From our Northern bracket comes the strong Carole Thayne Warburton.
It's easier to choose from books I've written, so I'm going to choose Iris from my newest novel Poaching Daisies. Iris MacAfee is a lot like me, but is gutsier, wittier, smarter and more attractive than I am. From fiction I haven't written, I would have to say Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. I know the gender is wrong, but his wisdom and compassion is something I would like to emulate. Much of the rest of the town was ruled by their own bigotry and he managed to always see the best in people.
If you could co-write a book with any author who would you co-write it with?
I've long been a fan of Anne Tyler. I love her books from beginning to end because of her quirky characters and interesting plots. I would love to learn from her.
How many hours do you spend on writing a day?
This varies completely from day to day and season to season. When I'm passionately working on a novel, it may stretch up to 8 hours, but more often than not, it's much less. I like to have a 3 hour block of time though and find that is the magic number of hours for me to unleash the flow of creativity.
What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
One of the best pieces of advice I heard was from a wonderful man and writer named Ken Rand who passed away a few years ago. He said, when you are thinking of an idea for a story, the first idea is often cliche, but you take that idea and you twist it and you twist it again until it's fresh. I've loved that and found it to be very true.
How have your personal experiences affected your writing? I think if your personal experiences don't affect your writing, I wonder what you are writing about. My guess is that even fantasy writers draw from their own experiences. My first three novels are set in the tiny town of Grouse Creek, Utah. My husband and I lived and taught there for five years. While I lived there I wasn't doing much writing. In fact,it took years after we left that many of the people, setting, and flavor of the town started to shape themselves in my mind for a novel. I owe my writing career to the town because it spurred my imagination. My fourth novel was set in Paradise, (where we now live) and is about a young woman with a lot of fears and anxiety. I took my own anxiety and magnified them to create her character. The book that just came out Poaching Daisies is set in the small town of Silver Gate, Montana outside of Yellowstone. Some years ago, while we were visiting the family cabin there, we attended a local meeting where an environmental activist was talking about her passion or eradicating the oxeye daisy, an invasive species. It interested me to see the cultural clash between the environmental movement as opposed to the more conservative citizens. I loved the idea of setting a story in this town with the theme of culture clash, poaching, and the beauties of the natural world and then figuring out how to turn it all into a mystery. The results were really fun because all I had to do to come up with the "redneck" character Russ Rupert was regurgitate a lot of the rhetoric I'd heard my whole life. I wanted to show the clash between the characters and get them to come to some agreement in working together. The results are often funny and yet sometimes frightening.
How long did it take you to publish your first book after you started trying? My first book was published so easily, I took it for granted that it would always be so. After I finished the book, which took about two years, I sent it off to a publisher and heard back with in six weeks. It was published and on shelves throughout Utah within a year. Since then, the process has never gone that smoothly. I've had lots of rejection since then and found the process always takes much longer. We see success stories from friends at LDStorymakers conference and it's hard not to get discouraged when it doesn't happen. But I love the idea of not giving up because of how much time it takes. Time passes anyway, so you may as well have queries and novels in the process.
Is there a movie (gasp) that you prefer over the book version? Yes a couple come to mind. I loved the movie Holes and I saw it before I read the book. Even though the movie followed the book really well, the actors really made it sing. It's one of my favorite fun movies.
I also liked Out of Africa better as a movie and couldn't get through the book.
Another one is The Princess Bride. I know the book is great, but I have a hard time reading fantasy, but the cleverness of the movie make it one of the all time greats.
Do you write in your PJ's?
No, I don't unless it's for my blog. There's something about getting ready for the day and treating writing as work that makes me feel more productive if I'm dressed.
Do you use a laptop or a desktop for writing?
Believe it or not I just hear on NPR that novelist John Irving still writes longhand and unless she's changed recently, the last time I heard Anne Perry speak (about ten years ago) she said she writes in longhand. I use a laptop and absolutely love it. I can't imagine going back to a typewriter or writing longhand.
What is your favorite quotation?
There are too many that I love to choose one, but years ago I heard Ray Bradbury speak and he said this and I wrote it down. It has resonated with me ever since. "The best way to worship God is to celebrate life which He has given us." I also love Oscar Wilde's "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." So often we we try to be like other people instead of our authentic selves. Happiness really is being our best selves.
What is your favorite cereal?
A really good granola is hard to beat--homemade preferably.
If you were a crayon what color would you be?
Burnt Sienna. That was my favorite color in the box when I was in second grade. I'm sure now I actually like others more, but I feel loyal to my first favorite color.
Do you prefer summer or winter?
Even though I am a skier, I don't ski enough to redeem the season. In the summer, I spend a lot of time in the mountains and I get to sell my pottery at different events. I love the opportunities summer brings.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year?
I'm hoping to make my pottery business more successful.
The world would be a better place if . . .?
If everyone could follow the golden rule, treating everyone as they would want to be treated, the world would be better.
What is something you've always wanted to try?
Upholstery and furniture restoration.
|Riding her bike a few miles from her home in Avon, Utah|
|In Thayne, Wyoming which was named after an ancestor.|
|On her favorite hike--White Pine Lake trail.|
|With the grandkids on her annual birthday hike.|
|Hiking with her husband, Mick|
|With Aunt Emma Lou Thanye, author of "Where Can I Turn for Peace"|
|Hard at work in her pottery studio.|