Friday, October 8, 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 again, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I've got chocolate, coffee and I'm settled down in a lounge chair. It's great to stop by MCTT today for another therapy session. (You're always welcome here, my dear.)

I understand you have a new release out called My Give A Damn's Busted. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

This is the third book in the Honky Tonk Series. I Love This Bar came out in June; Hell, Yeah in August. The series finale will be out in November with Honky Tonk Christmas. My Give A Damn's Busted is Larissa and Hank's story. Larissa was fed up with trying to find a place to call home. She'd been around the world and no where called her name so one day she decided to let fate have a chance at bringing her happiness. She pulled the map down in the library and stuck a pin in it. The pin came to rest in Mingus, Texas. When she traveled to the Texas town she thought she'd made a wrong turn and landed in hell. But things began to work out for her and by the end of Hell, Yeah she is the new owner of the Honky Tonk. In My Give A Damn's Busted, Hayes Radner is still trying to get the Honky Tonk. And Larissa is just the sassy woman to fight him off. Then Hank Wells shows up and thinks he can dig up dirt on Larissa bu tshe's not going down without a fight. No dime store cowboy can get the best of her or her Honky Tonk. As secrets emerge between the two and passion vies with ulterior motives, its a toss up as to whether they'll learn to trust each other or not.

My Give A Damn's Busted is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

My fabulous editor, Deb Werksman at Sourcebooks, and I worked together on the titles but she gets the most credit for them. My Give A Damn's Busted is also the title of a Jo Dee Messina and plays a big part all through the book.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

Westerns have always been a favorite of mine whether books, movies or television shows. I love cowboys! They talk slow, walk tall and listen when a woman talks. It don't get no better than that!

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

I think more like a jet air plane pilot than a plotter or a panster. I start off with a destination and a plane full of characters. But about half way to the destination I let the characters hijack the plane and we have this amazing journey that wasn't planned at all.

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

Of course, I use the internet to research but my favorite research tool is simply going to the real site and taking a look. I went to Mingus several times during the course of writing the series. Nice bunch of folks down there. If you are ever in the area go by the Smokestack and have a chicken fried steak. They're the best ever!

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

Well, Larissa had made herself known in Hell, Yeah and showed me she had enough spunk and sass to inherit the place. That rascal Hank Wells...there was something he knew that I didn't and I sure had to keep at him to ferret it all out. So My Give A Damn's Busted just fell into place.

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

Oh, dear, that would be like choosing a favorite child! I loved the way Larissa came to life in My Give A Damn's Busted. She showed them all that she had spunk, class and independence. But then I liked Hank and his dilemma and the way his deception lay heavy on his heart. And then Merle, the seventy year old pool shark who's been in all the Honky Tonk books. And Luther, the bouncer, who's just a big old sweet bear of a man.

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 just toss them in the airplane, tell them to sit anywhere they want and see what happens!

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Oh, my, yes, ma'am!! I can't even name them all. If I had to narrow it down to only a few they would be Margaret Mitchell, Mario Puza, Leon Uris and Nora Lofts. That's a bit eclectic but I'll read any and every thing from Hemingway to the back of the Cheerio's box and love it all.

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

Word of mouth, first and foremost. If someone falls in love with a book they are going to tell their neighbors and anyone who'll stand still and listen. Also, blog sites. It's amazing to me how many people visit blog sites to see the reviews before they read a book. So hats off to all you folks who take care of those sites.

What do we have to look forward next?

Honky Tonk Christmas, the fourth and final installment of The Honky Tonk series will be on the shelves in November, just in time for Christmas. In February, From Wine to Water, a sweet romance from Avalon will kick off the Angels and Outlaws trilogy and then in May, a new series begins from Sourcebooks: Spikes & Spurs with the first book, Love Drunk Cowboy.

Thanks, Carolyn!

Thank you for inviting me to make a stop here to promote My Give A Damn's Busted. I hate to get out of the comfortable chair but my coffee and chocolate is gone so I guess it's time for me to move on and give my seat to the next writer! Happy Reading. (We'll make sure to get you some more chocolate for the next time you visit)

To celebrate her book release, Carolyn Brown is offering a free signed book of My Give A Damn's Busted 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...

Check out author’s website at



Anonymous said...

Good morning again Carolyn. We're so glad you're back visiting with us again. I've changed up the menu this morning so I hope you like your chocolate donut and mocha latte. I love your title-actually I love all your titles but this one really sticks out. I also love your air plane analogy. Now I know what happens with my characters. I always find it amusing when I actually write the book how different it ends up from what I wrote in the synopsis-now I have an explanation! Thanks. Enjoy your day with us. :)

Carolyn Brown said...

Good morning!
It's good to hear from you so early this morning Kim and I love the menu. Anything chocolate has to be good! The airplane analogy was born after years of traveling with kids. Plans are made and lists made and everything is under control. Then it all falls apart in a second. So it is with writing. Characters will have their way and usually it's more natural and better than the plan that brought on the stress and agony!
Carolyn Brown

Rebekah E. said...

Thanks for coming today. Sounds like a great book.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Carolyn. Great interview. Your books sound great. I love how the titles are from country music songs.

Carolyn Brown said...

Rebekah: Thank you!
Crystal: Deb Werksman, my editor at Sourcebooks, played a big part in the titles. I loved her idea and they all fit so well ...

Alexis Walker said...

Your books sound like a lot of fun. And I agree, what girl can resist a cowboy? Absolutely love the titles too. Glad to hear they are a series. Once I get invested in a town with familiar characters, I like to stay for awhile. So are there any issues with using a real town? Did you make up places in the town or stick to the real joints?

Carolyn Brown said...

There really is a Mingus, Texas and there's really three beer joints there the last time I checked but not a Honky Tonk. That part is fictional. The Smokestack is just off the highway and really does have wonderful food. If you're ever in that part of Texas order a chicken fried steak; they're awesome. The rest of the place, including the Bahama Mama house that Larissa lived in is all fictional so don't look for it when you drive through Mingus.

Estella said...

I have the first two books in this series. Cannot wait to read this one!

Carolyn Brown said...

I'm checking in again. A fan asked me if I'd put a page on my website with recipes from my books. So anyone who is interested might go by there ... ... or email me if you ran across a recipe in one of my books that sounded tasty!
Estella, I'm glad you stopped by for a visit today. Let me hear when you get those first two read!