Carolyn, when did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I always like to write. In college I minored in journalism my freshman year, but I had a professor who slashed my writing up one side and down the other to the point that I thought I must be in the wrong field. He ended up giving me an A for the course, but it was too late; his method of “toughening me up for the real world” caused me to doubt in my abilities. I gave up on writing, even forgot that I like to do it, until I read a particular book as part of a neighborhood book club. It was entitled The Mermaid Chair. The writing was fine, but the story line left me horribly unfulfilled and uncomfortable. I said to my group, “Even I could write a better book than this.” The moment I said it I knew it was something I wanted to do.
So cool. What makes you passionate about writing?
Creating stories that uplift, inspire, and entertain–there are too few of those out there in my opinion.
Amen to that. What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
I took various writing courses, attended writing conferences, read a boat-load of writing books, and practiced. I actually self-published my first book two years ago, my second one last year, both historical-based novels.
The publishing part of those books was fairly easy–I went through the steps outlined by some fellow self-published authors. But the marketing/PR/business end of self publishing I fell way short on because I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I don’t like the business/marketing end of publishing–I’d rather be writing.
The Hitler Dilemma is my first traditionally published novel. The difficulty with this avenue has been the waiting. It was accepted for publication over two years ago, That was after the same publisher had rejected my first novel, entitledÂ Promises. They said they liked the book, but that there was no money in middle grade historical fiction. That’s why I decided to self publish it and my second novel,Â The Big Debate.
Nice. Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
I was discouraged a lot. It came in waves. I got over it by writing even more. And then I’d come up with a scene that moved me, and I knew I had to keep going.
Good thinking. What books have most influenced your life?
Les Miserable, 1776, much of Charles Dickens; books that deal with the past yet have poignant messages for any time period.
Great choices, Carolyn. Please tell us about your book,Â The Hitler Dilemma: a Mormon Boy in the German Army.
The book is based on actual events in the life of Max Adam, a Mormon boy who grew up in Nazi Germany. Max first experienced the ugly arm of Hitlerâ€™s quest for a Master Race when his mentally handicapped brother was taken away on the premise the Naziâ€™s would help him â€œget better.â€ He was a member of the Hitler Youth against his will, required to post-pone his education to become a farm worker at age 14, and drafted into the German army at age 16. Easily recognizing Hitlerâ€™s pernicious character, but unable to express his views, Max battles with having to serve a man he knows to be evil while trying to answer to his own conscience. The Hitler Dilemma is story of spiritual growth and hope in truth and goodness.
Do you have a trailer?
Yes here it is:Â www.youtube.com/embed/y2mGBhInlGc
It sound very interesting. Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
I day dream first, and then outline my ideas.
So do I…Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?
The other writers in my critique group. Their feedback has really helped me to hone my craft.
Whatâ€™s your secret to making the characterâ€™s in your books come to life?
Basing them on someone I already know, and then filling them with emotions.
Awesome. Besides writing what other talents or hobbies do you have?
I like to sew, garden, and remodel houses.
Good job. How do you come up with your characterâ€™s names?
I literally pick some of them out of the phone book. Others just come to me.
What is the best complement you could receive from a reader?
“I didn’t want it to end,” or “It moved me.”
🙂 Where can readers go to find your books?Â
Seagull Book:Â Seagull Book
Deseret Book:Â Deseret Book
The Hitler Dilemma Book Blog Tour Stops
May 24th.Â www.franklycreative.blogspot.com
May 25th:Â annadelc.com/blog
May 26th Â http://www.fayklingler.com/
May 27th:Â lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com
May 28th:Â sueysbooks.blogspot.com
May 29th:Â themusingsofabookaddict.com
May 30th:Â ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com
May 31sth:Â http://www.tarynataylor.com/
June 1st:Â Julielcasey.com/blog
June 2nd:Â renaewritespot.blogspot.com
June 3rd:Â thewriteblocks.blogspot.com
June 4th:Â maryanndennis.blogspot.com
June 5th:Â whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com
June 6th:Â donnakweaver.com
June 7th: www.lisaswinton.blogspot.com