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.
Thank you for letting me stop here at Much Cheaper Than Therapy and catch my breath before taking off tomorrow morning to Oklahoma City to the Full Circle Book Store to sign books all afternoon. The lounge chair is comfortable and the chocolate wonderful. Y'all are a great bunch of gals! (Have a safe trip!)
I understand you have a new release out called Hell, Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?
Hell, Yeah is the spicy second book of hot new The Honky Tonk series. Cathy O’Dell and Travis Henry cause the sparks to fly and the fire to burn hotter’n than a hooker on the front seat of a holiness tent revival in Hell, Yeah.
It all starts on New Year’s Eve when the count down begins in the Honky Tonk. Gretchen Wilson is singing “Redneck Woman,” and every lusty woman in the beer joint is yelling, “Hell yeah!” with each number as they count down the last ten seconds to the New Year.
Gretchen Wilson asked the redneck girls to give her a big hell yeah and everyone got in on the fun even Cathy O’Dell, owner and bartender. That is until she looked up to see a man making a bee line for her. At first she thought he was an old flame from high school but the closer he got and the smaller the numbers got, the more she realized he was a hell of a lot sexier than that man had ever been. His blue eyes locked with hers and when everyone yelled “Happy New Year’s” he stopped. His toes were touching hers and the heat from his cowboy boots was enough to burn though the leather to her feet. The kiss came close to setting the Honky Tonk on fire, but even blue blazes weren’t as hot as Cathy’s lips were when it ended.
Travis Henry is a petroleum engineer from western Arkansas ─ a hunky, sexy cowboy without an impulsive bone in his body. But he didn’t have anyone to kiss on New Year’s and neither did the tall blond looking wistful in the middle of the dance floor. He’d always been drawn to tall blond women and she was a damn fine specimen so he kissed her. It was supposed to be one kiss not the beginning of a hot relationship with more ups and downs than a roller coaster.
Cathy had come out of a bad relationship a few months before inheriting the beer joint and she didn’t trust men in general. But most of all she didn’t trust herself to choose a decent man, not after her failure with Brad Alton. That, plus she’s put down deep unshakable roots deep in the Honky Tonk.
Travis is a wanderer with his next flight already in sight. When he finishes the Mingus oil job, he’s off to his dream job in Alaska. Wings like his and roots like Cathy’s did not mix, even if their hearts tried to shake the roots and clip the wings. Or do they?
Hell, Yeah is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
Actually, it was a joint effort between me and my editor, Deb Werksman. I had something different in mind for book two and she came up with Hell, Yeah and I absolutely loved it. It was so much better than what I'd come up with. So much better in fact that I've forgotten what I did have in mind!
What made you decide to write in this genre?
I love cowboys! Love western movies. Love western books. They are so down to earth and real.
Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?
I'm a bit of both. I plot and plot! Go to sleep at night with the plot in my head and wake up in the morning with it. Then the characters take over and boom! The plot goes out the window and they tell me what happened and insist on the story line being one hundred percent guaran-damn-teed right and I become a panster!
Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?
The internet is a vast source of research but I like to visit the places I'm writing about and get a feel for the place and people. For this series I was in Mingus several times and down at Morgan Mill to the feed store/restaurant/gas station a couple of times. Folks down in that part of Texas are right friendly. Stop in and have a cup of coffee with them. They'll tell you great stories.
Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
Well, Cathy was at the Honky Tonk already when I Love This Bar ended. It seemed only right that she pick up the reins, put on her cowboy hat and boots and run the place. Travis was on his way to the area but no one knew it just yet so they were bound to clash when he got there. And boy did they ever!
Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
There are so many quirky characters in the Honky Tonk Series, it would be difficult to choose just one. I love Tinker, the bouncer, and Merle, the seventy plus year old pool shark, and of course Cathy with all her complexities and Travis with his determination. And Jezzy with her free thinking, flower child attitude. They all have their own personalities and quirks and make me laugh.
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 so sure I develop characters. I think basically I get to know them in depth as I write the story. It's usually on a need-to-know basis. They sit on my shoulder or on the futon behind my computers and tell me what I need to know to write that day. Then the next day I get more of what I need to know to get through the next scene.
Do you have any authors that inspired you?
How many pages to do you have for this interview!? So many authors have inspired me. Leon Uris, LaVyrle Spencer, Harry Kemelman, Nora Roberts, Mario Puzo, Sue Grafton, Margaret Mitchell and the eclectic list could go on for several pages. I've always loved reading! It's the most wonderful escape in the whole world.
What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
Blogs are very good promotion. Word of mouth is wonderful. If someone reads my book and tells a neighbor and the neighbor tells two people, pretty soon the word gets around. I always give a copy of my book to the local library and to the one in the town where I grew up and graduated from high school. The later might be an ego trip to show those who voted for me as the girl most likely NOT to succeed! LOL
What do we have to look forward next?
Two more in the Honky Tonk series. My Give A Damn's Busted will be out in October and Honky Tonk Christmas in November. So hang on to your hat. Keep your boots on and the beer cold!
I'm working on another series for Sourcebooks which will be published in 2011. Cowboys again! So get ready to ride again in May of 2011.
Thank y'all. It's been delightful to sit a spell and visit about Hell, Yeah. Here's hoping you can't put it down once you start reading it and want to come back for another dose of Honky Tonk good times in October with My Give A Damn's Busted.
To celebrate her book release, Hell, Yeah, Carolyn is offering a signed copy of Hell, Yeah 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 lives in southern Oklahoma with her retired English teacher husband, Charles. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young forever. An award winning author, she has sold 55 books. They have been published in nine foreign languages, large print and in the near future two of them will appear in Japanese Manga. They have been reviewed in multiple publications including Romantic Times, Romance Review Today, Library Journal, Affaire de Coeur and Booklist. I Love This Bar and Hell, Yeah are also featured in the August edition of County Music People magazine.
Check out author’s website at http://www.carolynlbrown.com/
Read an excerpt and buy at AMAZON.