Today I have author Kim Troike with me. She is a multi-talented author who goes by the pen name Caroline Clemens. She’s a novelist, a poet, journalist, and a blogger! Check out our exclusive interview where we talk about her up-coming work “Into the Vines” and ask for advice to help indie authors.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Thank you for having me on your site. I’m a mother and a nurse with a long work history in hospital care of acutely ill patients. I became a mother later in life through happenstance but always knew that’s what I wanted for myself. And it was the most wonderful thing that ever happened. I would do it all over again. My three are teens now and it does get more challenging.
I’m a goal setter, a list maker and a doer. Am I perfect? No way. I finally had time to sit down at the computer and find out what the fuss was on the internet i.e. social media. It is there I discovered poetry, writing and the arts. Earlier in life I had been involved in attending musicals, plays and theatre. Very early I was a performer in high school.
When did you get into writing?
I don’t know why, but I became driven, like I couldn’t get enough. I just loved it, music, too. So I began writing my first novella and it sucked, in a real pretty way. My English was, well, not good. The year I began was 2011. I joined an online poetry group and participated weekly. At the end of 2011, I started what I thought would be a romance novel. In 2012, I completed it and began another one in 2013 and again in 2014, continuing the story. I am now publishing this large novel of contemporary literature in January 2015. The title is “Into the Vines”.
Tell us about your inspirations?
My inspirations are Margaret Mitchell for her book “Gone with the Wind”. I absolutely love Scarlett for her enthusiasm and will, and determination to always get up. I realize her other traits weren’t so fondly seen but she used it to her advantage back in the day. Why not?
I admire my grandmother for raising a single child when it wasn’t fashionable. I’m inspired by men with a bit of humor who are respectful of women. They give me strength. This, of course, would be my father and others. They don’t feel threatened by women and see them as their equal.
I’m not worldly enough to know about or be inspired by other women. Honestly, I think we need more women heroes for young girls to look up to. We should have had a female president by now. Possibly, Margaret Thatcher, but I might have been too young to know all she did. I did like that movie they made about her.
You are a blogger, poet and a novelist. This might be tough to answer but which “creative hat” you like putting on more?
I love the poetry best, but it is grueling to put yourself out there. It extrapolates your inner core and sometimes what you mean is interpreted differently and you find yourself slapping your own forehead. But every now and then, you write a verse and the beauty sings a song to your heart. I would like it if another, felt my words, like I feel sometimes when I read a verse written 75-100 years ago or more.
The blogging is fun and takes time. I do this to help sell books and so that others get a glimpse of what I’m about. I love knowledge and freedom. It is who I am. I’d like to get on some consistent time base of posting with my two blogs this coming year. One is for sharing and poetry, and the other is news based with movies and music. Did I mention music? Music is like frosting on the cake … a wonderful and necessary addition.
The novel is the ultimate! I know now that it is hard, and you must be driven. I hope people are not writing just to put a plume in their hat. I would hate for us to ruin an awesome institution such as books.
Time is a concern for everyone these days and I believe they, the consumer, would want a certain quality before purchasing and reading. You can also load free books and ninety-nine centers. It’s good it will be a free market but right now it’s like the wild, Wild West. And I’m in it!
What kind of readers will enjoy your works?
I think young and older readers who want to escape their day and read about adventure, and what if the world really reacted that way. People who also study human interaction and why we do things that we do. My story is character driven and I have knowledge and experience with some of the aspects in the story. It does involve contemporary issues of the day from the world stage. Realism with a stretch is my best description.
Tell us about your upcoming book Sapphire Souls.
I have decided to compile the three stories, which are all related, into one large volume titled “Into the Vines”. Once I looked up the meaning of sapphire I was blown away by what I found. I felt as though this all happened for a reason. It came together with such a purpose. You will have to read to find out what I mean.
I plan to launch this book in January 2015 and do my own marketing. But it may be available sometime in December, not sure yet. It will be a print book and e-read from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
I have received two international awards for the 2nd book, Bleu Moon, but have more marketing to do to find readers. With this novel “Into the Vines” I can concentrate on just one item. There are three parts as follows: French Bleu (part one), Bleu Moon (part two), and Sapphire Souls (part three). It will be 602 pages and 176K words, so yes, it is rather large.
Do you have any advice for indie writers when it comes to Social Media? Should everyone create a blog?
Yes, I have advice as I have three to four years’ experience. Social media requires time, but I feel for me, I benefited, because it had been a while since my education. I read and consumed as much material as I could on a daily basis. I also enjoyed the interaction.
Start out, pick a name that represents you and keep it across all platforms. Pull in when you need to and realize bullies exist, avoid them.
No, not everyone needs a blog. Bloggers need readers and commenters. Actually, if you write and don’t post on your own blog you will have more time to do what is essential. Bloggers may let you have a post to tell your story. My Gardenlilie blog is for sharing and I have just started to promote others.
I may get to the point on my own path, but for now I must do all this work and know that I did everything. Then I will let the wind decide my fate. My goal is to make an income in this new field that I enjoy, as I want to keep working later in retirement.
Have you read works by Caroline Clemens yet? Let us know!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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