Monday, January 23, 2012

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Don Carey

Don Carey was raised in the Hawaiian town of La’ie. He is a graduate of BYU-Hawaii, where he met his lovely wife, Kara. During college, he participated in a number of musical organizations, including the Polynesian Cultural Center Brass Band. Don currently lives in a small town outside Fort Worth, Texas with his wife and two daughters. His day job involves writing computer programs, which is almost the same as writing fiction, but with a lot more semicolons.

Ahhhh! A love story from a man's point of view! Hello Don! Please tell us about your new book.

Bumpy Landings is the story of Jordan MacDonald, a recently-returned missionary who has dreams of taking flight and soaring above the majestic mountains of his Hawaiian home. However, he doesn’t dare disobey his mother, who has absolutely forbidden him to fly. Suddenly everything changes when, spurred by the pain of a failed relationship, Jordan begins working toward the coveted pilot’s license. Just as he finds love again, Jordan’s lies start to close in around him, and he soon learns that a life full of dishonesty attracts more turbulence than he’s ever faced in the air. Set against the exotic backdrop of the Hawaiian islands, this tale of romance and self-discovery is a perfect vacation from the average love story.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

This story is a mix of real-life experiences and fictional scenarios. At its core, Bumpy Landings is about a young man, Jordan MacDonald, finding integrity, self confidence, and the joy of kissing pretty girls. These are all things that have become important to me in my life, but didn’t come without some serious effort. This book is partially the result of me exploring these areas as they relate to my own life.

Like Jordan, I’m also a student pilot (though still a long way from finishing), worked in a flower shop during college, and developed a number of crushes I was too shy to act upon, with several involving girls who worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Unlike Jordan, however, I have a great relationship with my mother. We have always gotten along well, and both of my parents have been extremely supportive of my interests throughout my life.

What a great answer! This book is set at the Hawaiian Islands. Since you’re originally from Hawaii, did you have to do much research? If so, what kind of research did you do?

Even though the community of La’ie is my hometown I still had to do a lot of research. While the town and university are very much the same as they were when I left in ’92, there have also been many changes. The same is true for college students and the way they interact. (I really could have used social media and a cell phone back in the day.)

A while ago I read that for college and high school students, a relationship isn’t official until it’s a part of their Facebook profile. This was when Facebook was still new and only just opened up to non-students, so I decided to create my own account, just to see what it was all about. It helped me understand the role technology can play in a budding young romance.

I also found that reading personal blogs of students attending school at BYU-Hawaii gave me a treasure trove of information on the kind of things that they did in their spare time. While many of the activities turned out to be the same as in my day, some things—like LAN gaming parties—didn’t exist back then.

Do you consider this novel to be a “sweet” romance and what does your family think about your writing?

Bumpy Landings is really a coming of age novel. However, there is a very solid romantic subplot, since that’s what being twenty-something in college is all about, so it is often considered a romance. And the romance plot would certainly qualify as “sweet.”

My family was very excited about the book, and they all either loved it or were too kind to say otherwise. My sisters took great joy in trying to assign the behaviors and character traits of Jordan’s sisters to each other.

My next novel, currently titled Into The Wind, is a follow-up on Bumpy Landings and I have to admit that the story and plot fall solidly in the romance category.

I would love to read a man’s point of view on romance. It sounds so intriguing. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I don’t get to do this as often as I would like anymore, but I love making flavored applebutter. I have developed a number of recipes—Guavalicious and Wassailbutter being two of my favorites—and built a motorized stirring mechanism that sits on top of our crock pot. Each batch takes nearly 24 hours, but the end results are heavenly. I’ve looked seriously into selling this stuff, but the requirements for a commercial kitchen make that a financially impractical project at the moment. So for now I give away jars as unique and heartfelt gifts to family and friends.

Yum! Your apple butter sounds very delicious. It’s so much fun to learn about a man who loves to cook. I love it! Now we know the real you! Thank you for this interview, Don.


Marianne said...

Well, this should be a totally new perspective! Thanks for the fun post, and opportunity to win Don's novel, Linda


apple blossom said...

nice interview

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Mindy said...

Great, detailed interview. I would love a chance to win! holtmin at yahoo dot com

Miss Mae said...

What a unique interview! Loved meeting Don, hearing about him and his book, and that yummy sweet he makes! Wishing you much success, Don! :)

*since I don't enter contests or giveaways, please don't submit my name*

Thank you!

Maria Hoagland said...

I loved the interview. I especially liked hearing how Don mixed some personal experience with many fictional scenes and details. I'd love to win a copy!


Anonymous said...

I'd love to enter, thanks!
skyisalwaysfallingdownonme at gmail dot com

Mutti said...

I love Hawaii...
I love romances... sweet ones!
I dated two guys in college who flew. That was fun!
I would love to read this book.
Thanks for the contests you do, Linda. Thanks to Don for the book as well.

...Hugs, Linda

cheralyn said...

Interesting interview. This book sounds great, I would love to win it! cheryllynne(at)rocketmail(dot)com

My Hyer Space said...

love to read the interviews and get to know the authors. Thanks Linda and Don. Sounds like a great book. agent3547 at aol dot com

Margaret said...

Sounds like a great book! Thank you for the giveaway!


Wendy Swore said...

Very cool, Don. I make Jerky and keep it for family and friends for the same reasons.

mrs dot farmgirl at gmail dot com.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Nice interview. I've heard great things about this book, starting at last year's Storymaker.

Count me in.

Renae W. Mackley said...

Great interview! I had to smile at joining FB for a story. I did the same thing. I've been to Oahu once and would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

Linda Kish said...

Your book sounds great. Thanks for letting us know and offering a giveaway, Linda

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Nabila said...

Great interview! Would love the opportunity of winning and reading this :)


Jenny Brown said...

Bumpy Landings sounds like a good read with a lot of lessons to be learned. The fact that it is written by a man makes it even more interesting. It would be fun seeing romance from a man's point of view.

Jenny Brown

AuntAlice said...

This sounds like a fun book, and I would love to read (win!) it. Thanks for giving us the chance to get to know the author a little bit.

songbug-at gmail-dot-com

Jennifer said...

Aloha! We spent the first 6 years of our married life in Hawaii. My husband was in the Coast Guard and spent many hours flying over the islands. He saw many amazing things, such as humpbacks ducking down and peeking at the plane as it flew over.
We miss Hawaii almost every day. Our last visit was in 2007. In some ways the islands had changed a lot but in many others they were still the same.
jryder416 at yahoo dot com

ruthhill74 said...

It is something to see a sweet romance novel from a guy! This sounds really interesting!

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Maria Hoagland! You are the winner of this awesome story. I know you'll enjoy it. Please come back each week, everyone, and check out the new giveaways.

Don said...

Congratulations, Maria! And thanks again for running the contest, Linda. It's been a lot of fun!

Maria Hoagland said...

Thanks for running the contest. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and wrote my own review on my blog:

Thanks again! I'll see you around :)