A woman after my own heart, Carol James is a romance novelist who was originally embarrassed to admit it. She’s since come to terms with her love of romance, though some of her favorite books don’t fall into that genre.
Welcome, and thanks for being here. What was the first chapter book you read?
I have always loved stories and reading. I can’t say with one hundred percent surety that this is the very first chapter book I ever read, but it is certainly one of the very first: Little House on the Prairie. I can remember being in about first or second grade and lying in bed reading early in the mornings. To me, Laura’s life was full of adventure.
The one chapter that made an impression on me was the chapter about Christmas where Mr. Edwards braves a snow storm to visit the Ingalls family. He tells of how he met Santa, and Santa was sorry he would not be able to visit the Ingalls because the weather was so bad. But he brought the girls gifts from Santa: a metal cup, a penny, and peppermint stick. I remember thinking how excited they were to receive what we would call such simple gifts. Even as a young child, the depth of their gratitude convicted me, and I wondered if my brother and I would be as excited about the extravagant, so to speak, gifts we would get for Christmas as they were about theirs. I loved being able to share their gratitude, even if it was from afar.
I remember having similar thoughts about the simple life. Was your favorite chapter book also an historical story?
My favorite chapter book was probably Little Women. I didn’t have any sisters but always wanted some. I loved the close relationship among the sisters. My favorite character was Jo—I’m sure that’s no surprise. She was so self-assured and such a risk-taker. Completely different from me. Everything I might have wanted to be, but am not. I always enjoyed crafting stories in my imagination, so I loved her creative side. As a child, I was so upset that she didn’t marry Laurie and “settled” for the old professor. As an adult, I totally get it.
Have you ever had a book recommended to you that you didn’t like?
Oh dear, I hate to admit it, but yes. Fantasy and science fiction are not my favorites. While I love The Chronicles of Narnia, I couldn’t get into any of the Hobbit stories. I’ve tried multiple times. But I do so love the movies.
If you could be part of any fiction family, which would you pick?
Thinking about contemporary families, I would probably like to be a part of the Baxter family from the Karen Kingsbury Baxter series books. Again, I always wanted to be part of a large family, which they are. And I love the support and encouragement they give each other.
Along that same line, if you could visit any fiction place, where would you go?
Even though it could be a hostile place, I would love to visit Narnia because I would love to see Aslan.
Which do you prefer: character-drive fiction or plot-driven fiction?
While a good plot is important, I definitely enjoy character-driven fiction. I can read something with a less-than-stellar plot as long as the characters are presented in such a way that I can relate to them and I find myself rooting for them.
I personally believe that most people like particular books because they form relationships with the characters. As a writer, I certainly know this is true. The other night I finished the final edits on the first novel I wrote. At the end, I burst into tears because these two people, Josh and Hope, had been a part of my life for almost ten years, and now they were leaving, moving out into book land.
What’s your favorite genre?
My favorite genre is—surprise, surprise—romance. I read to be entertained, and I do so love my happily-ever-after endings. When I first started writing, I knew I was being called to write inspirational romance. A part of me was embarrassed to say that I was a romance writer, but then God so gently reminded me that the greatest story of all time is a romance. The story of a loving Father chasing after the hearts of His children. A beautiful, redemptive romance.
Thank you so much for spending some time with us today!
To find out more about Carol and her newest release, keep reading:
Carol James is an author of inspirational fiction. She lives in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband Jim and a perky Jack Russell “Terrorist,” Zoe.
Having always loved intriguing stories with happy endings, she was moved to begin writing to encourage others as she’d been encouraged by the works of other authors of inspirational fiction.
Her debut novel, Rescuing Faith, has been a number one best seller on Amazon.
Carol enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, traveling with friends, and serving in the production department at her church. And most days, in the late hours of the night or the wee hours of the morning, she can be found bringing her newest novel to life.
Here’s more about Carol’s newest release, Season of Hope.
Hope Stockton’s life is dead, frozen in a winter of guilt, deceit, and fear. When a handsome young pastor, Josh Lewis, comes to serve in her church, she wonders if she can trust him with her past. Will he be able to help her find the answers to the secret questions that have been buried in her heart for years? Or will his own secrets drive them apart and prevent him from helping Hope find her spring of forgiveness?
Set in small-town Texas in the years during and following the Vietnam war, Seasons of Hope is a story of forgiveness and restoration.
Find Carol online at:
Purchase Links for Season of Hope:
Pelican Soft Cover: https://bit.ly/2MGgewZ
Pelican Ebook: https://bit.ly/2MGe28A
Barnes and Noble Soft Cover: https://bit.ly/2BIhkGo
Barnes and Noble Ebook: https://bit.ly/30lXZF9