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Interview with Caroline Powers

Welcome, Caroline, and congratulations on your debut novel! You’re so honest and transparent when you talk about why you started writing. Jesus’ love is so clearly in the message you long to convey.

Tell the readers about your writing background and inspiration.
I’m the oldest of three kids, and my family moved several times in my early years. We never lived near relatives, so I didn’t have a relationship with cousins, aunts, uncles or grandparents. God gave me friends, but because of the moves, I didn’t have a sense of permanence. I coped with insecurity and found value by being a good girl and achieving in school.

We were taken to various churches by Mom (Dad didn’t go), but they weren’t strong on teaching the Bible. Consequently, I didn’t know about the cross and salvation for me personally. I was lonely and scared, but I kept my emotions locked down. Later, God brought me into the church and revealed the lies I’d been believing about Him and myself.

I believe that my journey prepared me to write, and I felt called to put what I learned into a story rather than non-fiction. Often, in the process of re-writing, I remember truths and lessons I’ve learned. I find ways of creating conflict and tension for my characters as they deal with these issues in their own particular relationships.

What a beautiful story of redemption. It also reminds us that God never wastes any circumstance He walks us through. How did your faith affect the telling of your book, A Future and a Hope, and what message do you hope readers take away from it?
Overcoming things like fear and anxiety, shame, an orphan mentality, and a poverty mentality became the inspiration for the main character in my novel. I wanted her to overcome these lies by experiencing the truth that initially set me free and eventually set others free when I was in ministry at my church.

I see my storytelling like the parables Jesus used to touch hearts and make his points relatable. The Holy Spirit gave me a balance of humor with the drama to lighten the story and make it fun to write and read. I want readers to see that hope comes through believing God’s promises and trusting the relationships He provides. I hope they will see this path illustrated in my story and gain faith for their own challenges.

So, now that you’re fully immersed in the writing and publishing process, what aspects do you find the most challenging?
Marketing is the most difficult by far. Learning the craft took perseverance and humility, but taking steps to promote my work is way out of my comfort zone. I believe in the story, my ability to write, and God’s desire to share what I wrote, so those things continue to encourage me to keep me stepping out. Realizing it’s not all about me and my “project” but about God’s purpose is freeing.

Oh, Caroline. I think the mere mention of the word “marketing” is enough to evoke fear in the heart of every author! I totally relate. What’s the most fun or fulfilling part of the process?
I love the sense of bringing an idea to life using dialog, description, and emotion. I love creating characters and watching them go through conflict and suspense for a good end. I felt a kinship with God as I got to create a story world and shepherd it along.

During our interview, you said that you believe romance novels are popular because God placed a desire for people to love and develop a partnership in their hearts. With the goal of conveying this truth while crafting an engrossing story, what makes your storytelling style unique?
I’ve trained myself to write in deep POV, only showing (not telling) because I understand how powerful these techniques are. I had a critique partner and editor who pointed out every deviation and forced me to think very hard! Now that I’m attuned, I find that very few novels I read use them exclusively. At the same time, my use of humor to lighten the heaviness of the themes is also a bit unique. Having a humorous foil for both of my main characters provides unexpected dialog and surprising turns in scenes. It keeps things from sounding preachy or depressing when topics get heavy. Plus, it makes the journey fun.

It sounds like you take your reader on a real emotional roller coaster! And isn’t that why we write (and read)? How do you come up with the ideas to take your readers on this journey?
Someone advised “write what you know.” It gave me permission to draw on personal experiences when I chose the setting for my characters. It also led to an understanding that my writing is connected to sharing the gospel. The central conflicts come from my own life and people I am close to. When life shows me something, I write it down so I can work it into a scene or include it in the challenges a character faces. At times I’ve needed a situation to convey an emotional challenge and I pray. I also pray when I’m stuck. It really helps. I see things develop I never intended, and they turn out great.

Caroline, the way you’ve taken your own circumstances and woven them into an inspiring and engaging story is a true testament to God’s love and control! Before we close, what are some things about yourself we may not have learned in the questions above?
 I work in silence (aside from talking out loud to myself!) with a cup of tea beside me. I started with a desk in the midst of clutter in our previous home, but now I have a small office set up for writing and love the atmosphere and look I was able to create.
 I love games almost as much as chocolate. Whether it’s Monopoly with my eight-year-old grandsons, Settlers of Cataan with a friend, Trekking the World with my husband, or Poker with my siblings, I’m always up for a game.
 I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I can’t keep them! I find it better to submit my need for change to Jesus and watch him work it out.
A life-long reader, LeighAnne Clifton decided to take the plunge into the writing world after more than 30 years as an engineer. Now, she writes Christian romance, upcycles junk, and teaches 3rd grade Sunday school. LeighAnne and her husband live in South Carolina with their spoiled cats (are there any other kind?). You can read her Christian living blog and find out more about her book series on her blog at

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