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Interview with Carole Brown

Carole is a woman of many talents. In addition to her writing, she blogs, does book reviews, conducts interviews, and even has a Bachelors Degree in Religious Education, and an Associate in Computer Software. In addition to these things, Carole also counsels and ministers with her husband in her free time. Find out more about her most recent release, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, and enjoy getting to know this multitalented woman who serves the Lord faithfully in all that she does.

Tell us a little bit about why you wrote The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. Where did the idea for the story come from?

My husband came up with the plot. We like to keep track of interesting current events, and when the cult situation in Texas caught our eyes awhile back, we brainstormed together and came up with the thought of a woman turning on the cult she was raised in. We needed to create a reason, and what better reason than a mother who lost a child because of the cult?

What were some challenges you faced when writing this book?
The biggest, I think, was making Caralynne a sympathetic character. Even though she plotted revenge against the cult men for their horrendous, ignorant actions against the women and girls, I wanted the readers to not only feel her anger and bitterness, but to see her aching heart and the desperation inside her to ease the hurt she carried over the loss of her oldest daughter.

How better than to give her two other sweet, innocent daughters? I worked hard to show what kind of mother she was and how much she adored her girls. I also showed her loyalty and love for her fellow-women friends within the cult, and then there was Dayne MacFarland, the minister, and her prospective love life.

Also, revealing the setting, the cult and its “institutions”, and the evil leadership helped readers to feel what she was going through.

Who is your favorite character and why?
It would have to be Caralynne Hayman, a strong determined woman with her own thoughts and feelings, a gentle woman who is afraid but strong because she is willing to stand--even alone--against others doing wrong. Her caring heart, her loyalty, her protectiveness for her daughters, her understanding of the lost opportunities in her life, and the fact that she does the best she can in the worst circumstances. These things make Caralynne what she is in the story. In spite of her misguided intentions and plans, she carries within her traits women the world over desire.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
The period of discouragement--that time when it seemed the darkness in my own writing journey, when I’d reached the point of giving up. Because of that, I turned my writing fully over to God’s will, and the light broke through.

You write for various different blogs doing interviews and book reviews as well as other posts. How do you find the time to write as well? Any secrets you care to share?
It is hard to find the time. We have such a busy life but when you have a story burning on your heart, you manage to carve out writing periods to work. When the inspiration is glowing, I’ll work at a steadier pace. Other times I have to brainstorm with my husband to get the creativity flowing or write on the road or whenever I can squeeze in some quiet time. For me, it’s a matter of pushing to get another novel finished. I love that feeling--bringing to life another novel to share with readers.

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
For me, it’s natural to bring in certain elements of faith into my novels, some more than others. In The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, Caralynne has had no experience with true Christians, so if she ever believed in God, life tore it right from her. To show a total transformation would be a fake event. She needed to first learn who God is, and that He loves her. That was a big spiritual play for her and very effective.

In the new Alex and Denton Davies mystery series I’m writing, the faith element is vague and more in their desires and showing true traits of God-likeness. Another, with a character who loves working in the church and raised in church, showing her faith strongly is a natural.

Each book I write will show what I feel is necessary for the plot and characters within. I don’t think there is any “set” way to write about faith and spirituality. It must fit with the story line.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
It would have to be when I surrendered my writing desires to God and became willing to be guided by his will for my work. That’s a major accomplishment for me. (Grin)

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
My husband, Dan, is a huge encouragement to me. I enjoy brainstorming with him and appreciate his critiques. He also provides me with many plot ideas and works with me throughout my novels giving invaluable feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

Where do you gain inspiration for your writing?
Love meeting with my writing buddies. I normally come away inspired to write more and faster.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
We’ve always traveled a lot and plan to continue. Now that we finally have grandsons, that is a priority with us. We enjoy them so much and hearing our baby--third grandson--say “Gramps” and “Grandma” was priceless.

I enjoy walking, a little gardening, reading and writing together with my husband, family get-togethers, an occasional dinner theatre, and our own small hobby farm.

What books are on your nightstand right now?
On my desk waiting for me to dive in, is The Quaker and the Rebel by Mary Ellis. I also have e-copies of several books I need to get to for reviews.

Any parting words?
For the beginner writer or those struggling with discouragement: Never, never give up! You may not succeed but unless you try, you’ll not know how far you can go.

Thanks for sharing with us, Carole!

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