SMP: Callie, welcome! Tell us all about you! What would you most like your readers to know?
Callie: Although I’ve lived in several states, I’m originally from New Jersey. I’ve called the great state of Oklahoma home for several years now, which is where most of my books are set. I have two grown children, two rescue dogs, and one rescue cat. Oh, a husband of thirty-five years. He’s my biggest fan, and self-appointed publicist. I’m a voracious reader, historical and contemporary romance being my genres of choice. I also like suspense—as long as there’s some romance involved.
SMP: Are you one of those writers born with a pen in your hand and ideas flitting through your mind, or did your interest develop later?
Callie: Both. I’d been making up stories in my head to entertain myself before I fell asleep, and on long family car trips since I was very young. I always seemed to be writing something, and had a number of things published over the years, from Letters to the Editor to a short story in a magazine from Scotland. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I sat down and wrote my first book. I had just finished another romance novel where I said (out loud—I do that stuff), “I can do better than that.” And I was off and running.
SMP: How long did it take you to complete your first manuscript? Did it fly from your fingertips, or did the story emerge slowly?
Callie: Before I started my first manuscript, I bought and read “You Can Write a Romance” by Rita Clay Estrada and Rita Gallagher. Then I went through the historical romance I had just finished reading, and outlined the entire book, chapter by chapter. Then I started writing mine. It came pretty easy, actually. Of course, it was a mess, being my first book, but I’m going to be re-writing that same book later this year with the hopes of getting it published.
SMP: Tell us about your writing process. Soft lights and music? White noise? Child-and-pet confusion? Locked in a room alone? What sets your writing mood and pushes you forward?
Callie: I’m of the ‘silence’ ilk. I find it hard to focus if there’s a lot going on around me. But once in a while, I find I’m able to block everything out, and just write. Then, if I’m home, someone will ask me a question, something really important, like ‘where is the butter?’ Then like a child’s balloon, everything in my head deflates. Probably my overloaded brain as well.
SMP: Literary Inspiration: throughout your life, what novels have lifted you, made you think, “Someday I want to create something like that….”
Callie: Someday I would like to be able to create stories like Sandra Brown does. She’s my idol.
SMP: Let’s talk about romance. How do you set the mood for your characters, what do you draw from that helps your H/H achieve oneness with each other? And how much conflict do you give them, along the way?
Callie: Conflict and I are not good friends. I’ve always liked the books where the hero and heroine have some conflict, but get together about halfway through the book, and then fight an external conflict together. I’ve never liked the ‘let’s misunderstand each other, believe horrendous things about each other, and not talk about them’ type of conflict. Then all the problems resolve on the last few pages and there’s a happily ever after. I always feel cheated. I scream at the book “talk to each other!!!” right before it hits the wall. So to answer your questions, my heroes and heroines don’t have major conflicts, and rarely through the bitter end. And I generally set my mood with humor.
SMP: What aspects of the writing process do you find most challenging?
Callie: As a panster, I find the ‘middle of the book slump’ the biggest challenge. When I start, I pretty much know what I want the story to be about, but I usually let the characters lead me through the story. About the time I reach the middle, I know how I want the story to end, but need to figure out what to do to get there.
SMP: Who or what sparks the ideas for your stories?
Callie: Everything and anything. One Sunday morning I was sitting in church, and the family in front of us spoke to their daughter, whose name was Olivia. I immediately imagined a Regency story with Olivia as the heroine. I pulled out my checkbook, and ripped out a check and wrote a very basic outline of the story on the back of the check. I started that story, but put it aside to do other things. But I’ll get back to it sometime this summer.
SMP: Tell us a little about what you’re currently working on.
Callie: I just finished A Prescription For Love which is the third in my Oklahoma Lover series, following A Run For Love and A Wife By Christmas. My next project is re-writing The Elusive Wife, and then finishing a Civil War novel I started at the beginning of the year.
I have a list of the books I intend to finish this year.
I’m also excited to have An Angel in the Mail releasing May 23rd from Soul Mate Publishing.
An Angel in the Mail, set in 1861, unites newly penniless society belle, Angel Hardwick, and Nathan Hale, father of five, who is desperate for a wife to straighten his life out. Nate’s looking for someone who loves children and can easily take over the cooking, cleaning and laundry. Instead, he is getting Angel, whose culinary knowledge consists of weekly meetings with Cook to decide the family’s menu.
Angel is a strong-minded young woman, resigned to her fate, and determined to make the best of her situation. But will her new husband allow for mistakes? Or will he send her packing when she burns meals and misplaces children?
Nate just wants a peaceful, well run household, without the distraction of an attractive wife. However, his beautiful wife with a very distracting body is not giving him peace. Somebody lied, because despite what he was told by the Bride Agency, this beauty knows nothing about running a home, but she sure sets him on fire at night.
Nate and Angel have to come to a working arrangement, overcoming problems between them. But will they be able to find a happily ever after with someone desperately working behind the scenes to destroy their relationship?
Callie’s current Release:
Feisty school teacher Tori Henderson values her independence and has no use for a husband. When she finds herself the legal guardian of her two nieces, two nephews, and facing eviction from her Kansas home, she enters the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run and confronts a new set of challenges. The biggest obstacle being her new neighbor, cocky lawyer Jesse Cochran, the son of a whore—a man determined to put his past behind him and start a new life and family of his own.
Despite the undeniable attraction between them, Tori is determined to keep him at arm’s length, but a family emergency brings them together and they declare a truce. Can Jesse win Tori’s heart after a series of unplanned events, or will tragedy tear them apart forever?
SMP: Callie, thanks so much for visiting with us today!
Callie Hutton’s Website: Website: www.calliehutton.com
Callie’s wonderful historical romance, A RUN FOR LOVE, can be purchased here:
CALLIE’S GIVEAWAY! Callie will give an e-book copy of A RUN FOR LOVE to one lucky commenter! Please include your email address in your comment.