me the monitor idea because she uses a TV as her monitor. We had a bedroom TV set we never watched, so my Hero set it up as my monitor.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I prefer listening to classical music when I write. If I’m using my Dragon speech-to-text program, I don’t listen to music. My West Texas twang is confusing enough for Dragon software without the added interference of background music. When I’m working on other projects or email, I listen to a mixture from jazz to classical to light rock.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
We are the sum of all that has happened to us, plus all that we have seen and read. So even though I get my plots from my imagination, I probably subconsciously draw on real life events and people. As far as I’m aware, plots and characters in my books are straight from my imagination.
Describe your process for naming your character?
If the book is historical, then I choose a name that was popular at that time. For this, I use names from my family. If I’m looking for a character name for someone foreign, I rely on Google to supply popular names for that country. Isn’t technology wonderful? For contemporary names, I Google popular names for the year the character would have been born.
Real settings or fictional towns?
With a few exceptions, I use fictional towns. Then, no one can say that street doesn’t go there or there’s no business at that address, and so forth. I can create all the businesses, streets, and homes needed for the plot.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
I like the housekeeper Lily Chapa in Be My Guest. Lily is a secondary character who says, “I would never interfere” or “It’s not my place to interfere” and then does so by telling the hero what he should do.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
I suppose the fact that I like to stay up very late and write after my family is asleep. I have quirky circadian rhythms that make me a night owl. That’s another great thing about being a writer—I can choose my office hours.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
I think Julie Garwood’s Prince Charming. This book seamlessly combines two genres I enjoy: British Regency and American western. I reread this book about once a year. My second choice would be Loretta Chase’s Lord Perfect. Her descriptions are wonderful. In fact, when I’ve given programs and taught classes, I’ve used as examples the passages from this book when the hero and heroine first see one another.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
There are far too many to list here. When someone says, “If I had my life to do over, I wouldn’t change a thing,” I shake my head and wonder, “Didn’t you learn anything?”
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Negativity. I admire people like Kirsten Osbourne who are always kind. I’ve never heard Kirsten say a bad word about anyone. Thankfully, I can say the same about several of my friends. That kind of person is a joy to be around and have as a friend.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
My husband, a sharp machete, and fresh water
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
I once worked for a doctor who was rude to patients unless they were wealthy. Of course, he was rude to those of us who worked for him. He was one of those people who, when speaking to someone who didn’t understand English, yelled as if that would somehow make the person understand him. He was mean-spirited and penny-pinching. I’m sure you get the picture.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
That depends on my mood and what I’ve just read. With so many authors as friends, I really can’t answer this question. LOL
Ocean or mountains?
I prefer the mountains. I do like the ocean, but I dislike hot weather. A nice mountain lake to look at would be great. One of my favorite memories is of a hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. The room had a huge picture window overlooking the forested landscape and I had my laptop with me. Watching huge snowflakes drift down onto the trees was a lovely sight. In fact, the view was so lovely I didn’t get much writing done on that trip.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I am a city girl. I enjoyed the years we lived in a rural setting, but that was due to the house and the people I knew. I prefer being close to everything we need now that we live in the city.
What’s on the horizon for you?
I’m adding to my Kincaid series this summer and fall with the novella Monk’s Bride and the novel Rafe Kincaid. In October, the first of two books I’m writing for the Widows of Wildcat Ridge series will be released, Blessing. That’s a woman’s name, by the way, but she prefers to be called Buster. The second will be in April, Garnet. Early in 2019, I’ll release Snowy Bride, another of my Stone Mountain, Texas series. I love writing and get excited even talking about my books.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
In addition to the new release of Under a Mulberry Moon, rights have reverted to me for the six books I wrote for Debra Holland’s Montana Skies Series for Kindle World. These Loving a Rancher Series titles are Amanda’s Rancher, The Rancher and the Shepherdess, Murdoch’s Bride, Bride’s Adventure, Snare His Heart, and Capture Her Heart. I’ve changed the names of all of Debra’s characters and will republish these six books with the same title and cover (minus the Kindle World logo and Montana Skies banner) beginning later in July. They will be released two weeks apart until all six have been republished. I’ve already released book seven, The Rancher’s Perfect Bride. I may write three more for this series.
Under a Mulberry Moon
An anthology offers Adventure! Mystery! Romance! Nine award-winning and bestselling authors present sweet western historical stories to ignite your imagination and feed your passion for reading. Let us sweep you away from your daily cares and entertain you with our sigh-worthy novellas set between 1865 and 1900. What a line-up we have for you!
Millwright’s Daughter by Zina Abbott
Worth the Wait by Patricia PacJac Carroll
Ada and the Texas Cavalryman by Carra Copelin
A Family For Merry by Caroline Clemmons
A Family For Polly by Jacquie Rogers
Comes a Specter by Keta Diablo
The Widow Buys a Groom by P.A. Estelle
Matthew’s Freedom by Cissie Patterson
The Lady Lassoes an Outlaw by Charlene Raddon
Buy Link (limited time .99 offer)