Monday, September 22, 2014

Interview with Carol Henry

Carol Henry lives with her husband in the beautiful New York State Finger Lakes area where they are surrounded by family and friends. World travelers, Carol writes about her visits to exotic locations for major cruise lines' deluxe in-cabin books, and takes pleasure in sharing her adventures with her readers in her suspense adventure novels. Carol writes about Destination: Romance--Exotic, Romantic Adventures where the heroine discovers more than the 'wild and wonderful' world around her--she finds her inner courage and an once-in-a-lifetime love. She also writes contemporary and historic romance for The Wild Rose Press. Her second romantic suspense novel Shanghai Connection came in 2nd in the Best 2012 Romance Book/Ebook Novel category from the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll.  Carol is also the local historian for her home town and has written several books on the town's history. For more information visit her website at:


What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done? 
The most adventurous thing I’ve ever done was hunt alligators in the back of beyond in the Amazonian Rainforest at midnight in a small boat powered by a 8-mph motor. Our guide in the front of the boat had hats with small lights attached to spot the alligators. Unfortunately, the rotors got tangled in the hibiscus roots and we were stuck in the middle of the lake until the small boy operating the contraption could untangle them and start the motor again. And yes, darn it, they did capture a small gattor, and we putted back to the center with it aboard.  You can read about it in my first romantic suspense novel—Amazon Connection.

What adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill were no problem?
This is a tough question for me. I’ve been lucky enough to have many wonderful adventures outside my comfort zone, as my husband and I travel the globe. Right now, however, I’d have to say it’s to go on an African Safari and experience the personal wildlife up close and personal.

Who are some of your favorite authors?  What commonality do you see in them?
Again, a hard question for me. I like reading a variety of authors and genre.  There are so many wonderful writers out there, and there is always something to glean from the various writing styles--although I try to remain true to my own voice while working on my own novels J.
I believe color says something about a person’s personality.  What’s your favorite color?
I have several colors that look best on me, especially blue or teal. But red speaks to me. Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, strength, determination, leadership, courage, as well as passion, desire, and love—qualities I’ve been told I actually possess. And, as it happens, traits most writers seem to have in abundance.

If you could have a do-over life, what one thing would you do differently?  What would you do again?
I feel that everything I’ve done in the past has laid the path for what I’m currently doing—like stepping stones. Instead of looking back, I’m always looking to the future and another chapter in my life.

What is your writing process from conception to finished MS?
Once I have an idea for a novel, it percolates in my mind for a bit, and then I start writing (in long hand) what I imagine the first chapter is going to be. Then, I tend to do what I call plot points of what I see happening, who my characters are and what they need to be to exist in the story. I ask a lot of questions, not all get answered right away, but it allows me to think the story through. Again, all these plot point start out in long hand before I go to the computer.  I have scene sheets I work with, timeline sheets—I guess you could call me a planner (I see this is the next question). I have a summary of characters, their POV, their scenes, and a brief sentence or two of what is happening in each scene and chapter—all great for referencing.  Did I mention the character sheets?  Yep, everything gets outlined in one way or another—sometimes filled in as I go along. Definitely a planner J

Are you a planner, panster or both?
A planner!

How did you research for your book?
I happen to be an international travel writer, so for Rio Connection, as for my other ‘Connection’ novels, I research for a travel features as I travel.  So I had my basics. But I still needed additional information about the location to make sure many of my facts I include are accurate. I collect various items, books, brochures, and newspapers while traveling, and these help me remain true to the area I’m writing about. Of course I take tons of photos. The focus for Rio Connection actually came from a newspaper clipping about computers being used to help educate those in need, which was ultimately a bit of backdrop for my story. From there, the main focus of espionage grew and the story developed. My biggest focus is getting my main characters together in a foreign land. My main ‘connection,’ although a backdrop only, is the Wild and Wonderful Corporation based out of New York—at least one of my characters is connected with this business.

What is your all-time favorite movie?  American Dreamer, with JoBeth Williams and Tom Conti, about a would-be writer who wins a contest and a trip to Paris where all hell breaks loose. The whit, suspense, twisting turns, with a bit of humor, and the additional ending is so cleverly done, I watched it three times in one sitting.

TV show? I tend to be fickle with TV watching. Currently I like NCIS and NCIS Las Vegas. Can’t wait to see what NCIS New Orleans is like. It’s more the characters that draw me in. But then, I could watch Big Bang Theory any night of the week—oh, wait! I do J

How important do you feel writing workshops are to any writer?
Especially for the novice writer, writing workshops are crucial. Learning the ‘tricks of the trade’ go a long way in helping the writer gain the knowledge and confidence necessary to forge ahead. And it doesn’t hurt to ‘bone’ up on the latest techniques and publishing trends as a writer progresses. Keeping current is a must in this industry.

If you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?
I’d like to be an instant multi-lingual American who could hold meaningful conversations with anyone around the world without having to stumble over pronunciations. I’m always amazed, and sometimes ashamed, at how people in other countries speak English so well.

If you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?
Although there are many worthy causes, and I do donate to several of them, the Wounded Warriors would be my choice—these men and women put their life on the line to protect our homeland, regardless of the beliefs, backgrounds, or of those less worthy of the sacrifice performed on their behalf. These heroic men and women and families have paid the ultimate price, and should be taken care of accordingly.

What advice would you like to give to an aspiring writer?
Learn the ins and outs of writing. Don’t give up. Believe in yourself. Believe in your talent. Go forward. Never give up.

Did anyone mentor you or help you along the way?  Please tell us about your mentor and what you feel they contributed to your writing career.
There are always many who either knowingly or unknowingly have contributed in some way to a writer’s career. First and foremost, is my mother who insisted that each of her children become members of book clubs of their own, at an early age. Reading was always a big part of my life—something I shared with my own kids and grandkids—there are always books wrapped under the tree at Christmas time. I was tickled when my son and his wife gave me an unabridged dictionary for Christmas one year. Best gift ever!

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
My husband gave me the best advice ever when it came to writing—do you own thing! If I had listened to certain people in a small critique group, I never would have had the courage to submit my manuscript and land my first contract! Of course this doesn’t pertain to learning the mechanics of writing in the first place. It’s the confidence in yourself and your writing that’s important.

If you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be? (Language is no barrier)
As I’ve already traveled around the world, been to places both sublime and hard pressed, I am always thankful and grateful to come back to the U.S. and my hometown in New York. To quote Glinda The Good Witch’s Magic Spell for Dorothy: “There’s no place like home.” J

Where do you write?
I tend to be all over the place. Plotting—anywhere, literally, especially in waiting rooms; first drafts—my home office; rewrites and edits—on my laptop in the gazebo (weather permitting) or the living room with the radio tuned to a light-rock station and the drapes pulled open wide—my window on the world (especially if I’m home alone).

How much time do you devote to writing each week?  Do you have a day every week that you take off?
Even though I’m retired, I live close to extended family, and two elderly mothers. Grandchildren abound, and I’m active in my small home town. But when I’m on a project, that takes priority and my time at the computer is constant. Having been published several times now, a major part of spending time every day on the computer involves social media and promotion, promotion, and more promotion. Sometimes it’s difficult to eke out writing time, but, I also tend to work my story ideas in my head throughout the day, or days, so when I do sit down, it flows and I accomplish more positive first draft material, then if I had sat down and simply spit out drivel and had to go back and make major changes. If that makes sense. To me, that process is part of my writing schedule. I’m a light sleeper, so sometimes I find myself at the computer in the middle of the night, or pencil in hand scratching out some thoughts.

What is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?
Well, I haven’t written a paranormal. But I don’t think I’m ready for that—most of the dark stuff scares me spitless! I do believe in ghosts! Children’s picture books appeal to me…

Is there anything you would like readers to know about you?
People think I’m very social, but in fact I don’t think I am. I tend to hold back until I assess the situation, the people, the mood, and react accordingly. I really don’t know where I got the courage to step out of my shell and become the person I am today. I’m a coward—but I don’t like to be left behind—wherever my adventures take me.


Espionage and anger lurk…even in paradise during Carnival

After finding her fiancé in the arms of her aerobics instructor, Marcia Kline calls off the wedding. When she learns her brother, Russell, is in trouble in Rio de Janeiro, she goes on her honeymoon alone to check up on him and runs smack-dab into Russell's boss, Jared Reed, whom she'd been briefly involved with two years ago. Before long, Marcia becomes entangled in the danger surrounding her brother and the seamy underworld of high-tech espionage during Carnaval. Jared Reed suspects Russell Kline is in Rio selling his latest avatar prototype. He flies to Rio to catch Russell in the act, and instead saves Marcia from being kidnapped at knife point. Jared suspects Marcia is involved in her brother's scheme, so to keep an eye on her, he decides to help her search for Russell. And finds it hard to keep his emotions for Marcia in check. In a race for their lives, will they learn to trust one another and make an everlasting Rio Connection?

Short Excerpt:
Marcia swallowed her fear. Her heart vibrated against Jared’s back. She rested her head against his neck and made an effort to think herself into a better place--being snuggled in Jared’s arms, on a secluded tropical beach. Erotic sensations rocketed through her lower body--her mouth went dry, her mind buzzed with sexual desires. “Honey, this isn’t the time to get caught up in a sexual fantasy. You keep squirming against me and we’ll never get to enjoy that dream you’re dreaming. There is no way I can accommodate you at the moment. You’re making it difficult to concentrate on getting us down to the bottom—safe, and in one piece.”  The belt jerked on the cable and caught. They were stuck in mid-air.

Author Buy Links:


Sarah J. McNeal said...

I like the charity of Wounded Warriors you support.
You were in the Amazon? And looking for alligators? That's a great adventure.
It would be wonderful to comprehend and speak every language and communicate with anyone and everyone.
Most authors I know are introverts. Maybe that's part of the character make-up of a fiction writer. It's all that imagination running rapid inside.
I really enjoyed reading your interview, Carol. I wish you continued success and happiness.

Unknown said...

You life seems to have been exciting. I also would be interested in alligator hunting. Good luck with the book. All the best to you.

Carol Henry said...

Sarah, thanks for having me on The Romance Room. Searching for alligators was very scary. If it hadn't been for my husband insisting we go, and there was no time to back out, I never would have had that experience to write about. I guess being an introvert does give us the space we need and the imagination from our experiences to write :)

JoAnne, When I look back (already) it has been exciting. My mother just mentioned a couple weeks ago how exciting our life has been. It never dawned on me that it was until she said this. It opened my eyes to how other people see me/us. Thanks for stopping by.

Sue Heavenrich said...

Alligator hunting? you never told us about that! (oh, wait - maybe I missed that meeting) - and yes, I think you DO have some children's stories waiting to be told. Got Rio on my shelf - to start reading tonight, or tomorrow night (squeezing in between research for my next project). You go girl!

Alicia Dean said...

Haha, like everyone else, I'm fascinated that you went alligator hunting. Yikes! If I DID hunt for alligators, I would be praying I wouldn't find one. :) I love your answers. Interesting interview. Great charity, Wounded Warriors. Best of luck with your fabulous book.

Katie O'Sullivan said...

Alligator hunting? OMG!
Great interview! Good luck and wishing you many happy sales!

Kathy Otten said...

Hi Carol,
Your life seems so exciting. I've never traveled. Looking for alligators in the dark Amazon jungle sounds so cool. Best wishes.

Judy Ann Davis said...

Enjoyed your post. Yes, yes, yes, I like the colors teal and especially red. Good luck with your writing endeavors.

Carol Henry said...

Thanks, Sue. Yes, I do have a couple I still contemplate :) Hope you enjoy Rio.

Alicia, I did pray--hard--that we wouldn't catch an alligator, but the heavens weren't listening that night. Still, I survived. Thanks for stopping by.

Kathy, I love traveling, but I don't particularly like flying, or bus trips over steep roads with steep drop offs. We pack so much into our travels that we have to come home and rest before we realize what a great time we had. Thanks for dropping by.

Thanks for stopping by Katie. Appreciate the good wishes.

Hi, Judy. Ah, colors. I've tried others, but somehow I fall back to my tried and true. This summer was definitely teal--sorry the warm weather is behind and I can't wait that particular outfit till next summer. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Anonymous said...

Carol,you are my hero. I bet your kids and grands will look back at you and your attitude on life with pride and inspiration. Frankly, your success keeps me from giving up. Love ya bud. Thea

Jana Richards said...

I'm impressed with your sense of adventure! Happy travels and best of luck with Rio Connection!

Carol Henry said...

Thea, my friend, never give up. You are a gifted writer, and an inspiration yourself. Right back at'ya. Hugs.

Carol Henry said...

Jana, thanks so much for stopping by. My sense of adventure in part coward, but I love wandering this great globe of ours. All the best.

Ashantay said...

I love your answer about the "do-over" best - though the whole interview was excellent! Best wishes with your latest release!

P.S. not all paranormal is may want to rethink writing that genre!

Carol Henry said...

Hi, Ashantay, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I know all paranormal isn't dark, but I'm not sure I have that kind of mind-set to work out all the interesting details needed to make it a success. The thought process must be boggling. And thanks for liking the interview and all your best wishes. Same to you...

Carol Henry said...

I threw names in a basket last night and let my husband pick the lucky winner--Thea! I will be in touch via email and you can decide which book you'd like.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and visiting with me on Sarah's blog. And thanks a bunch Sarah for having me. :)