Oh, Caryl, precious Heart”wings” Co-heart! I am SO thrilled (and honored) to feature YOU today! Thank you for “switching seats” and sharing with us!
Hello, sweet Jennifer! This is such a blessing to visit with you today! I’m so excited about my new release CHIEF OF SINNERS! Having you as a Heart”wings” Co-heart is such a blessing, and I’m so looking forward to our visit.
Alrighty. . .how about we begin at the beginning. . .when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Elementary school is when I fell in love with reading and writing. Letot in NW Dallas went from first to seventh grades, so as a twelve-year-old seventh grader (in 1962), I was assigned an essay on what I would be doing in 2000. So I wrote that I’d be an intergalactically famous author, jetting from planet to planet signing books! What can I say? NASA let me down! Ron happened to be the one who started our writing journey in the mid-eighties. And what a ride it has been!
Heeheehee, I’ll bet it’s been quite a ride!! You’ve done and written SO much! How have you stayed inspired? Are you part of a critique group or do you have a mentor?
In 1993, God led us to the DFW Writers’ Workshop where we were members fifteen years. We went every Wednesday, barely missing a handful! I highly recommend all new writers to find a good critique group. We had not one mentor there, but several published authors who taught us the craft of writing creative fiction. When we moved from the Metroplex, we founded the Red River Writers’ Workshop in Clarksville in 2010. So we mentor other writers and get great critique, too! We never would have been published without that group.
In addition to novel and song writing, are you a blogger? Does your blog have a theme?
I do blog, and my ‘persona’ is “The Word & the Music.” When I post at HeartWingsBlog or Sweet Americana Sweethearts, I always use that header and include a pertinent Scripture and a song. I have great fun as I do love both the Word and Music–Jesus!
How about your books, Caryl? I know you have a milestone coming up . . . Are your stories well outlined or are you more free form and fly by the seat of your pants?
Oh, Jennifer, I’m so blessed to be able to share my books! I never outline, though, just start writing Chapter One and keep going until The End. Ron says we write for discovery, but no one could call me a pantster even if we weren’t as I only wear dresses, so I’d have to be a skirtster I suppose! (a personal choice; love being feminine)
You are such prolific writer and this particular series is tremendous! Could you share more about this newest volume and let us share the jacket copy for CHIEF OF SINNERS to whet our readers’ appetite?
The title should give readers a little forewarning–the major characters are flawed sinners. It’s Book Ten of my (our) Texas Romance Family Saga series.
Obedience can overcome ruinous choices, and with the repentance of wicked ways, God’s faithful forgiveness and mercies never fail.
Set in the afterglow of the Azusa Street Revival, this epic addition to the Texas Romance family saga sweeps through three decades of triumphs and tragedies—from the Texas Hill Country to the beaches of Normandy and beyond.
The faithful flock to his father’s revival tent where Buddy Nightingale leads praise and worship, but like King David, the young psalmist battles a generational curse, lust. On his first night back in Marble Falls, Texas—the place he heard the angels sing fifteen years prior—he beholds Sandra Harris, a beauty attending strictly for the entertainment of the Spirit-filled meeting. Love strikes both, but her Church of Christ father wants no part of any holy roller—not for his daughter.
Sometimes choices we make take us places we never intend to go, but God . . .
Hey, you said “our” – what do you mean by that, I only see your name as the author?!?! Are you keeping something up your sleeve?
Yes, ma’am, “our” is correct. I write with my dearest Ron; he’s the reason I have such wonderful heroes! I requested he GIVE me “his part” so I could say “my” instead of “our”—being a confirmed guardian of the Truth—plus, we are one for almost fifty years (June 22, 2018)! It was our New York agent and Simon & Schuster editor who wanted one name on the cover, and said a lady’s would be best. It works well for us as he isn’t so much a marketer, more the strong, silent type!
WOW! TEN books in this series!! I’ve read several but could you give us a recap of the others in this sweeping family saga?
But of course! 🙂 It all starts with VOW UNBROKEN in 1832 which debuted in March, 2014 from S&S and introduced the patriarch Patrick ‘Henry’ Buckmeyer and his love Susannah. I wrote ‘Sue’ as I see myself, and Henry is my beloved. She’s a young widow rearing her nephew and daughter alone on the Texas prairie (on the 900 acre McAdoo Ranch—his brother’s—where Ron and I actually live). She has raised a cotton crop and needs to get her harvest to market! What a journey!
The next book is HEARTS STOLEN set from 1839-1844. The fourteen-year-old Levi in VOW is twenty-one and a Texas Ranger. He rescues his love, Rosaleen (Rose or Sassy), from the Comanche war chief Bold Eagle. As this story progressed, I couldn’t figure out how in the world God was going to work everything out. I have said through most the series, this is my favorite installment. I love this story. And God—as always—came through! Some of my readers got plenty upset with me though.
Oh! The third is one of my very faves! Is it any kind of special to you, too?
HOPE REBORN, book three (1850-1851) has maybe my favorite heroine because she was so much fun to write. She definitely took me by surprise! Ron says she’s most like me. May Meriwether is a dime-novelist bored with her New York high-society hero inspirations and travels to Texas to interview the famous Texas Ranger, Levi Baylor! She has her faults, but what can I say? I just love her!
Book four, SINS OF THE MOTHERS (1851-1853) features the first of the second generation, Mary Rachel Buckmeyer, who rebels, as many seventeen-year-olds do. She’s in love, but Daddy knows the boy’s no good for his girl. From the frying pan into the fire, the dear heroine makes one bad choice after another, but God knows the plans He has for her! Plans for her good, not for evil. What a poignant story of redemption.
Oh, Caryl, there is SO much of you (and Ron) in these wonderful novels. Hearing your descriptions gives us a real picture of how YOU are such a part of each story!
Sue and Henry’s other three daughters—Gwendolyn, Cecelia, and Bonnie—learn from their big sister’s mistakes after witnessing what they did to their father. They’ve decided in DAUGHTERS OF THE HEART (book five, 1853) to follow his rules no matter what. They cannot and will not break his heart again. And then suitors start showing up, and Daddy is totally unreasonable! Poor Henry, he only wants to figure out a way to rid himself from all the wolves stalking his happy home and his beautiful daughters!
The adorable four-year-old Charley (from book two) is all grown up and going off the war in JUST KIN (book 6, 1861-1866). I have to admit I fell in love with him way back when. He and Lacey Rose fall into all sorts of bad consequences from their poor choices. Charley’s sins affect his offspring for generations, just like it says in the Bible. Yet, he never quits loving the Lord or being the best man he knows how to e.
Phew! These are such intertwined stories! AT LIBERTY takes place in California. . .you had your characters leave your beloved Texas? Oh my!
I did! But Rebecca’s journey starts in a stage coach in Clarksville, then she boards a steamboat and goes down to the Isthmus of Panama to ride a train across the land and board another ship. Lots of research and lots of fun! Plus, I owe some allegiance to the state of my birth 😉 I was born in Long Beach, California. And talk about travel and exotic settings!
I knew we were kindreds, sister. We’re both native Californians – I was born and raised in Pasadena, CA!
Grandaddy always called me a prune picker and I always wanted dto be a Callie. After all, muy cousins were Okies and Arkies! I guess you got called a prune picker, too!
So, Book Eight COVERING LOVE (1867-1885) is all over the place! New York City, Hawaii, and the frozen tundra of Alaska come into the settings of COVERING LOVE as Henry’s children head out from Texas; one at his insistence and another with a bit of disappointment in him and rebellion. This installment is definitely a tear jerker. I bawled all through the first five or six chapters, so be sure you have plenty of tissue on hand!
OhI love stories that make me laugh and cry.
I do, too! But still . . . these people are REAL to me! And I believe they will be real to my readers, as well, based on their comments in reviews.
Six-year-old Evie is introduced and provides some comic relief in COVERING. I loveLoveLOVE writing children, and there’s a plethora of adorable little ones through this family saga. Precocious Evie Eversole so captured my heart that she got her own story in Book Nine, MIGHTY TO SAVE. It opens with Evie and Nathaniel already married and him overseas, a chaplain in the war. Another hard, hard story to write for so many reasons.
You mentioned that you and Ron wrote Book Ten twenty-five years ago. That’s a unique twist on this story, could you tell us more about this?
It’s true, we did write it when we were in our early forties. When our NY agent asked for a historical Christian romance set in the 1800s, we created the characters and simply used the last names in CHIEF OF SINNERS. We knew a lot of the ‘backstory’ in CHIEF and as time caught up with us, we used some of that as well. The main changes we made involved taking out parts we now consider way too steamy. Back then though, we were writing it for a secular market.
Okay, Caryl . . .let’s get personal now! How about sharing a few of your favorites and why they are your faves:
Author and book? Besides all those I know e’personally . . . Bodie Thoene and her Zion Covenant and Chronicles series! Color? GREEN, all my life Food? Tacos, all the basic food groups, right? When we all get to Heaven, come on by my mansion! I’m having a Taco Tree out front and I’d love to share and visit! Season? SPRING! So green! Song? Hallelujah Chorus! Movie? August Rush! Place? Jerusalem Rare or well done? Rare Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate, definitely!
Animal? Horse–Bliss (that’s me with my Bliss) Pet? Dog–Sassy Part of the day? Its end when I lay down! Coffee? Black and hot Scripture? Habakkuk 2:3 “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
How about your family and where you are living now?
I had four children (three boys and a girl) with the best husband in the world, and we’re blessed with seventeen grandsugars! We reared four brothers of those for fourteen years. We’re enjoying our first “empty nest” since we were nineteen! I’m so blessed that God brought us to Clarksville, seat of Red River County where we live in the woods on thirty-four acres at The Peaceable (the home God provided).
It’s certain that you love music, Caryl! If we took a look at your “recently played” music, who would we find?
That’d probably be Kari Jobe. She sings in my key, and her music takes me straight to the throne of God!
Our time together here has been such a blessing, Caryl! Thank you so much for your willingness to share yourself and your fabuloso Texas Family Romance Saga with us! Congratulations on this milestone and may God continue to guide and bless you!
I know we’ve probably visited past your limit! I can write a book you know, talk a book, too! Thank you so much for hosting me, Jennifer! I loved being here with you and enjoyed sharing my stories with you! God bless you, dear sister!
Caryl will be giving print copies of Book One, VOW UNBROKEN!! To enter into the giveaway, Caryl is asking that you comment and share this post! Thank you for sharing! The winners will be announced here on Monday, Sept. 11th. Please respond to this question:
Have you read Caryl’s books or is she a new author to you?