Friday, June 4, 2010

Interview with Carolyn Brown

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Carolyn Brown. 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 I Love This Bar. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Yes, ma'am, but first thank you so much for letting me make a stop today on my blog tour. I'm excited to be here at Much Cheaper Than Therapy to talk about I Love This Bar. It's the first book in the Honky Tonk Series, each featuring the name of a hot country western song and set in the Honky Tonk, a beer joint in Mingus, Texas. The Honky Tonk is the center of night life and the gathering place for every thirsty rancher and lusty lady in the area looking for a good time. Daisy O'Dell is the bartender and owner of the Honky Tonk in I Love This Bar. She's vowed the only way she'll leave the beer joint is feet first with her cold dead fingers wrapped around a bottle of Coors. Jarod McElroy came into the Honky Tonk looking for a cold beer and a little peace from his meddling great-uncle. He got the beer but there was no peace. From the first time he met Daisy with her hot looks and smart mouth his life was in a turmoil and his heart on an emotional roller coaster.

I Love This Bar is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

My editor, Deb Werksman, wanted the books to have hot country songs for titles and I agreed. I Love This Bar is a Toby Keith country western song that fit the book very well. Also it describes the conflict between Daisy and Jarod. She loves the beer joint and has no intentions of leaving it with it's bikers, hookers, preppies and cowboys. Jarod has quite a job convincing her to come out from behind that bar and come home with him.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

Writing about cowboys and ranching is my niche. I really think that cowboys isn't just a reading trend but they are here to stay. What true blooded woman couldn't look at Jarod on the cover of I Love This Bar and not want to find a pair of cowboy boots and go two-stepping?

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

From an old beer joint in Ratliff City, Oklahoma called Ma Honey's. It's long since gone and I never got around to visiting it. But my husband's friend, Drig, lived with us during our ultra poor college days and he used to go there on the weekends and entertain me for hours with the stories.

What are your favorite research books and why?

I love the computer for research, whether for historical or contemporary. I do have a few books lying about that I rely on but most of it comes from either visiting the place, talking to real people or the computer. In I Love This Bar Daisy is also a vet tech and does some vet work on the side so I had to do some research to find out how to treat bloated goats ... silly things ate too much!

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

Oh, my! That's too tough a question to answer with one name. Let me introduce you to a few: Merle, the seventy year old pool shark with ratted sky high dyed black hair. Chigger, the tall blonde who can't be a hooker because she says sex is too much fun to charge for it. Amos, the older oil baron who wears black leather and rides with a Harley motorcycle gang. The red haired Walker triplets: Jim Bob, Joe Bob and Billy Bob. Then there's Uncle Emmett who uses his Alzhiemer's and makes Jarod and Daisy pretend they are married just to keep him happy. They were all hoots to write about and each played a part in getting Jarod and Daisy over the obstacles keeping them apart.

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?

I'm not sure I develop characters. They take up abode in my office and tell me what to write. They are voices in my head and if I don't get it right they plague me until I do. They come to me with all their baggage and background and I just have to figure out a way to get it on paper.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

How much room do you have for this interview? It might take a while to list all the authors who have inspired me. I've been reading since I figured out that books were so much fun. So I'll only mention a few: Margaret Mitchell, LaVyrle Spencer, Carl Hiaason, Randy Wayne White, Leon Uris, Nora Roberts and well, the list goes on and on and is very eclectic since I read a broad range of genres.

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

Blog tours create a lot of excitement. I also do press releases for newspapers, both local and those where my stories are set. This past week I sent out free bookmarks to libraries in the towns where the books were set. And I keep current pictures and reviews on my website!

What do we have to look forward next?

Well, if you loved I Love This Bar and hated to see it end, remember there are three more! Hell, Yeah (August), My Give A Damn's Busted (October) and Honky Tonk Christmas (November). Plus I'm working on a new series which will debut in the spring of 2011 called the Spikes & Spurs series.

Thanks, Carolyn!

And thanks to you folks here at Much Cheaper Than Therapy ... it's been fun stopping by and resting in a lounge chair with a nice big cup of coffee and some chocolate! After looking at the front cover of I Love This Bar, tell me, what would make you come out from behind that bar and go home with Jarod McElroy? (in a heartbeat! KW)

To celebrate her book release, Carolyn Brown is offering a free signed copy of I Love This Bar to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Carolyn Brown, an award-winning author who has more than 40 romance novels both historical and contemporary, credits her eclectic family for her humor and writing ideas. She was born in Texas but grew up in southern Oklahoma where she and her husband, Charles, a retired English teacher, now make their home in the town of Davis, Oklahoma. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.

Check out author’s website at


Carolyn Brown said...

Good morning everyone,
It's a pleasure to make a stop here on my blog tour to promote I LOVE THIS BAR. Let me hear your comments and good luck on the drawing for a free book!
Happy Reading,
Carolyn Brown

Kim Watters said...

Good morning Carolyn. My you're early. Thanks for stopping by today. Your chocolate will be ready as soon as I wake up. As I was reading your interview I could hear your Texas twang. It brought a huge smile to my lips. So did the thought of going home with Jarod:) Enjoy your day with us!

Jennifer said...

Hi Carolyn,

I love the concept of your series using country music titles! I have often thought of using the quirky characteristics of my Tennessee family members in my writing but always afraid it might start a brawl, if you know what I mean. Have you ever been accused of coming too close to home with your characters?

Cant wait to read I Love This Bar,
Jennifer Bickerton

Carolyn Brown said...

I'm really not as early as it might appear! I'm on the east coast today. Just got back from the beach here in Virginia. Sand was warm. Sun was hot. Fat cells were in a panic that I might melt some of them.
And yep, you heard a Texas sneaks in there on a daily basis!
Jennifer: I have been accused of basing characters after people both in my family and quirky characters that I know ... not so! LOL. They are all very graphic figments of my overactive imagination. Brawl wouldn't be my problem. Jealousy would!
Thanks for the comments!
Carolyn Brown

Estella said...

I love the use of country songs as titles.
This is my kinda book! I am a country fan all the way.

joder said...

I'm a country music fan and think the songs make great book titles. Who are some of you favorite country singers, Carolyn?

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Carolyn Brown said...

I could never pick out only a few country songs. I was raised on country music so I like some of the old stuff, a lot of the new stuff and all in between. I write to music ... it taakes my mind away from everything and sits on my shoulder like my muse. So my favorites change with my moods. Sad days, I listen to slow old ballads. Happy ones, I listen to upbeat. Country has something for every mood!

Carolyn Brown

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Carolyn,

Great interview. I would certainly go home with your hero! Being a Kansas girl, I love this concept and agree that cowboys are not a trend but a forever kind of thing. Can't wait to read it.


Tina LaVon said...

Your book sounds like so much fun!
I knew exactly what you had done when I read the title. I'm a country western fan. I also used to go to a honky tonk outside of the Air Force base my father was stationed at when I was in college. We used top country swing back then.

The ladies from MCTT thank you so much for stopping by to tell us about your book.

Sue A. said...

I'm still waiting to hear the pickup line that would convince me to go home with someone. Can't wait to hear Jarod make his move.

robynl said...

I love country and western books, music, movies and hot heroes. Bring Jarod on, lol.
I bet Jarod finds peace eventually; would really like to find out.

Carolyn Brown said...

Hey everyone,
Thanks for all your comments! Happy reading!
Carolyn Brown