Carol Lynne is one of my favorite authors. She writes a lot of lighthearted, easy read books. It's nice to be able to relax with one of her books and not have a lot of angst or confusion. This month, she's the featured author over at the M/M Romance group on Goodreads.com After talking to her a couple times over here, I asked her if she would mind doing an interview about her writing and specifically, her Cattle Valley series. So, here is the interview with Carol Lynne!
General Writing Questions
The Dancing Dove: What was it like when your first book was published?
Carol Lynne: Incredibly scary. Writing my first book, Branded by Gold, was a fluke. I did it because I was bored and out of stuff to read. I had absolutely no idea how much that single book would change the direction of my life.
TDD: What made you decide to write M/M romance?
CL: When I wrote Branded by Gold (M/M/F), I realized I much preferred writing the relationship between the two men. The next two books I wrote, Gio's Dream and Sex with Lex, gave me a chance to explore that side of writing. It wasn't hard to decide that's the direction I wanted to take. Besides, I can't stand the terms used for female girly parts.
TDD: How often do you write?
CL: Writing is my full-time job, and I take it incredibly seriously. I usually write 12 hours per day, seven days a week.
TDD: Is there a certain place you like to write? The beach, the library, a comfy spot on the couch?
CL: I write in my comfortable chair in the family room most of the time. I do spend a great deal of time writing on my covered deck when the weather permits.
TDD: Have any writers heavily influenced your writing style?
CL: Hard question. My style is pretty much my own, I think. I write the way I like to read, simple. LOL I am incredibly inspired by authors in this genre. Sometimes I read stories and fall more in love with the structure of words on the page than the actual story.
TDD: Are you "out" about what you write to friend/family/neighbors/etc.?
CL: Yes, for the most part. I mean, all my friends and family know what I write. This year I finally came out to my children's school teachers and principal. That was quite a big issue because both of my daughters attend Catholic school. I'm not sure what they say behind my back, but they've all been incredibly supportive to my face. LOL
Cattle Valley Questions
TDD: Where did you get the idea for Cattle Valley?
CL: I wanted a setting where being gay was the norm so I could focus on the characters and their stories. I came up with the idea out of necessity but soon found Cattle Valley to be so much more than I'd hoped. I get emails all the time from people who wish such a town existed. I've actually had several emails from people who truly believed it did. I think the Cattle Valley website goes a long way in making it seem real, although, damn, I wish there was a town with so many hunks.
TDD: Is the setting based off a real location?
CL: Nope. When I decided to create the town, I sat down and drew up a blueprint. I charted store locations, the park and municipal buildings. I wanted to make sure Deb's Diner was always across the street from the Sheriff's station, so it seemed like the easiest way to remember it.
TDD: How many books do you have planned for Cattle Valley?
CL: Right now, I have agreed to write installments through June of 2011. That should put me right around 25 for the series, but it could easily go beyond. It depends on the readership. I don't want to bore people, and I don't want to “jump the shark” like one of my favorite series, Happy Days did.
TDD: Do you have a favorite couple from your Cattle Valley series?
CL: Ooh, that's a hard one. I have favorite characters, definitely. Rio is my muse for this series. Originally it was Nate, of course, but the more I wrote Rio's character, the more I fell in love with him. I also have a crush on Kyle. His love story with Gill was one of my favorites to write.
TDD: You've got such a variety of characters in the series, how do you manage to keep them all straight?
CL: I have an incredibly long character sheet. When I add a new character, I add him to the sheet along with as much information as I can at that time. I update the sheet as I go along. There have been several character screw-ups along the way. I almost swallowed my tongue when I realized I had two Ryan's in Cattle Valley, but I finally gave myself a break. In a town the size of Cattle Valley there is bound to be more than one person with a particular name. Still, it is a sore spot for me. LOL
TDD: Care to share anything about the next Cattle Valley book?
CL: The next book is Neil's Guardian Angel. I will tell you that Neil and Ben will get a lot of help from Garron and Sonny from the Good-time Boys series.
Carol Lynne's novel Firehouse Heat is the sixteenth installment in the Cattle Valley series. It was release on April 12,2010. You can find out more about this series on the Cattle Valley website. This is Ms. Lynne's 50th novel with Total-e-Bound Publishing.