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Guest author - Caroline Bell Foster

December 18th, 2013 (11:29 am)

I first met Caroline at the 2011 Festival of Romance. Aren't we all lovely? She's a grand girl, with a great sense of humour and a helluva hug. So, toots...

What inspired you to start writing?

I've always written something and as with most authors I started with my diary, it was an Anna Kay diary, with a padded cover and for a 7 year old the words was quite detailed even if the spelling was creative. In my teens I had more than one diary going at the same time. One for my innermost thoughts another for details of the day and still another of interesting things I’d seen. Looking back it's the discipline I had of writing every night that ensures the books I want to write get written.
I used to write the odd article and poem for the local paper and really that's what I was doing for many years before the unfortunate deaths of two cousins and an uncle all within a short space of time. I was living in Jamaica and looking back completely grief stricken. I used to function as normal through the day but at night I needed an outlet. That outlet was writing and 4 months later I had a 100,000 word story and a peaceful mind. I did everything you shouldn't do with that manuscript printed it off single spaced and spent a small fortune getting it bound. Luckily it was read and they looked past my mistakes called me in and we had a lovely chat. The publisher asked me to take a class and come back. So I spent a year honing my gift, surrounding myself with other writers and reading every How to Write book there was.

Do you have another job (paid or otherwise) apart from being an author? If so, how do you juggle your time?

I work part-time for an insurance giant in the evenings, and run my husbands small electrical installation company during the day. What I call my creative flow usually begins after midnight and goes on for a full four hours before I loose steam and I my writing becomes lazy. I'll sleep, do the school run then sleep some more. Some days are of course more hectic than others, but I've learnt to pace myself and spend a few minutes a day clearing my mind with meditation.

What does it feel like watching your first book fledge and leave the nest? Does it change with each successive one?

My first novel published was Ladies Jamaican which was actually the second book I’d written. That was nice as I’d written that with a bit more technical knowledge and had spent a year doing one-on-one tuition with famed Caribbean writer and journalist Wayne Brown. But seeing Caribbean Whispers and holding it for the first time was an emotional experience. It was that novel I’d written in my grief. If I hadn't gone through that dark period I may not have become the author I am today.
Seeing the hard copies on shelves in North America and the Caribbean is always nice though and I do like to go and stroke my babies' whenever I’m in Waterstones'.

Are you character or plot driven? What do you do if one of your characters starts developing at a tangent?

My mind is constantly throwing a party! I have characters knocking around and demanding to be written all the time.
My latest novel Call Me Royal is set in a Call Centre and is about those on Pod 8. It should have been about all of them, but Della kept dominating the story and becoming so complex with her emotions that I allowed her to take over. Call Me Royal is now the first part in my Call Centre Series and it has worked out very well as it became an overnight best seller in the Amazon US charts over several categories.

If you were in a tight corner and had to rely on one of your characters to save you, which would it be and why?

I'm in love with all of them and to single any of my heroes out seems almost like a betrayal, but I'd have to go with Spencer my latest only because he lives in England like me and would be able to whisk me off to his mansion in Jamaica for a much needed break. Yes, it would have to be Spencer.

If you had no constraints of time and a guarantee of publication, what book would you write?

Hellova question. I think I’m writing it now. The Call Centre series is unusual as this is the first time I've had full creative control. But I have always been fortunate. I've known my publisher for nearly twenty years. I tell them an idea over the phone or in an email and away I go until I've written it. Naturally, I'd write a novel within a 9 month period, longer than that then I’d get bored so this series is a first and I’m very excited as another character on Pod 8 has begun to dominate the story.

Is there a classic book you started and simply couldn't finish?

I've never not read a book to the end even if I found my attention wavering. It's disrespectful to the author.

What’s your favourite romance book? And why?

Does it have to be one? When I was a kid my mother used to have a series of leather bound classics from one of those promotional companies where you get one every month and it becomes a huge collection. In that collection was Lady Chatterly's Lover by D.H. Lawrence. I was very young, maybe twelve or thirteen and really should not have been reading such a provocative book at that age, but oh what a book. Even at a young age I understood how lonely and trapped Lady Chatterly was. I seem to read it every couple of years and when I go to Jamaica, I always read that same leather bound book.
I'm going to sneak in a second. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I fell in love with the scene F. Scott wrote describing the curtains blowing in the great room. The book is so descriptively perfect I just can't bring myself to watch the film.

What's your next project?

My Call Centre Series. As the first one was so popular I'm having to knock out the second faster than I usually write, but I’m loving the discipline of it all.

You can find Caroline's books here.

Call Me Royal (457x697) (2)


Posted by: rapidess (rapidess)
Posted at: December 19th, 2013 07:52 am (UTC)

Thank you for sharing :)

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 19th, 2013 12:11 pm (UTC)

My pleasure. She's a lovely lass.

Posted by: 'Author Caroline Bell Foster' ('Author Caroline Bell Foster')
Posted at: December 19th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC)

Thanks for hosting Charlie. xx

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: December 19th, 2013 02:46 pm (UTC)


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