Friday, January 16, 2009

Interview with Anne Carrole

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Anne Carrole. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.  

I understand you have a new release out called Re-ride at the Rodeo. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

I’d love to. Re-ride at the Rodeo is about two people who have to come to terms with their past in order to build a future. Clay Tanner is a footloose saddle bronc rider who doesn’t take life seriously. He’s just out to have a good time and he thinks the little blonde working the rodeo looks like she could use one. When Dusty Morgan turns him down faster than an eight second buzzer, he starts angling for a re-ride. But Dusty wants nothing to do with a rodeo man and the reasons have nothing to do with her love life. Clay knows he should walk away but he’s never had a woman so determined not to go out with him and he wants to know why. But getting the answer may cost him more than he’s prepared to give.

Re-ride at the Rodeo is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

In rough stock events a re-ride means a second chance and a rider can get a re-ride if the animal doesn’t perform up to minimum expectations since the performance of the horse or bull is half of the cowboy’s score. Since Clay is looking for a second chance with Dusty and the climatic scene takes place center stage at the rodeo, the title, Re-ride at the Rodeo, just seemed to fit.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I love the history of the American West, particularly as it relates to a woman’s role in taming it since women were offered more freedom out West in the Victorian era (even to being granted the right to vote as early as 1869 in Wyoming Territory)than anywhere else in the world at that time. That history also developed a culture of independence and self-reliance, of true grit and determination that continues to infuse western culture in the twenty-first century, the modern rodeo being one example. I find my muse comes easiest when the hero is wearing a cowboy hat be it in the nineteenth century or the twenty-first.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I am definitely a pantser. I start with the characters and a situation and then let those characters take me on their journey of romance and self-discovery. Often I write scenes out of order and then quilt them together. I always know the beginning and the ending when I start to write. It’s the “how did they get there” that is the pantser part. Dusty popped into my mind—a little insecure, a product of the rodeo lifestyle, someone who’s vulnerable but covers it up with a spunky spirit. Pairing her with someone who she thought was out of her league and who lives the very lifestyle she hates provides a push-pull that forces her to face her past.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

I always do research, whether writing historical or contemporary. There is always something to learn. I enjoy the research. I’ve followed rodeo for a number of years so I’m pretty well-versed in the rodeo culture. But two books I found helpful that look at the effects on the individuals who participate are Biting the Dust by Dirk Johnson and Chasing the Rodeo by W.K. Stratton. Rodeo sites that are helpful include www.prorodeo.com and www.rodeoattitude.com . When writing a story, you have to be sure you are giving the reader an authentic experience so there are always little things you have to research like how much does a saddle bronc rider’s saddle cost, what is an average entry fee, what would be a reasonable payout for a win, what score is considered a good score, etc.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I was reading an account of one family’s struggle with the rodeo lifestyle and I wanted to reflect the reality of that lifestyle in my story. I also wanted to write about a heroine who wasn’t the typical glamour girl. Dusty is cute and spunky but her small stature and petite frame don’t make her cover girl material and add to her vulnerability and insecurity around a guy who seems to have it all.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Usually I like writing about my hero best but in this story, I have to say Dusty is the one I most enjoyed writing about because of her spirit that masks her vulnerability. She has some growing to do in the story before she can accept herself for who she is and realize that she’s got something to offer.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

Usually, characters come knocking on my door, so to speak. They barge into my thoughts and whisper “have I got a story for you.” They tease me by showing me snippets of their story until I have to write it down. I usually write the first three chapters of a story and then go back and do the character sheets. Those first few chapters give me a chance to get acquainted and the foundation to dig a little deeper. Because my day job involves a lot of psychological profiling, once I’ve got a character in my sights, I pretty much know how they are going to act and react in situations. I do a lot of research before I start to write with the goal of enriching the character’s story. It’s often the details that make a character click with readers.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Many authors inspire me from the classical authors of Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope to romance authors like Linda Lael Miller who writes both western historical and contemporary novels.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I have found sites like MySpace great vehicles to link with people who share your passions. I am in several rodeo groups on MySpace and have met a lot of female fans of the rodeo who also bought my book when it came out—and left me many nice and supportive messages once they read it.  

What do we have to look forward next?

I’m writing a contemporary about a woman who is heir apparent to her grandfather’s stock company only to find that a man who walked away from her ten years ago is being tapped to run the place. And I’m just polishing up an historical that starts in Saratoga Springs and ends up in Texas with an arranged marriage and a lot of secrets that won’t stay buried.

Thanks, Anne!

Thanks for asking me to blog at Cheaper Than Therapy!

To celebrate her book release, Anne is offering a free ebook of Re-ride at the Rodeo to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Anne Carrole writes both contemporary and western historical romances. Her story Re-ride at the Rodeo is part of The Wild Rose Press Wayback, Texas Series. She’s an eastern girl with a western heart who was raised on a farm (yes, they have them in the east) with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and whatever other animals she could convince her parents to shelter. Besides reading and writing romances, she loves antiques, gardening and tennis. Married to her own urban cowboy she’s also the mother of a teenage cowgirl. She’s co-founder of the western historical romance site www.lovewesternromances.com

Check out Anne’s website at www.annecarrole.com and at www.annecarrole.blogspot.com where she writes about the old and new west.

You can purchase Re-ride at the Rodeo from The Wild Rose Press at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?
main_page=product_info&products_id=991&zenid=168afd002d97ff7f31530a0f4b12a792 .


23 comments:

Kim Watters said...

Good morning, Anne. Thanks for blogging with us today. We hope you like it here. I'll start the questions first. Were there any scenes or characters that you adored that were cut during the editing process? If so, why and who? Thanks.

Anne Carrole said...

Thanks for having me Kim. That's a good question--yes, there was a scene with Clay and Dusty together at a craft fair that I cut out. It was to show their growing relationship. But since this is a novella length story so every scene has to have major impact and the scene prior had gotten that point across pretty well already,I felt including it would slow down the pace.

angietheresa said...

i love history and wish that i could go back in time

if you could go back to visit what time would you go to and what would be the one thing you bought back?

Judith Leger said...

Great interview, Anne. I love the way you fit the title of Re-ride with the story theme. That is so cool. I run with alot of rodeo people and they are the best. Some definitely have problems though. Takes a while for them to straighten their lives up.

I will definitely have to check this one out.

Krista Plott said...

Hi Anne,
This was a great book and a wonderful addition to the Wayback series. I read them all and i definitely loved that series. I would love to read other books you've written. Keep up the good work! Krista

Anne Carrole said...

Angietheresa--I love history too and if I could go back in time it would have to be the 19th century and probably the Old West--but to visit--life was too hard to want to stay for long. But to live there--I'd go back to the gilded age and specifically Saratoga Springs at the time--that place was humming! Thanks for dropping by and fyi I'm currently working on a historical romance that starts in Saratoga and than the action moves to Texas--the contrasts are very interesting :)

Anne Carrole said...

Judith, I love rodeo people as well. We have a rodeo every year in our little town (pics are on my Myspace page) and everyone is just the nicest--but it's a hard life, especially for those who aren't winning. Thanks for stopping by.

Anne Carrole said...

Krista--thanks for your kind comments :) I'm working on another rodeo-themed one and a historical novel and I'll surely have the news when they are done and accepted on either my blog or website. Thanks again for making my day!:)

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Anne and Kim, great interview! Anne, I love westerns. Nothing better than a hot cowboy in my book! Thanks for the great resources on rodeo, too. I love to write rodeo stories, and these will be very helpful.

Helen
www.helensheroes.blogspot.com

Anne Carrole said...

You are very welcome, Helen. I'll look forward to reading your work too. For me, the muse just doesn't seem to be there if my hero is not wearing a cowboy hat--LOL.

Debra St. John said...

Hi Anne, I love cowboy stories. Thanks for the interview, Kim!

Anne Carrole said...

Thanks for stopping by Debra and love your book cover!:)

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Enjoyed your interview, Anne! I like to write westerns too. Growing up in the southwest, I've attended many rodeos and especially enjoy the horses, athletes and reining and roping contests. Good luck with your westerns at TWRP!
Jeanmarie

Anne Carrole said...

You sure live in rodeo country Jeanmarie--lucky you!:)

Theresa Stillwagon said...

Anne,
Loved your interview. I've been trying to write by own Wayback story but have another I need to finish first.
History was my favorite subject in school and I still enjoy reading books about it. Especially during the Civil War. Strange thing is I don't really like writing in that time frame.
Good luck on your other books.
Theresa

Mary Ricksen said...

Years ago I belonged to the Ottawa valley western horse association. Those rodeos and particularly my participation in the barrel racing and pickup racing, were some of the best times of my life.
Did you ride in any?

Celia Yeary said...

Anne--your interview was great. I, of course,love cowboys, even though they are on pages in a book--mine or yours or someone else's.
I don't know much about real rodeos, even though I'm a Texan. We didn't grow up going to rodeos. One day, I'm going to the San Antonio Rodeo--it's on my list of things to do when I have time. Celia

Carol Burge said...

Awesome interview, Anne! Don't you just LOVE those Cowboys!

I like doing research, too. I enjoyed your Rodeo Riding info. That's one area I don't know much about (not that I know everything). :)Sounds like you had a lot of fun writing Re-Ride.

I've never been to a Rodeo (I bet it's a blast). They don't have many in Michigan. I suppose if you're unable to experience it first hand, the next best thing is reading about it. :)

Best of luck with Re-Ride!

~Carol

M.Flagg said...

Hi Anne, great post and a great book! Dusty is a charming character and you want to see her find happiness. I enjoyed your interview and look forward to your next release. Keep those cowboys coming!
Mickey

Lynn Reynolds said...

Hi Anne! Re-ride At The Rodeo was a great story and Dusty was a very sexy hero. It sounds like you and I have very similar writing styles - definitely both pantsers. Some people look at me in horror when I tell them I write down scenes out of order. No wonder we get along so well, are minds are similarly organized. Or disorganized!

sshay said...

Enjoyed the interview!
Susan
sshay.wordpress.com

Anne Carrole said...

Mary, yes I did ride and our horse's name was-you'll never guess-Dusty :). Yes I named my heroine after our frisky horse who was a small but spirited palomino and a darn good barrel racer. I wasn't the rider for that though, my sister was. And Celia and Carol a rodeo is definitely a unique experience--and where else can you see so many cowboys at once? And thanks Mickey and Lynn for stopping by--appreciate it you guys!:)

Kim Watters said...

Congratulations sshay. You're the winner of Anne Carrole's book. Please contact Kim to claim your prize. Thanks for stopping by our blog.