Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I am SO excited to introduce you to Carole Brown! Like me, Carole is writing a World War II spy series! Yes! My absolute favorite time period in U.S. History. So, make sure you read on and find out how can win a copy of the first book in this series!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Short version or long? Just kidding! Here goes: I’m a wife, mother of two beautiful sons, and the thrilled-beyond-belief grandmother of three adorable grandsons, daughter of God. . .and author. I love life and so very many things (see my blog for a short list). My husband and I have been privileged to experience many adventures in our ministry including working with the American Indians (trying my hand at hand tossing fry bread dough, spinning wheel, sitting in the field husking corn with a witch doctor’s wife, visiting hogans, eating fried sheep intestines, and more!), panning for gold and visiting a ghost town, visiting volcano sites, working at a soup kitchen in Gallop, New Mexico, and oh, so much more. We love the western states, enjoy traveling through the northeastern states and appreciate the charm of the south. We’ve supped at expansive dinners and stayed in rat infested (ugh!) places that thrilled us because of the chance to work with couples dubbed as Bonnie and Clyde types, no less.
And then to also have the blessing of being an author! What more could I ask?
Tell us about your current release. With Music in Their Heart is a WWII romantic suspense, the first book in my Spy series. I wrote this book because I fell in love with the era after viewing my mother’s pictures of that time period and wanted to honor her.
Here’s the blurb:
Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.
He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.
While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.
As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?
Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it?
Yes. It’s a tribute to my mother and my love for that era. After viewing the pictures of her and many others, hearing the stories of the valor and strength, not only of the military men and women abroad, but those here at home, I wanted to share how important it is to serve wherever we are placed. It’s not always where we would choose but it’s where God has for us, and it’s always the perfect place. That’s an important lesson to accept and embrace and one that will give peace and satisfaction in our lives. If one person can reach that plateau, it will have been worth it to write With Music in Their Hearts.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)? I try to be true to my own self and what I want (and what I feel God wants) for my book. To me, that is the key to writing a great book: when you can pour yourself into it and feel YOU are living in the novel, that you are either a character or a camera-man/woman watching inside that book, somewhere inside the characters’ lives. I want to experience the fear and hope and love and terror they feel and when I do, I know I’ve captured and revealed the characters innermost feelings and longings which will bring the story alive.
Doing that helps to conquer the fear that my novel might not make “the grade” because I know I’ve done my best.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Talking with hubby or other writing friends. Many times when I’ve been stuck or un-inspired to write, I talk over the story plot and share my struggle. Most times I come away feeling vibrant with ideas and encouraged to hit the keyboard again. Whether with a fresh approach to my problem or a revived spirit of my calling, I can write again and get past that dreaded writer’s block!
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? As always: never, never give up. Your writing journey may not be the same as mine or any other author, but it’s YOURS. Be true to your dream and write the story you have in your heart. God has given you that talent; now use it!
I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? Always. Maybe not in the form of recognizing or acknowledging: I am a writer, but in knowing I love books: In grade school, sharing during show and tell and having your classmates clap their enthusiasm, writing a sixth grade paper on a caveman’s family, and learning that I love research. When other classmates groan and complain at a twelve-page report assignment, I’m happy to turn in a twenty-one page report. Writing children and teen adventure and detective stories led to my first contemporary romantic suspense and eventually to publication.
Sometimes I see or hear of events or people and I can picture them in plots where I plop them. Other times my hubby (with his big imagination!) will share a plot or two (such as The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman after hearing so much of the cult in Texas several years ago), and I capture the inspiration to write the story.
When I think of myself, amongst all my other titles, I think “author.” It’s part of who I am.
Which of your characters most reflects your personality? I can’t pick one because most times I create protagonists who share many of the same things I love or who might react as I would. Not totally. In With Music in Their Hearts, I’ve always been intrigued by boarding houses so it made a very effective setting. I love music and giving both Emma Jaine Rayner and Tyrell Walker the talent bonded their spirits with flair. I tossed in a bit of my love for ice skating, and of course, suspense, and it satisfied my spirit.
I’ve always been a tiny bit of a rebel (don’t tell me I can’t cause I will do or die in the attempt) so in The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, I created a woman who was determined to rescue her girls and family from an abusive cult. My fascination with hot air balloons showed up when she expressed her desire to fly whatever if she could.
And in my mystery series, well, hubby and I love to travel and when we can do it with our own means of a camper, RV or fifth wheel, it makes for a perfect vacation. Tennessee is one of our favorite spots which made it the right choice for the setting.
Placing bits of myself or my loves into my novels is giving them a personal piece of myself.
You can find Carole’s Books at
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