Monday, December 12, 2011
Interview with “Sweet” Romance Author Caroline Clemmons
Hello, Caroline. I just love the book cover of this novel. Please tell us about it.
Derek Corrigan has been betrayed by every woman he’s ever loved. He’s learned the hard way that caring for a woman means he loses a chunk of his heart. He doesn’t need a woman’s interference. He has his two precious kids, Warren and Meg, and they’re the most important part of his life. Never again will he risk his heart by committing himself to a woman.
Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
I grew up in the area of West Texas where this book is set. My parents and I lived in a rural area for three years when we moved back from California, then we settled in Lubbock where I grew up. The weather there is dismal, but the place gets under your skin in spite of anything you can do. The town of Sweet Springs is fictional, but it’s a composite of the little towns in which my family lived before we moved into Lubbock. The sandstorm in the book is one of the things I remember from living there. When I was in junior high, I walked about a mile home from school and I remember walking in that wind and sand. Ugh. There are a lot of things I like about the area, though. The people are nice, on a clear day the sky is so blue, and the sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous.
Ooooh, I remember those good old sandstorms! I remember my very first one. I had to quickly pull over to the side of the road because I couldn’t see beyond my car. I never realized that a sandstorm was so much like a snowstorm. Really! Okay... a reviewer wrote, “Caroline wrote a story that had you laughing, crying, and caring about a group of people that were from different worlds...so many twists you couldn’t wait to see where she took you next.” Do all your books have humor and several twists in them?
Each of my books have twists, and each is about family members that support one another. I suppose the humor is subtle, and not everyone “gets” me. My intention is that each of my books has a combination of emotions from tension to humor, and that the situations are credible--whether the book is contemporary or historical. I do quite a bit of research, even for a contemporary.
I love your description of Derek: “He knows what women do to him--they always leave and take chunks of his heart with them. He's been there, done that, had the vaccination and is cured.” Hahaha! That was great. What do you like most about Derek’s personality?
Derek loves his kids so much that he often works from his home office so he can spend more time with them. He wants them to know they’re important to him and that he loves them. What better hero than a man who’s a great dad? He also does a lot to help others in his community, and that speaks well for him. He’s wealthy, but he remembers when he was struggling.
Derek sounds like a great character. Okay, now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
One of the things I used to do each summer is can vegetables and fruits. Lots and lots of them! I supplied canned goods for both sets of parents and our daughters as well as for Hero and me. I also entered the State Fair and won blue ribbons for my grape jelly, peach jam, and green beans. Judging used to require two jars for each entry--one to taste and one to display. Due to the weirdness of people now, rules were changed so that judges didn’t taste the food and appearance is the only criteria. That’s when I quit entering. What’s the point of winning if taste doesn’t enter into the decision?
I think that's awesome. My mother used to enter her bottled fruit in the county fairs. I can’t believe they took tasting out of the contests. Do you remember the 1945 movie, State Fair? I’ll never forget the tasting contest when the judges tasted the mincemeat…over and over again. It was hilarious. Thank you so much for this wonderful interview Caroline. Below is an excerpt from Caroline’s book. I laughed so hard that I just had to include it.
When Jimmy saw his sister in bed, he rushed over. “Sis, what happened? What’s with the towel and the ice packs?” He frowned at Derek. “What’s going on?”
She opened her mouth to explain, but nothing came out.
Derek figured the bizarre situation defied description. He patted Jimmy on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, she’s okay now. We were at the cemetery putting flowers on Sam’s and Maggie’s graves and your sister got trapped in the bathroom.”
Jimmy shook his head. “I don’t understand. How could that hurt her?”
Courtney sighed. “The knob came off in my hand and I couldn’t open the door. So, I climbed out the window.”
Derek held out his hands to indicate the small rectangle. “A small, high window.”
Jimmy looked from his sister to Derek. “I still don’t understand what happened.”
Courtney snapped, “I got stuck, okay?”
Derek grimaced at Jimmy. “She, um…” He coughed to keep a straight face. “When she tried to go out the window, she got stuck with her head and one arm sticking outside and the rest of her inside.” He stood like a bird with a broken wing to imitate Courtney’s position. A grin spread across his face in spite of all his efforts not to smile.
Jimmy gaped at his sister. “Courtney? But she’s always so sensible. She’s never does anything stupid.” He began to smile also.
Both males burst into laughter.
“Listen, if you two are so amused, go into the other room to discuss my apparently hilarious antics and leave me to suffer in peace.” In spite of her strained muscles and injuries, she threw a box of tissues in their direction. “Go on, get out of here. Now.”