Wisdom from a Wordsmith – Episode 16

I first learned of Carolyn when I joined one of my favorite Facebook groups, Inspirational UK and Ireland. Carolyn is one of the group moderators, and she often posts beautiful photos of places in the UK. During her “Takeover Tuesdays,” she shared her Regency romances, which I came to find authentic, entertaining, uplifting, and adorable. If you love Jane Austen’s works, you certainly will enjoy Carolyn’s Regency novels!

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of romance, Carolyn loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency and contemporary novels are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc.

It is my honor to share this interview with you, especially if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of Carolyn Miller’s novels! Make sure you check out her media links at the end of the interview!

What would you like readers to know about you beyond what you typically say in your author blurbs?  

I love creativity. I love playing with words (obviously) but I’ve also taken painting classes and LOVE the feeling of flow which can happen when painting on canvas. I also sing and play keyboard in church, and have been involved in the production of several worship albums, which used some of my own songs.  

What led you to begin writing?

I was watching the closing ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 and saw an Aussie female athlete walking into the stadium holding hands with an American guy, and I was instantly struck by how two elite athletes from countries on opposite sides of the world could meet, let alone find the time between their busy training and competition schedules to sustain a relationship. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find out who they were, so I eventually wrote ‘their’ story, which is how Love on Ice began. I made her a short track speed skater (because hello: awesome toughness right there!) and he was an ice hockey player (bc: tough). This led to another book, this time set in Muskoka, Ontario, where again I used a hockey player as my hero. These two (highly edited!) books are now part of The Original Six, a sweet and swoony, slightly sporty, Christian contemporary romance series, which early readers are saying they L.O.V.E!

It’s funny because some people just associate me with historicals, when really that was my third genre I wrote in, but was the first I was published. (I also wrote a romantic suspense novel, which won the ACFW First Impressions contest category and led to securing an agent). So writing contemporary romance feels like coming home.

Tell me about your latest project and what you would like readers to ‘take away’ from it?

The Breakup Project is the first book in The Original Six, a series based on the original six teams of the National Hockey League, and sees books set in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Montreal, New York and Toronto. I’ve actually travelled to four of the cities (and have pics on my website at https://www.carolynmillerauthor.com/the-original-six-romance-series and I’ve loved incorporating some of the places I visited into these stories, such as the Chicago Art Institute, the beautiful Muskoka region north of Toronto, Montreal’s gorgeous Jardin Botanique, and the quirky Mapparium of Boston. 

Like with all my stories, I want people to be captivated by the sense of place and the relatability of the characters, to enjoy the banter and humor, and the romance and swoon worthy kisses. But most of all, I want readers to be encouraged and inspired in their faith, to be refreshed in the knowledge that God loves us and has good plans for our lives, and that despite challenging situations, we can always trust Him to work for our good. 

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Finish the story, then write the next one. I spent a long time tweaking my first book trying to reach the elusive sense of perfection, but I don’t think any stories are ever completely perfect to the author. There’s a stage where you need to release it to others to read, whether they be beta readers or editors, to get the honest feedback we all need. I found entering online writing contests great for this, because the judges didn’t know me so they didn’t feel like they needed to pull any punches. And yes, criticism hurts, but it helped build a thicker skin which is helpful now. So don’t get hung up on one story. Write the next, then the next, and if you can, do something like NaNoWriMo which can teach you to write faster than you thought you could. I wrote my Regency Miss Serena’s Secret this way (80,000 words in a month), and could write quickly because I’d just finished writing Winning Miss Winthrop, which used many of the same characters and settings, so Miss Serena’s story could just flow. And there’s something to be said for writing in a series – publishers (and readers) love series, so if you can plan to revisit your setting or find a secondary character with a story readers will connect with, that can be super helpful. Having stories up my sleeve meant I was able to publish 9 books in 3 years, so I’m a big believer in writing the next story (which helps us improve in our craft, too).

I definitely agree with Carolyn’s advice. If a writer focuses too much on perfection, he or she may never have the courage to get their writings out there. I also agree that criticism is crucial to growth as a writer. Continuously writing and not being afraid to write quickly has definitely worked for Carolyn!

Thanks for taking the time to tell us more about yourself and your novels, Carolyn! I love watching hockey myself, and I cannot wait to read The Breakup Project!

Buy The Breakup Project:Amazon.comAmazon.com.au Amazon.co.uk Apple
Kobo Nook

To learn more about Carolyn Miller, check out these links:

 website | facebook | pinterest | twitter | instagram

Published by amylynnwalsh

Amy Walsh is a 5th-grade teacher who loves teaching children about what she loves to do herself: reading and writing. She enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking and camping with her Scouts BSA Troop. Amy also appreciates opportunities to share her faith through singing, teaching, and writing for her church family. Amy and her husband, Patrick, have three children: Bree, Spencer, Liz, and a son-in-law, Kyle. Amy and her family love to spend time together celebrating special occasions, listening to great music, swimming and kayaking, and having occasional ping pong tournaments.

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