Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
Welcome Robin Caroll, author of Hidden in the Stars, to Author Spotlight! Leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of her book.
I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in. When I’m not writing, I’m working on ACFW business. I love to spend time with my husband of twenty-five years, my three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and our character-filled pets at home. I enjoy scrapbooking, reading, and watching television/movies with my family. And cooking. I love to cook. Especially with my husband.
And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…
I love best mystery/suspense. I grew up reading Trixie Belden, then Nancy Drew. The whodunit is very near and dear to my heart.
How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?
I’ve been keeping a journal for as long as I can remember. At least since 3rd grade. Even that young, I wanted to be an author or journalist. I guess you could say I’ve had a life-long love of words and story.
After you started writing seriously—how long was it before you were published?
I started seriously investing in myself as a writer instead of just “dabbling” back in August of 2005. My first novel was bought in 2006, and my first book released in 2007. I’m working on #24 now.
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?
I write best at my desk, on my desktop. I have carpal tunnel, so I use a very ergonomic keyboard. When I’m on deadline, it’s common for me to spend 12+ hours a day, especially if I need to “binge write.”
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?
Having a very supportive immediate family is HUGE! After that, my mentor who is also a dear friend and best cheerleader and prayer warrior . . . I have some amazingly awesome fellow writers who have read for me, brainstormed with me, and just great encouragers. Yes, conferences are one of the best things you can do for your writing career. Not just the great learning, but the networking.
As a child, I thought all authors were on the level like JK Rowling. HA! It’s actually a lot more isolated than I’d thought, but it’s amazing. I love what I do! I feel very blessed.
What are your biggest distractions?
Hearing my craft room call me to come scrapbook!
What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?
It’s always one of my “best” moments when my agent calls me with a contract offer. Worst? Hmm. That’s hard. Even the worst day in writing is still better than any other career I’ve ever had.
What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?
Least like would be writing synopses. They are, I believe, the bane of this writer’s existence. Most like? Pretty much everything else.
What advice would you give to new writers?
Study, study, study. Craft books and read books in your genre. Then get to a conference. Two. Three. As many as you can afford. It’s an investment in your career that will pay off hugely the rest of your career.
What’s on the book horizon for you?
I’m currently working on the fourth Samantha Sanderson novel. Sam Sanderson is an independent, resourceful, high-tech cheerleader. She dreams of becoming an award-winning journalist like her mother, and so she’s always looking for articles she can publish in her middle-school paper (where she secretly hopes to become editor). And with a police officer for a father, Sam is in no short supply for writing material. These novels are geared toward girls 9-13.
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?