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Monday, October 15, 2007

Interview with Robin Miller (writing as Robin Caroll)

We'd like to welcome Robin Miller, writing as Robin Caroll, to our site!

SUSAN: What was your initial reaction in finding out you sold your first book?

ROBIN: You name the emotion, and I felt it--shock, surprise, excitement, elation, fear. Yeah, fear. Because all of a sudden it dawned on me I'd just been blessed with the desire of my heart. Amazing!

SUSAN: Tell us some of the background behind the idea for your stories and about Bayou Justice.

ROBIN: Well, I'm from Louisiana, born and raised. A big portion of my family still lives there. For me, writing the bayou series has been like going "home". South Louisiana is such an unique culture. We aren't just about New Orleans and Mardi Gras and hurricanes. The people are strong and diversified. I wanted to show that.

SUSAN: I find in my own writing that I often grow alongside my characters, especially spiritually. Is there a character whom you relate to and who made an input on your life?

ROBIN: Hmmm....I think I actually related to my hero's spiritual journey more in Bayou Justice. He needed to learn to trust God. I think we all need to be reminded of that from time to time.

SUSAN: What is the number one thing you’ve learned from your writing journey?

ROBIN: LISTEN to those who are trying to help you. Trust your gut instinct. And don't give up.

SUSAN; Any future plans for your writing that you’d like to share? Any specific dreams you’d like to accomplish in the area of writing?

ROBIN: I'll be finishing up the Bayou series by the end of the year and have another series in mind for Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. I also have a couple of single titles that my agent's reviewing.

SUSAN: Because I know there are many aspiring writers out there, can you share any tidbits of wisdom on getting published, especially from someone who has just broken in?

ROBIN: If you're going to go an agent route, be sure and get one you can work with on a personal level. It IS like a marriage. Read your target's submission guidelines, and what they're looking for. Go to writing conferences....the first book in the Bayou Series was pitched to my editor at a conference. And yeah, as we've been told over and over again, the story has to grab the editor's attention! :D

SUSAN: Any writer’s resources you could recommend?

ROBIN: ACFW--the wealth of information from the members is vast and so valuable. I use Donald Maass' workbook, as well as 45 Master Characters by Schmidt in doing my character synopsis.

SUSAN: What is the process you use when writing a mystery/suspense?

ROBIN: I normally start with my characters and their internal & relationship conflict, then I plot out the mystery using the characters' particular strength and weaknesses against them.

SUSAN: What is your system to keep the story/clues organized?

ROBIN: I use ONE NOTE software. It stores EVERYTHING I need.

SUSAN: Tell us a bit about the research you had to do for this story.

ROBIN: Well, I didn't have to do research for this series. If I got stuck on something, I'd call a member of my family and just ask. LOL My brother-in-law would send me pictures of the bayou to keep me inspired.

SUSAN: You have chosen to write under a pen name. Why did you make that decision, and how did you choose your pen name?

ROBIN: Actually, there's a Robin Miller who is a writer, and I didn't want to be confused with her works. And, she already had the domain name! :D Carol is my middle name, my mother's middle name, and my eldest daughter's middle name. We just added the extra L on the end. Growing up, my mother and grandmother called me by my full name-Robin Carol, as so many in the south do. So, it wasn't a hard choice! :D

SUSAN: You’ve sold a series to Love Inspired Suspense. Any tips for other authors targeting LIS? What does a proposal HAVE to have to succeed here?

ROBIN: I don't really know! LOL For me, a good hook, character issues, a unique plot.....that's worked for me. But again, I'd suggest attending conferences and meeting with the editors in person. They'll TELL you what they like and don't.

SUSAN: As president of the American Christian Fiction Writers, you have a busy schedule! How do you fit this in with family and writing obligations? What blessings have you received from taking on this demanding job?

ROBIN: Busy?! You have no idea! LOL I'm blessed that I have a family who supports my presidency. That's vital. I'm also blessed with being able to write quickly once I've plotted a book. Amazing crit partners. A good agent. I wanted to give back to an organization that helped me more than words can express. I've been blessed by getting to know other ACFWers on a more personal level, I feel like I've been able to do some good, and the support I've gotten from members is the biggest blessing.

Thank you so much for chatting with us today Robin! To learn more about Robin’s books, check out her website. And be sure and visit our contest page for a chance to win a copy of Robin’s latest book!!


Blogger Dineen A. Miller said...

So cool to see you here, girl! Great interview. It's just too cool for words! :-)

12:55 AM  

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