Author Interview & Book Giveaway – Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele


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Willow Springs Book CoverWillow Springs

Crissa Engleson, an immigrant from Sweden, fled Boston hoping to start a new life, unknown and unencumbered, in the West. The quiet Pony Express town of Willow Springs in the Utah desert seemed the perfect spot until the intrigue of her past and rivalries of the town’s leading families envelope her. She falls in love with an Express rider, Drake Adams, but their courtship is thwarted by blackmail and treachery. Crissa must decide which is stronger: her desire for Drake, her own safety, or her love for the two young children left in her charge.

Willow Springs is written for anyone who enjoys Westerns, History, Romance or Intrigue. Men and women alike have expressed great interest in this story.


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Carolyn SteeleAuthor Carolyn Steele

Born and raised in Utah, Carolyn Steele was introduced to western novels at a very young age by her grandfather, the son of a gold miner. She has been writing technical and marketing communications for most of her adult life. Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous national magazines. She earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Utah. Married and living in Salt Lake City, Utah, Carolyn loves researching obscure history then weaving it into stories. She also enjoys family dinners with her children and grandchildren, photography, travel, golf, reading, and all forms of needlework.


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If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
I would need to reprogram it for multiple time frames in the past. I love studying obscure history, so would want to visit nearly every time period. I don’t know that I’d want to visit the future–I love surprises!
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Citron Sorbet – so refreshing!
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
Christ. How soul-filling would it be to sit at his knee and just learn how to be at peace with the world?
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
The main characters in Willow Springs are so unique that you will experience their world through their eyes–laughing, crying and loving along with them.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I have several books in the works. I’ve started character and plot development for three more historical romances: two western and one regency; a contemporary women’s fiction; and a fantasy. I’m focusing on finishing my second book, which is set along the Oregon Trail in the late 1860s.
What is your dream cast for your book?
Crissa: Scarlett Johansson
Drake: I pictured a young Sam Elliott as I wrote Drake. For a current actor, Bradley Cooper
Garth: Leonardo DiCaprio
Warren Adams: Current Sam Elliott–please, oh please! He would rock this!
Rachel Hampton: Katharine Ross
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
JRR Tolkien’s quadrilogy, “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings”
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Your characters are not an extension of you. You are unique–make them unique. Know them as well as you know yourself and let them tell the story.
If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?
Here and now. I firmly believe there is a reason for me to be where I am, doing what I am. I’m not saying that I’m destined to change the world, but I can bring joy to those within my sphere of influence. Knowledge, technology, and opportunities are expanding more rapidly today than at any other time in history. How exciting is that!! World events and attitudes are scary, but I bet that people have faced the same feelings (albeit for different reasons) throughout time. And I love where I live in Utah. I’m surrounded by the most beautiful verdant mountains you can imagine, yet just a few hours away are the incredible redrock landscapes of Arches, Bryce, and Zion national parks. Another great thing about the time we live in is that, if I do want a change of scenery, I can travel anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. Does it get any better than this?
What is your favorite Quote?
“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.” – Ben Franklin

I hope I can do both.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

An actress. This is still a secret dream. (Guess it’s not so secret anymore!) I love being able to assume different personas and be anyone to meet any situation. That was part of the fun of writing this book–being able to write through the characters’ eyes.
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
“Earthfire” – A poet laureate once wrote a poem about me and my “earthfire hair.” I think the title evokes my determination and energy.
Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
Wake up at about 6:30 and get ready for the day; work a full-time job writing marketing communications; I’m lucky to have a fitness center in my workplace, so I usually get two 15-minute fitness classes and then either walk or take a spin class during lunch; come home and fix dinner, then sit down to write until about 10:00; then I spend some time with my husband while I unwind. In between, I’ll do a bit of housework (does it ever end?), juggle phone calls from my children, take care of church responsibilities, and all of those other necessities demanding attention. I’m certainly never bored!
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
I’m a closet nerd. I love The Big Bang Theory.
Favorite places to travel?
Hawaii (Maui is my fave unless someone would like to lure me to another island); Brunnen, Switzerland; the Loire Valley of France; San Diego.
Favorite quote from a movie?
“After all, tomorrow is another day.” – Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With The Wind
Pets? – childhood or adult
I adore Shih Tzus. I have two at the moment, Xeus and Troy.?
Favorite place you’ve been and/or would like to go
I would love to go Sweden, particularly Uppsala where my grandmother was born
Who or what inspired your last book?
My grandmother, the Swedish immigrant, and my grandfather, the son of a gold miner from Calleo (formerly called Willow Springs). My grandfather actually did find gold once, while on an errand near Ely, in the same way as Drake describes in the book, but that’s where the similarities end. I had been doing geneology on my grandmother’s line one evening, and later had a dream about my grandparents that I thought might make an interesting short story. As I started writing, however, the characters took over and pulled the plot in a completely different direction.?
Do you write as you go or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?
I start with a general idea, but as the characters develop, they take over and I just start typing what they’re doing in my head.
How do you juggle writing & family life?
I work a full-time job in addition to writing and staying up with my family. My kids are grown now, but there are still constant events, phone calls, and late night gab-fests to attend to. I try to stay focused but accessible, but please don’t interpret that to mean I’m Supermom (even though I am married to the “Man of Steele”). I really try to compartmentalize where my brain is during different times of the day so that I’m not neglecting what’s important at that moment.
Do your characters really talk to you?
Absolutely! Usually when I’m in the shower or taking a walk.
Top Ten Places I Would Love To Visit Someday:
?1. Sweden
?2. Scotland
?3. Tahiti
?4. The Cotswolds
?5. Italian Hill Towns
?6. Boston
?7. Kirtland, Ohio
?8. Washington, DC
?9. New Zealand
10. Somewhere in Africa on Safari

Book Giveaway

1 copy of Willow Springs
Print copy available to US only
Ebook available Internationaly
Ends 9/16/14

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  1. I do enjoy Westerns, History, Romance or Intrigue. Thanks for doing this interview ??