About Caroline Clemmons:
I am an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. As a speaker at conferences and seminars, I’ve taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
In the past, I worked as a secretary, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, and as a bookkeeper. My favorite job has been wife and mom, but writing is a close second. Going to my little office (I call my pink cave) off our bedroom each day is a joy.
My hero and I live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with our menagerie of rescued pets. When I’m not indulging my passion for writing, I enjoy family time, reading, travel, browsing for antiques (I don’t buy because there’s no room in our house), genealogy, and getting together with friends.
What inspires you to write?
Almost everything. A news story might make me think the story would have been better if… and my imagination takes over. In public places, I listen to the way people talk and what they say–not to pry, but to study. In the car, I see a house or building and that sparks an idea. Honestly, ideas fill my head and I have to write to get them out of my brain. This might sound frightening, but for an author it’s a wonderful thing.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have three friends with whom I plot. We use a plotting board and from that I make an outline. The more detailed the outline, the easier the book is to complete. I use the outline as a road map, which means I can make side trips along the way as long as I come back to the designated road to get to my destination. I used to make short character sketches but now I just keep a list of characters. Since I usually write series, this list is very important. I can’t have a blue-eyed character suddenly have brown eyes in a later book. When I’ve completed the book, my critique partners read the book and make suggestions. After I make those edits, I send it to my editor and beta readers. Once I have their input and edit once more, I read the book over again.Each edit usually inspires another slight change or addition. As soon as I publish one book, I begin work on the next one. Writing is addictive. LOL I can’t help myself.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Usually, I see a scene with the two main characters in my head as if I were watching a movie. This might be the first scene or come later in the book, but it shows me the two main characters clearly. Many have said that if a writer isn’t writing, he or she is thinking about writing. I don’t mean that I don’t listen to my family and friends, but my characters stay with me all the time. As I’m trying to go to sleep at night, they tell me things I forgot to include or need to write the following day. Writing is a little like an acceptable form of insanity.
What advice would you give other writers?
You must read, read, read. Study your craft by reading craft books, by attending workshops, and by networking with other authors. If I read a book that touched me, I re-read it and try to analyze what about it spoke to me and think how I can achieve that quality in my books. Most of all, don’t let anyone discourage you or steal your dream. Very few authors sell their first effort. Don’t give up the dream. Keep learning and improving.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first few books were with a traditional New York house. Then I was with a very nice small press. However, when I recovered my rights from NY, I wanted to try self-publication. I love being self-published. I can write what I want when I want and have control over every part of the process. I’m still learning, but that’s life. We have to embrace new ideas and continue to stretch and grow or become stagnant. The most difficult part of writing, I believe, is staying abreast of social media.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I visualize publishing continuing to change. I hope the change is for the better for people like me who are self-published. Amazon is a major player now, but I suspect that another force will enter the market in the near future. I foresee more choice for authors and for readers in the coming months and years. I have two books in audio form and I see that as growing in demand. I’d like to have more of my books converted to audio.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: I write historical and contemporary western romance. I’ve also written a couple of mysteries.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
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.