Get to know you Monday--Carole Thayne Warburton

We got to know a little bit about Carole Thayne Warburton, author of Just Shy of Paradise and Sun Tunnels and Secrets last September . If you want to know her favorite food and color is check out the interview here. This time we're lucky enough to get to know her a better on a literary level.

Your top five authors: My top five authors sometimes changes, but I always love Anne Tyler, Barbara Kingsbury, Amy Tan. Anne Quindlen, John Steinbeck.

Favorite book when you were a child: My favorite books when I was really young were Little Bear Books by Sendak, Dr Suess books, and Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey Later I really loved Boxcar Children books by Gertrude Chandler Warnen, The Wizard of Oz books by L. Frank Baum, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

Book I’ve faked reading: Hmmm, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever faked reading a book, but there were lots of books that I tried to read and couldn’t get into like War and Peace by Leo Tolsoy, Les Miserables (my daughter read the unabridged version in 8th grade) so I tried to read it.

Book that changed your life: A book that changed my life in high school was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Recently a book that had a profound effect on me was Left to Tell: Discovering God among the Rwandan Holocaust by Imaculee Ilibagiza. Another recent favorite is Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Patillo Beals.

A favorite quote: Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.~ Miss Maudie from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

I like this one because for me Atticus Finch is the kind of person I would like to be like.

Book you want to read again for the first time: Book I’d want to read again for the first time would probably be Anne Tyler’s Accidental Tourist. With Tyler’s books you either love them or you don’t. When I read this book, my first of hers I wanted to immediately search for everything she’d written. After I read all on the market, I had to wait a year or two between her books. I hope she never dies—or at least doesn’t die before I do.

Book you bought for the cover: A Book that attracted me because of the cover and also didn’t disappoint was A Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

What was your first story about: One of my first actual stories I wrote in the 8th grade about a boy named Roger. Roger had abusive parents who are eventually killed in a car accident as an answer to his prayers. I look back at the story and see that it’s pretty well written for an 8th grader, but it’s funny that the story got passed out for years by my 8th grade teacher and I heard it read in seminary classes and even in sacrament meetings for talks for years. Because the teacher left my name off of the copy and told the students to write it in, it was seldom attributed to me. Years later in high school my seminary teacher was Don J. Black and he discovered I wrote the story and asked for permission to publish it in a book—he wrote books and spoke at youth conferences. I don’t know if it was ever published and I wonder if it’s still floating around somewhere. The story also won third place in a state contest for youth. However, it seems strange to me that no one seemed bothered that the abused boy’s parents are killed in an answer to his prayer.

How do you come up with your plots: I come up with plots by just thinking of a character and a scene. In all the books I’ve written, only my most recent one did I have an idea about the ending. Usually all I have is that one idea and scene. The plots grow from there. It’s a fun way to write because I feel like I’m discovering a story that is already out there.

When did you know you wanted to be an author: I knew I wanted to be an author in 3rd grade. My teacher Mrs. Tanner would give us writing assignments. Then she typed them up for us and ran them off on a ditto machine and gave them to us for Christmas. I still have that first publication with my name in it.

Most influential writing influence: My most influential writing influence would have to be my own mother. My mother wrote for the Orem Geneva Times. Journalistic writing came easily to her, but she also had a passion for creative writing and was always a member of the Leauge of Utah Writers. And she took a mail course called Famous Writers or something like that. She was always writing assignments for her course and would sometimes read her stories aloud. I thought they were wonderful. Later when she could tell I had some writing interest and talent, she would encourage me to write, attend some of the conference meetings with her, and enter contests. I remember hearing Louis Lamour speak at one of those conferences.

I had many teachers through out my entire school career who were also very influential. Maybe you were thinking authors who were influential and I’m sure I’m influenced by everything I read. I pay close attention to the writing in every book I read, but my teachers were more influential. From Mrs. Tanner in 3rd grade, Mr. Atkinson who read a story I wrote about my dad to the class in 5th grade, to Mr. Healy who had writing contests in 8th grade, to my creative writing teacher in 10th grade (can’t remember her name) Also Melodee Lambert from Orem High with her unrestrained enthusiasm for my writing to some outstanding college teachers like Ken Brewer and Helen Cannon.


  1. It's great to get to know you better, Carole. Good luck with your new book. I'm so jealous that you got to hear Louis L'Amour speak! He's one of my influences.

  2. Interesting. It's always fun to learn about writers' favorite books and their influences. Thanks!