Welcome, Carolyn. What has drawn you to writing for children?
I love kids, their enthusiasm, and their joy of new things. I especially love their openness to the gospel of truth. I wanted to write books for them that were Biblically sound to guide them on their walk through life.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I probably shouldn’t share this but when I was twelve I ran my dignified camp counselor’s nightie up the flag pole. The poor thing screamed when she came out of breakfast. She never said a word about it. I grew up, became a pastor’s wife and fifteen years later happened to go to a minister’s meeting where I once again met Sis. Eflin, my counselor. I was thrilled to see her. “Sis. Eflin, it nice to see you again. Do you remember years ago you were my camp counselor?” She squinted her eyes at me. “Yes, and you were the one who put my nightie up the flagpole.” Blushing, I had to admit my deed.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Not until I hit my fifties. I’d always been a voracious reader but in my fifties I decided to take a writing course. I was amazed that I could get lost in writing just as I lost myself in reading.
I was in my forties when I became a professional writer. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love, love, love the classics. I’m just finishing Jane Eyre for the upteenth time, Le Miserables, Silas Marner. I’m inspired by true stories: The Hiding Place, Giana, aborted and lived to tell about it, A Boy Called It. Oh, there are too many to name. Also I like lighter fare. Anything from Jeanette Oke or Lori Wick.
I recently featured The Princess by Lori Wick. It was which re-released as a a collectors edition print book and an audio book in two formats. What other books have you written published or not?
I have made this book into a trilogy as there was so much I needed to share concerning the Orphan Train Riders. The second book, Oklahoma Bound, is published and the third in the trilogy is waiting for the artist to finish the cover. I also have an adult book in progress concerning a woman disillusioned by God and finding her way back while working on a Quilt of Valor.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Good question, I lead the youth group, teach kid’s church, oversee a Quilt of Valor group plus I’m the pastor’s wife and all that goes with that job. The time management classes help. I focus on one day and what needs to be done that day and preparations for the next. I try not to let aimless computer rambling and TV rob me of constructive pursuits. Plus I make time for devotions, preferably in the flower garden.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
That’s a tough one. I guess it’s when I conquered stage fright. I grew up in a singing family but fear starting taking over. It had become debilitating. God spoke to me one day and said He had not given me a spirit of fear. So, with a lot of prayer I began to face each fear. God brought me through. Thank God!
If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
I think I would choose to be a golden retriever. They’re so trusting (sorry to Sugar, my Schnauzer) and loyal. Just to look at them gives me a feeling of peace and relaxation. I would love people to feel peace and relaxation around me and know that I am loyal and trustworthy.
What is you favorite food?
The easier question would be what isn’t my favorite food. I like to eat but I try to keep it under control. Hands down, the favorite would be chocolate but I enjoy a great steak, too. Good thing as I live in cattle country.
Is it hard to break into the children’s market?
I think it’s hard to break into any market. If you just want to sit and type stories (my dream), forget it. Marketing is just as big a part as writing the book. It takes a lot of work. It’s a job, no mistake. But, if you love what you’re doing, then it’s all okay.
What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
Be prepared to commit yourself to a schedule. Work on research - research for your book but also research for your market. Get together with as many kids as possible, try to get them to talk and then sit back, shut up, and really listen. Kids today think way different from when I was a kid.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
I first heard of the Orphan Train Riders through a documentary on PBS while I was taking my second writing course. I’d never heard of them and became fascinated by their story. A research assignment came up so I chose this subject. The more I read of their plight, the more I felt I had to share it with others. Over 200,000 children in the late 1800s and the early 1900s left cities in the eastern
to find homes in the rest of the country. My first book tells what their life
may have been like living on the streets of United States . New York
I’ve been interested in the Orphan Trains, too. I have a proposal being shopped by my agent, and the heroine is from an orphan train. One of the lines ended at
, near where I live. How can
readers find you on the Internet? Fort Worth
My books are on www.Amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com . You can find me at www.CarolynTorbettJohnson.com . I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me.
Readers, here are links to the book.The Promise - Christianbook.com
The Promise - Amazon.con
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