I first discovered Carolyn Miller through her regency romance novels. You all know I love me some regency romance! And I can vouch for the fact that every one of hers I've read is good. Recently, though, I've gotten to know her a little better through Inspy Romance, since we've both joined in the last year. She's definitely a lot of fun, lives in Australia, and her recently released book, The Breakup Project, has a Jane Austen lover in it! So you know I'm in. I can't wait to introduce her and her books more to you, too, so read on.
Carolyn, what first inspired you to be an author?
Ooh, what great timing to ask this question! As I’m writing this I’m watching the Winter Olympics, which is actually where my writing journey began. Back in 2010 I was watching the closing ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics when I saw an Aussie female athlete holding hands with a US male athlete as they entered the stadium. I was struck by how two people from different countries and (presumably) different sports could meet, let alone sustain a relationship, especially given the gruelling nature of their elite athlete training schedules, and all those time zone differences. Despite my best efforts, I never found out who they were, so I made up 'their' story, which became Love on Ice, about an Aussie short track speed skater (because that’s such an awesome sport!), and an ice hockey player. I had SO much fun writing their story that I wrote another one (which also just so happened to feature an ice hockey player!), and realised that writing was what I wanted to do. And now, 12 years after having written that story, I’m thrilled to finally have (a much rewritten and edited) Love on Ice out in the world!
I know you travel a lot, so tell us what is your favorite place you've visited so far? Least favorite?
My favourite place to travel? What a hard question! As an Aussie I think we’re used to traveling, and I’ve been blessed with many opportunities to visit family and interesting places around the world. One of my absolute favourite places was Dunrobin Castle in Scotland, in one of the furthest places you can get from my home town, halfway between Sydney and Australia’s capital city, Canberra. I still remember sitting in my tiny office praying to one day have the opportunity to see this amazing place, then not a year later, sitting in the beautiful castle grounds next to the North Sea thanking God that I was sitting there in my answered prayer. God is so gracious! (That castle features on the cover of my Regency novel Misleading Miss Verity!) As for least favourite? Maybe Sihanoukville, Cambodia, which my husband and I later discovered is kind of seedy, and not exactly the place to take four children under ten. :)
Oh, goodness! Is there a place you've visited that you'd like to write about and haven't yet? Or a place you've visited and know you'll never write about?
I have half written a story set in Fiji that I’d love to publish one day, and I’d also like to write about our experience in Vietnam (which we visited when my sister-in-law was living there). While we enjoyed visiting Siem Reap in Cambodia I’m not sure I’d set a story there any time soon. But never say never, right?
Definitely! How hard is it for you to switch between writing regency romance (my favorite) and contemporary romance (what I write)?
Because I actually started by writing contemporary, and had written about five contemporary books before trying a Regency, I feel like writing contemporary is fitting back into my groove. And after writing so many Regencies (I’ve now had 11 release over five years, with another, Midnight’s Budding Morrow, coming out in May, and Dawn’s Untrodden Green releasing next year) I’m loving not having to do the same types of research that writing Regency demands (right down to looking up to see whether a word was in use in that era!). So while I still have some more historicals releasing and that I’m writing, I’m really happy to see readers have been enjoying the contemporary stories that actually kickstarted my writing all those years ago.
I can definitely appreciate the desire to not do intense research. How did you come to choose to write romances with characters who are athletes? Do you have a favorite sport that inspired it?
Ooh, as I mentioned before, my writing started because I loved the toughness and resilience of Winter Olympians, and the fact that anyone of that calibre would ‘have a story’ to tell, of challenges and overcoming obstacles in their professional life as well as their personal life. Mixed with that is the interesting element of being a Christian in such a results-oriented world, which has more potential for tension, especially in finding one’s identity in Christ rather than one’s performance. I think that’s a challenge we can all identify with at times! So I have my Original Six romance series, based on players from the original six hockey teams of the NHL, which I’ve loved writing about because hockey combines toughness and skills on ice. I’ve visited four of those cities (Boston, Toronto, Chicago and Montreal) and loved incorporating some of what I saw on my trip into these stories. I learned about a Boston Bruins online Bible study which inspired my series concept of an online Bible study group of Christian NHL players, and it’s the banter and support these guys offer each other that really helps create a sense of brotherhood and connection between the stories. It’s fun to get a glimpse of ‘what happens next’ as each story continues. And maybe we can blame Carrie Underwood’s husband, Mike Fisher, for part of my love for ice hockey – and my love for creating handsome, Christian hockey players!
You had me at handsome and Christian! Which one of your characters you've written do you think is most like yourself and why?
I think the character most like myself is probably Sarah Maguire who makes an appearance in Muskoka Blue (book 6 of the Original Six series, out July 28). I actually wrote that book almost like a form of therapy after my husband burned out from church ministry, so many of the things she’s going through are very similar to my own experiences and emotions. I don’t want to give too much away, but a few hints: music, clumsiness, food droppage, and a certain mouse encounter are all things I may or may not relate to!
Interesting! And, to finish off, can you please tell us one thing about yourself that very few people know?
Something few people know is that I’ve written songs, and actually have helped produce a couple of albums. I play keyboard and songlead in church, and I’ve written dozens of songs in the past that we’ve sung in church in past years, so writing books feels like another aspect of my creativity and doing my best to honor God. I hope people can connect with the characters in my books and find them relatable and real, and through the stories (re)discover aspects of God’s grace and faithfulness, just like what I used to write about in my worship songs in church. That’s my goal: to write romance with hope, heart and humour, and reflect God’s grace along the way.
Thanks so much, Carolyn! I'm always impressed with people who can write songs. And books, too!
To know more about Carolyn and her latest release, keep reading.
New Year. New Resolution. New Romance?
What happens when the best-laid plans break a friendship?
As the twin sister of hockey’s hottest forward, romance-loving Bree Karlsson is used to being ignored, leading to a New Year’s resolution to not date any athlete in her attempt to find Mr. Right. But what happens when the man who might prove to be her personal Mr. Darcy is her brother’s hockey-playing best friend?
Mike Vaughan might be happy playing in Boston, but he’d be even happier if Bree could one day see him as more than a good friend. He agrees to help Bree with a special project in the hope she’ll finally see him as something more. But when a misunderstanding ends in a Valentine’s Day disaster, Bree realizes that her breakup project may have broken her friendship with Mike in two. Can she ever redeem her mistake?
This friends-to-more romance has plenty of heart, humor, and swoon-worthy kisses in this first book of the Original Six, a sweet, slightly sporty Christian contemporary romance series.
The Breakup Project is available from Amazon, Amazon.com.au, Apple, GooglePlay, Kobo
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and LM Montgomery, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her contemporary romance series includes the Original Six hockey romance series, and the Independence Islands series, and her historical series include the Regency Brides and Regency Wallflowers series.
Connect with her: website | facebook | pinterest | twitter | instagram
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
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