Carol Rose is an award-winning author of contemporary romances. She has written twenty books, including Always and Forgotten Father. Her books have won numerous awards, including a final in the prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.
Her husband and she married when she was only nineteen and he was barely twenty-one, proving that early marriage can make it, but only if you’re really lucky and persistent. They went through college and grad school together. She not only loves him still, all these years later, she still likes him—which she says is sometimes harder. They have two funny, intelligent and highly accomplished daughters. Carol loves writing and hopes you enjoy reading her work.
Time to chat with Carol!
What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?
I am a word freak and I love the characterization in writing. I write romance because relationships are most vital to me. I am, however, plot-challenged. This part is vitally important to how stories unfold, but I rely a lot on my critique group to assist me with this.
Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?
I’m also a consecutive kind of person. I like order and writing scenes in sequence is most natural for me.
Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it? The title?
I need to know the ending of my books before I can functionally plot them out. If I don’t have this in sight, I tend to wander astray. Not a good thing.
How important is the choosing of character names to you? Have you ever decided on a name and then changed it because it wasn’t right for the character?
I love names. I actually gave my two daughters four names each—in addition to their surname. I’m still apologizing for that. I tend to name characters early in the process and sometimes they come to me with names attached. I don’t think I’ve ever changed a primary character’s name, probably because I’m so focused on these in the first place.
Have you ever written characters that you truly despise?
This is a tricky issue, but I have to say no. Not that all my characters are nice, upstanding folk without personal issues. Nothing could be further from the truth. I just happen to find people fascinating, even in their imperfections. We all have needs and wants and challenges. My awareness of this is probably tied in with my other profession of therapist.
What do you like best about the books you read? What do you like least?
My favorite books are those written by word people. I like words and I’m fascinated by good—not to say literary—use of language. I have a doctorate, but I never wanted to write, nor do I like to read, academic works. I’m told that I’m told that I’m picky about characters being accurately depicted. I also like fiction that makes me laugh. It’s a weakness of mine that my husband is very grateful for—my love of laughter.
Do you allow others to read your work in progress, or do you keep it a secret until you’ve finished your first draft? Can you elaborate?
Yep. I have a critique group that reads—and gives strong feedback–on every book, chapter by chapter, as I go along.
Are you an early bird writer or night owl? And do you have any must haves like coffee, chocolates, wine, music or something else?
I’m a morning—not to say early morning—writer. I can write at night when I have to, but it’s not my preference. I like writing at my desk in the office I share with my husband. My half of the room needs to be uncluttered. Clutter distracts me. I like flowers and candles. They’re just nice, but I don’t always have these when I write. And water. I drink a lot of water. Go figure.
How would you define your style of writing?
Not long ago, I spoke with a marketing person about this and really struggled. We finally came up with the word “snarky.” I don’t think of myself this way, but I’ve come to realize that I naturally tend to be sarcastic and ironic. Sounds mean, but I never intend it that way.
A lot of authors are frustrated by readers who don’t understand how important reviews are? What would you say to a reader who doesn’t think his or her review matters?
This is frustrating, but I don’t think readers realize how important reviews are, especially to indie writers. Our ability to advertise is based on reviews. On the writing side of this, I like knowing readers’ responses to the characters and situations I craft. Even if it’s not favorable, I still want to know. On the other side, really appreciative reviews have brought me to tears. Yes, readers. We writers want to hear what you think.
Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?
My husband grew up in western New Jersey—the really pretty part. We love going to New York City. I’m a city girl through and through and I love visiting lots of cities, but NYC is my favorite. I currently have a daughter finishing her ER residency in Brooklyn, so going to visit is a wonderful coming together of good things. Naturally, I’ve lived my whole life in the hot South and my husband tells me that I’d die in the cold. (I think I’d like to try.)
What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?
Pretty much anything sugar. Gonna be honest. I love cheesecake with every fiber of my being.
What’s the coolest surprise you’ve ever had?
When looking through some financial accounts one day, I realized one credit card had a huge balance of which I was unaware. When I called him about this, my lovely husband confessed that he’d found a low-interest card and borrowed a chunk on it. He then invested it in account that would make more money. This was even more of a shock because he and I had always taken joint responsibility for our money. Then he told me this money was to buy me the sports car after which I’d always hankered. Made me cry. I’d always driven boring four-door family cars to this point, but he promised me that from then on, I’d always have a car after my heart. You should see what I drive now.
What was your favorite year of school? Why?
The year I graduated with my Ph.D. in counseling. It was my favorite because I never had to go back to school again.
What music soothes your soul?
I’m a fifty-six year old woman who drives a snazzy yellow sports car way too fast and the music blaring from the speakers isn’t classic rock. I like most current music, just not a lot of rap. Not typical by any measure.
What simple pleasure makes you smile?
Sounds cheesy, but I really like spending time with my husband. He makes me laugh and although we married young, I’ve learned a ton from being with him.
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