I’m very pleased to be able to interview Carole Warburton. I’ve known Carole for several years. She is a talented author and potter. I once rode three hours with her to a conference, and when we arrived at our destination I felt sad that the conversation had to come to an end. Every time I sit down to talk with her I leave feeling happy.
First, can you tell us just a little about yourself, as well as your background in writing.
I’m a fifty-something writer and potter. I’m living in the beautiful rural Cache Valley with my husband. I love to do anything other than work at a real job–something I’m trying to avoid by pitching books and pottery to anyone who will give me a chance. I’ve always loved writing and ever since third grade many of my teachers encouraged me. My mother wrote for the local newspaper and was a member of the League of Utah Writers. She entered a story I wrote in a contest they had for youth and it took third place. That story was passed around by my 8th grade English teacher for years and I often heard it told in our Mormon church meetings as if it were true–It was called, “For the First Time…” And was a very sappy story about an abused boy whose mean parents were killed in an accident at the end of the story. Yeah, that was what he prayed for basically. I never told anyone who read it in church that I’d written the story. I even heard it in Seminary during the devotionals and a teacher finally found out I’d written it and asked permission to publish it in a book. He wrote several books. With that early encouragement, I’ve always had a dream of being a writer. I loved that something I wrote could make an impression and even make people cry.
Tell us about your newest book.
My newest book is called Sun Tunnels and Secrets. Just like my other two published novels, it’s set in the really small town of Grouse Creek, Utah. There were about 100 people who lived there, and we were 70 miles from a real grocery store. My husband is from there, and for five years we taught school in the K-10th school with only 24 total students. We’re still friends with many of those kids. It was in many ways like one big family, with all the joys and disappointments that family brings, including squabbles. In Grouse Creek, I’d always thought that it would be a great place to write about it, but I didn’t do if until fourteen years after we moved away.
Where did you get the idea for this book?
Sun Tunnels is a land art project that was built in the 1970’s by artist Nancy Holt. Once while we were there, my husband thought it would be a good place to start a novel. I’d written my first two already and had thought that my protagonist Sam Carson could find a body, but then a friend from Grouse Creek called me and told me about three older women who ran into a guy that had been beaten and abandoned. I decided that older women would be even more fun. I advanced the age some more and made them all sisters. In my book, the three sisters are on a day outing when they stumble upon a naked dead man. It provides some humor and touchy situations. The book also has romance and suspense in it as well. Another character Tony is working in G.C. for the summer and he has feelings for a young woman who is also working there for the summer. Several of the characters have secrets and these secrets begin to unravel throughout the tale.
You have several of your other available in e-book format. Was it hard to do? What was the process you followed?
Both of my first two books, “A Question of Trust” and “False Pretenses” are available for Kindle for only 2.49 from Amazon. I used Amazon’s digital text program to upload these, but I’d already had them typeset by a professional for print copies and I had him get them ready for Kindle. Following the steps though was really easy. I haven’t yet tried to do Smashwords or other programs, but plan to. My latest book may someday be offered like that, but I don’t own the rights to it, so it’s up to my publisher. Publishers still have to pay all the production costs for editing, typesetting, promoting etc. so for them, they don’t see it as a cheaper option since the actual printing is the least of their expenses. Though, I believe it does open up another market. Not everyone wants to own every book they plan to read.
How have you used social media to promote this and other books? Do you have any tips or tricks to pass along?
I’ve loved using Facebook. It’s been such a fun way to connect with long lost family and friends, besides being a place where I can let people know where my latest book will be, or where my pottery is. Although I don’t really know everyone personally that are my FB friends, I do pay attention to what others are doing and often make comments. It isn’t all about me and I don’t want others to think I’m only trying to get them to buy something from me. But, it is a good place to market if you don’t overdue it. Even though I have a Twitter account, I haven’t been on it nearly as much. I just don’t find it as interesting. When the first two books came out the social media options weren’t available to the extent that they are now. I’m excited to be able to let people know this time around when and where I’ll be signing my next book. Blogs have also really come into being. Being a writer, I find the blog option the perfect way to tell a story. I think of it was a journal, only less personal. Others blogs, and blog tours are really a way to tell your readers more about your books. Another thing I’ve enjoyed is Goodreads. If someone I know has the similar tastes in reading as I do, I pay attention to the ratings they give books and their reviews. People were very kind about my books on Goodreads. I hope they find the new book worth talking about.
Thanks for letting me share my experiences. If you have anymore questions please let me know. My blog address is www.carolethayne.blogspot.com. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way each of my books now are on Amazon and sold with my full name Carole Thayne Warburton.