Tell us a little about your RACHEL and the Bride Brigade Series.
Mail-order brides are popular in western historical romances and I’ve written several. For this series, I wanted to twist the idea and had a wealthy young widow go East to recruit suitable young women to bring back to her town of Tarnation, Texas. Many of the bachelors there need wives but hate to take a chance on a mail-order bride. A couple have even moved to larger towns with a more diverse population. The women who come to Tarnation are (in the order of their books) JOSEPHINE, ANGELINE, CASSANDRA, OPHELIA, RACHEL, LORRAINE, and PRUDENCE.
RACHEL has just been released from three years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, embezzling from the firm for whom she is bookkeeper. Only her older brother and his fiancée believe in her innocence. She needs a fresh start and applies to the young widow and her friend to go west. Once there, she is interested in the owner of the freight company and agrees to keep his books. She worries about what would happen if he learned of her past. He’s a former Pinkerton agent and that complicates her fears.
If RACHEL was made into a movie, who would play the main characters in your book, and why?
Chris Hemsworth as the hero, Zane Evans, and Jessica Alba as Rachel. They are closest to the images in my head. However, the characters in my head are unique and not like any movie or television stars. That fact makes this a hard question. ☺
What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
A lot of people have helped me along the way. However, my husband has been my greatest supporter. He has encouraged me every step of my journey and did his best to ensure I have a good computer, comfortable desk chair, and other writing aids. Now that I’m self-publishing, he is my formatter and uploader as well as assisting me any way he can. Since he retired, he does the cooking and his laundry so I have more time to write. You can see why I call him Hero.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given? What’s your best writing advice for others?
Don’t compare yourself to other writers.
To other writers I advise: Hone your craft. Find good critique partners who are strong in your areas of weakness. Don’t give up. Don’t let anyone steal your dream.
What “keepers” are in your home library?
Keepers are books that I reread plus all the books by Louis L’Amour, Jayne Ann Krentz (all 3 writing names), Nora Roberts, and Agatha Christie. Those I reread include PRINCE CHARMING by Julie Garwood, LORD PERFECT by Loretta Chase, THE PROMISE OF JENNY JONES by Maggie Osbourne, and FALLON by Louis L’Amour. Of course, I have my critique partner, Geri Foster’s, WOMEN OF COURAGE and her Falcon series.
If you could be a character in any book you’ve read (or written), which character would you be and why?
Taylor Stapleton in Julie Garwood’s PRINCE CHARMING. She was an elegant woman who adapted to every situation. She had compassion and skills she needed to achieve her goals.
What book do you wish you could have written?
There are so many that fall into that category! Any of those that are my keepers plus many of my current favorites, which include Linda Lael Miller. There are so many good authors.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I try not to react to bad reviews because we all have our preferences but one was hard not to answer. A person who (from her profile) usually only reads Christian books gave me a 1 star review on a book that was a top pick by Romantic Times. Her reason—it had sex. Since the description online states “sensual”, I had to sit on my hands not to reply to her.
Best compliments are emails from fans telling me how much they enjoy my books or a book in particular. Fans are the best!
We’re adding books to our Café menu. Would your book be a drink, an appetizer, an entrée or a dessert? What would you call it?
RACHEL has enough meat to be an entrée, but since it’s under 50K words, I think it should be labeled an appetizer.
What is your favorite social media? Why?
I guess I’m a Facebook junkie. I love connecting with readers and other writers who live across the country/globe. Through Facebook, I can interact with people with whom I’ll never meet in person and keep up with those I see only occasionally.
And now for the fun stuff!
What is your biggest shopping downfall?
Books are my Achilles heel. I have tons of research books (which I like in paper) and the fiction that I reread. This is in addition those I have on my Kindle.
Are you a glass half empty or glass half full personality?
I’m a glass half full person. I have a Pollyanna-ish outlook and always expect things to get better/turn out well.
Are you a dog/cat/other person?
I guess other because I love cats and dogs. We have three cats, but our little dog died this week, so we’re missing him a lot and are sad now.
What is your favorite season and why?
Definitely fall. Weather is cooling off and we have the holidays to look forward to. Also, we have the lovely fall leaves. And, we know we have months before the weather turns hot again.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
Although I wake up about seven, I’m pretty much on autopilot until ten or eleven mornings. I enjoy writing until about two or three when the world is quiet. While this seems strange to my early-to-rise husband and eldest daughter, I know many other writers who work late at night.
A shameful past…
Rachel Ross secret haunts her. She joins other women leaving Virginia for Texas, object matrimony. Vowing never to trust again, she is rebuilding her life. She likes the dusty little town of Tarnation and is attracted to Zane Evans. Her past has made her cautious, but she allows him to court her.
Zane Evans is a former Pinkerton agent who wants to forget all he saw in that profession and the war and found a good life in Tarnation, Texas. He has carefully planned his future. When he meets Rachel, he is instantly attracted.
One event reveals her past in a spectacular way. Will Zane forgive her silence?
Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest. Subscribe to her newsletter here to receive a FREE copy of the novella Happy Is The Bride.