Sunday, May 17, 2015

Love is in the Air: Author interview with Caryl McAdoo

Let's welcome traditionally published author Caryl McAdoo who is here today to visit with us again, this time to talk about two of her latest books! :)

Caryl's new novel, One and Done, releases this July. However, her current novel Sins of the Mothers released earlier this month of May. The exciting news is, Caryl is giving away one copy of her novel Sins of the Mothers! You can enter the book giveaway contest by answering Caryl's question in the comment section and filling out the option on the Rafflecopter widget which you will find below after Caryl's author interview.

Enjoy your time with Caryl as you discover more about her love for writing, insight into how she creates the characters of her books, tips she shares for aspiring authors, and reasons why she loves her family.

*Please note my questions are in bold and Caryl's answers are not in bold. 

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Alexis: Tell me about your next book. What is it called? When does it release?

Caryl: My next novel, One and Done, debuts in July just in time for baseball’s All-Star Break. It’s book three of the Red River Romance contemporary series and its hero George Herman Walter Johnson is phenom on the pitcher’s mound, playing for a Mexican team, but the Rangers have scouted him and the rumors are…His heroine is Samantha Danielle, the cutest weather girl on Dallas TV, is sent south of the border to get ahead of the story…if there is one. His charm and debonair bowls her over, but turns out, he’s such a goody two-shoes, she can’t even get him to first base.

Why did you write it?

My husband is a huge baseball fan—and a writer, too, so we thought it would be fun. He kept me straight on all the baseball lingo. I love doing projects with him, whether shopping for groceries, building a new room onto the house, or writing a book. He never liked romance because everyone knows who’s going to get with who, so I figured with a baseball backdrop…um hum.

What is the inspiration behind the title?


I birthed three boys and a girl, then almost as soon as those were reared and I had me an empty nest, God filled it right back up with four more boys. All of them played baseball as did all my other grandsons, and O’Pa coached them and Grami was usually team mom. I thought if I told them I wrote a baseball book, they might read it.

Who are your main characters? What are their names? What do they like and dislikes? What are their flaws, strengths and motivation?


Sammi Dan is a young woman who grew up in Dimples, Texas, a little community in Red River County. Her mama divorced her daddy and married her old high school sweetheart when Samantha was only eight, and she stayed with her daddy. So she’s not so sure about committing, and is caught up in her career and partying. She’s an avid reader, too. Her hero in One and Done was reared by his grandfather, so they have something in common, except that Gij (his nickname from George after Babe Ruth) had a father figure whose first love was God, and he’d trained his boy up in the way he should go. This becomes a huge source of conflict for the unlikely couple.

If you could spend a weekend with one of your characters in your latest book, how would you spend it? Why?

Oh, yes, my latest book is Sins of The Mothers. It debuted May 3 and I’d love to spend a weekend with Henry Buckmeyer visiting Jethro Risen’s orphanage outside San Francisco. I love children and would enjoy hugging and telling stories and singing songs with all the little ones growing up there. Be an honorary Grami to them.

Share insight into your creative process. When do you write? How much time per day do you spend writing? How do you write, what inspires you?

The real writing goes on in the mind, working out the story and back story, thinking about the characters and their motivations. It has to be believable. So by the time I sit down to go to work, it’s already written and that’s when I fix sentence structures and add the sensory detail and bring my friends to life on the page. I write all times of the day, depending on the set plans, like writers workshop at noon on odd Wednesdays, the Brown Bag Book Club on the second Tuesdays, and gathering with my Luncheon Ladies once a month. I write to give God glory and advance His Kingdom, sharing the Truths He’s shared with me. My stories come from Him, and so He is my inspiration.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors on character creation?


Base them on people you know, putting a lot of yourself in them – at least I do in my heroines. My heroes are a lot like my husband of forty-seven years. Give them flaws, no one is perfect. Do not make them all sound like you. Everyone doesn’t talk like you do, we all have nuances to our ‘voice’ and sound different. You need to know their back story, so work all that out, but do not dump it on your readers. Use it like salt – sprinkled through your story. Too much in one place spoils it. Write villains you love to hate, but they can’t be all bad either. Give your hero a sidekick and a mentor. Make them your friends, fall in love yourself, and your readers will, too.

As an author, what’s your specialty? Do you only write one genre like historical or contemporary romance? Explain.

One of my favorite mentors—Berkley’s bestselling western author—told me one time, “Caryl, pick a genre.” But I never could until I found Christian fiction. Within that wide covering, I write historical and contemporary romance and Biblical fiction. I also love writing Christian fiction for Mid-Grade readers. Why do I write what I write? To bring God glory and advance His Kingdom on earth!

Describe your writing space. What makes it special to you?

I have a large armoire in my master bedroom, a window that looks over the front of the house on my right and a fireplace on my left. We live in the woods, so I see lots of green shades in the trees and birdies and some of the flowers I’ve planted, and my dogs and cats walk by some, too.

What makes you strong as a writer?

My faith in God. I have studied to shew myself approved and learned my craft well—because God led me (that’s most important) to an awesome writers’ workshop where I attended once a week for fifteen years barely missing a handful of meetings (commitment) and gave me a brain able to soak up the knowledge shared there. I understand point of view, the difference between passive and active, characterization and the necessary growth of my characters. I continue to study and learn, always seeking to improve. It is the best compliment when one of my regular readers says, “This one is even better than the last.” That’s music to my ears!

How did you start working with Simon & Schuster?

My agent Mary Sue Seymour told me to write her a historical Christian romance set in the 1800s and she’d sell it. I wrote the novel in nine weeks and sent it to her, and two months after she signed me, she sold my Vow Unbroken (manuscript) to Simon and Schuster’s Howard Books division. My editor there was awesome and I enjoyed working with her and all the other editors they ran the manuscript through. In many ways, they did improve it, but they also made it fit into their ‘formula’ for success. My proofreader, when after much prayer I decided to go Indie (publish my own stories), told me, “Caryl, I truly loved Vow Unbroken. It was a wonderful book, but book two, Hearts Stolen…it’s the cat’s meow.” Book three Hope Reborn, debuted this past January, and book four, Sins of The Mothers, launched May 3. So many are saying book four is the best of the series.

What advice do you have to aspiring authors who want to be traditionally published?

Pray. Study your craft. Be faithful to a GOOD writers’ group – not one where the members always tell you how great your writing is, find one where they almost make you cry tearing your work apart. Then when…if…you finally hear a “Good Read” you’ll know you earned it. Attend conferences to learn more about the craft and get comfortable speaking with agents and editors. Keep writing and if you know God brought you to it, never give up.

What is your go-to food or drink when you’re on deadline?


Don’t have a go-to food. I’m fine just not eating until I’m done, and will stay in my seat. Now if anyone brings me something, I’ll set my keyboard up top and eat a bite while I work. But that’s come-here food, so I’m never picky. Whatever anyone brings, I’ll eat and be thankful!

How do you get over writer’s block? Or do you never have that problem?

Not really what I’d call writers’ block. I would never say I get that. I believe that God creates the fruit of my lips so I try my best not to ever speak negatively over myself. BUT, I’ve discovered if my characters stop moving the story along and nothing is working, if I go back to where they were happy and the words flowed onto the monitor, and let them take me in the direction that’s right, I’m able to go right on ahead. It’s fun to say my characters, but I know it’s Holy Spirit.

Why do you love writing about love?

God IS love, and He is my everything. Romances have blessed, happy endings. I love instilling through my stories that only with God as a third party in the love between a man and woman can true joy be found.

How does your faith in God play into your storytelling?

I pray my story gives God glory. Every word, paragraph, page, scene, and chapter from beginning to end, plays into my storytelling by my faith which in itself is a gift from my Beloved.

What do you hope your readers remember most about your latest book?


How it drew them into a closer love-walk with Him, encouraged them to be bolder in their faith, taught them a Biblical principal they hadn’t thought of or had never seen before. How much they can’t wait to read every book I write! And what they can do to be sure this novel is made into a movie to bless even more people!

Complete this sentence: As a writer, I _____________ because __________________________.


As a writer, I always pray because without Him I am nothing.

Thank you for the interview, Caryl! Would you like to give away a copy of your latest book? If yes, please leave a question for my readers to answer.

I’d be happy to give away a copy of Sins of the Mothers.

Caryl's question: As a reader of Christian fiction, what do you enjoy most in a story?


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Author bio:
Simon & Schuster published Christian hybrid author, Caryl McAdoo is currently writing three series: her historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’; the contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; and ‘The Generations’, her Biblical fiction.

The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County.

Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

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Book blurb for Sins of the Mothers


Blind love propels Mary Rachel to defy her father and elope to California with Caleb Wheeler where betrayal and murder drive her to despair. Who will ever love her enough to cover her sins and deliver her from the pit she’s dug for herself?




Excerpt from Sins of the Mothers:

With everyone on the porch for the clan’s sendoff, Mary Rachel decided for sure and for certain and could wait no longer. She took a deep breath and hugged his neck. “Daddy, I’m sorry. I really am, but I can’t go. No, I mean I’m not going. I can’t leave. I won’t.”

He leaned back and stared at her for too long a minute, his face suddenly stone cold. “What did you just say?”

She grimaced; steam rose to her cheeks. He softened just like he always had when her mother turned on him. Saying it aloud made it all the more real, strengthened her resolve. “I cannot be gone for seven months. I thought for a while maybe I could, but I can’t, Daddy.”

Her new mother stepped close. “But Mary Rachel, why? It’s the trip of a lifetime. I promise you’ll adore Europe.”

“It’s just Mary now, please. No Rachel. That’s what Caleb calls me.”

His voice lowered to almost a whisper, he slipped some of the steel back on. “So. This is about that boy.”

“He’s a man, Daddy, and you know it. We love each other.”

“If he loves you, baby, then he’ll wait. It’s only seven months. He should be thrilled you have this opportunity to travel Europe.”

“Well, I’ve made my decision, and I’m not going.”

“We’ve booked your passage.”

“I know, and I’m sorry. I should have told you sooner, but I knew you wouldn’t be happy about my decision.” She looked off at the tree line, hating the disappointment in his eyes. But that was a coward’s way, so she faced him again. “Like I said, I thought I could. Anyway, let Bonnie take my place.”

From somewhere, her youngest sister burst into the middle. “Can I, Daddy? Please take me! I’ll be good. Mama, tell him how good I’ll be.” She turned those doe eyes on him. “Pleeeease.”

* * * * *
Six miles, north by northwest as the turkey vultures soar from Clarksville, Texas, the very reason Mary stayed home, rode his best mule as he skidded the black walnut saw log back to his cabin. Caleb looked behind. “Slow, girl, almost there.”

He nudged the animal a bit further, the timber only feet from his makeshift hoist. Two more steps, then he eased Harley Sue to a stop. He hopped down then rubbed the old girl’s near ear. “You sure are a good mule.”

The distant rattle of trace chains turned him east, for a minute he stared, then she waved. “Well, look here what the cat drug in.”

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Book reviews for Sins of the Mothers:

"I've often wondered if the past can repeat itself in a person's life and Mary Rachel Buckmeyer gave me my answer. Love, betrayal, despair, the sweet faith of little children, and the perseverance of a miner. These all made for a wonderful story of what life was like in San Francisco during the gold rush of the 1850's. When I finished the last page of Mary's story, I smiled and thought... I loved this story! But... There had better be another book coming because I want more of these Buckmeyer's! I'd recommend this story to anyone who enjoys reading a good Christian, historical fiction of the 1800's."- Deanna Stevens, Nebraska reader

"Sins of the Mother. Caryl McAdoo does it again with what I think is the best book yet in this series. The characters are so real and have a heap of real issues on their plates from page one. Pick it up and you won't be able to put it down." - Holly Michael

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Buy Caryl's books:

Connect with Caryl:

Website - http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com  (All First Chapters are offered here)

Newsletter - http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/ 
(Get FREE books for subscribing!)

Reviewer? - http://carylmcadoo.com/christian-evaluaters/
(Join Caryl’s Street Team!)


20 comments:

  1. I love a little bit of mystery in my Christian fiction.
    Thereadmaster@me.com

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    1. Hello Virginia! If you win, I hope you will enjoy the read! I suppose there's always a little mystery in my stories as readers turn pages to discover how everything fits and works out, but I usually don't have unresolved murders :) I have a friend Ann Everett who has some steamy scenes, but her light romance mysteries will sure keep you giggling all the way through. She might be another new author you'd enjoy if the steam isn't an issue :) BLESSINGS!

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  2. I enjoy Christian fiction stories with the underlying message that there is ALWAYS hope. Even during the darkest moments, there is an answer. There is protection and love. There is a "happily ever after" because the characters placed their faith in God to see them through the hardships. One of my favorite sayings is "If God is for you, then nothing can stand against you." So I enjoy reading stories that portray that creed.

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    1. Amen, Mimi! I'm looking forward to reading your soon-to-be-released debut novel REBEL IN JERICHO! Thanks for coming by this morning! Blessings!

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  3. Great interview with Caryl! What I enjoy most about Christian fiction is the hope given in the midst of trials. :)

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    1. My friend Caryl-with-a-Y! That reminds me of a beautiful little goat I had who was born with a perfect Y on her face and her registered name was Shirley-with-a-Y! Thanks for your comment and blessings!

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  4. I like a little mystery and the thread of hope & redemption... Love your books Caryl :)

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    1. Hey Deanna! Thanks for stopping by! I'm very blessed that you enjoy my stories!

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  5. Wonderful interview and I loved the book.

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    1. Thank you Ann, I'm blessed to have you as a faithful Christian reader!

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  6. A wonderful interview. Thank you Caryl for the inspiration.

    Lucy

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    1. Hello Lucy! Thanks for coming by! Blessings from Texas!

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  7. I love this series. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of the book.

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    1. Hey, Susan! You're so welcome. Since you've read it, you can keep the print for your shelf or pass it to a friend! Blessings, and thanks for coming by!

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  8. I love to see bad turn good through Gods never ending love.

    Deanne Patterson
    Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. That's got to be one of my favorites of His abilities - using ALL things to work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose!! Thanks for coming by Deanna! Blessings!

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  9. I love the interview . I love your books because they are good clean Christian Fiction . I would love to win your book . Thanks

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    1. Hi Liz! I'm so blessed to have you as a fan! I would love for you to win it, too! Thanks for coming by and BLESSINGS!

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  10. Ah finally found the place to comment, duh! I love a bit of grit, compelling plot, and believable characters with a healthy dose of faith for good measure. Blessings on your writing.

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    1. Cass, I'm always searching for where to comment, too! You've just got to know where to click. On India's Crown In Christian Literature Excellence, you have to click a little "dialogue / comment bubble" way up at the top by the title of that blog! Thanks for coming by though! Hugs and blessings!

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