Today, please welcome author Carolyn Miller to Interviews & Reviews! Carolyn is an Inspirational Regency romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia with her husband and four children. She loves reading (especially Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer), music, films, gardens, art, travel and food. Plus, she really enjoys creating worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love. Today, she is going to tell us about her latest Regency Romance Novel Miss Serena's Secret and she has an eBook to give away to one lucky reader!
Welcome to Interviews & Reviews, Carolyn!
How long have you been writing?
I started writing back in 2010, when I watched the closing ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics and saw an Aussie competitor holding hands with a US athlete. I was fascinated about what brought them together, and despite my best efforts I couldn’t find out, so I started to write ‘their’ story. ☺ That contemporary story became one of a few I entered in various online writing contests, until one day I got the attention of a judge, who is now my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray.
That's awesome! How many books have you written?
With the release of Miss Serena’s Secret I have five books published, with another (The Making of Mrs. Hale) releasing in November 2018 and a new trilogy releasing in 2019. And there are plenty more sitting in my computer!
Do you travel to the places you write about?
I wish! As an Australian, the places I write about are literally on the other side of the world ☺ I was very fortunate (very blessed!) in 2015 to visit my sister who was living in England at the time, so I made the most of my visit, and visited many of the fabulous locations I have mentioned in my novels: London, Bath, Brighton, Edinburgh, Derbyshire, Ireland. It was a whirlwind visit, but so, so worthwhile. But I do believe it’s time to go back!
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is about a young female artist who is invited to the ancestral home of the flirtatious Viscount Carmichael, a man whose manner she mistrusts. The book examines the challenges as a man takes on unwanted family responsibilities, and those of a young woman faced with societal prejudice, and a physical condition that, should it be known, would make her quite ineligible on the marriage mart.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always enjoyed art - both viewing paintings and my poor attempts at creating – and wanted to write about what it could be like for a female wanting to be taken seriously as an artist at a time when women were rarely regarded as such. An interesting fact I discovered was that while two women were part of the founding members of England’s Royal Academy of Arts in 1768, no more women were added to their ranks until 1922. That tells us something, doesn’t it?
Wow! It certainly does. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Yes – keep writing! I spent many months tweaking my first few manuscripts, adjusting a word here or there, changing tiny details, until eventually the ‘freshness’ seemed gone. I’m a big believer in following the creative urge when it hits (because I’ve learned it can be hard to find otherwise!), and so when you have a story idea you’re passionate about, run with it! Get a rough draft down if you can, or at least some of the key scenes you love, then it’s not lost. The reason I’ve been able to release three books in 2017, 2018 and next year is because when I was finally offered a contract, I had kept writing and had enough books to offer them a series. And publishers like series! Oh, and give yourself a challenge like NaNoWriMo – nothing like treating yourself as a real author and giving yourself a deadline to write to. ☺
What are your favourite types of movies?
I’m a funny possum – I enjoy BBC costume dramas of the Pride & Prejudice kind, but I’m also a big fan of action dramas like the James Bond and Jason Bourne and Mission Impossible series. A recent film I loved was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – simply gorgeous!
One last question - how were you saved?
My parents are Christians, so I remember going to church all my life. I can’t pinpoint the actual point of conversion, but I do recall at the age of 15 deciding to follow Jesus whole-heartedly. I wanted to be a missionary to share the good news of God’s love for people – which I now get to do through my stories. ☺
God works in mysterious ways. Thank you so much for stopping by!
If you are interested in winning an ebook of Miss Serena's Secret just fill out the form below to enter. Contest closes July 19th!
How can a wounded young woman ever trust a too-flirtatious earl with her heart?
With devastating scars in her past, Serena Winthrop is sure no man can be trusted—especially not a man like the too-smooth Viscount Carmichael. His reputation as a flirt and a gambler is everything she despises. And the young artist makes sure that this disreputable heir to an earldom knows of her deep disapproval whenever they encounter one another.
Henry, Lord Carmichael, is perfectly aware of his charms. He's gambled with plenty of ladies' hearts as easily as he has with their husbands' money. But lately he's wondered if there's more to life—and if his actions might prove unworthy of an admirable wife such as his friends have found.
When Serena's guardian asks his best friend to protect his young ward, Henry promises to be on his best behavior and not woo her. But the more he learns of her, the more he realizes she might be his best reason for changing his character.
Then the lady's art leads her to London infamy. Now Henry must choose between the life mapped out for him as the earl apparent and the love of his life. And Serena's secret may mean the end of his titled family line.
This second novel in a new series by internationally popular author Carolyn Miller is full of the rich historical detail and evocative writing her readers enjoy, and familiar characters make appearances here. The witty banter will continue to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.