Welcome back, Carol. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I’m already living my dream! I write full time and get to share my stories with the world! I’ve met new friends from around the world and, hopefully, touch some people with the stories.
Tell us a little about your family.
I’ve been married for just over 21 years! We have four kids. All of them have been on swim team and all are band kids. My oldest daughter is 16, just got her driver’s license, and plays tenor saxophone! She’s been invited to play in Macy’s Great American Marching Band at the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade the next two years! My second daughter is 14 and starting her freshman year. She’s on color guard and plays flute. My third daughter is 13 and plays trumpet and guitar. My youngest is my only son. He turns 11 in a couple weeks and is excited to start learning trombone next month!
We have over 25 instruments in our house. Me? I play the radio… ;)
I love it! Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I don’t get to read as much :(. As much as I love to read, I don’t get to as much as I wish. I do still read a lot though. Through mid-May, I’m at 42 books so far this year. I need to update my list with what I’ve read since then … I’m also pickier. It’s got to really hold my interest to keep going.
There are so many really, really good books being published, I give them about three chapters. If I can’t get into the story, I don’t finish. What are you working on right now?
Band camp :p. Seriously ;). The first week of band camp, I’ll probably spend at least 30-35 hours at school working on sorting/organizing uniforms, revamping/attempting to teenager-proof the hand out process, feeding 160 band kids lunch, handing out popsicles to 160 band kids trying to avoid heat stroke ;), and everything in between! The second week, I shouldn’t be there as much during the day but will be there a couple of nights to help hand out uniforms - but probably only 20-25 hours total ;).
When I’m not band mom-ing it up, I’m working on the sequel to The Indentured Queen! Her Undercover Prince is Princess Jacqueline Grace of San Majoria’s story! YAY! I’m loving what I’ve written so far and can’t wait to really dive in after band camp ends!
We have to feature it on my blog. What outside interests do you have?
Being a band mom is a HUGE part of my life (see last answer ;)). Well, just being a mom. It’s one thing I love about being a writer. I’m able to basically take two weeks off in mid-July to spend that many hours coordinating volunteers to serve lunches and hand out popsicles and fit uniforms - and get to know my kids’ friends! This year, at least they’re wearing nametags ;). We also do swim team (2 kids this year) and all kinds of other stuff that I’m able to be there for. I am looking forward to being an empty-nester someday and doing a lot more traveling! I was in NYC a few weeks ago and will be back at Thanksgiving with my daughter for the parade. Next year, we’re hoping to take the whole family!
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I use a lot of fictional countries because I write a lot of royalty. For my first royal series, I sort of chopped out parts of
and Italy for two countries
and two islands - one part of France
and one part of .
I got several comments about how there isn’t really room for those countries in
Italy Europe so I tend to use island nations now ;).
As for which where, it depends in large part on who the story is about. King
Benjamin’s story necessarily takes place mostly in Eyjania’s capitol city.
Jacqueline Grace’s story starts in San Majoria, heads to NYC, then Ravenzario,
then a couple other countries. Many also have ties to a fictional version of my
home town (sort of, kinda) so we travel there a lot too.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
One huge part of me wants to go with “my mom.” She’s not really an historical person, but it’s been over 30 years since she passed, and I’d love to spend some time with her. Otherwise, I think I’d like to spend some time with Queen Elizabeth. I’m also not sure she really counts as historical since she’s still alive, but she’s seen SO MUCH and fascinates me.
I’m with you on the mom thing. My mother died when I was 7, so I have snatches of memories of her. I’d love to know her as an adult, and I’d love to know how she feels about the way I turned out. (I did have a wonderful stepmother who helped my father raise the three of us. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Honestly, I don’t know. Some people would say how hard it’s going to be, but I’m kind of glad I didn’t know. But it would have been kind of nice to know that I’d be able to do it.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Patience. I can’t really go into a particular situation (nothing bad or anything), but it’s definitely teaching me patience! And grace!
Those two are hard lessons to learn, no matter the circumstances. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
*Keep your options open. Don’t tie yourself to traditional publication or being indie. Either one can be amazing - and, conversely, either one can be awful experiences. Educate yourself, pray about it, and make the best choice for you.
*Never get too big for your britches - or underestimate your worth. There will always be someone who can do it better or faster or make more money at it than you, but that doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
*At the same time, just because things are going well, that doesn’t mean you’ve got it all figured out.
Tell us about the featured book.
King Benjamin was first introduced in Reclaiming Hearts over a year ago! I didn’t know anything about him when I first mentioned him and had no idea he would be so complex! I love him and his journey. He’s been king since his father passed when he was 13. His aunt was his regent and did her job well, backing off when he turned 18. But his uncle… His uncle always wanted to be king and used his position to influence Benjamin.
Please give us the first page of the book.
In forty-eight hours, King Benjamin James Timothy would be in complete control of his household for the first time.
He strode through the wide hallways of the Eyjanian palace toward his uncle’s quarters.
The quarters that Isaiah should be in the process of vacating.
It had only been a few hours since he’d stood up to his uncle for the first time at the Mevendian Founders’ Ball held at the Eyjanian home of Prince William and Princess Margaret of Mevendia. Benjamin’s security team knew the instructions he’d given Isaiah. Benjamin also knew Isaiah likely wouldn’t follow them without force.
A maid he didn’t recognize scurried down the hall, stopping just long enough for a quick curtsy. Benjamin barely noticed. Staff members, outside of senior staff members, were to be seen and not heard, and not seen whenever possible.
Someone else, just out of Benjamin’s line of sight, ducked through an open door. Good. He didn’t like to be disturbed. Most of the staff knew to get of the way before he was close enough to see them.
“Is he packing?” One of Benjamin’s most trusted guards stood outside the door.
“Unlikely, sir.” Thor bowed slightly at the waist. “I haven’t heard any noise coming from inside his quarters.”
“And the tunnels are sealed off?”
“I have a man inside each of the tunnels leading from these quarters, and another at the exits. They report in every fifteen minutes. He won’t be able to get anything out of here those ways.” Thor knew Benjamin would hold him personally responsible if Isaiah did make off with anything.
“Good.” Benjamin stared at the door and wondered about going in. No. Not now. Tomorrow, if there were no indications of movement, he would enter and remove his uncle from the premises. Rather, he would have Isaiah removed. He had people to do that.
He retraced his steps until he reached the Rainbow Reception Room. Across the room, in front of a wall between the floor-to-ceiling windows, a dagger sat encased in a glass cube.
The knight’s dagger belonging to King Alfred the First.
I am so eager to read this book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
The two best places are my newsletter and my reader group on Facebook. I only send out newsletters when there’s news! Serenity Landing Book Club is where I spend a fair bit of time - we talk books and favorite places to visit and do book club type questions when each book releases. You can sign up for my newsletter here and join the reader group here. Right now, there’s a free prequel novella available to newsletter subscribers. Love for the Ages tells the story of how King Benjamin’s parents met!
Thank you, Carol, for letting me introduce my blog readers to this new book. I know they will be as eager as I am to read it.
Readers, here are links to the book.The Indentured Queen: Contemporary Christian Romance (Crowns & Courtships Book 4) - Kindle
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