Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Interview: Carolyn Brown

Please join me in welcoming author Carolyn Brown to Debbie's Book Bag today. Carolyn is here to talk about her book, Red's Hot Cowboy. Sourcebooks has offered two copies of Carolyn's book for giveaway, see details at the end of the post.

DEB: Carolyn, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
CB: I’m married to a retired school English teacher who never gets to see my work until it is finished because I can’t afford a divorce lawyer. We have three grown children and fifteen grandchildren; twelve of those are girls so there’s lots of whining and giggling when they all come home. The three boys, bless their hearts, have to endure a lot. Someone asked me when I was on the back side of the slope toward fifty what I wanted to be when I grew up. My answer: “Do I have to decide today?” Right after that I sold my first book so I made up my mind to be an author and have been very happy with my decision.

DEB: Tell us a little about your book, Red’s Hot Cowboy? Is it a single title or part of a series?
CB: Red’s Hot Cowboy is the second book in the Spikes & Spurs series but it can be read as a single title. Not reading Love Drunk Cowboy, the first book in the series, won’t cause the reader to stump his or her toe. Pearl Richland inherits a vintage motel from her great aunt and makes a major life change from the corporation world to managing and running the Longhorn Inn. That means giving up her spike heels and cute little power suits for sneakers and jeans. It also means giving up being the party girl of north Texas and working 24/7 at the motel.

Everything is going along fairly well until the lights go out in Henrietta, Texas and suddenly her little motel is booked full except for one room. She is just about to turn on the NO VACANCY sign when Wil Marshall and his dog Digger came in and creates all kinds of havoc in her motel office. The fur settles after the two animals get into it, but the turmoil is just beginning for Pearl and Wil. It is one emotional roller coaster after another. Wil, a tall, sexy cowboy, is determined to show Pearl (aka Red even though she hates the nickname) that life in a small town and on a ranch can be just as exciting as the big city scene. Pearl is just as headstrong as Wil and when their tempers flare up, sparks are bound to fly.

DEB: What was your inspiration for these books? Have you always been interested in Cowboys?

CB: Oh, yes, ma’am. Sexy cowboys and sassy heroines inspire me to write every day. Who could resist a cowboy like Wil (See cover) telling you what happened next in his story. Or a sassy red head like Pearl arguing with him that he wasn’t getting the details right. It was pure fun from start to finish.

DEB: What type of research did you do for your book?
CB: I made several trips to the Red River in all seasons of the year. Love Drunk Cowboy took place in Terral, only a few miles east and then north over the Red River into Terral, Oklahoma. Red’s Hot Cowboy takes place in Henrietta but there are several trips in the book to Terral and to Ringgold so I spend some lazy afternoons in the area doing research. Folks down there are very friendly and forthcoming with information. Recently, I attended the Terral Watermelon Jubilee and signed books for them. They’ve already invited me back next year to sign Red’s Hot Cowboy, Darn Good Cowboy Christmas and One Hot Cowboy Wedding.

DEB: What is your normal writing day like? Do you have things that have to be in place to write comfortably?
CB: I’m fortunate in that I write full time and have an office in my house. So on a normal day I go to my ego room (all my book covers are matted and framed and hang around me in that room) sit my fanny in a chair and simply work. My goal is five thousand words a day when I’m working on a rough draft. When that’s done then I revise and polish, then revise and polish and then revise and polish some more. If I hit a snag while I’m writing then I put on some country music. I like the slow songs better when I’m writing. George Jones, George Strait, Blake Shelton, Sara Evans all help me get through the speed bumps and back into the groove.

DEB: What was it like when you got the word that your first novel would be published?
CB: That would have been in 1997. Hilary Sares called me from Kensington and said that she loved my two manuscripts. BUT (to aspiring writers: you will hear that word often so get ready for it) she would only buy them if I added a few sex scenes. I did my hippo on ice dance. That’s somewhat like the Snoopy dance only with lots more noise and screaming. Then I wrote sex scenes. When Kensington’s Precious Gems died I submitted a manuscript to Avalon and the editor called and said she loved my manuscript and wanted to buy it. BUT (like I said, that word does come up often) I had to take the sex scenes out. So I did and did my hippo dance again. Several years later I submitted to Sourcebooks and got the call from Deb Werksman that she wanted to buy my cowboy romance. BUT (I told you about that word) she wanted a trilogy! The hippo dance was so loud the neighbors thought it was thundering!

DEB: Do have any advice for new writers?
CB: My standard advice is, “Write! Don’t Whine!” Sounds harsh but that’s my advice. When you get a rejection slip you get fifteen minutes to whine and then you have to go right back to writing. If you don’t write, you can’t submit. If you don’t query and submit, you can’t sell. It takes energy to whine and energy to write. One produces a manuscript to submit. The other produces a noise that fades in the wind.

DEB: When you’re not writing, what kinds of books do you like to read? Do you have a favorite author?
CB: Reading has always been a passion and I’m very eclectic but to name a favorite author would be tough. What I’m reading on any given day depends on where the moon is hanging in the sky and if there’s a fairy ring around it or just clouds drifting across it; if the sun is up or if there’s cloud coverage; if it’s snowing or we’re suffering a drought. At least it seems that way but to name a few: Joanne Kennedy (of course since she writes cowboys), J.A. Jance, Carl Hiaason, Randy Wayne White, Sue Grafton, Mary Kay Andrews and right now I’m reading a Mary Balogh. I’m such an eclectic reader that my choice for the day has to have something to do with the moon or the weather or magic.

DEB: What are you working on right now?
CB: Today I’m working on the Christmas book for 2012 which will be the fifth book in the Spikes & Spurs series. It’s about Gemma O’Donnell, the youngest member of the O’Donnell family and Trace Coleman. They’re both bronc riders on the rodeo circuit and in competition for the right to ride in the Pro Rodeo finals in Las Vegas. One of them has the possibility of a very merry Christmas.

DEB: Tell us one thing that people may not know about you?
CB: Oh, dear! I’m pretty much an open book and folks know everything about me. I’ve lived in small towns most of my life and there’s a saying about life in small towns that applies to me: Everyone knows everything about everyone and they just read the local weekly paper to find out who got caught. But some folks might not know that when I started writing I didn’t use my real name. I wrote under the name Abby Gray. I came up with the name because Abby was my one eyed black and white cat and Gray was my maiden name. When I got married, I didn’t change names, I changed colors. So there are four Precious Gems books floating around the used book stores by Abby Gray and she is really Carolyn Brown.


The publisher is offering two copies of Red's Hot Cowboy by Carolyn Brown to two lucky winners from Debbie's Book Bag!

~ You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
~ US and Canadian addresses only! (Publisher Request)
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST Aug. 24th.

1. Please leave a comment in appreciation to the author on THIS post.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Carolyn Brown said...

Good morning,everyone! I'm delighted to be here today. Y'all come on in and let's visit. Got questions or comments? Let's hear them.

Tanya said...

Great interview. I have not read anything by you so I am hoping to win the giveaway, but I will be sure to look for your books next time I am out at the bookstore. I enjoy a cowboy story. Do you get to help choose the cover for your books?

Carolyn Brown said...

Hi, Tanya,
Thanks for stopping by. Sourcebooks has done such a fantastic job of my covers that I have no complaints. I'm sure if I was designing them I wouldn't do nearly as well. Don't you just love the way Wil is looking down at Pearl, like he could kiss her any minute, on the cover of Red's Hot Cowboy? Here's hoping you enjoy my sexy cowboys and sassy heroines!

Susan S. said...

sounds like a good book! Like to read about places I have never been like Texas. Thanks for the giveaway.

Carolyn Brown said...

Hello Susan,
Welcome to Texas where the cowboys are hotter'n the summers and the women are sassy!
Good luck on the draw for the giveaway!

Deborah R said...

Hi! I loved the Honky Tonk Series, the Lucky Series and Love Drunk Cowboy! can't wait to read this one! nothing better than a HOT cowboy to keep you up reading all night! lol
Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

Karen said...

Hello - I absolutely loved The Honky Tonk series. Cannot wait to read this series. Thank you for giving me hours enjoyment.

Carolyn Brown said...

Deb: Thank you for that fantastic review! I'm so glad that you enjoyed Pearl and Wil's story!

Carolyn Brown said...

Hello Deborah!
Oh, yes, ma'am, cowboys might be eye candy but they also make great reading material. They keep me up all night telling me what to write in their stories and refusing to let me sleep if I don't get it just right! Glad you are enjoying my hot cowboys and their stories.

Carolyn Brown said...

Hi Karen,
Thank you for commenting. I'm glad that you liked the Honky Tonks. They were so much fun to write since I love country music. Here's hoping that the new series sinks right into your heart and you fall in love with them, too!

Myra C said...

Enjoyed the interview! I loved your Honky Tonk series and can't wait to read this one.

Myra C said...

Enjoyed the interview! I loved your Honky Tonk series and can't wait to read this one.

lag123 said...

Great interview! I would love to read your book

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Carolyn Brown said...

Hi Myra: Glad you liked visiting the Honky Tonk. Hope you like the Spikes & Spurs as well!

Carolyn Brown said...

Hello lag123:
Thank you for stopping in today. Glad you enjoyed the interview! Good luck on the draw for the giveaway.

holdenj said...

I enjoyed the review and Carolyn's interview! I certainly like spunky heroines and although I haven't read the first in this series, I am familiar with the Honkytonk series.

Carolyn Brown said...

Hi holdenj:
Thank you! Glad for your comments on both the awesome review and the interview.

Karen B said...

Who doesn't love a good cowboy story! Looking forward to reading Red's Hot Cowboy.

Carolyn Brown said...

Hi Karen,
That's the attitude I love in a reader! Hope you enjoy reading about Wil and Pearl (aka Red). Go ahead and read the teaser at the end for Darn Good Cowboy's only six weeks until that one is on the market! YAY!!!

Temperance said...

Sounds like a wonderful book:)
Thank you for the chance to win!

Carolyn Brown said...

Hi Temperence,
Thank you for stopping your name, btw! Good luck on the draw!

Pam S (pams00) said...

Hi Carolyn! I've really enjoyed the books I've gotten to read by you. Yours were among the ones that got me back into cowboys again lol. This one sounds like its going to be a keeper too.

pams00 @

Carolyn Brown said...

Hello Pam,
That I got you back into cowboys is a wonderful compliment. Hope you like Red's Hot Cowboy as much as the ones you've read!

mamabunny13 said...

Who can resist a cowboy? *sigh....

mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Carolyn Brown said...

As a writer of cowboy romance, I hope no one can resist my cowboys! And that they all sigh as sweetly as you do at the end of every book!

Kathleen O said...

Carolyn I can't wait to read this book. I just read my first book of yours ever, I love this Bar and I am hooked..
your characters are quirky and so lovable, they all have hearts as big as Texas itself...

Carolyn Brown said...

Kathleen: How wonderful to have you stop by and what an awesome compliment to my characters! They were quirky and lovable to me and it's the best feeling when my readers love them, too!

Anita Yancey said...

I really enjoyed the interview. I'm also crazy about cowboys and mysteries. Looking forward to reading this book.


Luvdaylilies said...

I enjoyed learning more about Carolyn Brown, great interview=)
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net