is historical! Tell us, Carol . . .
Is there a story behind HEARTS STOLEN?
The stories (plural) behind HEARTS STOLEN came from the fascinating research of the Republic of Texas’ early days. The captivating history of the Texas Rangers, which I can hardly mention or think of without McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove’s Call and Agustus coming to mind.
How awesome would it be for my grandsugars’ generation to feel the same about Levi Baylor and his sidekick Wallace Rusk? There are so many stories outside of HEARTS STOLEN that can be told of these two brave and heroic Rangers, their meeting, the historical battles they fought together, and countless encounters with bad guys.
President Sam Houston’s 1844 Treaty of Tehuacana Creek with the Comanche chiefs and the Native Americans themselves provided fodder for this novel. Seems to me there’s never been an era when Texas history was any bigger than in the nineteenth century, and I love writing in this period of my great home state.
Wonderful. Love that history information! What is unique about the setting? How does it enhance the story?
Texas! J Everything about the Lone Star State is unique and special and enhances any story that happens to be set here, right? :) Well, in my humble opinion it does! I’ve lived in and traveled all over Texas in my lifetime. There’s hardly a part I haven’t been to, I know it and love it, and to be set in 1844 Texas, when the new Republic flourished, makes HEARTS STOLEN even more unique.
Its travelers arrive home to Red River County – where I live with my husband and two grandsons – a few miles south of Clarksville, Texas. Hero Levi Baylor co-owns over 16,000 acres that includes what is now the 916 acre McAdoo Ranch with his Uncle Henry Buckmeyer. So, the home place in the story, I know personally, every creek and hill, clearing and wooded area. I believe that, too, adds to its uniqueness and enhances the story.
Did you have a specific theme in mind as you wrote [title]? Did a theme pop out as you finished the book? Did the theme change?
This is a very interesting question in retrospect. Being a writer who writes for discovery—a panster I’ve heard it called—I don’t know the end at the beginning. In HEARTS STOLEN, my hero and heroine have quite a huge predicament to overcome, a problem that my agent told me wouldn’t work in a Christian historical romance, that it couldn’t be, yet it was.
But in the end of my story, as God often does in our own lives, as He did in Sue Baylor Buckmeyer’s life in VOW UNBROKEN, His hand moves and fixes it all in a way one might never imagine. I do love my Father in Heaven and His wonderful plans to get us out of the trouble we often find ourselves in. Reminds me of the old hymn, ‘Love Lifted Me’.
I would say the theme which certainly did pop out as the story ended, is that NOTHING—no. thing.—is too hard for our God. When things seem totally impossible, and there’s no way in a situation that we can figure out for normalcy to reign, He comes through again and again and fixes it all! I LOVE writing stories that can extol His greatness!
What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?
The earliest writing that is still a WIP on my computer is from a handwritten novel IN THE BEGINNING where Enoch was the main character. When first read at the DFW Writers’ Workshop, it was all tell and no show. It had no one character’s POV; well more accurately, it probably had all the characters’ POVs! And it included every other mistake that can possibly be made by a new writer.
From its first eighty pages, A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS sprang forth, a Biblical fiction that only covers two generations of mankind, Adam and his sons, not seven. It’s told along three parallel story lines; two on earth, one with Adam and Eve, another with Cain and his wife, and the third in Paradise with Abel and an ancient cherubim named Namrel.
What character types do you find the most fun to create, and why?
Seems to me, story after story, the ones I have the most fun creating are the children. In VOW UNBROKEN, nine-year-old Rebecca stole my heart and cracked me up. In HEARTS STOLEN, without a doubt, it is four-year-old Charley who wins the day, a chunk of my heart, and makes me smile almost every time he comes on stage. And I know it’s silly to say, but I burst out laughing at the little guy a lot.
I love children, God’s best blessings to any family! Such a shame they have to grow up – no, I apologize. That was not a nice thing to say! J I have fourteen grandsugars to model kiddos after and have the most fun by far with the things they say and do. I hear from readers all the time that they, too, love the youngsters in my historical Christian western adventure romances!
I always say: anyone who doesn't love kids and animals, well, I'm a little suspicious of them! Lol. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write your first draft?
Both come naturally to me, although there are a few rules that refuse to embed into my brain. With Spell-check, no one should have to be too concerned over spelling though I suppose it’s important to know which word to choose as the replacement. Really funny things can happen if you don’t.
Of course stair will become stare or waist turn to waste as a type-o that needs to be caught during the editing process, but those mistakes aren’t usually a matter of not knowing what’s correct but rather my brain going faster than my fingers. SO, my answer is no, not really. J
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
The debut of HEARTS STOLEN is September 5th, 2014 and I have several titles at publishers for consideration. I’ve submitted SING A NEW SONG and THE PREACHER’S FAITH, contemporary Christian novellas; ONE AND DONE, a contemporary Christian romance with a different Texas Ranger—a baseball pitcher—as a hero. I’m finishing up book three HOPE REBORN now then will complete THE BEDWARMER’S SON which is about half done already.
Busy girl, but we love it and wish you much success!
Thank you so much for having me for a visit to the Loft! J
You're very welcome!
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Caryl McAdoo and husband Ron—high school sweethearts—live with two grandsons in the woods south of Clarksville, the county seat of Red River County in Northeast Texas. She enjoys four-wheeling over the 916-acre McAdoo Ranch, horseback riding, and singing the new songs God gives her. For every blessing in her life, including ten children (counting in-loves) and fourteen grandsugars, Caryl credits her relationship with the Lord, and her heart’s desire is to glorify Him.
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CARYL is giving away a copy of Heart Stolen. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.