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Interview with Robin Caroll

Please welcome multi-published award winning author Robin Caroll, best known for her deep south mysteries of suspense that inspire the heart and keep the reader coming back for more. Robin also serves as executive director of ACFW. A woman of many talents!

How did you see the Lord’s hand in your writing career?
I’d spent many, many months studying the craft and learning as much as I could. After finally getting up the nerve to start the submission process, I found myself faced with rejection slips. One after the other. I was extremely blessed to have strong critique/prayer partners who encouraged me but I also had a mentor who pushed me and helped me develop the ability to separate my writing from myself as a person. One day, fully frustrated and on the verge of tears, I prayed the scary prayer: that if writing wasn’t what He called me to do, then I’d walk away from it, but He’d have to remove the desire from my heart because I wasn’t strong enough to do it myself. I was lucky enough to get my first contract not too long after that, but I truly was willing to walk away if that’s what He told me to do. It was really scary, because, for me at least, writing was, in my mind, tied to my identity. I learned that writing, while important to me and I love it, is still what I do, not who I am. I love being an author, but I’m also so much more: wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, etc.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
My membership in ACFW. Through it, I learned about manuscript formatting, as well as how to write fiction. I took the online courses and went to conference. I met my mentor, who helped me enormously.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
There are always going to be challenges…with a “regular” job, you have to balance your hours at work with your responsibilities at home. I stress to family & friends that writing is my “job” so it must be treated as such. Does that always work? Not hardly, but if I need to, I’ve been known to work extra-long marathon hours to hit a deadline, so it’s more about honoring my word—contract—and doing what I said I would.

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
I think it comes naturally as I’m a Christian and I write in faith as I see it in my own life and those around me.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
Goodness, I hope I haven’t had it yet! LOL

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
Story and character ideas come from everywhere for me: television, news, even the internet. And I’m a huge people-watcher. In airports, on ships…I find some of the coolest quirks just by observations.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
I think each author has their own voice that makes their stories unique. I’ve found that as I write various characters, in a wide range of ages, each still has some of my own voice in each of them. That’s kind of fun, actually.

Any parting words?
I feel so blessed to be able to write not only for adults, but also for the younger generation. I grew up reading…Trixie Belden and the Bob-Whites were some of the best adventures I’ve ever read. I hope that the series I write for younger girls can touch their lives like Trixie touched mine.

Thanks for sharing with us, Robin!

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