May I first say thank you for having me visit today? I so appreciate the opportunity!
Well, as many grandparents in these days, O’Pa and I are rearing grandsons. We have two left, a twelve and fifteen year old. This will be the thirteenth year they’ve been with us. The two older brothers left last year when the oldest graduated high school and left for college. The sixteen-year-old left o live with his maternal grandparents after that grandfather fell and broke his hip; Gregory asked to so that he could help them do what Granddad couldn’t. So though we are legally old at sixty-five, we still pick up young’uns from band practice and attend teacher conferences. J
In 2008, we moved three hours from our life-long home of Irving to Red River County’s seat, Clarksville, and totally love country livin’.
Is there a story behind SING A NEW SONG?
The story behind this new novel is that it gives me a platform to showcase another gift God has given me—well, many of them, actually—in the form of ‘new songs’! He gave me the first on back in the mid ’80s, and I’ve been blessed to continue to receive them through the years. Often when I need a song to sing about something I’m going through- - -like my brain wouldn’t quit thinking of negative things when I was going through a particularily bad time, He gave me “I Will Not Dwell on Any Thoughts That are Evil”, or “I Will Trust in You” during a time when my world crumbled around me. The ‘new songs’ kept me singing.
So I created Mary Esther, my heroine, as a gifted singer in a Christian band, and she gets to introduce many of my own ‘new songs’.
Wonderful, Caryl! What is unique about the setting? How does it enhance the story?
I love this question, because when we came to Clarksville back in 2008, it was to look at a little farm house on my brother-in-love’s hunting property (882 acres), but it was too far gone—though in the book, when Mary Esther comes back, the same house is still solid and worth moving back into the woods to the thrity-four acres we ended up building our home on that is surrounded on three sides by the 882. SO we have a big back yard for the boys to play in – fishing lakes, swimming lakes, deer hunting in season and hog hunting all year round! Samuel Levi Baylor, my hero in SING A NEW SONG, and his buddy take Mary Esther hog hunting with the dogs. J fun Fun FUN! I think this surely enhances the story as I’ve ridden my horse and the four-wheeler all over this property and know it so well.
In HEARTS STOLEN, book two of my historical Christian Texas Romance series, I wrote about Charley Nightengale, a four-year-old who is born in a Commanche camp, the son of Bold Eagle who had traded for his red-headed mother when she was first pregnant with him. I had more fun with Charley than any character I’ve ever written because he’s so cute and so all-boy! I had three sons of my own and quick as we emptied that nest, the Lord filled it right back up with 4 more little boys, so I had lots of fodder!
Charley brings his little bird that he’s shot with an arrow to his mother and demands that she cook it for him. Heartborken that Bold Eagle—the only father he’s known—trades him and his mother off to the white men, Charley runs away, but Texas Ranger Levi Baylor goes after him and gets him to see the truth about the Comanche and that the boy belongs with his mother. Left with a sitter, he accosts her with a horned toad, and is all about catching the bad men on the flyers his new ‘partner’ (Captain Bay-LOR) has given him for safe keeping.
Who is the most annoying character you ever created?
This villain was introduced in HOPE REBORN, book three of that Texas Romance series, and is featured in book four, SINS OF THE MOTHERS that debuts next month. His name is Caleb Wheeler, and he’s as bad a cad as a reader has probably ever met. All through writing his character, I stayed angry with him for being so two-faced, knowing the pain he would be inflicting on such innocent hearts.
Ooooo! Sounds like a horrid person. I cannot abide two-faced people. If your stories are more character driven, what events kick off a change or growth in the character?
I believe that my stories are all about the characters. I love how using the tool of ‘deep point of view’ allows readers to so get to know the players in my stories on a personal level. I do believe that’s what’s made my series so popular, and it thrills me when I get reviews saying how much they loved the characters. It tells me I’ve done my job well. (Always by God’s grace and mercy toward me, as He’s the one gives them to me, and sent me to a wonderful writers’ workshop where I learned the craft of writing creative fiction.)
Reviews humble and make us happy, don't they? How much research do you have to do for the genre in which you write?
Very little research is necessary for the contemporary Christian Red River Romance series that SING A NEW SONG is book two in, though some is necessary as I’ve never traveled with a band or moved a house. I’m so blessed to have a husband who is a wealth of information as well as a wonderful writer in his own right.
But for the historical, I may have a whole book of research information on the early prairie days in what is now the greatest state in the history of the world! TEXAS! Ah ha ha ha ha. It’s true how Texans love Texas. The historical series starts in 1832 while it was claimed by Mexico and under the governing of President Bustamante as well as Arkansas who added the most of it to their Miller County. And then as the dates in my stories go forward, so must my research.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book, already mentioned, is SINS OF THE MOTHERS, book four in the Texas Romances series that debuts in May – next month! Mary Esther is the oldest of four daughters born to book one’s heroine and hero, Sue Baylor and Henry Buckmeyer. Blind love forces her to defy her father and run off to marry—much the same as her mother. Poor seventeen-year-old must grow up fast in the gold rush days of San Francisco. All sorts of horrible breaks befall her, and she finds herself repeating the sins of her mother and grandmother.
Thank you again for having me!
Buy the book here:
Christian, hybrid (Simon & Schuster & Indie) author Caryl McAdoo is currently writing three series, all from a perspective of faith: her historical Texas Romances; the contemporary Red River Romances; and The Generations, her Biblical fiction. The novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her, and she paints. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and fourteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying each story gives God glory, she hopes it will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.
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CARYL is giving away a copy of SING A NEW SONG. 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.