Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Warm Welcome to Caryl McAdoo

Can you tell us a bit about your family, and what it is like where you live?
            We moved from the DFW Metroplex—where we’d lived fifty-five years—to Clarksville, a county seat in far Northeast Texas. Our house sits way off the paved road back into the woods. I do love the small town, country life! We’re surrounded by trees, and I can look out over a pond in the back from the dining room or kitchen or utility room window. We’ve found a wonderful Church of God with a great youth group for the boys only about twenty-five minutes away, and toward Paris which is where my Walmart is.
            I am so blessed to share my life with my best friend since I was sixteen years old, the wisest, most Christ-like man I’ve ever known. With him, I brought four little McAdoos babies into the world, three sons and a daughter. All live in north Texas within three hours drive. All but the youngest married and doubled their numbers then gave me fourteen grandsugars.
            Four of those little boys have lived with O’Pa and me (Grami) almost twelve years, but this year, two of them left—one off to college, and one to his other grandparents’ because that granddaddy fell and broke his hip, and our boy asked to go so he could be a help to them. So we’re down to two now and enjoy our little family of four.
            We moved from the DFW Metroplex where we’d lived fifty-five years to Red River County in far NE Texas in ‘08. Our house sits way off the paved road back into the woods, can’t see it at all from the Farm-to-Market. I do love the small town, country life! I can look out over a pond in the back from the dining room or kitchen window. We have four dogs, two outside and two inside, and a varying number of barn cats depending on the day.
            I enjoy the Brown Bag Book Club once a month at the Red River County Public Library, my Luncheon Ladies group that also meets once a month and two writers groups, and hope to set up an ACFW Chapter soon.

Did you always want to write, dream of being published? And how did you get started?  
This question is so funny because of the story I have to tell. And that I remember it. God has such a wonderful sense of humor!
So in the seventh grade, my teacher assigned an essay on what we’d be doing in the year 2000. I was twelve then in 1962, so it seemed a long way off. You may have heard it, but stretching my imagination, I wrote of being an intergallactically famous author jetting from planet to planet to autograph books. I guess it’s safe to say I’ve dreamed of this life I’m living—well, except for the planet hopping. What can I say? The space program was disappointing.
I started writing with my husband in the 80s. We joined the DFW Writers’ Workshop together and he’s a wonderful writer. I’m so blessed that we share the love for writing stories, and often discuss storylines. He’s the reason I have such awesome, strong heroes.

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? J 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 1850 Texas, when it hadn’t been a state very long and its borders were still being discussed, makes HOPE REBORN even more unique.
            Plus the main families, the Buckmeyers and Baylors live in Red River County on the same land where I live with my husband and grandsons a few miles south of Clarksville proper. It’s fun knowing the land so well, and the house on the cover also has a fun connection to the land.
            The historical home is known as the Lennox Mansion, and the Lennox family used to own the property that’s now the 916 acre McAdoo Ranch. So I wanted it set out on the prairie and appear to be the Buckmeyer home place. Isn’t that fun? I personally know every creek and hill, clearing and wooded area. I believe that adds to my setting’s uniqueness and enhances the story.

What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?
          The earliest story was called IN THE BEGINNING, but when we joined the DFW Writers’ Workshop, I discovered that it was all tell and no show and that I’d made every possible mistake a new writer could. But the authors there mentored me and taught me the craft of writing creative fiction.
            Well, from that story—after I learned the tools of the trade like point of view and story goals, scene and sequel, active versus passive—I wrote A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, a Biblical fiction that just debuted last November, volume one of The Generations. Volume two is coming in March, 2015. So I have the story from that first work, but I’m not sure of the manuscript itself.   

What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?
          One of the best moments so far would be that first time I saw ‘McAdoo’ on the spine of our (my husband and me) first book ANTIQUING IN NORTH TEXAS. You’d think your name on the front cover would be more thrilling, but I just really love the book spines! If you hadn’t specified ‘moment’, then I’d have to say attending the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference was my best experience. And the worst? Once an editor told us she was going to publish my novel (the first fiction at the time) then backed out. Of course, rejections are a part of the business, but you never like one. I get past it knowing God is on the Throne and in control, so that publisher wasn’t supposed to put that title out. Knowing the Lord is completely trust worthy, it’s hardly a bother.

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?
          What I like the least is the time in the chair at the computer because when I’m there very long, different body parts complain and try to make me quit. The absolute best part of writing is the freedom of it. I can write anywhere, anytime I want.

What are your biggest distractions?
I imagine that would be marketing that also correlates to Facebook, which is I’m sure is the number one distraction for many writers, but I wouldn’t count that. It’s a necessary part of being a writer Indie or traditional. A writer has to write, yes. Then she has to market, market, market or who will ever know she has written?
For my biggest distraction, I have to say my grandsons. The two left are fifteen and twelve, and they always seem to get something going with each other. They’re definitely always hungry. And there’s band and basketball practice, youth trips, teacher’s conferences. Some say they keep me young. I’ll be seventy years young when the youngest graduates. He cannot wait to be the only child! J

What character types do you find the most fun to create, and why?
          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.
            In HOPE REBORN, six years later from book two, and eighteen from VOW. Rebecca’s grown, but there’s even more children. Houston, Henry and Sue’s son, is born at the end of HEARTS, and their four daughters. Bart, the baby Sassy had just found out she was pregnant with is four. He speaks with a speech impediment and is adorable—all boy. And Charlie is ten, the big boy now. 
            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!

If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
            Bringing God glory—by showing His love serving others, being His hands and feet in this world, and advancing His Kingdom. I’ve adopted this line and include it everywhere: Praying my story gives God glory!

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
          Next Book due out will be the first of my new series of contemporary Christian Red River Romances, THE PREACHER’S FAITH, scheduled to debut in February. It’s a fun, shorter story 47,987 words, so I’m not sure whether to call it a novel—usually 50K—or a novella, but they can be around twenty to thirty thousand. I’d love to come back and tell you about it.

            Thank you so much for inviting me to come visit. I just love visitin’ and I sure do appreciate you helping me spread the word about HOPE REBORN and my historical Christian Texas Romances! Blessings to y’all!  

To buy Caryl's book:

Caryl McAdoo is giving away a copy of Hope Reborn.  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 may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


Martha Sturm said...

I enjoy the settings of Caryl's books. I have a special place in my heart for Texas, since that's where my dad grew up.
Have been following this series. Keep up the good work.

Boos Mum said...

So happy to see the third in your series. I just received your first two in the last couple of months and would enjoy winning this one. I too am sad to see my kids growing up. My oldest is 16 and I don't know where all the time has went.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Cindi A said...

Hi Caryl!! It's nice to see you here.
Since the 1800s are my favorite time period, your book being based on 1850 sounds perfect. I hope I win a copy.


Anonymous said...

I would love the chance to win one of your books. I read all the time but this is the first time I have come on here thank you for this chance.

Sm said...

I enjoyed Hearts Stolen with Cowboys, horses, actio and romance! sm. wileygreen1( at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Greetings Caryl. Great place you are visiting. A bunch of very nice ladies. I like their blog. Love hearing about your life. Talk about where has the time gone, my children are now in their 50s and 60s. Seems not very long they were at home with me. I loved raising them. I have four and two steps. Twelve grands plus in-laws, and 19 great-grands. Would love to win this book. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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