Carolyn Brown Interview, Author of Hell, Yeah
My Book Addiction and More; August 26, 2010
Hi, y’all! It’s great to be here at My Book Addiction and More this morning. Hell, Yeah hit the bookshelves with a bang the first of this month and I’m very excited about it and the whole Honky Tonk Series. I Love This Bar came out in June. Look for My Give A Damn’s Busted in October and the final installment of the series, Honky Tonk Christmas, in November. But now I understand y’all have questions for me. So let’s get down to business and do some good old southern visiting.
- What kind of planning and research goes into your writing of a novel?
For the Honky Tonk series I visited several counties in Texas looking for just the right spot to put my Honky Tonk. When we drove into the little town of Mingus I knew the Tonk had found its home. It’s a tiny town with less than three hundred people and known for its beer joints. It’s just over the line from Erath County which is dry so it draws a lot of business from Stephenville, Morgan Mill and down that way in addition to the other surrounding counties. I ate at the Smokestack (which has absolutely wonderful chicken fried steak) and drove around the whole area getting a feel for the land and the people. I went into the Morgan Mill Store and found a bunch of really nice coffee drinkers in there who were more than willing to talk to me about Mingus. Then I came home and started writing the series. But the pull to go back and check out things in Palo Pinto County was strong so here we went back a couple of more times before I finally finished the fourth book. Let me tell you, there are some right friendly folks down there. Every driver of a pickup truck that we passed on the back roads waved and smiled at us.
- What are some of your upcoming projects?
Well, as I mentioned Hell, Yeah is on the stands now and will be followed by My Give A Damn’s Busted and Honky Tonk Christmas.
- What is something that people wouldn’t know about you as an author/writer or a person in general?
I’m a pretty open person so my life is an open book. One thing that comes to mind is back in 1997 when I sold my first two books to Kensington, I was going to keep my writing vice a secret so I used a pen name, Abby Gray. My sister was so proud of me she sent press releases to area newspapers and told everyone who’d stand still and listen (actually, I believe she cornered a few people and made them listen by threatening them) about my books. When I moved to another publisher I decided since my vice was public knowledge I’d just write under my own name.
- Do you feel a deep connection to your characters and why?
Oh, yes, ma’am. My characters and I become very good friends. So much so that they sit on my shoulder and demand that I tell the story just right. There was a scene in Hell, Yeah where Cathy thought she came off too wimpy so she bugged the hell out of me until I changed it. If I don’t have a deep connection to my characters then I could hardly expect my readers to care what happens to them.
- How do you handle the negative reviews if you receive any?
I do believe every writer, including the great Nora Roberts, has a storehouse of negative reviews. I read them then go right back to writing. After all, that’s only one person’s opinion. One day I got a one star (out of five) review from a woman who thought my book was the worst book she’d ever read and would never pick up another thing that had my name on it. That same day I got a five star (only because the reviewer couldn’t give me ten) review on the same book and the reader said it was my best work ever and that she couldn’t wait to get her hands on the next one. Negative reviews come with the territory but the positive ones balance out all that blackness and make the sun shine again.
- What authors do you like to read?
I’m eclectic and will read most anything. I’ve always loved LaVyrle Spencer, Nora Roberts and Pamela Morsi but then I also like Carl Hiaason, Randy Wayne White, James Lee Burke, Leon Uris, Sue Grafton and J. A. Jance, Joanne Kennedy and the list goes on and on, as my bookcase can stand up and testify.
- Will your next project be about cowboys/country western or a different type of book?
I’m working on the Spikes & Spurs series for 2011. The first one will be out in May and the next two sometime in the fall. In Spikes & Spurs there are three heroines who trade their Prada spike heels for cowboy boots and their power suits for tight fittin’ jeans but keep their whoop-ass independence. The sexy cowboys that swagger into their lives wear spurs and ten gallon hats and quickly find that taming a sassy woman is tougher than breaking a wild bronc. So look for more cowboys and feisty women next year.
- Why do you write the books you write?
Because I like western romance. The day I stop liking it I’ll fulfill my contracts and go to something else. I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Take a look at the cover of Hell, Yeah! There’s just something about a cowboy with a deep Texas drawl, tight fittin’ jeans and a Stetson that makes a woman forget all her cares and want to two-step or write another western book about sexy cowboys, fiery women and all their quirky friends.
She’s finally found a place that feels like home…
When Cathy O’Dell buys the Honky Tonk, the nights of cowboys and country tunes come together to create the home she’s always wanted. Then in walks a ruggedly handsome oil man who tempts her to trade in the happiness she’s found at the Honky Tonk for a life on the road with him…
He lives the good life…
Gorgeous and rich, Travis Henry travels the country unearthing oil wells and then moving on. Then the beautiful blue-eyed new owner of the Honky Tonk beer joint becomes his best friend and so much more. When his job is done in Texas, how is he ever going to hit the road without her?
Carolyn Brown, an award-winning author who has published 36 romance novels for the library market, credits her eclectic family for her humor and writing ideas. She was born in Texas but grew up in southern Oklahoma where she and her husband, Charles, a retired English teacher, now make their home in the town of Davis, Oklahoma. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. http://carolynlbrown.com/