Today’s author brings with her several selections to include romance, poetry, and holiday novellas. Welcome, Caroline Clemens!
Kiss Ride The first book/novella I ever wrote. I went back and changed the names to protect the innocent. Ha ha, actually I just was nervous and had no idea what I was getting into. This sweet little story is about my sister meeting her future husband on the train in Atlanta.
Into the Vines This second book is three novels in one, a trilogy titled the Vintage Blue Trilogy. I wrote it over three years and it has around 177K words. I received nice reviews from family and friends but couldn’t market it further. Believe me I tried. It’s a coming of age story, a contemporary family drama, and bits of magical realism entwined. For me it’s a classic novel and it travels across continents. It has a happily ever after with heroism from a pilot and two of his adopted children. When my daughter told me she was reading Lord of the Flies I told her I wrote a book for her generation, the females of the world. I believed it was time for a female book. I couldn’t fathom that they only had princess tales for the very young or books about boys being boys. No wonder women are behind men in equality.
Brie’s Story This was previously titled “French Bleu.” The first book from Into the Vines is about two women meeting on a vineyard in France in the Loire Valley. Each has a different reason for this vacation at a cooking school. The drama continues quickly and love interests mingle with the pilot who saves stranded souls from around the world. The story is a continuous saga into book two and three. They can be read together in order or separately.
Someday This was previously titled Bleu Moon. I received two honorable mentions for this middle segment of Into the Vines. That made me extremely happy. I think my writing really took off during this novel. It’s a page turner and I wrote about Paris, a place I’ve never been to. I will be re titling this and giving it a print and digital venue on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. As a self-pubbed author I cannot put it out everywhere-this is more than a job for two or three people, let alone one person.
This story is about Francis and Hawa joining the family that inhabits the vineyard and has the lifesaving company that goes global. Angie is the name of this new age idea that we can encompass the globe without interfering into the rights of countries, that we can save lives through the use of private and government assistance, by employing some of our extraordinary individuals such as navy seals or national guard type persons. I would classify this story as Utopian and heroism at its finest. The secondary plot in here is the adoption of two distinct characters who join the family.
Sapphire Souls This is the 3rd novel and soon to be titled “____ .“ As you can see I don’t have the title as yet. This follows the ongoing story and steps right into the Congo and other areas of Africa. I did the best I could to describe another place I’ve never been. I believe my nursing background precluded how I could write about other people from far away. You see we are all human with unique individual traits, yet quite a like in numerous aspects. I was extremely creative in this third novel and am proud of what I wrote. After this I was able to accelerate my process by way of the outline.
Hawa gets her wings and the story is set. She is the heroine and ready for action!
String the Cranberries This novella was a NaNoWriMo from 2013. I love this story. I combined many things from my own life in here and made a unique story that is grim and yet is a happily ever after. Brandon leaves the army and doesn’t know what to do with his life. He works in his uncles barber shop, sees an ad, and goes out west to become a ranch hand, or cowboy. He meets Leia, which is a good thing, but doesn’t last long. This ironic tale is heartfelt and filled with goodness. I received a one star review for this tale and realized some people want to see you fail. The review tore a hole through me which I mended. We must fight evil in this world-that’s what that taught me! I would love to find readers for this or see this as a Hallmark movie. Smiles.
Autumn Quotes This is my poetry collection I never intended to write. But I did and I’m good with that. Poetry is painful and can come quite easily once you start. It was a good introduction for me to begin writing. For that I am grateful. A few of my poems I truly love and would like to see them out there more. I entered a few contests, so we shall see. When you don’t have a MFA in writing I don’t think you get seen or heard. Pity that because many who have walked on the other side don’t get noticed. My aim is to change that. I have applied to mainstream high end contests. Maybe they laugh, maybe they don’t, or maybe I’ll have to open my own literary voice online magazine. I don’t have enough time for everything. So I’ll pour a wine or whiskey and write more poetry. I have the title for my next project. Smoked and Spiced.
Coming soon. I have three titles I hope to release before Christmas! They are a historical fiction titled, “Chocolate for Lilly,” a thriller/suspense titled, “Three King Mackerel and a Mahi Mahi,” and a little short story titled, “Maiden Voyage-A Lighthouse Tale.” These are either entered in contests or queried out to agents/publishers. I’ll give that some time and then self-publish. I have the covers already purchased but, of course, would relinquish if someone wanted to help me. This may be a do it yourself writing life.
What are your favorite books in your genre?
I’ve done a couple genres now, contemporary YA, historical fiction and the latest is thriller/suspense. Funny thing is I don’t like to be scared and writing a thriller seems so uncharacteristic of myself. But I did it and the 2nd draft is in the works. Grisham’s 1997 The Partner was my re-entry into reading after parenting three kids close in age. (I found for a while I could only read magazine articles for many years). I picked up this book in 2010 after buying it at a garage sale. The book was an eye opener for me into spying, surveillance, and the mob. Misery by Stephen King is right up my alley, she’s a nurse (me too) while he’s a writer (I’ve written eight or nine books) who ends up in a wheelchair (my grandmother). I have a soft spot for those unable to walk. The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, and The Exorcist scared me to death! The last two I had to hold up my hands in the movie theatre to block the screen while I trembled in fear. Why on earth have I written a thriller?
How did publishing your first book change your writing process?
I had much to learn writing the first book, including word usage, proper English, longer sentences, comma usage, etc. As a nurse we used precise language for description, nothing extra as that takes time away from patient care. Now I had to make things colorful and display feelings. I asked my teacher-sister to edit the novella and she wouldn’t do it. I was in bad shape; what now? I tried my best. Maybe she wouldn’t because the story was about her. After that I took a big leap. I wrote my first big story not about anyone. Of course, I used things I know but it was so much fun. Truly, it excited me. I wrote the story out in a notebook by hand-read as many writing tips as I could about plot, rising action, characters, blurbs, genres, etc. Then I typed and had it edited. That’s a trying process. Editors tell you all sorts of things that they would change, and since you are a newbie you want to take their ideas but some things you want to keep. This process can make you go mad!
My first real book Into the Vines I wrote out in notebooks by hand, after this book I researched taking notes, made an outline, and wrote by typing. This is the single biggest step I took and it worked. Therefore, I now write an outline including characters, places, and put the chapters down, word count I want and start typing. I feel I could write two or three books a year by doing this. We shall see.
What do you do to get book reviews?
I have tried and tried to get reviews through social media and online venues. I have not succeeded in this while I saw others matriculate to great outcomes. This was very difficult and discouraging-a true heart break. It’s not that I thought so highly of myself; it’s that I thought why not, why can’t I write or get noticed by someone? I thought my endeavors were more worthy. Maybe this has kept me going. Most likely I was in the wrong hands, hands that didn’t want to help but maybe actually harm me. Trolls come to mind. However, this gal persisted. I’m not sure why. Here I am and now where do I go? I kept trying, kept writing, and now I have three more stories to publish. I’ve sent off queries with many rejections. I may have to self-publish again. I’ve just discovered another site for book reviews. Alas, I will repeat, and try, try again. Why? Because I’d like to obtain readers, even if it’s a small group. Why does a performer keep trying? Because they enjoy the giving and just maybe someone will offer their review, critique, or applause.
What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?
Gingerbread! Christmas gingerbread men to be exact. My mother introduced me to this ritual and I kept it up for many years. A couple years I missed (three kids close in age) due to not enough time, and yes, a lack of enthusiasm. I look forward to re introducing this timeless holiday tradition of mine.
Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?
Batman. Bruce Wayne is such a great story. I mean the bat cave, a butler, books, and then a side kick named Robin, not to mention the bat mobile. Oh yea, he gets to be in disguise. That’s cool.
How would your best friend describe you?
Best friend-not sure what she would say (lots of lovely things w a smile). But a friend’s dad told her that, “Your friend Kim is regal.” And my dad’s best friend said to me, “You’re very diplomatic!” I consider regal and diplomatic to be the two best things ever said about me. I never would have come up with words like these to describe my nice personality and hardworking nature.
I’m an Indie Author and delighted to introduce myself to you! I’m on Amazon.com under the pen name of Caroline Clemens where I have a couple novels, and a poetry collection. I blog at carolineclemens.com and theivorytide.com. I’ve written eighty journalism styled articles for The Guardian Liberty Voice and received two honorable mention awards for “Bleu Moon,” which is the middle segment of my contemporary novel “Into the Vines.” I find this creative process to be a work of art. Presently my thriller for young adult or adults has a completed first draft. Both my historical fiction & thriller titles could be a series.