How were you able to write the darker parts of your story?
I never found myself needing to re-center. I knew there was a deeper message of redemption just waiting around the corner, and that energized me to keep going. God gave me some really cool pieces of the allegory, which also made writing the challenging parts easier - it was light shining in the darkness.
How long did it take you to write your first book? How many rewrites did you do on it?
It took me about six months to write Stolen. Writing a book was something I had wanted to do for a very long time, but my job always seemed to get in the way. I was working as a full-time Program and Portfolio Manager, which typically demanded much more than forty hours per week. It got to a point where my passion outweighed my busyness, and I decided to re-prioritize and make a plan.
Are you active with any writing critique groups?
As for writing groups, I’m active within several online groups, but currently only meeting in person with a few individuals. I would like to make time to participate in more live groups, as I can see the value that interaction would provide any writer, at any stage of their career.
What made you choose the indie route to publish?
I considered going the route of an agent and even did some initial queries early on. It’s an arduous process at best, and I kept feeling that wasn’t where I should spend my time. I needed to spend time writing.
I understand first-hand how frustrating the whole process can be but, despite that, I never felt I wanted to give up. There was a message burning in me and I continue to feel that passion pushing me to create more and more.
What has surprised you the most in writing/publishing?
What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?
That if you’re using IngramSpark to distribute your paperback beyond Amazon, you don’t need to get a separate ISBN and upload to Barnes and Noble :)
What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
I’ll credit the best advice I’ve ever received to God. I felt Him ask my heart one time, if I wrote a book for one person - if only one person was touched or changed by that book - would it all be worth it? My answer was yes, and always will be yes. I ground myself in that truth whenever I feel frustrated, and it re-centers me.
As for what I would say to others - a lot of people like to tell new writers they should manage their expectations of never being successful. Don't let that type of negativity influence your motivation to pursue your passions. The definition of success is relative. If you invest the time into writing, and if it makes you happy, then that sounds like success to me. Whether you journal for yourself or you publish a book - just be true to yourself on why you want to write, and be confident in that.
Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?
I recently gave up my 20+ year career to be a full-time author. That was a big step, but this has been a life-long dream for me, and my amazing husband, Jim, is incredibly supportive. Every morning I get to wake up, make a mug of coffee, and pull my Mac in front of me, feels like a gift. So, the best thing about being a writer is feeling like I've been handed a gift. Every morning I remember I get to write and help people. My heart is full, and my goal is to make others' hearts full.
My Christian faith is the primary source of my inspiration. I use it to take things that are hard in this world and create both thrillers and non-fiction that will entertain and leave readers with something meaningful.
Are there other books in the works?
Yes - two of them! The first is a very special non-fiction project. I’m not ready yet to say more about what this is, but as soon as I am, my subscribers and followers will be the first to know! It’s going to be, well, out there. Let’s just say, I’m already predicting it will be the most difficult book I will ever have the privilege to write.
The other is my second fiction thriller, What Lies in Wait. It will be a psychological thriller and, in the spirit of the twists I love, I’m going for a last chapter gasp in this one. You may even meet up with a character or two from Stolen.
That’s always fun when you can picture actors in the roles of your stories! If you’d like to learn more about Caroline’s writing and buy a book or two, here are some links to get you started.