- If you have a day job, what is it?
As much as I love to write, very little of my day-to-day activities are spent on it. I homeschool our three children, work part-time in our church’s administrative office and volunteer within two different military ministries.
- Where do you write?
We have converted our dining room into an office for me. Around my desk, the walls are lined with bookshelves and we hung tension rods with curtains in the two doorways. The family knows that when the curtains are closed I am writing and a bone better be pushing through the skin before they interrupt me.
- What was the best writing advice someone gave you?
Keep writing. I didn’t believe in my writing, didn’t see the value of it. Friends continued to push me, some gently and some not so gently, to continue writing my stories. Most of the time I’m still amazed that the first book is in print and the second one is working its way through to publication.
- What drew you to the subject of Crossing Values?
Like many first novels, Crossing Values is somewhat biographical. The heroine’s main problem is fear. Although the reasons behind my fear are very different from hers, the end result was the same: we were paralyzed by our lack of trust in others. One day I decided to kick fear to the curb. Although I still struggle with insecurity, it is nothing like what I once endured. I wanted to encourage others to this same freedom.
- Did you encounter any obstacles in researching it?
My biggest obstacle continues to be perfectionism. In fact, I put off many projects around my home because I want it to be absolutely perfect and know what I achieve will fall short. Because I chose to place the main family of the book in a logging community, my choices for location were somewhat limited. Because of other details, I finally picked Oregon, a state I’ve never visited. I wanted the book to be realistic and authentic, yet I was making guesses based on what I could find on the internet and in books.
- Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?
When I start a book, I know the big picture in very general terms. For Crossing Values, I knew I wanted a girl who was running from something in her past to run into a family who simply wanted to love her where she was. Since I write romantic fiction, I wanted a happy ending. Other than that, I create my stories one paragraph at a time, letting the characters lead the way.
- What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?
My personality tends toward being a woman of few words who simply wants to know the bottom line. I don’t need a lot of fluff, just tell me what I need to know. This helps to keep my writing tight and word count low.
- What do you consider your weakness and what strategies do you use to overcome it?
Because of this bottom line thinking, I also tend to write too little. I can leave too many details out or fail to have my characters interact with their environment. I faithfully send each chapter as it’s completed to three friends who read for flow, grammar and content. Any question they may have about the script either gets written down to address later in the book or becomes something I immediately rewrite into the chapter I just finished.
- Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book?
When I started researching publishers, I was looking for a short list of things beginning with the fact that I wanted to publish traditionally. I recognized my very limited knowledge on the whole process and knew I would need a team on my side to walk me through it. After that, my priority was that the publisher be Christian-based. I write from a biblical worldview and am not willing to compromise that. Next, I decided I didn’t want to deal with finding an agent and I wanted a shorter turn-around time. These choices condensed the list of publishers immensely.
Then I began a secondary list of preferences, things like I could use the New International Version of the Bible or a new-author percentage rate above 30%. As I write novellas, this was also an important consideration. The publisher I chose and ultimately signed a contract with, seemed the best fit.
- What would you like to learn to do that you haven’t?
I am a curious person and love to learn new things. Something that I’ve wanted to do for years, though, and have already told my husband that I really want to do once the kids are grown, is learn to fly a helicopter. I want to spend time soaring with the birds.
Over the years, Carrie’s dreams changed to include being a stay-at-home mom and a writer. Originally writing weekly devotions as a way to share what she learned with women from various military bases, Carrie decided to enroll in the Christian Writer’s Guild.
After almost ten years in the military, Carrie’s husband medically retired and they now live in central North Carolina with their three children. Besides writing fiction novels, she stays busy with homeschooling, working part time, and volunteering within two military ministries. Find out more at CarrieDaws.com.
For years, Amber traipsed around the northwest avoiding people and the skeletons in her closet. As winter plants itself across the Rockies, she decides to take a chance on a job at a logging company with a family different from any she’s ever known.
Watching the family interact creates more questions than answers for Amber. Feeling like she’s entered the happily-ever-after written at the end of fairytales, she watches for cracks in the façade. Surely the play-acting will cease and the real family will emerge.
Or could they be genuine? Could this family hold the key to what she’s seeking?