Life Coach Magazine

Flashback Friday: Author Robin Caroll

By Writerinterrupted @writerinterrupt

Welcome to Flashback Fridays! For the summer and beyond, I’m going to run some nostalgic posts on parenting and writing from writing wannabes, newbies, and published authors. Many of these prepublished writing interviews are now published. So I encourage you to visit their sites and see what they’re up to today. 

Feb 2007

Romantic Suspense Author Robin Caroll
Robin Caroll, writes deep South mysteries of riveting suspense to inspire your heart. Louisiana born and raised, Robin is a Southerner right down to her “hey, y’all.” Her mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who has instilled in Robin the love of heritage and family bonds. Robin draws on these important factors when weaving her stories. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of eighteen years and three daughters. She enjoys hearing from her readers–visit her at www.robincaroll.com to find out more about this new Southern fiction writer.

Welcome Robin! Tell us a little about your family and your call to write.

I’ve been married for almost eighteen years to the most supportive man ever. We have three daughters—16, 6, and 4. My call to write…hmmm….I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I wrote stories, journals, poems. Had a couple of those published back in the day. I’ve always known I’d be writing.


Joining ACFW and “meeting” Colleen Coble. This woman opened more doors for me than I can ever explain. I signed with my agent, Kelly Mortimer of Mortimer Literary Agency in July. Kelly is so awesome and enthusiastic that I don’t know what I’d do without her. I trust her advice and guidance completely. I met with Krista Stroever from Steeple Hill at RWA National, where I pitched her the manuscript I was currently working on. She requested the full from my agent once it was completed. My agent submitted it after she line edited it, and we got “the call” a month later. These three amazing women are the ones God put in my path to provide me with my “writing break.”

What do you write and why this genre? 

Colleen Coble told me long ago…write where your passion is. My passion has always been mysteries/suspense. I grew up reading Trixie Beldon as young as fourth grade.

Do you have any recent contracts and up coming releases?

My first book, BAYOU JUSTICE, will be released by Steeple Hill, Love Inspired Suspense in October of 2007.

What do you hope to accomplish through your novels?
First and foremost, I hope I honor God. I want to entertain readers, but leave them with a sense of hope and being uplifted.And now for the tough questions…
Okay…LOL

How do you balance being a mom, wife, and writer?

It’s hard. There is no set example that works. Each person has to find what works for them. I’m blessed to have a supportive husband in my writing, and in recently being elected president of ACFW. I try to set my “work hours” just as if I were at an away-from-home job. Our youngest daughter isn’t in school yet, so the interruptions happen. I’ve learned to take the distractions in stride. For the most part, it works. After the two older girls get home from school, unless I’m on deadline, I call an end to my “work day” so I can spend time with them and prepare supper and be ready for when my husband gets home from work. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out that way. Again, having a family who supports my dream is critical to me being pulled in several different directions.

Do you think it’s possible to give yourself fully to raising children, writing, working full time, and keeping in shape? If not, which one for you has to take a back seat?
>Housekeeping has taken the backseat for me! LOL Seriously. I used to be really picky about certain aspects of household duties. Now, well….does anyone really ever notice if my baseboards are clean? LOL Keeping in shape. I don’t go to a gym anymore, but I still have a 4 yr old to chase around, so that helps. Sharing parenting responsibilities with my husband is crucial in keeping things running smoothly. The kids having chores helps me with the housework, but also teaches them responsibility and working as a team within the family.

When do you find the time to write, and do you ever feel like you’re neglecting your children when you write?
As I said, I try to write during “working” hours. Sometimes, after everyone else goes to sleep, if my characters are arguing in my head, I’ll fire up the laptop and sit in bed and write. I’m fortunate that I speed read and write fast as well. I don’t feel like I’m neglecting my kids when I write. It’s a job. A dream job, yes, but a job nevertheless. I think it’s important for them to understand that acquiring dreams takes work and sacrifices. I view it as a life lesson.

How do you handle interruptions in your writing life?
With God’s grace. LOL But it’s true. Since I don’t work outside the home, I get called upon by people to do things, serve on committees, etc. For a while, I tried to do it all. That didn’t work. I wrote less and less and became grumpy. My family doesn’t like me much when I can’t write. LOL I’ve learned to prioritize.
How do you get back into the flow of writing after you’ve been interrupted?
I read the last scene I wrote. I listen to my characters. (Yes, mine really do talk to me!) Or sometimes, I’ll just let the interruption flow. I’ll get up and read a book to my daughter. Go watch the girls swing outside. Listen to my teenager’s drama of the week. You’d be amazed at how doing the mundane can actually help you focus. If none of that works, a venti white chocolate mocha with extra whipped cream from Starbucks is sure to!

:D

What do you do to encourage yourself during those stormy days every writing mom has?
I realize I’m so blessed to be working at my dream. Sometimes, just walking around the house and naming my blessings aloud is a real reality check. Makes the writing woes seem really insignificant.

How do you position yourself to HEAR God’s voice when all the noises of life are swirling around you?
Okay, this sounds so awful, but during the day when I NEED to hear Him (my regularly scheduled quiet time is in the evening) I take my Bible and hide in the bathroom. It’s the one place where I can lock the door and just shut out the world.

If you do feel your priorities slipping, what do you do to get back on track?

Funny, by the time I realize they’re slipping, God’s already hit me upside the head with a 2X4 to get my attention. Yeah, some people get the small, still voice. I get the 2X4. LOL But it works. He normally shows me where I’m letting things slip and gives me the wisdom and energy to correct my shortcoming.

Has there ever been a time God told you to set aside your writing to focus on other areas of your life? If so, how did you handle that?

Actually, yes and no. He didn’t tell me to set aside my writing, but He did show me to focus it toward the CBA versus the ABA, which I had originally geared my stories toward. It took me long enough to get the message, though. LOL

Did you ever feel like you’ve “missed” God in regards to writing, that maybe you should be doing something else?
Personally, I feel like I connect MORE with God through my writing. I don’t start out with a spiritual arc in mind in my stories. That’s not my job. God shows up when I sit down at the computer and He tells me what He wants me to share with others. I’ve learned quite a bit that way, in avenues I would have never dreamed of pursuing. It’s a fun ride as co-pilot when I let God in the driver’s seat.

What advice would you give to writing moms who are have their hearts set on publication?
You CAN do it. Don’t let anyone distract you from pursuing your dream. It may take longer with kids calling for your attention. Relish those moments (and remember some of them because you can use them in a wip). It’s all a journey…enjoy the trip. All of it. It makes us who we are.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

If someone had told me twenty years ago that I’d be where I am today, I would never have believed them. Not that my dreams weren’t in this line. They were. But they were more along the being-a-NYT-Bestseller-career writer type. Yet, I wouldn’t trade where I am now for that. I adore being a best friend and wife to such an amazing man. I love being a mom to three really awesome girls. I’m blessed to have awesome writing friends and critique partners. Getting a contract for a CBA publisher was truly the icing on the cake for me. If I arrived in heaven today, I’d be content with my life on earth. How blessed am I?

Thank you so much for sharing your heart hear today. Please come back in October and tell us all about your expereince with your first release!!

Visit Robin and see what she’s up to today! www.robincaroll.com


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