By Deena Adams
I hope you enjoy this author interview with Christian Romance author Carol James. I discovered Carol on Fiction Finder and reached out to her, requesting an interview about her Christmas release, A Covert Cowboy Christmas. She’s graciously offered a digital copy as a giveaway. Comment on this post by December 28 for a chance to win!
Welcome to the blog, Carol! Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
First, Deena, thanks so much for letting me visit and share about my writing. I am a wife to one, a mother to two, and a grandmother to five. Oh yes, and we can’t forget a dog-mama to one. My husband and I live in a small town outside of Atlanta, GA. We bought our starter home forty-two years ago and loved the area and neighbors so much, we have stayed in that very same house all these years.
Having grown up in Northwest Georgia, I agree that it’s a great place to live! What does your writing space look like?
My office is my favorite room in my house. It’s small and cozy with white built-in bookshelves that hold books, family pictures, and hand-painted Bible verses. My desk faces a window through which I can see beautiful trees.
Sounds lovely. Share with us how and when you started writing.
I’m always surprised to find myself on a blog talking about one of my books. Ten years ago, if you’d told me I’d be an author, I would have called an ambulance to have you committed.
Seriously, I had been an English major in college because I enjoyed reading—not writing—and I loved grammar. I also planned to teach high school, and I felt the exchange of ideas that can be discussed in a literature class would help me build strong relationships with my students.
I taught for several years, until an illness in my family forced me to leave teaching and take a job in the “real world.” But even when we’re surprised by unexpected turns in our lives, God never is.
At the new job, I met Laura, who was responsible for encouraging me to write. She did some writing on the side and often asked me to proofread and edit her drafts (which I loved…grammar and all that stuff…).
In the middle of this, God began to nudge my heart toward writing. I’d always loved to read good stories. I’d even enjoyed making them up in my mind. I’d just never thought about putting the words on paper. In fact, few things sounded less appealing than writing a book.
Then one day during my devotion time, Isaiah 43:18-19 spoke to me in a way it never had before.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
I took a step of faith, and my writing ministry was born.
What a great story! I love how God works. What genre do you write and what inspired you to write that particular genre?
When I first felt God calling me to write, I was being nudged to write romance. My initial reaction was, “Anything but that. People make fun of romance writers.” And then a quiet voice invaded my heart. “The greatest story of all time is a romance. A loving Father in search of the hearts of his children.” And I knew then romance would be my genre.
I write what I call Redemptive Romance. While all romance novels have a heroine and a hero, mine have a third character…God, the Redeemer. All of my heroes and heroines have areas of their lives that will be redeemed within the pages of the story.
I do love a good redemption story, which is why my blog focuses on hope-filled fiction. In what specific ways do you incorporate Christ and hope into your writing?
My main goal is to show that God is for us and loves us no matter where we are in our walks with Him. I build my plots around at least one Bible verse and a song and/or sermon point.
For A Covert Cowboy Christmas, I used “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 and “I found the one my heart loves.” Song of Solomon 3:4. Because my hero and heroine were approaching forty, I chose the song “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts.
I love that song. What message do you hope your readers take away from A Covert Cowboy Christmas?
God’s timing is perfect.
Wonderful. Speaking of timing, how long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
I’m a very slow writer. Plus, my husband and I are retired, so I like to be available to do fun things with him. For a full-length novel, I would say about a year from inception to submission. For a novella, about 4-5 months.
Do you have any pets? Do they find their way into any of your stories?
I have a precocious Jack Russell Terrier named Zoe. While she has not yet made it into one of my books, some of her (fictional) cousins, Jack and Jill and Fred and Ethel are featured in Season of Hope.
Recently, Zoe and two of her friends started their own Facebook and Instagram pages where they give their followers an inside look at an author’s life – 3DogsandtheirAuthors.
What a fun and creative way to share author information with readers! Has a reader ever blessed your socks off? How?
One Sunday, a gentleman at church pulled out his iPad and brought up the cover of my first novel (Rescuing Faith). In the novel, Faith is dealing with her husband’s unfaithfulness. With tears in his eyes, he gave me a big hug and said he’d given his daughter a copy because she was going through the same thing Faith was, and he wanted her to be encouraged.
That one moment meant more to me than any amount of fame or fortune could.
I can totally understand how that blessed you immensely. Makes it all worth it. What’s next from you?
I just signed a contract for a new novel entitled A Time for Singing that should be available in about a year. It’s based on a trip I took to Longfellow’s Wayside Inn where I discovered the Secret Drawer Society.
Ooh, that sounds intriguing! Congratulations! Thanks so much for sharing your journey, Carol. May the Lord continue to bless your writing ministry.
Join the conversation. Do you enjoy reading Christmas stories in December? What about books featuring cowboys? Romance fan?
Be sure to comment by December 28 for a chance to win a digital copy of A Covert Cowboy Christmas!
A Covert Cowboy Christmas by Carol James
Click the book cover for purchase link
A December ice storm destroys Rebekah Kingston’s Christmas plans. With the power out and the West Texas roads closed indefinitely, she’s forced to spend Christmas at her brother Braden’s ranch instead of at home with her parents.
But Rebekah and Braden are not alone. Also stranded is an annoyingly chatty ranch hand, Dirk Sims. While Rebekah is certain she’s met him before, Dirk insists she’s mistaken.
However, when Rebekah inadvertently eavesdrops on one of Dirk’s phone conversations, she discovers his lie. Dirk is not who he seems. This Christmas just got interesting.
As an Air Force brat, the longest Carol James ever lived in one place was a year and a half. Maybe that’s why, when she and her husband bought their first home forty-two years ago, they stayed put. She lives in a town outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell Terrier, Zoe.
Loving intriguing stories with happy endings, she writes Redemptive Romance. Her debut novel, Rescuing Faith, was a number one Amazon best-seller.
Recently, Carol allowed Zoe to establish Instagram and Facebook pages with two of her dog friends, Sandy and Brody. Follow them at 3 Dogs and Their Authors to discover the behind the scenes info about being a writer’s dog.
When she’s not walking Zoe, Carol enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, as well as traveling. On Sundays, she loves serving in the production department at her church. And most days, in the late hours of the night, you’ll find her bringing her newest novel to life.
Please share this interview on social media to help spread the word about Carol and her books!
If you missed last week’s interview with Teresa Smyser, find it here.