Monday, April 8, 2013

In the Author's Seat: Carol Kilgore

Happy Monday!

In case you were wondering where I was all spring break, I was in the lovely Bahamas.
I feel quite refreshed (and tan) now, thank you very much. :)

But in more important news, I am so fortunate to have my good bloggy buddy here today!

Carol Kilgore is an award-winning author of several published short stories and many essays and articles.

You can find Carol here:

Hi, Jennifer!
I’m so happy I got to visit your blog on my tour for Solomon’s Compass, and I’m looking forward to chatting with everyone.
Great! Tell us about your book, Carol.
A missing belt—her uncle’s prized possession. The lure of buried treasure. And a sexy former SEAL who makes U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell crazy. What more could any woman want. Right?
Taylor is in Rock Harbor, Texas, on a quest to unearth her uncle’s treasure—a journey far outside the realm of her real life. There’s one glitch. Taylor's certain the buried treasure was all in Uncle Randy's dementia-riddled mind. Now he’s dead.
Former SEAL Jake Solomon is in Rock Harbor under false pretenses to protect Taylor from the fate that befell her uncle and the other members of a tight circle of Coast Guardsmen called the Compass Points who served together on Point boats in Vietnam.
Jake is definitely not supposed to become involved with Taylor. That was his first mistake. Taylor is attracted to Jake as well, but she refuses to wait for him to locate the killer when she knows her plan will force her uncle’s murderer into action.
But the killer's actions are just what Jake is afraid of.

Oooh, love it!
What do you enjoy most about writing? What part do you loathe?
I love the moment when the new idea comes, before I’ve really thought about it and it’s still full of so much promise. And I like thinking through the overall picture of the story to see how it could play out with an appropriate structure. I love writing the first draft and learning more about my characters and their stories, even though drafting the story is so hard and there are times during the process I want to tear out my hair. I also like the first round or two of revisions when I’m putting my ideas from the first draft in place, maybe moving things around, and adding in suggestions from my critique partners.
The first part of the editing process is OK, but I loathe the fine editing. I’m talking about when it’s time to search for weak words, the words I overuse, redundancies, etc., and fix the remaining frail and wobbly passages. This is when I really do pull on my hair!
From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write SOLOMON’S COMPASS?
My muse likes to work as if she’s fighting for her life and then go on vacation. I get inspiration from everywhere, and I never know when it’s going to strike. Sometimes things come so fast I can’t process them all, much less write them down. Then I may go several days without a single spark of anything.
SOLOMON’S COMPASS came from several different inspirations. I wanted to write a book about the Coast Guard, but I didn’t want it to be a procedural type of book for a few different reasons – I’m not a fan of reading those kinds of books, they require a lot of research, and most of all, the Coast Guard performs so many different kinds of jobs it would take a long series of novels to cover them all.
I also wanted to write a book about a female boat chandler, but when I started looking into that possibility, I met some roadblocks and put that idea back in the drawer. A while later, I thought “what if I write about a recently retired Coastie starting life over as a civilian.” I played with that possibility for a while and about the time I was ready to get serious, it seemed all the books I saw were starting-over stories.
Then one night I had a dream that had nothing to do with the Coast Guard but I thought it would make a good novel. The idea needed a lot of tweaking J When I started thinking about characters, I pulled out two from the starting-over story, and SOLOMON’S COMPASS took its first breath.
In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s (or heroine’s) character.  What do you like best/least about him/her?
Taylor Campbell is a confident and dedicated Coast Guard officer who places duty and loyalty above all else. As secure as Taylor is in her professional life, her personal life is in shambles. What I like best is because she’s so confident in her abilities, she believes she can tackle any task, and that can sometimes lead her down an unexpected path.
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
I’m currently working on a third book set along the South Texas Coast called Secrets of Honor. Like IN NAME ONLY and SOLOMON’S COMPASS, it’s a standalone book with a completely different cast of characters led by a strong female protagonist. Once again, the story is Crime Fiction with a Kiss. I plan to release this book sometime next year, hopefully in the spring.

Now for some fun! Your five favorites – author, actor, movie, song, quote.
Favorite Author: Lisa Scottoline
Favorite Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio
Favorite Movie: Here things get dicey. I’ve seen a lot of movies, but for the last year or two I haven’t had the chance to watch as many as I would like. There are some on my list to see that I think would fit here, too – It’s Complicated is one of them. Here are a few of my older favorites:
Men in Black
The Adjustment Bureau
The Departed
While You Were Sleeping
Favorite Song: Impossible to choose. I have several channels on Pandora with all kinds of music. I choose five or six channels, put it on shuffle, and I’m a happy woman!
Favorite Quote: Whichever one hits me right at the time. I especially like ones that say to work hard, accept responsibility, and be yourself. And ones about love.
Are you seeing that I’m a bit eclectic? I did really good to choose one favorite author and actor. Is it any surprise I blend genres in my books? I didn’t think so :)

Ha! That's okay. I'm eclectic in my tastes too! LOL

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Many happy sales!!!

How about you?
If you're a writer, what's your favorite part of writing?
If you're a reader, have you read any of Carol's books yet?



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is an eclectic selection of movies, Carol.
I'm the opposite - I like the editing phase but that first draft nearly kills me.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Wish I had productive dreams like that! Mine all seem to involve not remembering my high school locker combination lock number. :) Sounds like a terrific premise for the book--looking forward to reading it!

Nas said...

Congratulations to Carol! Love the sound of her book. Need to get it soon!

Thanks Jennifer!

Sandra Orchard said...

The book sounds really intriguing. Congratulations, Carol!
Jen, my second favorite part of writing after finishing ~wink~ is brainstorming (i.e starting a new book!)

Carol Kilgore said...

Hi guys! Sorry I'm late getting here this morning. It's Monday, and my dogs seemed to want to take advantage of that. How do they know?

Thanks for hosting me, Jennifer! I'm really happy to be here :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Alex - First drafts are hard. But fun!

Elizabeth/Riley - I don't have many productive dreams, so I try to pay attention when I do.

Nas - Hope you enjoy!

Sandra - Thank you!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Always a dream! That's how my series came to me, too.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Carol & Jennifer,

Like Carol, the nitty-gritty of editing gets me every time. I enjoy it up to the point where I feel I've read the ms 500 times.

Wishing you success with Solomon's Compass.

michelle said...

Oooh, I saw the word Bahamas and my brain went into relaxation mode...

Writer In Transit

Jessica Nelson said...

Great interview, ladies! I love the cover to your book too. It's very pretty. :-)

Carol Kilgore said...

Diane - This is the first plot that's come to me in a dream - well, part of the plot. But I've had characters arrive that way.

Joy - Those fine details just make me crazy :)

Michelle - Mine did, too!

Jessica - Thank you! I love my cover designer :)

Julie Flanders said...

I'm the same way with music and songs, it's impossible for me to choose which I like best. Pandora is a fantastic toy!

The more I learn about this book the more anxious I am to read it. Taylor sounds like such an awesome character. And a strong female lead is always welcome!

Nancy said...

I also love the first part of writing a novel. I pretty much agree with everything Carol says about that. I enjoy her choice of names for her characters.

I love the movie Frequency. The two actors are so fantastic in it. It just has so much heart.

Jessica R. Patch said...

This book looks fabulous! And I love the Bahamas, but it's been years since I've been. Glad you're back and relaxed!

Carol Kilgore said...

Julie - I love Pandora! And I love writing strong female leads :)

Nancy - I appreciate your kind words. I think Frequency has a lot of heart, too :)

Jessica - Thanks!

Shelley Munro said...

Great interview. I like writing the first draft and getting all those words on the page. Can't wait to get back to it. Fine-tuning isn't my favorite part either, Carol. I hair pull too.

Jemi Fraser said...

I loved Carol's first book and am looking forward to this one! I'm eclectic too - choosing favourites is soooooooo hard! :)

Linda G. said...

Welcome back from the Bahamas, Jennifer! And hi, Carol! *waves*

I loved IN NAME ONLY, and am really looking forward to reading SOLOMON'S COMPASS.

Carol Kilgore said...

Shelley - Thanks, Shelley. We must write in much the same way.

Jemi - Yes!!! And thank you :)

Linda G - Thanks! Waving!!

Connie Keller said...

Congratulations, Carol!!

Carol Kilgore said...

Thank you, Connie!

Helena said...

For me, editing is easier than writing, but there's no thrill to the process, while writing something well the first time and getting the scene and characters to come to life can be so exciting. Editing also reminds me of how imperfect I am as a writer, no matter how hard I try to get better.

Cynthia said...

Yay for Carol! Like Carol, I don't enjoy doing the "fine editing" of my WIP very much either.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Not sure, but I think I enjoy ALL the parts of writing. (True definition of an addict, right?) And I've read all of Carol's books. Just finished "Solomon's Compass" last night, as a matter of fact. Loved it!!!

Linda Kage said...

Ooh, Carol, I love the title Secrets of Honor. You have such good title-creating abilities!

So, Leo fan, are you anxious to see The Great Gatsby then?

Congrats on your new story! And, Jennifer, I'm so jealous of you right now. The Bahamas? That's so cool!

Carol Kilgore said...

Helena - Editing is a great humbler. And after you've made the thing the best you can, it comes back from the Real Editor ... and you only think you were humbled before.

Cynthia - Yay for you, too!

Susan - Oh, Susan, I'm so glad you liked Solomon's Compass! Thanks for sharing :)

Maybe you should find all my weasely words and wonky phrasings!

Linda K - Glad you like the title. And I am looking forward to seeing Gatsby! And how Leonardo portrays him. I love his intensity.

I'm envious of Jennifer and the Bahamas, too.

Rula Sinara said...

Great interview, Jennifer!

Hey Carol! Love that 'idea born' moment too...and the movie 'While you were sleeping'. Congrats on the new book!

Carol Kilgore said...

Hi Rula! Good to know we share traits. Thanks for the congrats :)

Sandra Cox said...

Bahamas! How fun!

Solomon's Compass sounds like a great read.

Carol Kilgore said...

I hope readers enjoy the book, Sandra. Good to meet you. I could use a little Bahamas time right about now :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Thanks for hosting me, Jennifer! I had a great time :)

kmckendry said...

Congratulations Carol! I've seen this book all over the web! Good luck.