The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Caroline Clemmons!

I am so happy to welcome you here today, Caroline! You made so many wonderfully supportive comments after reading and enjoying my debut historical novel, The Arrival of Lily Curtis. I will never forget your kind words. I was SO nervous when 'Lily' was released and you were one of the first people to comment on it. Thank you so much!

Anyway, onto you and your day - can't wait to catch up with what you have been working on so I can download your latest release!!

1) What is your writing routine?

What was formerly my youngest daughter’s bedroom is now my office. It is a sanctuary where I feel free to transfer my stories to the PC. The walls are pale pink, so I refer to it as my pink cave. I’d like to say I am disciplined and write a certain number of hours or words a day, but that would not be true. Some days I write all day, but on others, life interferes big time. Hate that, don’t you? I have a good desk chair (a writer’s best friend) and comfortable computer desk, so I can hide away when life doesn’t intervene. My sweet husband is supportive and either brings me food and/or a drink or invites me to come to the dining table for a meal he’s prepared. Now that he’s retied, he’s experimenting with cooking. You can easily understand why I call him Hero, right? The most I’ve written in a day is 20,000 words. The least is 0. I aim for five pages a day.

2) Which author/s inspire you to write?

Reading has always been a favorite pastime. Before I met all my wonderful writer friends, Nora Roberts and Julie Garwood inspired me. Older authors who inspired me were Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Marjorie Allingham, Mary Stewart, and Georgette Heyer. Now that I’ve met lovely authors online and in person, I can hardly keep up with their books. In fact, I always have a book or my Kindle with me. A few minutes waiting here or there is so much less annoying with a book to read.

3) Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?

My reading is eclectic depending on my mood. I suppose I’m more easily tempted by a western historical, but I love Regency and Victorian English as well as Colonial American novels. I also read time travel and contemporary romance. Although they’re not strictly romance, I love cozy mysteries, and they usually include a romantic interest for the lead character.

My favorite romance to write is western historical set in the 1870-1895 years, such as my recent THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE and SAVE YOUR HEART FOR ME from The Wild Rose Press. But I’m considering a 1940’s novella that has tempted me for a while and is based on a true event. I also enjoy writing time travel in which the heroine comes forward to today, as in OUT OF THE BLUE. Although contemporary romance is not my favorite to write, sometimes one pushes into my mind and I have to write it such as my current release, HOME SWEET TEXAS HOME.

4) How do you deal with criticism/rejection?

Oh, the sting! Isn’t it odd how a dozen good reviews can be pushed out of our head by one snarky remark? I try not to let it matter, but there is one that was written by someone I know that really upset me because it does seem mean-spirited and unfair. That’s the key, you know--was the criticism valid? If it was, there’s no quarrel. A snarky comment from an acquaintance is upsetting because I think, what did I ever do to make her dislike me? Best just to forget it and move on.

5) What do you expect from an editor?

A fair knowledge of the subject. A historical editor can’t possibly know all the details for every item of history, but I expect her to be up on terms. Allison Byers at The Wild Rose Press is an ideal editor, by the way. She is fast, fair, and knowledgeable. In fact, all the editors with whom I’ve dealt at The Wild Rose Press have been good.

6) Tell me about your latest release

HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME is a modern day Cinderella tale. Courtney Madison is a remarkable young woman who is so far down on her luck she can’t see up. Her mom has just died a lingering death and left a mountain of debt it will take Courtney a lifetime to pay. Her formerly sweet younger brother, Jimmy, for whom she’s guardian has taken up with entirely the wrong sort of friends and is skipping class and letting his grades slide. She has just learned she is being downsized and will no longer have a job in two weeks. She’s at wit’s end when she learns she’s inherited an estate worth two million dollars from a kindly man she befriended while her mom was in the hospital. Sounds like the solution to all her problems, right? Life is never that easy. There are strings, and they involve her sexy neighbor, Derek Corrigan.

7) Tease us with a short excerpt:

When Jimmy saw his sister in bed, he rushed over. “Sis, what happened? What’s with the towel and the ice packs?” He frowned at Derek. “What’s going on?”

She opened her mouth to explain, but nothing came out.

Derek figured the bizarre situation defied description. He patted Jimmy on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, she’s okay now. We were at the cemetery putting flowers on Sam’s and Maggie’s graves and your sister got trapped in the bathroom.”

Jimmy shook his head. “I don’t understand. How could that hurt her?”

Courtney sighed. “The knob came off in my hand and I couldn’t open the door. So, I climbed out the window.”

Derek held out his hands to indicate the small rectangle. “A small, high window.”

Jimmy looked from his sister to Derek. “I still don’t understand what happened.”

Courtney snapped, “I got stuck, okay?”

Now that he knew her to be okay, the week’s tension suddenly snapped in Derek and he lost his perspective on the situation. He grimaced at Jimmy. “She, um…” He coughed to keep a straight face. “When she tried to go out the window, she got stuck with her head and one arm sticking outside and the rest of her inside.” He stood like a bird with a broken wing to imitate Courtney’s position. A grin spread across his face in spite of all his efforts not to smile.

Jimmy gaped at his sister. “Courtney? But she’s always so sensible. She’s never does anything stupid.” He began to smile also.

Jimmy and he burst into laughter.

“Listen, if you two are so amused, go into the other room to discuss my apparently hilarious antics and leave me to suffer in peace.” In spite of her strained muscles and injuries, she threw a box of tissues in their direction. “Go on, get out of here. Now.”

Derek glanced over his shoulder before he left.

She’d stuffed a pillow over her ears, to block out their laughter.

8) Which is your favorite character in the book? Why?

Courtney is my favorite. She is such a good person and wants very much to make a home for her brother and at the same time make a real difference in the world. She also wants to honor the man who left her the legacy. Unfortunately for her, she is as clutzy as the author (moi) and gets herself into a few humorous situations, as well as a very serious one.

9) What are you working on right now?

My work in progress is the first of a series in which two brothers and their cousin each meet a woman from the past. In the first of the three, a feisty ranch woman from 1897 comes forward to today and finds a handsome rancher living in her house. Time travels are fun to write because there is the added conflict of the traveler adapting to new surroundings and conveniences, convincing herself and others that she isn’t insane but really is from another time, as well as the usual romance and other conflicts.

10) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?

Winston Churchill said it: “Never, never, never give up!” Worked for him.

11) Where can readers find you?

I think I’m everywhere. ;-)

My blog is where I post Mon, Wed, Fri

Team blogs, I post the 26th, I post the 20th, I post on the 6th




Goodreads, LinkedIn, and other social media sites

In addition, my back list is on Kindle for 99 cents each. What a deal! This includes historical romances THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE, THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND, and LONG WAY HOME. Contemporary romances are BE MY GUEST and SNOWFIRES. I’ll soon add a new mystery, the first of the Sheriff Link Dixon series, ALMOST HOME, and it will be 2.99.

Rachel, thanks so much for hosting me today.

You are so, so welcome! Although, I did sort of zone out of your interview once you slapped the maximum word count you have achieved in a day on me...20,000!!! Are you insane?? I achieved a grand total of 300 words yesterday...shame on me!! LOL!!



  1. Rachel, thank you so much for having me today. And that 20,000 words was to finish a novella that I'd precisely plotted with my plotting cp, Sandra Crowley. Having all the plot points written down really helped. Besides, you have young children, and I admire you for being able to be a good mom to them and still find time to write!

  2. Hi Caroline,
    What a fun interview and wow, love the premise for, "Home Sweet Texas Home!" You're clutzy? Really? You've never come off like that to me. I see you as a super sweet person, a talented writer, and a woman I'm blessed to call friend. Take care and know I wish you continued success! *Hugs*
    Love you!

  3. Hi Caroline! I'm beginning to feel like a groupie (or stalker) following you around in the blogosphere! LOL. I learn something new each time. Yipes, I'm with Rachel - 20K???? How in the heck did you do that.
    I'm happy with 4 pages or 1K a day. Usually, if I shoot for 1K I'll end up closer to 2K, but if I made myself go for 2K, I'd rarely make it and feel like a failure all the time. Slow but steady, right? Your office sounds wonderful, and so does your husband!

  4. What a great interview Caroline. I love your pink cave. You are a wonderfully encouraging friend to many. Clearly you can write whatever setting you like and do it credit. I'm feeling rather sentimental about vintage America too. I love your new cover, and hearing more about this release.

  5. Carolyn, I love all your books and I been reading them for years :). You are one of the best writers I know.


  6. Enjoyed reading your interview, especially your comment on snarky reviews. No ones skin is so thick they can let it roll off their back. At least, not initially! Since I was raised in Texas, I found your story interesting and will have to check it out.

  7. I'm a day late, but have to say I love the interview and the excerpt, too! Awesome!

    You're a dear, Caroline, and I'm thrilled for all your success!!

    Nancy Haddock

  8. Thanks to each of you who have left a comment. I truly appreciate your time.

  9. Love the premise to your new book. Yet another one of yours going on my list. Just wish there was more hours in the day I could dedicate to reading. lol!

  10. Great excerpt, Caroline! I can't believe you wrote 20,000 words in a day. That's fantastic! I always aim for 1000 and am more than happy when I can make that. Of course, I'm always bouncing between at least two projects at once anyway.

    Best of luck with your newest release!

  11. Hi Caroline. I enjoyed the interview. It is always fun to read about other writers and their process. I have not run across your work before, but just hopped on Amazon and picked up a couple from your backlist.

    Looking forward to reading you. Good luck with your new project.

  12. Oh Caroline - I loved your excerpt. Will have to add this to my very long - to be read list and write a review list. Good luck with this release, my friend.

  13. Hi Caroline,
    I loved your blog and your books! Am amazed that you typed out 20,000 words in a day. Whew! That makes me tired just reading it! Good luck with your new release!

  14. You and I matured liking the same kind of genre. I think by reading so many of our favorite books, we develop a voice of our own and can write stories we love.

    Alwasy best of luck on your book sales, Caroline.

  15. You're always a source of inspiration, Caroline. Thanks :)