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May 8, 2012

Get to Know: Carole Spradling & Shades of Gray

Hi, Carol and welcome to the Plotting Princesses.
Can't wait to hear all about you.

What are your two favorite books of all time?  Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
Carol Spradling
 Morning, afternoon, or evening person?   Morning, morning, morning.  I love being up when the house is quiet and everything outside is waking up.  This is a great time for reflection and inspiration for the rest of the day.
Music--with or without? What kind? When I write, I prefer absolute quiet.  The story unfolds in my mind in an audible fashion, allowing me to hear everything being said between the characters.  To make sure I hear the tones and subtle innuendo, I want no distractions.
First or third POV? I write everything in third point of view.  There are a couple of authors I enjoy who write in first person point of view.  They do an extremely nice job with this style.  I'm not sure I have the finesse to pull it off. 
How's tricks? Do you juggle multiple projects?  I have recently left the publishing house I was with and become an "indie" author.  This change was a little overwhelming.  Not only was I working on three new books, all in various stages of completion, I was now in sole possession of the books I had written while under contract.  Trying to keep everything moving in a forward motion was quite a challenge.  While I did juggle everything, I would prefer to work on one project at a time. 
What's harder: beginning, middle, or the end?  This really depends on the story.  I have always known the beginning of my stories, and could write furiously for several chapters.  But I always manage to hit a wall somewhere along the way.  Sometimes it is in the middle and sometimes it is at the end.
Revisions: Love 'em or hate 'em?  Perhaps a little of both.  J  I love the freedom that comes with a first draft.  Creativity is able to ooze all over the page.  But…there are times when staring at the computer screen, I only seeing a blank page.  During those times, it is nice to go back and tweak earlier chapters.  Sometimes this will spur on a fresh idea and catapult new chapters. 
How did you come up with that title?  I was almost finished with the book before I came up with Shades of Gray.  Until that point, I referred to it as Gray.  One day, I was half daydreaming, while doodling with a scene.  I was at a critical point in the story and had to decide how dark Gray actually was.  How far would he go to combat his adversary?  My critique partner suggested that I not hold him back, but allow him to go to the full depth of his despair.  When I saw how much range of emotion Gray displayed throughout the book, I realized that he is a character with a lot of layers.  Since the color gray has many variations, I thought it would be quite fitting to name the book, Shades of Gray
 Fill in this blank: My ideal fictional hero would think me gorgeous  …regardless of who else was in the room.
What's your favorite dessert? Anything with chocolate.
Do you write at home or someplace else?  My favorite place to write is on the end of our couch, with the tv on mute. 
What's your favorite type of hero/heroine and why?  I prefer heroes and heroines who complement each other.  If a female character can defeat the bad guy on her own, why does she need the hero?          
Shades of Gray excerpt:

Her eyes stared straight ahead, seeming to focus on nothing specific.  Gray knelt in front of her, placing his materials next to his knee on the floor, keeping them within an easy reach.  With careful attention on her face, he reached up and unfastened the buttons on her nightdress.  She wobbled, but didn’t prevent the fabric from lowering down her arms.  The bulk of the flannel lay on her lap. 

Gray sat back on his haunches and studied the thin layer of cotton she still wore.  It had been his experience that women wore nothing under their nightdress when sleeping.  Not as bulky as a chemise, this light-weight material was only worn… he looked at her face.  It seemed odd that she would have it on now.  Daria’s bridal slip had not lasted for one minute after he came into their wedding chambers.

At least the blonde woman had stopped crying.  He dipped a clean cloth in the water and wrung it out.  Holding to her chin, he wiped her face, dabbing delicately around her hairline.  Bad judgment shouldn’t be held against her.

He eased his way behind her.  Red welts crisscrossed her back, but her left shoulder blade would need additional attention.  A four inch wound lay open with dry and crusted blood banking the swollen rim.  He eyed his salve, warming by the fire.  There should be enough for tonight.  He thought there was a larger container in the kitchen.

Wadding a cloth in one hand, he held the linen under the cut.  With his other hand, he wiggled the stopper free from the whiskey bottle and breathed deep.  It was impossible to prepare her for what was to come.  He tipped the bottle, dousing her shoulder with the alcohol.  She cried out, and he moved the dripping towel to her forehead.  He might as well clean her brow while the burning sensation lingered. 

“I know it stings,” he said.  “Go ahead.  Cry out if you must.  It has to be done, but there’s no reason you must suffer in silence.”

The corner of his mouth twitched and he pressed his lips together.  Her wounds would take weeks to heal, and scarring was a possibility.  He closed his eyes and pushed from his mind images of Daria.  She had not recovered in a few short weeks.

Find Carol at:

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Kelly L Lee said...

Carole, your excerpt is fascinating. Best of luck going indie! :)

Unknown said...

Gripping excerpt! Intriguing. I love these types of interviews. It reveals so much of the authors personality and style. Thank you for the insights and your book sounds emotion-packed.

Liese said...

Loved the excerpt! Good luck on the indie side!

Alisha said...

Your mysterious excerpt has me hooked!!! I wish you a gozillion sales!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Wow, Carol. Welcome to the PP and I have to say the excerpt was excellent. Am wondering if people think you are the "other" Gray book? lol

Good luck going indie.

Pamela Stone said...

Great excerpt! Grabbed my attention. Wishing you many sales.

Kathy Ivan said...

Welcome to the PP blog today, Carol.

Fascinating interview and your excerpt is evocative and emotional, I definitely want to read more.

Congratulations on going the indie route. So many authors are taking the plunge. Good luck and many sales!

Kathy Ivan said...

Oops, sorry about the fumble fingers. That should be Carole--not Carol. Brain goes faster than my fingers sometimes. LOL

Liz Lipperman said...

Welcome to PP. I knew I liked you when you said Shanna was your favorite book, You write third person, and you write on the couch. That's all me!!

Great interview. Good luck with your stories.

Carol Spradling said...

Hi everyone!

What a nice welcome. Thank you so much for your kind remarks.

Liz, where else would I write--in the office my husband designed, just for me? How anti-social. :)

Alisha, A gozillion sales! I'll take it!

Kathy, No worries. It is actually spelled without the 'e', but I have always liked the spelling better with the 'e'.

Pamela, Karen, & Kelly, I'm so glad you liked the excerpt.

Liese, Thanks! So far, I'm loving the indie side.

Vicki, I've wondered that myself many times.

Great to meet all of you,

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Carole,
I loved your excerpt! Am going now to buy the book. Good luck going indie!!

Phyllis said...

Welcome Carole!

I really enjoyed your excerpt, made me want to read more!

Good luck on going Indie, you should do well.