Joining me in The Loft today is romance author Caroline Clemmons. Though she is quick to point out that she was not born on a Texas ranch, Caroline writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country, where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs.
Author Caroline Clemmons
S: Welcome, Caroline! Let's begin with an obvious question. How do you define romance?
C: This question has caused endless arguments, but the question asked how “I” define romance. For me, it is when two people commit to one another in a lasting, loving relationship. If people are fortunate, they have the enduring commitment of a love that lasts through decades, problems, and meets the “cleave only unto each other… for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health… until death do you part” as outlined in various ways in the wedding ceremony.
S: That type of relationship certainly drives the romance genre. It is something many yearn for. Is that why you write romance?
C: Although I’m an eclectic reader, I prefer reading and writing romance. Romance brings hope in addition to entertaining the reader. With the news media shouting the world’s problems at us, it seems more important than ever that we have positive messages. By showing a heroine and hero who face obstacles and overcome them to achieve a happily-ever-after, I hope I demonstrate to readers that each of us can champion some of our challenges. Some of those hindrances may be of our own construction from life’s baggage but once identified can be defeated. I’m no Pollyannaish enough to believe that all our problems will cease. However, I sincerely believe reading romances not only serves as a pressure valve to help us withstand our day’s crises but also bolsters our ability to cope long-term with our difficulties.
S: I have to agree with you. I believe the fantasy that is romance provides a release, a chance to escape--at least for a while--from the stresses of everyday life. In fact, when I was studying for the bar exam, I read romance to take a break from all stress that surrounded that process.
Since we've been surrounded by ghosts and goblins all week, let's indulge in a different plane. If a paranormal invited you to host a dinner party with five guests, all departed historic figures, who would you invite?
C: Such a difficult question! Should I choose writers or rulers? What did you what evil and often bitter or that called for? Definitely Louis L’Amour, such a great storyteller. Mother Theresa, who did so much to not only help the poor, but bring them to the attention of the world. Queen Victoria, who reigned during an important time in America’s history. Agatha Christie, she created cozy mysteries that are still popular. And Tony Hillerman, his Southwestern mysteries set in Navajo country fascinate me. Imagine the conversation at this table.
S: The thought of Mother Theresa, Queen Victoria, and Agatha Christie in the same room is intriguing. Such diverse personalities! They'd even wind up carping at one another or become the best of friends.
If a genie granted you one wish, what would it be?
C: I am guessing you mean for me, personally, and not something such as world peace, cessation of hunger, etc. For that reason, I will say health for my family members. Each of us is prevented from enjoying life to the fullest by some medical problem—even though we keep on going.
S: Good health certainly does impact the quality of life.
What’s the best advice you've ever been given?
C: Don’t compare myself to other writers. This is soooo hard to remember. Author A makes a million a year, why am I making so little? Author B hit the NY Times bestseller list, why haven’t I? No, no, no! Each of us has unique gifts and experiences that combine—sometimes with pure luck—to give us our identity. Work with what I have. Repeat, repeat, repeat!
S: That's really good advice. We each have our own definition of success and that's what's important.
Tell me about your book, "Blessing."
C: Sure, here's the blurb:
With the death of her father last month, Blessing Odell inherited the largest ranch in that part of Utah, the Rafter O. She goes by the nickname Buster and wears men’s overalls but they can’t disguise her regal beauty and natural grace. She is also generous to the community, which is why she’s splitting proceeds from the sale of 100 horses with the widows of Wildcat Ridge.
Thad King has tracked stolen horses to the Rafter O Ranch. He’s determined to capture and see punished the horse thieves who beat his former employer before stealing his horses. He is successful in being hired to work on the ranch, but he doesn’t want to believe Buster Odell or her father had anything to do with stealing horses.
Convinced of her father’s innocence, Buster and Thad work together to discover the real culprit, even though it leads them on a dangerous journey.
S: Wow. That sounds like fun. Where can readers buy your book?
C: It's available on Amazon. Here's the link--
S: Caroline, thanks so much for visiting today! For more information on Caroline and her books, visit--
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Clemmons/e/B001K8CXZ6/
Next week in The Loft, author Holly Bargo!