10 Questions for Carolyn Brown

Born in Texas, New York Times best-selling author Carolyn Brown currently lives with her husband in a small town in Oklahoma, the state where she was raised. In other words, she’s a dyed -in-the-wool Westerner, a status reflected in the vividly rendered settings of her humorous and heartfelt contemporary love stories, historical romances, historical novels, and women’s fiction titles. Brown got her start writing at an early age when she discovered that she could scribble down stories in her Big Chief tablet with a pencil, and from that moment on, writing books became her life’s goal. Having first published in 1999, Brown is celebrating the publication of her 90th novel, Cowboy Bold.


JOHN CHARLES: Who is Carolyn Brown?

Carolyn Brown

I am a wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, chief cook and dishwasher, and also a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today bestselling author. These days I write cowboy romances and women’s fiction with a touch of romance, but in the past I’ve also written contemporary romance as well as historical.

When I was 49 years old, someone said, “You’ve dabbled in oil paints, been a seamstress, a newspaper columnist, etc., etc., now what are you going to be when you grow up?” My answer was, “Do I have to decide today?” But the next week, I got “the call” from an editor who wanted to buy both of the books I’d submitted. I’d been trying to get a toe in the publishing world for twenty years, so it didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to be an author. That was twenty years ago. My grandmother used to say that if you’re doing what you love, whether it’s digging ditches or sitting in the Oval Office, that you’re a success. With that in mind, I’m a huge success because I love telling stories.


Tell us about Cowboy Bold.

Once upon a time, there was a sexy cowboy named Cade Maguire. Every summer, he looked forward to opening his Longhorn Canyon Ranch to underprivileged children.

Not far away from the ranch lived a flat-broke lady named Retta who needed a job very badly. She had to sell her father’s ranch and even her sweet little sports car to pay all of his medical bills. When she finds out Cade needs a bunkhouse counselor/supervisor for four little girls, she applies and gets the job. She couldn’t wait to get away from the ranch when she graduated high school, so she’s not too thrilled about working on one again, but a woman’s got to do what she has to do.

There are sparks from the first time Cade and Retta meet. He isn’t sure he can handle another heartache, and she’s pretty sure she doesn’t want anything to do with ranching, but that sexy cowboy with the pretty blue eyes definitely makes her heart beat faster. Throw in eight lovable kids and a couple of elderly folks playing matchmaker, and Cade and Retta might just figure out that they’re meant for each other.


What about the American west most appeals to you as a writer? Why do you think readers love this setting so much?

People like to read about real people in real situations who overcome real problems, and small-town situations with folks on ranches who have deep roots and emotional attachments to each other is about as real as it gets. My fans often tell me that they enjoy my books because it’s like they’re making new friends with the characters, and when the book ends, they find themselves wondering how those characters are getting along.


What quality must every cowboy hero possess in order to be successful in life?

He has to have boots, a hat, and a swagger. His heart must be as big as the whole state of Texas, and he has to love his mama. He must love, respect and treat women like they’re made of gold and always, always put their happiness above his own.


Describe your writing style in three words.

Easy-reading, emotional, family-oriented.


What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Write every single day. It may be horrible writing, but you can fix it. Writing nothing and whining about it produces nothing but frustration, so park your fanny in the chair and tell your story.


What is one romance you keep going back to as a reader?

I love LaVryle Spenser’s stories. One of the biggest compliments I ever got was when a fan said I was today’s LaVryle. Talk about an ego boost!


What is your favorite western movie of all time and what makes it so special for you?

I absolutely love Quigley Down Under. Crazy Cora is a hoot and Tom Selleck—well, let’s just say, he makes one sexy cowboy. It has everything a good romance story should have. A cowboy with a conscience, a woman to stand beside him, and obstacles by the dozens they have to overcome.


What is next for you as an author?

Cowboy Bold is the debut book in the Longhorn Canyon series. It will be followed by Cowboy Honor in September, and Cowboy Brave in January. Then there’s two more after that. In my women’s fiction world, Small Town Rumors will hit the shelves in July and The Magnolia Inn in February.


How can readers connect with you and learn more about your books?

My website

My Facebook


About the Author:

The Romance Writers of America 2002 Librarian of the Year, Charles has been reviewing romances for Booklist since 1999 and is the author of Romance Today: An A to Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance. After working for the Scottsdale Public Library System for 30 years, Charles retired and went to work for Scottsdale's independent bookstore the Poisoned Pen, where he still gets to push books but has to deal with far fewer computer questions.

Post a Comment