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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Welcome & Congratulations to Robin Caroll!!!

Most of my ACFW friends know our guest today. Robin Caroll, aka Robin Miller, recently sold her first romantic suspense. Bayou Justice is scheduled to be released next October.

Robin, thank you for taking the time to be here, tell us about yourself. Family, career, degrees/college interests, anything people might not know about you. (that you want to share)

RC: I've been happily married for seventeen years, I have three beautiful daughters-ages 16, 6, and 4. Something people might not know about me? Hmmm. Let's see. I was a cheerleader in high school. LOL

OH, three girls, good luck with that. LOL. Kidding. I bet it's a real learning experience for your husband. ;) How long have you been writing?

RC: I think I've been writing ever since I could pick up a pencil. I was writing "fiction" back as a child where I'd write plays and then act them out for my parents. I got serious about writing back in the early 1990s, but then had my first child. Three years ago I completed my first manuscript geared toward the CBA.

Wow, how many completed manuscripts do you have?

RC: Eight, but there are two that are buried UNDER my filing cabinet that will never see the light of day. LOL

EIGHT!!! Sheesh, what is your writing schedule? How many words a day or hours?

RC: Okay, I don't have a schedule, per se. I get the story worked out in my head and then I write. Luckily, that's almost every day. When I'm in the "zone" (as my children call it) I do about 5-6K a day.

Are you a stay at home mom? What's a normal day for you? (as far as how you squeeze the writing in between regular mom duties)

RC: Yes, I am a SAHM. I only have one child left at home this year. So my writing "day" begins after hubby takes the two older kids to school. I do phone calls from 8-9, do my web presence activities from 9-10, then begin my actual "writing" at 10. I normally try to actually write between 10-12, then I have lunch with my youngest. I don't get back to "writing" until the time spot between picking up the kids from 3-4:30. My writing day is finished then and it's all family time. Unless a story's burning or I'm on a deadline. Then, I can write again after the kids go to bed after 8.

You just sold Bayou Justice. Big congratulations. ;) I know many people are thrilled for you. Tell us about the book and how it came about. Including when you started the book and how long it took you to sell it.

RC: This book was like going home for me! I'm from Louisiana and grew up with bayous, swamps, etc. From the time this book was brainstormed (thanks, Colleen) it took me about three weeks to write it. It flowed. I could feel the words falling out of me. My agent submitted the full ms to Krista at Steeple Hill in September, and I got "the call" on October 18th!

I read on your blog that you're planning to fill your readers in on the process of publication. I know it's pretty early in the game, but has there been any surprises. Something you didn't realize about the process?

RC: I had no clue what an art fact sheet was! When my editor sent it, bless her, she explained what it was. I called Colleen in a panic. She assured me I was in good hands and told me not to worry about getting it "perfect".

What about your other stories. Do you have them out somewhere?

RC: I have a single title out being shopped. Matter-of-fact, I should be hearing back from that editor in the next couple of months. Very exciting. And I do have to finish the ms that placed 2nd in the Genesis. It's only half written.

What's been the most important writing skill you've learned that has helped your writing? Plotting, character development, researching, etc... Something you think newbies need to focus on mastering.

RC: Okay, I'll admit it, I DETEST the synopsis. I don't write them. LOL I do an 8 page character synopsis on each of my characters which includes the GMC for each of the 3 main acts of the story. I write from that.

I know we have a common mentor, Colleen Coble. She's an incredible writer with an amazing heart for new writers. But you also have some amazing writing buddies. How did you all meet and how does your group work? Do you all crit each other? And do you crit as you write or wait until the whole rough draft is complete?

RC: Colleen is the best! She encourages me when I'm down and gives me advice and guidance. I love her! I would not be where I am in my writing today without her. My cps are AWESOME, too. Actually, I began asking certain writers to join a group. We aren't an ACFW group, but we're all ACFW members. I can't remember if I snagged Dineen Miller or Ronie Kendig first, but it was back-to-back. Then we roped in Ron Estrada (bless his heart-being the only guy) and then later, Heather Tipton. We send chapters as we write them. We don't have any "rules" just whatever works. Sometimes we have a couple of us working toward a deadline, and we try to give that person or persons full attention. It all just depends. And it all works out.

Share with us the how you found out about your sale? What did you do to celebrate or have you had time yet? ;)

RC: I received the call from my agent! Let me tell you, my emotions went haywire...I laughed, cried, screamed, jumped up and down...everything. The best part? Hearing all the excitement in everyone else's voices when I told them. AWESOME. My hubby was leading the men's Bible study at church that night, so we couldn't go out. On his way home, he stopped at our local coffee beanery and brought me home like 5 different desserts!

LOL. How sweet of him. What about book two?

RC: Bayou Justice will be out October 2007 by Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Book two? It's working title is Bayou Corruption and I'm just starting on my character synopses now. I'm hoping to be able to submit it to my editor just after the first of the year.

There you have it, folks. You now have the scoop! Good luck, Robin, with all your writing endevours. Plan on stopping back often to talk about your current projects. ;)

RC: Thank so much for interviewing me, Sabrina. It's been fun.

For anyone who leaves a comment, I'll come back here next fall and enter you in a drawing for one of Robin's books. I know, a while to wait, but a free book is worth the wait!


Cara Putman said...

Great interview, ladies. Congratulations again, Robin. I am THRILLED for you!

Robin Caroll said...

It was fun! Thanks, Sabrina! And congrats right back to you, Cara! Aren't our debut books due out around the same time? How exciting!

Pammer said...

Awesome interview. Robin, you ROCK. I loved the look into your life. I need some sort of schedule around here and seeing yours helped. (My hubby tries to plan my days for me but funny thing, they never include writing time, sigh.)Oh you may not like synopsis's but you do one mean crit on one. Thanks girl.

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Thanks for stopping by, ladies. And yes, Cara's book comes out next fall too. I can't wait. Woohoo! I plan on giving away a couple copies of that one too.

Hope Chastain said...

Robin sent me. Wonderful interview! Nicely done! Thanks, Robin! It's wonderful being able to share in your joy!

Jennifer Tiszai said...

How fun! Two of my favorite blogger buddies in one spot. Congrats again, Robin. Great interview both of you.

:-)Ronie said...

Woo-hoo! Yeah, Robin! We love ya, girl, and we're so excited to see this book hitting the shelves. To think...we knew you when. :-D

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Isn't it fun to see our friends heading into publication. I said a while back it's like the graduating class is finally moving on.

It's going to be a fun few years as more and more make that move.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

aww great interview!! The book totally rocks! I'm so excited for Robin! You don't have to enter me in the drawing because as her cp I dang well be getting a copy anyway. LOL awww who am I kidding, I plan on buying tons of copies. LOL

Robin Caroll said..., thanks girl.

Hey, Hope...thanks for dropping by! :)

Thanks, Jen!

LOL, Ronie!

Thanks, Heather. And oh yeah, you're gonna be buying LOTS! LOLOLOL

Thanks again for having me, Sabrina! This was fun!

Pam Hillman said...

Great interview! Congrats again, Robin. I hopped over here from the Tenacious Ten blogspot. Cool, huh?

Crystal said...

Robin--It sounds like something I'd want to read. Congrats on the book sale, and great job, as usual, Sabrina, on the interview. Lots of fun.

Dineen A. Miller said...

Woohoo for my good budy Robin!!! I'm still praising God for the day she emailed me and ivited me into her crit group. Now she's become not only a crit partner but a treasured friend. I cherish her friendship and value her input in my writing as I would a mentor. She's awesome!

Julie Carobini said...

Enjoyed the interview, Robin. 5k-6k a day!!!

Best wishes on the book(s)! And p.s., I'm not a fan of the synopsis either. Give me a good ol' character sketch any day...

Agent with a Heart said...

Wow! Great news. Hope your next book is snapped right up!

Terry Burns said...

Couldn't happen to a nicer lady. Great interview and I hope the New Year you are blessed in your writing efforts.

Robin Caroll said...

Hey Pam! How's my "roomie"? LOL

Crystal...I had a total blast writing it! I hope you'll enjoy it!

Aww, D....I love ya, girlie! The sentiments are totally mutal! :)

Julie...yeah, when I'm on a roll, or in the ZONE as my kids call it, I can churn it out. My cps wanna throttle me! LOL Too bad the holiday season has had me too busy to get in the zone!

Agent, thanks! :)

Hey, Terry! Thanks. You are SUCH a great southern gentleman! :)

Rachelle said...

Congratulations Robin! Wonderful interview..Merry Christmas!