Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Interview with Carolyn Brown

This month I am fortunate enough to interview Avalon author Carolyn Brown. She may look like your grandma but don’t let her appearance fool you. This Southern gal may be loaded with down home charms and manners but she’s got a way with words, and can turn a phrase, that’ll make you choke on your own spit. Miss Carolyn is decidedly a silver-tongued siren and uses her talents to create stories at such a rate it would make even Nora Roberts’ head spin.

This last summer Carolyn hit the New York Times Best Seller list with Love Drunk Cowboy published by Sourcebook Casablanca.

From her Bio: Carolyn Brown is an award-winning author of more than fifty published books. She and her husband, Charles, a retired English teacher, live in southern Oklahoma. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young for a long time.

Trick of the Light is the second book of the Angels and Outlaws series, following From Wine and Water.

Carolyn has written numerous contemporary romance and historical romance books and series for AVALON. Her series include:

The Black Swan: Come High Water, From Thin Air, Pushin’ Up Daisies

Broken Roads: To Hope, To Dream, To Believe, To Commit, To Trust

Drifters and Dreamers: Evening Star, Sweet Tilly, Morning Glory

Love’s Valley: Promises, Redemption, Chances, Absolution, Choices

Promised Land: Augusta, Garnet, Gypsy, Velvet, Willow

Oklahoma Land Rush: Just Grace, Maggie’s Mistake, Violet’s Wish, Emma’s Folly

Her other titles include: The Dove, The PMS Club, Trouble in Paradise, The Wager, That Way Again, Lily’s White Lace, The Ivy Tree, The Yard Rose, All the Way From Texas, A Falling Star, and Love Is.

Here's something about Trick of the Light, an Angels and Outlaw series . . .

Angels would have trouble getting along with Micah Burnet, and Tempest Lavalle's halo is twisted plumb out of shape by the time she gets to the plantation where her two married sisters are living. Micah was the handsomest of the three outlaws who escorted her and her sisters from San Antonio to Louisiana—but he also has the biggest ego. Add that to Tempie's fiery temper, and the two could burn down the whole western half of Mississippi.

Micah isn't happy about Tempie coming to the plantation, but it's a big place and he can stay out of her way ... right? Wrong! He and Tempie are drawn together the minute he shares a deathbed confession with her. He knows that little apparition appearing over her head when she's being nice is darn sure not a halo but just a trick of the light, so why does fate keep throwing them together?

Miss Carolyn: Good morning to everyone at Avalon. What a special treat to be interviewed this morning by my special friend, Shirley Marks, who also writes historical romances and has come up with some amazing questions about my newest release, Trick of the Light.

Q: Trick of the Light is the last book of the Angels and Outlaw series. I’d like to backtrack a bit and ask you a few questions about the whole series. How did these stories come about? Was it one character’s story that surfaced first?

Miss Carolyn: Years ago we visited the Alamo and I stood there beneath that old live oak tree in the yard and could feel the ghosts of the battle that took place all those years ago. I imagined Captain Lavalle who had three daughters he desperately wanted to send back home to northern Louisiana.

They needed every soldier for the upcoming fight. However there were three outlaws in the local jail and he had heard they'd do anything to get out of that tiny place. They were ready to high tail it back to Mississippi and Louisiana was right on the way.

The idea was born and written in my little spiral back notebook where I keep such things. One day it crawled into mind and refused to leave until I wrote the whole trilogy.

I think Tempest's character actually surfaced first. She is the youngest sister so in essence the trilogy is written backwards with Delia's story first, Fairlee's second and then Tempie's at the end.

Q: I know your characters sit on your shoulders and talk to you. Were the men the ones who spoke first? Or were the naughty ladies telling you’re their tales, putting their slant on it?

Miss Carolyn: Yes, the characters do sit on my shoulder or behind me on the loveseat while I type and they are very pesky about yelling at me when I don't get the story told just right. There have been many nights when they wake me up from sleep and sit on my pillow to tell me what happened. Of course in the case of Tempie, I had to listen or she was prone to pitch a fit with that temper of hers.

The angels were the first to talk to me in this trilogy. I knew them well by the time I started to write but the outlaws weren't a bit shy about backing them down if they thought the angels were getting too much attention.

Q: What was the inspiration for Trick of the Light?

Miss Carolyn: Tempest has moved from Louisiana to Mississippi to live with her sisters on the plantation. Micah is engaged so there's no way she's going to follow in Delia's and Fairlee's footsteps and wind up with an outlaw. But then boom! Things change in an instant and suddenly she's in on a big secret that she can't tell either of her sisters. Because of her actions in keeping his secret, sometimes Micah thinks he sees a halo above Tempie's head but it has to be a trick of the light because that girl is a force...and there's no way she's an angel.

Q: Do you have any upcoming titles . . . well, of course you have. Tell us what titles you have coming from Avalon for this coming year.

Miss Carolyn: In my Avalon world, The Ladies Room is up next. What happens in the ladies room at a funeral stays in the ladies room but that doesn't mean it won't change Trudy's life forever. Publication date was four days ago and I'm very excited about the new release.

Then the Three Magic Words trilogy, debuts with A Forever Thing in December. The second book, In Shining Whatever, will be out in April 2012 and the last one, Life After Wife, in August 2012.

After that I have one more on the docket, Hidden Secrets, a single title contemporary that could possibly see publication at the end of 2012.

Q: What about your Sourcebook releases?

Miss Carolyn: In my Sourcebooks world, the third Spikes & Spurs book, Darn Good Cowboy Christmas just hit the shelves two weeks ago. Continuing with the Spikes & Spurs series, One Hot Cowboy Wedding, will be out in April and the next two which aren't titled yet will see publication in the fall of 2012. Sourcebooks will also publish my debut women's fiction book, Sinful Delights in the fall of 2012.

I'm thrilled to be breaking into this genre and hope that everyone likes my women's fiction books as much as they do my sweet romances and my hot cowboys.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know?

Miss Carolyn: Just that I appreciate everyone who reads my books and a special shout-out to those who take time to feed my ego with fan mail. Without readers, writers would soon top the endangered species list. So thank you, thank you to all my readers, both for my sweet romances and my hot cowboys!

Thank you Carolyn Brown for your time and allowing us to glimpse a bit of your genius.


Carolyn Brown said...

Thank you Shirley for an awesome blog! WOW! You should be in advertising as well as writing amazing regency books.

Sarita said...

What a lovely post! I've got to admit, Carolyn is one of my favorite authors. I know what I'll get every time I read one of her books, and she never lets me down. Time after time, I am entertained and enchanted. I love this glimpse into the talented lady's life! Thanks!

Carolyn Brown said...

Sarita: THANK YOU from the bottom of my pancreas; that's even deeper than my heart!

Sandy Cody said...

It's always a pleasure to read something by or about Carolyn Brown; I know I'll be smiling by the time I finish.

Shirley,you're pretty good at turning a phrase yourself - choke on your own spit - love it.

Shirley Marks said...

Just reporting the facts, Sandy.

Jayne Ormerod... said...

What fun that was to read! And Miss Carolyn, how in the world do you keep so many stories in your head? And such great titles! I'm curious which comes firt, the titles or the stories?

I am enchanted by Trick of the Light and will be seeking out a copy, soon!

Carolyn Brown said...

Jayne: Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Stories always come first in my world. Titles sometimes come around fairly quickly but likely as not don't HIT until late in the book. The Angels & Outlaws were so much fun to write that when I finished the last one I wished that I'd had another sister or two hiding in the background!

Carolyn Hughey said...
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Carolyn Hughey said...
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Carolyn Hughey said...

Love it, love it! And Miss Shirley is quite deft herself.

Thank you for enchanting us this afternoon with another peek into our very own Carolyn's mind, the woman whom we've all grown to love. As Shirley has indicated, this sweet little woman--she's shorter than me by maybe an inch so I'm allowed to call her little, is no shrinking violet, and there was no pun intended.

Melinda Tipton said...

Darn Good Cowboy Christmas is the first book of Carolyn Brown I have ever read. It kept me reading and I am from Montague County Texas where it was based. The places were right on where they should be. I plan on reading everything I can get by her

Carolyn Brown said...

Melinda: Thank you so much for stopping by the blog site. I'm so glad you liked my cowboy book! We lived in Montague County for about six years so I got pretty well acquainted with the area! You might like Getting Lucky also. It's set in St. Jo!

Carolyn Brown said...

Carolyn Hughey: You always make me laugh! Me a shrinking violet. No way! You got that right!