Carole: I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii where I was pretty much a couch potato because of an undiscovered heart defect which made me tired all the time. So, I read and watched movies a lot because I couldn’t do anything physical. At twenty-nine I had open heart surgery and became a born-again jockette. My favorite pastimes are hiking and skiing. I also scuba dive and ride horses. I still love reading and watching movies though.
Beth: Tell us about your writing journey. Did you always want to be a writer?
Carole: Always. Ever since I can remember. I “wrote” my first story at five and never stopped except for a twenty year hiatus starting in my twenties. I wrote for myself until recently. I found it cathartic. It took me away from “real” life.
Beth: Who has influenced you most as a writer and why?
Carole: Probably my mother who encouraged me and told me not to give up because she thought I was a fabulous writer. I told her that she was biased. But, it still encouraged me.
Beth: What is your favorite movie? Favorite book?
Carole: I really can’t say. Gone With the Wind, both book and movie, maybe. I love all the historical stuff, it really takes me to a different time, far away from where I am. I have so many other favorites, Pride and Prejudice, both the newest movie version and the book.
Beth: Tell us about September Dawn? What emotions did writing this spark in you?
Carole: Love at first sight, something that happened to me three times. Losing someone you love suddenly. I lost my husband suddenly. The absolute wisdom and necessity of forgiving even those who hurt you the most is something I have struggled with and am determined to do. Finally, on a world scale, it made me so convinced that we have to think for ourselves and not blindly follow any leader, religious or secular. We must examine the leaders we follow to see if they are worthy of following. In the end, like John D. Lee, we alone will be judged for what we did. John D. Lee was the sacrificial lamb and the church walked away denying blame. I am not going to get into the religious controversy, I just want people to see that they will stand alone for their deeds and that saying “I was just following orders” will not save them. We must develop our own moral compass and be strong enough to follow our conscience.
Beth- What is the message you hope to get across in this story?
Carole: I think I answered it above. I really hope that readers will understand that this is a story about a great love that crossed over at a time when this was frowned upon and a tale of morality, one that teaches people to think for themselves. I’m an evangelical Christian and I will tell you, even Jesus said to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. We were born with a mind and a heart. We need to use it and make our own life’s decisions.
Beth: What does your typical day look like?
Carole: I’m blessed in that I am able to hike, ski, or work out every day after I do all my emailing, phone calling, and all the stuff of the world that takes up so much of our time. I write at night. Sometimes until three or four in the morning sometimes. It is the most peaceful, quiet time for me. I think and create better at night.
Beth: What would you say was the toughest part of the writing craft for you to learn? Any tips for others who struggle with this same element?
Carole: It was hard for me to write the way publisher’s want you to write. I had to discipline myself to write the “right” way. Kathi Macias is my editor and her book “Train of Thought Writing Method” was the best thing I ever read. She helped me tremendously.
Beth: Any marketing tips?
Carole: Try to get a video! When I did an interview on Daystar and it appeared on Godtube, my sales sky rocketed. I’ve just started doing Internet blogs so I don’t know how it will work. My girlfriend created from nothing a hugely successful business marketing calenders which she has since sold. She told me, “You’re the only one who cares about how many books you sell so you’ve got to do it. No one else will do it for you.”
Beth: Closing thoughts you’d like to share?
Carole: I want to encourage people to never give up when they have a dream in their heart. I sold “September Dawn” and wrote it in my mid-fifties. God can change your life around on a dime. But you have to believe that it can happen and work towards it.
Thanks for the interview, Carole!