A few announcements before we get to the main attraction: the Divine Destiny blog tour starts TODAY!!! From Monday the 16th to Monday the 23rd I will be visiting various blogs to promote DD! Make sure to check out the website for more information. And keep up on Facebook!
Today I am so pleased to have my friend, Carol Braswell! Carol and I met at our East Texas RWA meetings and we've been author buds since. Her novel, Finding Amy, came out a couple days before Divine Destiny and it's been blowing up the Amazon boards since!!! YAY Carol!
Hi Carol! Please tell us about yourself and your life.
Thanks JoAnna for having me. I’m Carol Braswell and I’ve been writing all my life. In the beginning I wrote about the cutie in my 7th grade math class and then the handsome guy in my 8th grade history. And so on until I finally met and married my soul mate. He is the most amazing man and can build or fix anything. I’m pretty much a dreamer and if I can dream it, he can build it. We love to travel, fish, and entertain the grandkids. Oh, did I mention he is 7 years younger than I am? Does that qualify me as a cougar?
Yes, it does! Go girl! As you know, This blog is all about "Giving Wings to Words". So when did you decide to spread your wings as an author?
In 2005 I started a story about being kidnapped from my office. Several read it and wanted me to finish. Thus was born When The Past Came Back. I was offered a contract in 2007 and it was published in 2008. But it wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready. It was poorly written and had a bad editor. So I went back to learning the craft. I wrote the sequel to WTPCB and shoved it under the bed and started Finding Amy. By the time I became interested in self-publishing, my writing had improved but Finding Amy wasn’t finished. It took me two years to finish Finding Amy because I was discouraged and didn’t think it was good enough. Since its release, all comments have been positive, well except one and those errors have been corrected.
I know I speak for everyone when I say, we are glad you persevered! That's a lesson to all authors. And now, you have an Amazon Best Seller!!! Tell us how this story came to be.
Several things happened that brought me to write Finding Amy. A few years ago I had to testify for a friend whose boss tried to hire him to kill a girlfriend. The only law agency that took him seriously was the Texas Rangers. Years later I read a news article about a man here in town that tried to hire someone to kill his wife and the story started to form. Standing in line at a deli a couple of days later, a very good-looking Texas Ranger walked up and waited for his turn. Something was telling me to write the story. My husband and I traveled to Glacier National Park and spent a week and then into Montana and Wyoming and I knew I wanted to write a story with those states in it. But it still needed something else. That’s when the twin sister tapped me on the shoulder. The leading lady couldn’t be married because she and the handsome Texas Ranger were going to get the hots for each other, so she had to have a sister so why not a twin?
Wow! I love the way that came together. You talk about the twin 'tapping you on the shoulder' so do all your characters speak to you? Do you have a favorite?
I love Amy’s motherly instinct and I would run away with Carson Garrett. Then the bad guy, Max, is such an idiot I have to laugh. But four-year-old Trish is the one who should be the star of the book. The scene I love the best is when Trish goes in to wake up her Aunt Amy, who, after a night of passionate sex has had four hours of sleep, she ask her niece, that is jumping on the bed, “Did you wake Carson up?” Trish giggled, “no, silly. He answered the door.” I laugh every time I read that scene.
Cute kid! What books have you read that made a difference in your life or your writing?
That’s easy. The only book that has made and impact on me is The Holy Bible. I must confess, I don’t read it enough. As far as reading today’s writers, it depends on what mood I’m in. I love mystery and James Patterson delivers. Comedy is one of favorites and Staci Hayes, (not published yet) Janet Evanovich, and Lilianna Hart will make me laugh. For young adult and paranormal my favorite are JoAnna Grace (of course) and Veronica Blade. I seldom pick a book strictly for romance (even though I’m an incurable romantic) but I do like Nora Roberts and Nicholas Sparks.
Aww!!! Thanks! I happen to be a fan of yours also!
If you could trade brains with any author, who would it be and why?
I think I want Janet Evanovich’s brain. I love her humor and writing style. I would love to write comedy and have tried. I even bought a how-to book. My words just don’t come out funny. I can’t even tell a joke and make people laugh. Guess I’m just too serious. If there were a school I could take courses, I’d be the first in line.
What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you since becoming a writer?
I’m too much of a lurker for weird things to happen to me but there was one incident that I remember well. I’m not a person who draws attention to myself. Deep down I’m sort of shy. I attended a conference that had several agents who were taking writers pitches. I didn’t sign up because none of the agents represented what I wrote. One of the agents did a speech and I was very impressed with her. I decided to introduce myself, give her a card and let her know she would be hearing from me. Took me several attempts before I approached her. After a very brief introduction, I walked away. Later, when she had a break, she sought me out and requested my full manuscript when it was finished. Finding Amy wasn’t finished and I never followed up. I had impressed her but was afraid she wouldn’t like it. So I didn’t send it.
Oh no! I can honestly say, I think things have worked out for you though! And there are so many faucets of the publishing industry, especially self-publishing. Tell me your favorite and least favorite thing about your journey so far.
With publishing it’s like I’m putting my baby out for the world to see and judge. It’s a thrill that happens every time one of my creations goes on sale. You can’t get it from any ride at 6Flags or the county fair. Will they love it as much as I do or will they hate it? You don’t know until you start getting feedback or reviews. I guess that’s what I dread (besides editing my own work) the most.
I agree 100%. It's a wild ride. Ok, now here's my random question: If you could spread your wings and fly away, where would you go and what would you do?
Italy. I want to write a book based in another county and I am fascinated with that historical country. In my mind I picture couples making out in parks, on benches and men (and women) flirting openly with people passing by. I see Italy as a romantic city where people go to fall in love.
Mmmm, makes me want to pack a bag. Carol, thanks so much for visiting with us. It's been a pleasure! I'm curious to know what is next for you?
I was editing two books that I had shoved into a drawer but I have had so many of my fans yelling for another episode of Finding Amy. I think some who have read Finding Amy didn’t like Jamie very well. So in Saving Jamie she is going to change and everyone will love her. Maybe even more than Amy. I have the story outlined in my head, (I don’t use paper) and I can give you what I think will be the opening lin
"If you scream, I'll slit your throat."
That gave me chills! Your readers will be waiting with bated breath.
Get your copy of Finding Amy on Amazon. Don't wait, that's an order :)
Have a blessed week and be sure to check Facebook for daily updates on the blog tour leading up to my Release Party this Saturday!