Carole, please tell the readers about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration.
I was seeking to write a different--deeper, more serious--novel than my usual suspenses. My husband and I enjoy keeping up with unusual news items in the world, and the cult situation in Texas (several years ago) caught our attention. We began a “what if” session, and Dan, my husband, came up with the idea of a cult group and a woman who loses a child through abuse. The story exploded from there.
How would she feel?
Could she forgive?
If she didn’t have God in her heart, how far would she go?
And the question begs to be answered. Could you--or I--forgive? I know it’s easy to say, “with God’s help I would.” But I’ve seen people’s reactions. I’ve wept with them over the inexcusable deaths that happen, and I will say, sometimes, most of the time, it takes God. Without him--it’s a seemingly impossible act.
I considered Ohio where I live, but it didn’t feel right. West Virginia has the mountains and country roads I considered right for the setting, and since I think of West Virginia as one of my “second-home” states, it fell into the slot as the setting. The more I
wrote the better I liked the choice.
Many authors say the novel has a voice all its own. Did the plot change once your characters started forming the story?
No. The plot remained the same as when Dan and I first brainstormed about it. Perhaps advanced or adjusted, but the main, overall plot never altered.
As far as the voice goes, I never dreamed what would evolve out of our first brainstorming session. It was almost as if the story wrote itself. I was given the task of making Caralynne likeable, yet angry and bitter enough to want revenge. I had to keep track of scenes; figure out the proper punishments, the tattoos, and other valuable items within the book. But the plot and characters eventually developed with such an intensity it was almost as if the novel spoke and I wrote.
How did you choose the names of your characters? The name of your book?
I use baby name books a lot. When I’m choosing a name for a character I stroll through the lists. Sometimes I have an idea of what I’m looking for; other times I cold-search. I read the origin, the meaning, and listen to the sound of the name as I say it. I have an idea of what the character is like, and most of the time, once I pick one, it’s because I realize that name is the one that fits my character.
To me, a character’s name is very important.
As far as the name of the book, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman was a temporary, working title for a long time in my mind, and then one day, I realize it was the name of the book: it said it all. I’ve loved it ever since!
Carole, which did you create first, the plot of the characters?
Definitely the plot. As I mentioned above, once we began brainstorming, we came up with the plot, developed it along, with the “woman” as a minor detail. Details were added as I wrote, but the main plot remained the same. After I had an idea of how to proceed, then I began with the character building.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with the readers about your books, or you personally?
Readers can always rely on some aspect of suspense within my novels. Many of my novels will stir your heart and keep you turning pages into the night: fast paced and scary, but some are a lighter, more fun type of book, like my mystery that will also release this fall: Hog Insane (and no, it’s not about pigs!) Look for it on Amazon sometime in November. It is Book One in the Denton and Alex Davies series.
I'm sure readers will want to keep in contact with you. Where can we find you?
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
I'm also am part of several other blogs:
Geezers Guys and Gals:
Stitches in Time:
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/
Carole, thank you for being on Behind Every Story.