About Caroline Clemmons:
I'm sure I was supposed to have been born on a Texas ranch, but fate had other plans. Around the dinner table, my father told stories about his family coming to Texas in 1876 and some of their adventures. From the first story, I was hooked on history and the West. Although I also write contemporary, they're set in Texas (with the exception of a short novella and a short story).
I've published over sixty titles that have made me a bestselling author and won several awards. I started writing sensual romance, but now write mostly sweet. My books include western historical, western contemporary, time travel, and mystery. Most of my romances include a mystery or a threat to one or more of the main characters.
When I'm not writing, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading my friend's books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap. Genealogy interests me and I've written/collected info for three family books (one on my mother-in-law, one on my mom, and one on my dad) and written numerous articles. It's a habit-forming hobby–each time you discover a new ancestor, you need to find both parents.
What inspires you to write?
Almost anything can inspire me to write. I might see an article, overhear a conversation, or hear something on television that sparks an idea. Please understand that the idea is the easy part. I have dozens and dozens of them. Turning the idea into a book is hard, but I can't imagine doing anything else.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
I couldn't possibly list all of them here, but I'm fortunate to know wonderful authors as friends. I enjoy reading their books. I also read read some of the fiction bestsellers. The books I re-read include several by Louis L'Amour and Julie Garwood's PRINCE CHARMING.
Tell us about your writing process.
If the story is what I consider a full novel (76 yo 100 thousand to 75 thousand words), I plot it on a storyboard. The shorter the finished story is to be, the less formal plotting I do. I always know the opening, the ending, and the conflict.
I prefer writing at my desktop computer on Word. I've tried several of the other software programs, but prefer to stick with Word. I started with character sketches for the main characters, but I don't do those now. I keep a list of characters that includes physical description, age, and occupation/relationship to hero and heroine.
I write in a tiny office off our bedroom on my work in progress (WIP). I stop at six to watch a movie with Hero (what I call my husband). After a movie (or sometimes two), I go back to work for a couple of hours. I've tried taking the weekend off, but my brain keeps thinking of things to add to my WIP. You probably have heard that writers are either writing or thinking about writing. That's almost true. I do think of other things, of course, but I can't ignore writing for long.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
A vivid scene from the book usually plays in my head like a movie. That scene gives me my characters and their conflict. This is usually from early in the book, sometimes when the heroine and hero first meet. I don't talk to my characters. They are real people to me. When people ask me to compare my hero and heroine to movie stars or other famous people, I can't decide. They were created in my subconscious and don't look like anyone other than themselves. I admit the hero usually resembles my Hero. He always has the same qualities.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don't let anyone steal your dream! Realize that you won't succeed overnight. Hone your craft and write. Remember that Nora Roberts said something like "You can edit crap, but you can't edit a blank page." Before you publish, use an editor to catch your errors. Other than that: Write, write, write!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was first published by Kensington. Then I was published by Wild Rose Press, who are simply wonderful people and have wonderful cover artists. Friends convinced me to try self-publishing and I love it. Now I can write what I want when I want. Marketing is a time drain, but necessary no matter how you publish. I love being my own boss!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I have no way to know. I suspect marketing will continue to grow in importance. With so many writers cropping up due to the ease of self-publishing, keeping your name visible is a battle now. Keeping up with new avenues for promotion will be more and more important, in my opinion. No matter what changes are ahead, readers are hungry for good books.
What genres do you write?: western historical and contemporary, time travel, and mystery
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.