Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

Interview with author Carolyn Stearns

Carolyn, what are you currently working on as an author?

I am working on revisions to my new novel Christmas Letters. I have a self-imposed timeline to get it out by late summer – early fall. The push is due to the fact that it is a Christmas-time story and after January sales and readership will die back until the next holiday season rolls around. I want to give this book a good start in the world so getting it out well ahead of the holiday will help it find some readers. I have been working on this one for quite a while. It started as a writing project for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – November) I didn’t finish it but had surpassed my goal. The story continued until I got all the characters where they needed to be and the tale totally unwound from my brain. It finished off at 111,000 words at about 300 pages.  Then came about 6 rounds of edits, front to back, repeatedly. Next, it was sent to my editor and here we go again. We work together on revisions and rewrites for clarity. That is the current stage, and it should be done by May. After the revisions, I will have beta readers and proofreading done.  The final step is adding all the front and back matter like the author bio etc. Then the book is ready for the book designer to make it publish format ready. I will order a couple of proof copies and the proofreader, and I go through them again looking for the inevitable typo.

What age is this book for?

This is an adult novel. There is nothing explicit, it is not my style. The story deals with war and service, family, and marriage. I would say the material would be all right for an upper middle school or high school reader but my focus audience is adults who enjoy my country voice in writing.

      Where does this book take place?

The main setting of the book is a dairy farm in Northern Connecticut. This is a family multi-generational farm. The family farmhouse has just been occupied by the young adults in the family. The story is of two women living parallel lives in the farmhouse. One women we meet through letters written during WWI. The other woman is living there while her husband serves in Afghanistan.

       I’m curious, where can I learn more about Christmas Letters?

I think you might enjoy looking at the Pinterest image board I made as inspiration for scenes in the book. I make these for all of my book projects. You can look at this link for the Pinterest board. You might wonder how such a diverse group of images all fit in one story, but they do. The food, the crafts, the scenes the history as there is a thread of Historical Fiction throughout the book.

Here is the link: https://pin.it/7vVgAGc

Anything else as you bring this new book to your readers?

I would just like to remind readers to review every book they read on Amazon, Goodreads, Blogs, any place, or all of them. A review is critical to all authors big and small. Reviews alert the algorithm to show shoppers a book they might like. No reviews, no sales, no readers. It doesn’t need to be wordy, but taking that couple minutes to click some stars and write a few words is so appreciated.

Day 15 NaNoWriMo 2019 Novel Challenge

Today is day fifteen. Yes, I’m fifteen days into a novel writing challenge. www.nanowrimo.org challenges writers each November (they have for 20 years) to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days! October I did a little preparation. That came in the form of making some character bios and thinking about my story line- the… Continue Reading