Just to share a little information about me, I was born in Marianna, AR. I am a proud graduate of Holly Grove High School, and I currently working toward a degree in Business Management from Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas and continuing on to a four-year college to get a degree in Business Administration.
I have one small son born in July 2007 and I have a grown son from a previous marriage who is twenty-three. I do have a full time job. I work as a Quality Auditor for a major air-conditioning company. I don't consider writing love stories as work. That is my fun time, my stress-reliever time, so when I get in from work and get my son taken care of, I relax by writing love stories.
I began my writing career in the High School, when I would hand-write my stories for my classmates to read. I'm proud to say some of those same classmates are Carrie J. Keaton readers today!
My professional writing career began in 2006 when I self-published my first book with Authorhouse. My first book, Two Loves, One Heart is an inspirational novel that explores domestic violence, love, romance, relationships, and friendships. Anyone who has ever felt the heartbreak and trials that love can bring, especially those who have experienced abusive or controlling relationships, will relate to my main character Lynnette’s journey to find true love within herself. I want to give readers hope that they can bring their lives around from the brink of devastation and despair if they have the desire to help themselves. I want to get it out there that they are worthy of being helped. This help can come from family and friends or professionally if the need be. I am speaking from experience and I am a SURVIVOR. My strong faith in God and my family helped me to find my way back from that dark and lonely place. I am thankful and truly blessed. That horrible experience has taught me that, “LOVE SHOULDN’T HURT”.
I have just completed this wonderfully, inspirational page-turner titled, Always in my Heart. Rachael Pendleton and Roman “Romey” Sinclair are two people who connected with each other and have been the best of friends since childhood. But Rachael and Romey share something else ---- a deep love for each other that neither will acknowledge. Rachael or Roman must find a way to let their inhibitions go or they could lose each other forever.
Always in my Heart
What happens when friends cross the line and become lovers? Lies fly, emotions erupt, and the stage is set for a totally uncensored, and entertaining adventure in seduction, betrayal, heartbreak, revenge, and oh-so-sweet true love. Adventure is exactly what Rachel Pendleton and Roman Sinclair go through together in my new romance novel, Always in my Heart. It is a story about the choices you make in life and the results of those choices.
True love often triumphs through the most complex of circumstances. Rachel Pendleton and Roman “Romey” Sinclair are two people who connected with each other and have been the best of friends since childhood. This special connection they share has triumphed over all else that has gone amiss in their lives. They each always knew that they would always be there for each other no matter what.
But Rachel and Romey share something else ---- a deep love for each other that neither will acknowledge for fear of ruining their long-standing friendship. Both have had relationships with other people, but they never lasted because some very important elements were missing.... true friendship, honesty, and love. When Romey ends up marrying a materialistic, self-centered woman, Rachael must find a way to let her inhibitions go or lose the man she truly loves forever.
Can best friends become lovers? Can lovers stay best friends? Absolutely! That is ---- if you are not afraid to open up your heart to love and take a chance.
What would you like readers to take away from your book?
Hopefully readers will be able to see that life is all about the choices that we make, but also they have to be able to face the good or bad results that occur from these choices. Life can often knock you down. Whenever life does sucker punch you, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go again. If you give out, don’t give up. Rest if you must and then continue on your journey.
Why did you choose to write this book?
I wrote this book to give readers a entertaining, engrossing read as well as giving them a message that they could possibly learn something from.
What did you learn while writing this book?
That friendship, real friendship, is priceless. Real friends don't tell you what you want to hear, they tell you the truth. Also, one should always be honest with yourself about your true feelings because ignoring these feelings won’t make them go away. If you feel that in your heart that you love someone or you are in love with them, I feel you should bring it out in the open. I think there is some truth to the phrase, “If you love someone let them go, if they return to you then they are yours. But if the person doesn’t return, then they weren’t yours in the first place.
What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?
My favorite scene in my book was when my character Rachel went to her best friend Romey’s wedding and allowed it to take place with no interference on her part. She sat there and watched the man that she loved marry another woman. I admired her for having the inner strength to not interfere with what he wanted to do. She wanted to give him and his marriage a chance to survive and prosper. I don’t think that many people could be that strong-willed as to watch the one they love marry someone else.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
That writing isn’t as simple as it may seem. Writers are only human and we write the best story that we can and there's a lot of thought and rewriting that goes into it and many times until the writer is satisfied with their work. I know that before I penned my first novel and would read other books, I never gave a second thought to the time that it took to get to this completed work, but I understand now. This understanding has given me greater appreciation for what others authors went through on their journey to becoming a published author. We as authors can take criticism, just do it in a constructive way. Please don't choose a public environment to trash a book. Just think about it, will this help or hurt? Never intentionally set out to hurt or try to destroy someone because that would be downright cruel.
What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?
Keep a positive and open atmosphere and attitude, learn patience, work hard, be able to accept constructive criticism, don’t spread youself too thin, to err is human, be courteous and humble to your readers, and work on acquiring agents, editors, and publicists and have them to help prepare the book for publication and market it to the masses.
What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
Trying to juggle writing, promoting, reading, and motherhood
What is something readers would be surprised you do?
I still enjoy animated movies like Beauty and the Beast and Disney Pixar Cars. These were cute, touching movies to me.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
First of all, I wish that I had recognized my writing talent before now and would have had more time to prepare myself for all that being a writer entails. I feel that I missed out so much due to the fact that I allowed too many negative people influence me to not pursue what I enjoy doing ---- writing.
Second, I didn’t know how hard it is to promote my books. To me it is much easier to write a book than to promote one.
Third, I wish that I knew my loving grandma would not be here to share my book writing/publishing experience with me because I know that she would be in my corner cheering me on no matter what.
How do you reach new readers?
There is no place you can advertise your book to as many people at once as the Internet. I will make use of my website by posting book reviews, links to where my book is sold, email link where people can send me fan mail, book signings and speaking engagements, promotions and giveaways, guestbook, and a message board, join email groups and forums created for writers and special interest groups, do search engine advertising, have author events and book signings, set-up Internet chats and offer discount coupons to the participants of the event, do virtual tours, and book trailers are just a few ways I will try to reach new readers.
If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?
Francis Ray, Brenda Jackson, and Mary B. Morrison are three wonderfully seasoned authors. I hope to someday come close to their talent in writing the wonderful stories that everyone loves to read.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do proofread your work.
Better yet, have someone else proofread your work, including your query letter. Sometimes authors are so close to their work, they cannot read what it actually says and read instead what it is supposed to say.
Don’t give up.
Dreams do come true if you make them.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Readers can visit me at my website on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/carriekeaton
and through email: email@example.com
Our theme for this month is Getting The Call. How should a writer prepare after getting the call?
Most authors would hope to get a traditional publisher because they pay for all the costs involved in taking a book from unedited manuscript to the finished product. In exchange for paying all costs, the traditional publisher will take all rights to the book and give you a small percentage of the sales (usually around 8%-10% give or take). Submitting manuscripts to a traditional publisher is a highly competitive endeavor - as there are far more manuscripts submitted than publishing houses to publish them. It is especially difficult for authors with an unproven sales history.
If you are looking for a way to put your book up for sale and forget about it, then self-publishing will be a major disappointment for you. A self-published author is heavily involved with the creation, production, and marketing of their book. Nothing significant happens without that involvement. You have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and do much of the work yourself, otherwise you will never recoup your investment.
Unfortunately, even if you land a traditional publishing contract, there is still a chance that you may have some responsibility with marketing and promoting your book.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
My next novel is called, “Not my Sisters’ Keeper.” It is sibling rivalry at its worst. Mahrissa Jackson-Thompson, the older sister and Trinitty Jackson grew apart due to the fact that Trinitty had always resented her older sister, even when the two of them were very young. It had been very difficult for Mahrissa to find the root cause of this sibling rivalry between her and her younger sister because their parents had always loved them both.
Trinitty wanted no part of Mahrissa’s sisterly love because she hated her and had harbored this resentment for years. Anything that her sister Mahrissa had earned throughout her life, Trinitty desired. She lived to get back at her sister in the cruelest most vicious way that she could.
But Trinitty’s quest for the ultimate punishment for Mahrissa comes with a very heavy price and it puts her niece Kamiah’s life at stake. Can Mahrissa get past all of the obstacles Trinitty has purposely placed before her and forgive all of her indiscretions? Or maybe Mahrissa will not be able to forgive and hold it in her heart and say that I’m ---- Not my Sister’s Keeper.
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