Oh my! What a treat y’all have in store today. And those of you who’ve read any of Caryl McAdoo’s (and Ron’s) books know what I’m talking about. Welcome, to the Diamond Mine, sweet friend. Pssst, wait ‘til we’re finished with all the chit-chat, I’m bettin’ Ms. Caryl’s going to offer a give-a-way. No scrolling to the end…just you wait!
Yay! A trip to the Diamond mine! Thank you for inviting me, DiAne. I’m so honored to be here with you today!
Q. Readers want to know, beyond the back-of-the-book biography, about the authors they read. Will you share a little about yourself and your family?
This June I will be married to the love of my life and best friend Ron fifty years! As with most marriages, not all were sunshiny with peaches and cream, but God . . . He is so faithful and constant and helped us get through all the hard times. To Him, all the glory is due! We have four children—three sons and a daughter—pretty spread out with firstborn at nineteen and baby son at thirty-two.
Before our youngest left home, at the age of fifty-two, we took in four grandsons (ages six, four, three, and newborn straight from the hospital) and reared our second set of children, so just last year, we became empty nesters at sixty-seven! We LOVE being together twenty-four/seven and usually are! To those who don’t know, we write together, too.
I’m Grami to seventeen grandsugars (one is a great). The youngest Lilly turned two this week, and the oldest twenty-nine on the same day! They’re spread from Hawaii to New York, but the majority are in the DFW area. We try to get together on Thanksgiving Day. That’s the only holiday I ask to be mine, so we usually have a crowd J
I love being creative with as many outlets as God gives me including singing new songs (YouTube channel in links below), painting, crafting, landscaping and gardening . . . oh yes, and writing of course! In 2014, after traditionally publishing ten titles, I went Indie and so enjoy working with the cover artists now and designing the interior of the books myself. So now I’m a hybrid author!
Q. Caryl, I knew you had bushel of kiddos and grandkiddos…and I’m bettin’ you have a great in that lineage. I know you’ve written a library of books—when do you find the time to write and when did you know God called you to paint canvases of words? Give us a few tidbits about your journey.
It’s fun to recall in 1962 (I was twelve in seventh grade) for an assignment of what we’d be doing in the year 2000—it seemed forever away—I wrote that I would be an inter-galactic famous author, hopping from planet to planet to sign books! But then Ron came along and I really never thought much about it until he started writing a Biblical fiction in the mid ‘80s.
Our first nine books had both our names, but when Simon and Schuster published book ten VOW UNBROKEN the editor and our agent said one name is better and the woman’s best. Ron could care less about fame and the fortune (that’s surely coming) will be his as much as mine. I suppose after fifty-two years, he trusts me not to abscond with the blessings God brings!
My first full year as an Indie, we published eleven new titles. A few were already written, and a few others started, then we wrote the rest during the year. Keep in mind, that’s eleven new covers to keep up with plus all the formatting and marketing for each—what a crazy year! Then we settled into three books for the next two which brings us to a total of thirty published!
That brings us to 2018 and another first. In January, we published TWO new titles SON OF PROMISE and SILENT HARMONY, both historicals, and we’ve set a goal of a half-million words. I have titles set for launch in May and September every year, but I can see there will be others this year—one I’m truly excited about is a Biblical fiction titled I AM MY BELOVED that features Abishag, David’s last queen that he “never knew”. See below for more on this title.
Q. I’ve read most of the books from your Buckmeyer family series, and wonder how God put this series together in your heart? Does this originate from relatives who blazed the Texas trial long before you were a glimmer in your daddy’s eye, or purely fiction?
Yes, ma’am . . . purely fiction, built one paragraph, one page, one scene at a time. Ron and I never know how a story is going to end when we start. We just followed God’s leading with each one and don’t plan much farther ahead than the next scene. We say we write for discovery. The characters of course have traits of people we know including a lot of our own. I guess all authors put themselves in their characters to a certain extent.
Q. LOL, yes, I know my Crissy character is a blend between myself, my daughter, and granddaughter. Your characters leap off the page and into the hearts of your readers because they remind us of where we came from and most important, where we’re going. Do you have a life verse that brought you to and carried you through the writing of this particular series?
“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.” Habakkuk 2:3
The Lord gave me this scripture on a Sunday morning in 1997 and confirmed it twice more that day. In my Bible, it’s dated and marked with the church bulletin—one of those confirmations. The writing is a part of the vision. God will use it for His purposes. Waiting nigh onto thirty years now, and will continue until either it comes to fruition or I get to see Him face to face.
I do believe one of the reasons all my titles have so many five-star reviews (seventy percent average with another twenty percent four-star) is due to the characters. I had such a wonderful review the other day from a new-to-me reader on SON OF PROMISE. She said she wanted to put Travis, Emma Lee, and Cody (my characters in that story) on her prayer list! That’s how real they were to her! What a compliment!
Q. When I read the last book in the Buckmeyer family series Chief of Sinners…or at least you said it was going to be the last…we all want to know what’s next? Don’t you have a new book about to be released? In any event, what’s next for one of my favorite authors? And will you give us a peek into your WIP?
I started to tell about it above—the Biblical fiction titled I AM MY BELOVED that features Abishag, David’s last queen. When writing along on this story, I often have to stop for a bit of worship—can’t see through my tears anyway—to extol the great majesty of my awesome God. My favorite thing to do of all!
He’s anointing the story. Solomon, of course, inherited Abishag. His brother Adonijah wanted her to wife after David’s death and lost his life for it. Inspiration came from the Song of Solomon, so the wisest and richest king plays a major role as well. It’s at around forty thousand words now and should be finished this month!
Ah! It’s simply an amazing story!
Does that sound braggart and vain? It doesn’t to me, because it’s God who’s given it—I didn’t make it up! Just as the songs I love that He gives me. For all the books, the songs, all the blessings of my life . . . He is due the glory! My author’s motto is “Praying my story gives God glory!”
As Edith Ann would say, “And that’s the truth!”
Q. And finally, do you have words of encouragement and hope for some of the new writers among us…words of wisdom from a lady of the Word…words that will carry them through those tough times all word weavers experience when choosing to join the ranks of brothers and sisters who spend hours and hours of time in front of their computers, and end up wondering if we truly have a call from God to write.
Don’t give up! Wait for the vision.
While you do, study to show yourself approved. Learn your craft. I have what I consider an awesome little book chock full what I learned from my mentors—tips and examples on Point of View, scene and sequel, passive versus active voice, where to open the curtain, and more—all presented in an easy-to-understand conversational format.
It’s called STORY & STYLE, The Craft of Writing Creative Fiction . . . the craft can be learned! God sent us to a read and critique group in the early ‘90s where traditionally published authors took us under their wings and mentored us. If you have the book and come up with a question. I’m available by message or phone!
DiAne, I want to thank you for inviting me to the Diamond Mine! I’ve so enjoyed visiting and would love to offer a giveaway to one of your readers! How about a print copy of VOW UNBROKEN, book one in that Texas Romance Family Saga series? I’ll randomly choose one from those who comment, answering this question:
What are you waiting for?
What are you waiting for?
Caryl will be announcing the winner of VOW UNBROKEN next Wednesday evening, February 21st.