There are several stories connected with my novel. I met my husband of nearly eleven years online. He was a Methodist minister. I was an evangelical Christian. When we married, I discovered only two things could we not talk about: politics and religion. The twelve years together have changed both of us, as is God’s plan. Now no topic is off limits.
The son of a good friend of mine has OCD. I watched her grief grappling with this debilitating illness. However, being removed from it, I could find the humor. She had no qualms about me creating a character with OCD—thus Cheryl Chandler’s daughter Bobbi came into existence.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I will read anything. I absolutely love suspense, especially medical, because it’s beyond my imagination to craft. My favorites are contemporary. I love a book that makes me think, that drives me to change. I don’t want the non-fiction, although I love that, too. Seeing real-to-life people act out situations I face and changing their world, inspires me.
My current favorites are anything by Tosca Lee, Havah being my favorite. I loved Gina Holmes’ Wings of Glass, Rachel Phifer’s The Language of Sparrows, Christine Lindsey’s Shadowed in Silk and Susan Meissner The Girl in the Glass. For pure fun, I loved Cathy Elliott’s A Stitch in Crime.
Not all of these are contemporary—but I loved them.
If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
It’s not so much style, but which instrument. I would be a bassoon. It’s quirky and rich (in texture and tone, not money), it’s funny and serious and complicated. I play it. Love it. That’s me.
If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?
I’d sculpt like Michelangelo. He captures depths of emotion in works like his Pieta. He understands human form and creates a world that makes me forget to breathe.
On the opposite end of the time spectrum, I’d paint like Mary Cassatt. I love her mother and children portraits. They’re not beautiful people, but the romantic idealization makes her work among my favorite.
I love people. I love exploring their nature. I love the quirks in them that drive us insane because that’s what makes humans real. Once you see beneath that surface, we are all like Michelangelo’s David or Cassatt’s mother and children works.
Probably learning the bassoon when I was in my thirties. I had never really had the opportunity to play an instrument. I dabbled, but had never played in band. One day, my best friend and I were exploring music stores dreaming of renting an instrument and learning to play. Failing to find any bassoon—the owners said no store rented them—I prayed, “Lord, if you want me to play the bassoon, You’ll have to get me one.” The next weekend I found one for ten bucks in a garage sale!
Periodically, I play in several bands now. (And the conductors actually want me there!)
What is your strangest habit?
I’m addicted to Clash of Clans. My ten-year-old grandson is obsessed with it. In order to connect with him, I downloaded the app and let him set it up. “We” played together by my letting him set up my clan, wage wars and build another kingdom.
We live 6 hours apart. In order to maintain the contact, I worked learning the kingdom ins and outs. Now, when my daughter calls, inevitably, we discuss clan strategies. I’m in a league with her and her two children. After devotions, it’s the first thing I do—build my kingdom and attack those weaker than I.
What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I grew up on suburban Long Island. A huge woods backed against our house. A farm lay down the road. It was safe and an era when neighbors looked out for neighbors. We explored the woods, dug forts, climbed trees, rode our bikes. Give me the country, and I’m in heaven. (and that is no longer Long Island).
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Redemption. I’m not talking about getting saved—although that exists within my works. I love to see broken lives healed. All my books deal with the importance of the human and the need for redemption.
We’re told to write what we know. This I know. I once was lost—but Jesus created a whole, new world for me. He returned my innocence, makes be better every year and loves me. I love books with happy endings—so I write about redemption.
Could you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you?
Jude 24-25: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. AMEN!!! (emphasis and exclamation points mine.)
Early in my walk, I was certain I committed the unpardonable sin. (Don’t ask. I’ve never been accused of being rational). I scavenged through Scripture. This one had no loopholes. And God could keep me and be happy about it!
Verse twenty-five just speaks of total adoration. My favorite hymn is the Doxology—just for the pure adoration.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Waters of Separation (entirely different in tone) is due out September 1, 2015.
Africa’s dark secrets force missionary and physician’s assistant Anna Haas to face her own tainted past in America. Halfway around the world she can’t forget her mother’s suicide that also claimed the two young sisters she had vowed to protect. Now in the Côte d’Ivoire, where cacao farms flourish and poverty abounds, Anna discovers child slavery when eight-year-old Kwame is carried into her clinic with his leg sliced to the bone.
Debauched gendarmes and a corrupt government will not only destroy their work if they interfere with the boys, but the lives of the missionaries she loves, as well. Despite the threats, her past pushes her forward to defy her husband wishes.
The story weaves from the past to the present, as the characters learn to deal with their weaknesses and the plight of the young boys, all who face the dark side of chocolate.
Thanks for sharing!
Connect with Carol McClain at her website.
Carol McClain is giving away a copy of DWF: Divorced White Female. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.