Hello folks! Today, it’s Carrie Sparks McClain stopping by for an author interview! Carrie is the author of DRAGONFLY (women’s fiction and secrets!) and has graciously stopped by to answer some questions!
Interview with Carrie Sparks McClain
Carrie, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed at Traveling With T!
Thank you for having me. This is so exciting!
Can you sum up the plot of DRAGONFLY in 20 words or less?
A romantic murder mystery about a woman who inherits her aunt’s lake house in a town she left behind.
How did you choose the title and the cover? I have to honestly say that the cover is really what draws me to this book!
Thank you! I am very proud of the cover. It was designed by Bryan Hufalar who works out of Huntsville, AL. I actually went to high school with his wife so when it came time to find someone to work on the cover, she “volunteered” his services. He was wonderful to work with. I simply gave him the ideas I had in my head for the cover and he ran with it. The name came to me when I was sitting on my porch early one Saturday morning, drinking coffee and working on the outline for the book. A dragonfly kept passing by until he finally landed on the table and I just sat and watched him for a moment, looked down at my page, saw the words “lake house (will name it later)”, and it clicked. I erased the phrase and wrote “Dragonfly”.
DRAGONFLY has a mystery, but it also has themes that are common in women’s fiction (family drama, relationship problems). Do you think DRAGONFLY is more mystery with a dash of women’s fiction or equal mystery/women’s fiction?
I think both play a large role in the story. For me it was important that the relationships, the mystery, and the romance all work together and intertwine with one another. The family connection is the base that leads to the mystery and conflict of the characters, but it is also the mystery that leads to the romance, the romance that leads to the discovery, and so on. Making all the pieces fit was important to telling the complete story.
Where did you draw the inspiration for the characters in DRAGONFLY? Are they based on people you know in real life?
No one character is based on any one person. They are actually based on many people that have passed through my life. I have a beloved aunt that has been my rock growing up, and I was blessed to have many close friends like Macie’s character in my life. Many of the facts about being a police officer came from a high school friend who was an officer in my hometown for a time. Even the opening scene, the prologue, is based on some of my real life adventures. My first job was keeping the books and scoreboard at the Babe Ruth field in my hometown when I was in high school, and I had a former boyfriend who chased me home one night in his Camaro. So, I draw from many different events and different people.
Do you have a writing room or a writing routine?
I actually have an office in my house, but it is also our junk room so I have never been able to really write in it. My writing space is usually an oversized armchair in my living room. I sit there with my legs crossed, my laptop front and center. I will put my ear buds in, and then set a playlist on my iPhone for whatever type of scene I am writing. I will play something upbeat if it is a fun playful scene, something romantic if there is a soft loving moment, or a heart wrenching song if the scene requires that push and pull of a relationship. Music shapes my world completely, and I work so much better when I am in that moment.
Did you know how DRAGONFLY would end or did the ending slowly reveal itself as you were writing?
I began with an outline of basic ideas, but if you were to compare the finished product with the outline you would be amazed at the differences. I knew how it would end but the “who did it” changed a time or two, and the final scene came to me as I was finishing the book. Yes, I knew the ending, but the details of how I arrived at that ending were revealed during the process.
What advice would you give to people who want to become authors?
Just write. I cannot stress that enough. I have always loved to write, but never imagined being able to write a novel. It was a New Year’s challenge for me in 2012 and after getting my first thoughts down I didn’t know what to do next, so I watched interviews and read article by authors I read and admired. The one thing many of them said was if you love to write, just do it. It doesn’t matter if you are never published. Do it because you love it, and the rest will fall into place. I couldn’t agree more.
What is next, Carrie? Can you give any hints about the next book?
Well, I have fallen in love with these characters and I don’t believe it is time to leave Walker just yet, so I can tell you that it will be a series. However, the next book, Haven, will feature two new main characters, Rachel and Gray. Rachel lived her childhood years in Walker until her mother was murdered and her father sent her and her brother to live with their aunt and uncle. Now she has returned and purchased the rundown bed and breakfast where her mother once worked. Gray is a former Marine, but before entering the service he went through the police academy with Jason and Trey, two characters from the first novel. Now, he has come to Walker looking for a police job and a quiet civilian life. But, I’m sure you can guess that life in Walker is not always quiet.
Were you intrigued by the interview with Carrie? If so, find her on Facebook!
(Helllllllllllooooooo gorgeous cover!)
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T