Caroline Fyffe is in the Garden

Welcome, Caroline Fyffe photographer and author, to my home. Everyone grab a beverage of your choice and settle in. Caroline is a long distance member of the RWA chapter I belong to, Utah RWA. She’s doing a blog tour to promote her new book coming out. If you’d like to read about her and her writing success there will be an interview on Mysteries and Margarita’s blog August 5th.

Mary: Caroline, usually the interview topics here at Mary’s Garden covers things, like wine, wineries, restaurants, and travel and anything else casual. To keep in theme I’m going to ask you a couple of questions about that to begin. I know you lived in Lodi, California. (I know you moved, but can’t remember where too. So if you moved to Lodi, I’ll change it to ‘live’. And of course remove this LOL) where  some great Zinfandels are located. (check out the link to Lodi I added) Do you enjoy a good glass of wine, if so what do you like? What do you recommend?

Caroline: Hi Mary, I’m so happy to be here today.  Thank you for having me.  And to answer your question, of course!  I typically have a nice glass of chardonnay in my hand when it’s dinner time and I’m through for the day.  I have several favorites—Woodbridge and Van Ruiten Family Winery, both local to the Lodi area, and Kendall Jackson.

Mary: Do you have any fun wine or winery trip stories you can share with us?

Caroline: A couple of years ago my girlfriend and I agreed to meet for lunch in the historic gold-mining town of Sutter Creek, in the foothills of California.  After lunch, and just for fun, we ventured over to a little place on Main Street called Sutter Creek Wine Tasting.  Being the only ones there, we took our time and sipped our way through the whites and then started with the reds, finishing with the dessert selections.  Needless to say, we were having a very good time.  I tasted my first Viognier there, and liked it well enough to bring a bottle home. (I still love a good Viognier, but they’re hard to find in restaurants.) Now, after all this tasting, we visited a boutique a few doors down, where I needed little encouragement to purchase an expensive jacket for Christmas--a piece of clothing I’d never have picked out normally, a little item that resembled something the Jack of Hearts might wear. (I’m sure you can picture this! Ha! Outrageous!)

Mary: Thanks for indulging me. Oh yes, I've had my share of purchase during a delicious wine haze. Would you tell us a bit about your life? What the motivating force was that drove you to photography. Why horses? Do you take pictures of other things also? Take pictures, it sounds so mundane because your work is truly art.

: I fell into photography---really.  I’m a horse lover born and raised.  I was working in advertising at a magazine, California Horse Review, when a display advertisement was contracted for a local seminar on equine photography.  I went, and the die was cast.  After that, I started looking around and found a well-known equine photographer in Texas who offered a week long course once a year, for just six students.  That was about 20 years ago.  Since then I’ve photographed horse shows in many states, and worked for national magazines.  The job also entails going to farms and taking advertising photographs of stallions standing at stud and sometimes foals for sale. Last year, weary of travel and the hard work (did I mention it’s really hard work?  If I didn’t I should have!) I gave up shooting horse shows to have more time for writing.  Now I mostly freelance for publications like Horse & Rider magazine.  I can say I’ve enjoyed more early sunrises (the best shots come in that early light so I get to my farms early).  It’s been wonderful.

Mary: When you travel for enjoyment, where do you visit?

Caroline: I love Europe.  We've been to Italy and France and England.  But, I also love traveling in the United States too.  My husband and I have a Honda Goldwing touring bike and have gone on several three to seven day trips.  It's amazing fun to be whizzing down the road. I like to take video and then make movies.  We've gone from Lodi to Portland over to Hermiston the up to Leavenworth, Washington,  a little German town that's totally too cute.  We went and saw Sound of Music at the open theater there.  Then we shot  over to Astoria and back into California. One thing about riding a motorcycle it makes going out to dinner and that nice glass of wine so much better!  LOLO

Mary: Oh I love Astoria, one of my favorites, and it is so beautiful. Where is the one place you would visit if you could?

Caroline: Austria.  Salzburg and Innsbruck.  They're both on the top of my bucket list.

Mary: I understand you have a new book out in August, which is the reason for your blog tour. As I advised in the beginning, everyone can check the Mysteries and Margaritas on August 5th for more detail about your writing life. However, please tell us a bit about your book Montana Dawn.

Caroline: MONTANA DAWN, which was a Golden Heart Finalist in 2007, takes place in the little town of Y Knot, Montana in the late 1800s.  The McCutcheons, a cattle ranching family, have carved a dynasty from the wilderness by the sweat of their brow and honorable values.  Luke McCutcheon, the third brother and the hero of this story, is the only one who was sired by an American Indian, when his mother was taken captive.  He’s the trail boss for the once-a-year cattle drive the McCutcheons make.  When he comes upon Faith Brown giving birth in her wagon, he’s shocked to learn her little son is Faith’s only help.  He agrees to stay and deliver her child.  That’s when all the fun begins….

I love stories about big families.  I wanted to give Luke as much unconditional love as he needed to battle his own ghosts about his heritage.  John McCutcheon, the youngest brother, is introduced in MONTANA DAWN, but you don’t actually meet him until my next book, ONCE UPON A TEXAS TWILIGHT, planned for next year.

Today, in celebration of the release of MONTANA DAWN I’m offering a copy to a commenter.  Also, if you go to my website and sign up for my News Letter you’ll be entered for a basket filled with candies, chocolates, muffin mix,  a handsome coffee mug (filled with more chocolate!) and a jar of scrumptious jam, all made from the Big Sky State’s coveted Huckleberry.  Also included is an autographed copy of both MONTANA DAWN and WHERE THE WIND BLOWS.  It’s as easy as pie.   Winner will be drawn just in time for Christmas on December 10th, 2010.

Thank you for joining me today in the garden, Caroline. I have learned a lot. I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did.

I’ve had a marvelous time!  Thank you so much.  I look forward to spending time with you in Orlando at the RWA National Convention at Disney World.  It’s coming up quick.
A quick question to your followers;  If you were stranded on an island and could only have three things…What wine would you want to have along?  What snack would keep you fed?  And, what book couldn’t you live without?



msullivan said…
Caroline, I love the premise of this book. It sounds like the kind of story I love. Is Y Knot a town you made up? What a great name! Perfect for an historical.

Donnell said…
Caroline, waving hello, and I too love the premise of MONTANA DAWN. And reading this interview -- great job -- Mary, I have a question. Did you get your love of writing historical westerns from your love of horses?

Thanks very much!
Caroline said…
Good morning, Mary. You're an early-bird, yay.

Yep, Y Knot is fictional--although I'd love to go there. And it was a last minute edit. I had some confusion about the towns involved in my story and to clear that up I gave our hero a town with an unforgettable name. Besides, my husband, a retired firefighter is a knot expert. LOL So -- why not!

Thanks so much for your interest in my book and good luck in the drawing. Have you ever visited any western towns?
Caroline said…
Hi Donnell~~{{{wave}}}

Yes, I’m sure I did. I can’t seem to get through a manuscript without a horse appearing somewhere.

But, my dad had a huge love of going to old towns to explore. Being the youngest I was almost always tagging along. I think that was a big influencer too. I love to look at something old and wonder what it could tell me. Maybe I wouldn’t want to know. LOL

Thanks for coming by, Donnell. Will I see you in Orlando? (hope-hope)

msullivan said…
Caroline, I wish I was an early riser. It isn't so early up here in Toronto

I've never visited a western town, but would love to. History has such a strong allure for me. I love to read all historical time periods, Western, Regency, Medieval...

My ex-husband is a retired firefighter. They are a good breed of men. I thought that in the States they were called firemen.

Rebecca Lynn said…
Hi, Caroline. Love hearing about the wine. :-) I'm from Montana, so I always am attracted to reading books about Montana. I'll have to pick this up. Thanks so much.
Katie said…
Good morning Caroline! I didn't know that you were a photographer and I love the premise of your story. I can't wait to read it.

Keena Kincaid said…
You had me at chocolate! But I'm glad I came. I love the premise of the story, and I'm already in love with the McCutcheons that they would raise Luke as one of their own.

I've put Montana Dawn on my TBR list.
EmilyBryan said…
Mary--I love a good dry merlot. Pair that with a cheese tray, maybe a little fruit and I'm a happy camper.

The choice of which book I couldn't live without is much tougher, because I'm always on the hunt for a new favorite. I'm really loving anything by Victoria Alexander lately.

Hi Caroline! Congrats on your new release. Love the name of the town Y Knot!
Caroline said…
Mary, so we both have ex-fire fighting men! Wow! I’m not sure about the States calling them firemen because we also have a good number of women in the ranks…Hmmm ??? I’ll check that out.

Mary Martinez said…
Good Morning Caroline,
I had such fun with your interview! Can't wait for the next.

Thanks for visiting me today in the Garden.

I'll be in and out but I'll be checking in.

Caroline said…
Good morning, Rebecca, thanks for stopping by. Where in Montana are you from? All the chocolate that’s included in the launch prize basket came from there. All Huckleberry stuff. That’s big up there, right?

Thanks so much, Katie. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Woo hoo, Keena, thanks. I’m happy you like the premise. I love every one of the brothers, especially Luke. Good luck with winning all the chocolate huckleberry.

Hi Emily! I love a good merlot. And talk about cheese. Have you ever had a warm horseradish? It’s so good I can’t stop. LOL You’ve gone and made me hungry now, thanks a lot! BTW: I’m looking forward to reading STROKE OF GENIUS!!
Caroline said…
Hey, Mary! Good morning.

I had fun with the interview as well. I hadn't thought about our road trips for awhile and it put a fire under me to get riding.
Lindsay said…
I've always, or I should say used to, love your photos of horses. Since I gave up the world of riding for the world of writing I don't get to see them all that much anymore.
I love how you came up with the name of the town in Montana Dawn. Guess that one goes in my TBR pile.
So good to hear from you CF!
Hope to see you in Orlando, and best of luck with both the new books. After reading your first, I can't wait to read more of your work!

SarannaDeWylde said…
Congrats on your release, Caroline!

The choice of a book I couldn't live without would be PHANTOM by Susan Kay. I reread it at least once a year, the writing is so rich it's like chocolate mousse.

Like other commenters,I love the name of the town. Brilliant. :)
Caroline said…
Thanks so much, Lindsay!
I appreciate that very much. When you were riding was it English or western? That’s cool.


Hi Lesli,
I wouldn’t miss Nationals for all the money in the world. Well, maybe for that, but nothing else. Haha. We’ll have to get together.

Thanks for liking Where the Wind Blows. It’s my baby and will always have a place in my heart. I’m super excited for MD to make its debut next week.

BTW: How're the twins?


Hi, Saranna,
Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll have to give PHANTOM a read. If you re-read it every year it must be special. And besides, anything compared to chocolate mousse shouldn’t be overlooked! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Caroline said…
Okay, Mary, you've stoked the fire even more. I'll let you know when we have a trip planned.... ((:^D

BTW: Do you ride?
Lindsay said…
I showed Western Pleasure and horsemanship in the AQHA Senior Division. I had a Zippo grandson
Caroline said…
That's awesome, Lindsey. Do you miss showing at all?

I went to your web-site and checked out your books. They look very interesting. And, we just so happen to have the same web-designer. I love Rae!
Erin Kellison said…
Fantastic interview! I didn't know you were a photographer. That is so cool. I loved Where the Wind Blows and I can wait to read Montana Dawn. Huge congrats on the release!

Lindsay said…
No I don't miss showing. Writing is so much more enjoyable and not nearly as cutthroat and competitive.
Isn't Rae the best.
Thank you for the comments about the books. They were fun to write.
Mary Martinez said…
Ever since I read your interview I've been wanting some Viognier so guess what I picked up at the wine store for our concert tonight? A nice bottle of Voignier.

This has been a fun interview thanks again for visiting. Can't wait to see you in Orlando!
Caroline! How are you, doll? I'm so sorry I won't get to see you at National this year, but you know I'll be reading your book.

Caroline said…
Hi Erin,
Thanks so much for stopping by. And tons of thanks for loving WTWB! I equally loved your debut, SHADOW BOUND! You must be getting so excited for SHADOW FALL. That’s next week, right?


Lindsay, I totally agree. Showing and being on the road is very hard sometimes, most the time. I do miss seeing a lot of my friends though, but I’m like you and am loving working from my second story office. Life is good!


Mary, I’m so jealous. I haven’t had a good Viognier for a while. Enjoy it and think of me once when you take a sip, will you. LOL. You say you’re going to a concert? Who are you seeing? Orlando here we come!
Hi My Friend,

Loved learning something new about you today. I wish you well with your new book and all that life brings you.

I only have one wine that I enjoy but have no idea how to spell it. :( Popcorn would be a good snack and as long as the book is historical I don't have a preference.

I certainly am definite in my opinions today, aren't I? :)
Caroline said…
Gwynlyn Hello! It’s been so long since we’ve talked. How are you? I miss you. ((:^O I didn’t know you weren’t going to Orlando. I’m bummed. I always like to see which red shoes you bring along. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many in one place. LOL I love that! {{{Big hugs back!}}}
Christie Craig said…
Hi Caroline,

Wine, books and photography are my favorite subjects.

Great interview.

Caroline said…
Hi, Paisley, So good to 'see' you here. Thanks for coming by. I LOVE popcorn. I can't buy it too often because I'll just keep popping it till it's all gone.

I agree with you about historicals. I adore them!
Miss you a lot!
PS~Thanks for the good wishes! xoxo
Caroline said…
Hi, CC!

Those are three of my favorite topics too. Hey, congrats on your TWO Holt Awards of Merit! That's fantastic. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person….

See you in Orlando!
Anonymous said…
Hello, Caroline! Can't wait to read MONTANA DAWN and looking forward to book 3! Congrats again! Kayla
Colleen M. said…
As a reader and writer of historial westerns I'm always excited to see a new one published! This one sounds amazing - good luck with it!

Colleen M
Caroline said…
Thanks, Kayla, I appreciate you stopping by. Thanks for all your congrats!


Hi, Colleen--glad you like historicals, me to. Take good care!
Mary Martinez said…
Just got home from the concert. Caroline, it was Lyle Lovett. Great music! We had a good time. The wine was excellent.
Caroline said…
Lyle Lovett is one of my favorites, Mary. I'm happy it was a good time. Wanted to thank you again for having me visit today. It was really fun. Take care, my friend and I'll see you soon.

Caroline said…
CONGRATULATIONS, Rebecca Lynn! You're the winner of a signed copy of Montana Dawn. Send me your address and I'll drop a copy in the mail as soon as I have them. Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!!

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