Mary: I’m glad you could join us today, Caroline. Could you please tell us a bit about you? (something not on your web site.
Caroline: My sweet husband has become a house-husband since he took early retirement, and he prepares our meals and takes care of all those annoying, time-consuming errands so I have more time to write. You can easily understand why I call him Hero on my blog!
I love family history. My brother and I have almost completed a book on our father’s Johnson/Johnston/Johnstone family and some allied lines. All that’s left before sending it to the publisher is proofreading and adding a gazillion photos. My daughter is arriving early for Christmas to help me proofread.
Mary: I see that you’re a fan of Nora’s (Nora Roberts). I am also, I have a picture someone took for me at RWA Nationals of the two of us together. She is my writer role model. So tell us a bit about what your favorite Nora books are. Which ones do you recommend.
Caroline: My favorite of her series are the Chesapeake and Born In trilogies. My favorite of her stand- alone books is the one set in Montana about three half-sisters who inherit a ranch. I love almost everything she writes, but prefer those with suspense.
Mary: I agree, the Chesapeake series was awesome. I see that you write full time. What is a day in the life of Caroline Clemmons?
Caroline: As if there’s a normal day! :-) After a leisurely breakfast while my husband and I talk and watch the birds at our feeders, I check email. Then I write and/or promote for the rest of the day. Usually I skip lunch and we have an early dinner about five. After that, I often write more. I do love spending time with my Hero, so sometimes we watch a TV show or movie in the evening or just sit and read together. But--as with everyone--life often turns my plans--and our lives--topsy-turvy.
Mary: And where can her fans find her? Web site? Blog? Social Networks?
Caroline: I post three times a week on my blog, A Writer’s Life, at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com, where I have guest authors, interviews, book reviews, personal ramblings and an occasional book giveaway.
Website at www.carolineclemmons.com
Twitter: @CarolinClemmons (no E in Caroline)
Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, etc.
I’m also involved with team blogs:
On the 26th each month at http://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.com
On the 20th each month at http://slipintosomethingvictorian.wordpress.com (American Victorian)
Everyone need a stretch? Fill up your plate with goodies, and warm your hands by the fire pit and then settle back in and we’ll continue.
Mary: If you weren’t writing, is there anything else you’d be?
Caroline: Of course, I’d still read a lot, probably much more than I do now. I’d probably paint in oils on canvas and I’d engage in amateur photography more than I do now. I enjoy those, but not as much as I love writing.
Mary: What holiday do you celebrate this time of year? Do you have traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation? If so, what are they?
Caroline: We celebrate Christmas in a big, BIG way at our house! I love the anticipation, sounds, decorations, and celebrations of this time of year, and am always a bit sad when December 26th arrives. Our family tree looks forlorn with no gifts underneath, but we leave it up until at least 12th Night. As Beth Trissel said recently on her blog, “I always take the tree down before Easter, unless it’s early that year.” ;-) (Beth is such a wonderful writer and fun person.)
Family traditions handed down are the Scripture reading of the Christmas story from the Book of Luke on Christmas Eve before we pass out and open gifts. After TexMex, my husband reads the Nativity story, then we have a prayer thanking God for all He’s given us this year. Then our youngest daughter passes out gifts and we dig into our presents. Then, there are more snacks.
Another handed down tradition is the special food we serve. My mom’s divinity fudge, my aunt’s chocolate fudge, the cookies our now-grown kids love: snickerdoodles, spritz, chocolate chip, and (Hero’s favorite) oatmeal. Due to our waistlines, we try to curb our love of these treats, so I don’t make as much of each as in the past.
Mary: Do you have any new ones you’ve created since your kids were born?
Caroline: We’ve incorporated two new traditions regarding food. On Christmas Eve, we have TexMex (the favorite of everyone in our family). I grew up always having ham on Christmas Day. Our youngest is vegetarian and the other daughter doesn’t like turkey or ham. Since it’s just the four of us, on Christmas Day we take the easy road. We enjoy a lazy, late breakfast after we check out stockings. For a mid-afternoon dinner we buy Stouffer’s five-cheese lasagna and frozen cheesecake (both favorites of our daughters). No muss, no fuss, all day to enjoy one another.
Mary: You mentioned a recipe in a comment on my blog, can you share with us? I love recipes. If you read my blog you know that.
Caroline: Since I’ve slept since then, I don’t remember to which recipe I referred. ;-) I think it was the following Sweet Potato Casserole, a truly yummy dish to go with any meat. It’s from a friend who has since passed away, Doris Shelton. I am always asked for the recipe when I serve this dish or take it to a pot luck.
2 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (I used canned--easier)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 stick margarine
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix all together and pour into buttered 9 x 13 casserole and bake in 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with the following topping:
3/4 cups crushed corn flakes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 stick margarine, melted
Combine these ingredients and pour over potatoes. Return to oven for 10 minutes.
Caroline: Happy to! By the way, HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME is available in print or e-book.
Buy link www.thewildrosepress.com/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html and also at Amazon, Digi-books, and other online stores.
Mary, thank you very much for letting me visit with your readers. This has been a fun visit.
Thank you, Caroline, for joining us today. I’ve had a great time. I hope you drop by again.