Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spotlight on Creativity: Carole Morden

This is the first of a series I plan to do, regular posts focusing on the many creative people I've come to know and love--authors, bloggers, photobloggers, etc. I'm starting with first-time author Carole Morden, whose debut novel, Dry Bones, is getting off to an impressive start. Carole is not only a pastor's wife, she's my pastor's wife (yes, I'm biased). I've known her for about ten years now--and lived with her and Pastor John for three months. Of course I'm going to promote her and her book!

Carole was working on Dry Bones when I first met her. I knew the first time she showed it to me that she was going to be a successful author. (Yes, I'm patting myself on the back for being able to recognize talent. So sue me.) Buy the book and you'll see I'm right. But now, let's hear what the newly-minted author has to say for herself....

Most of the writers I know realized they wanted to write at an early age. Do you recall when you knew you were a writer? What was your earliest inspiration?  

I never dreamed about writing.  That would have been a far too lofty goal.   I only knew I loved to read from the minute I read the Dick and Jane books in first grade.  Every word was so amazing to me and even as a very young girl, I read 4 to 5 books a week.   And I thought authors were to be revered.  In fact, I never went to book signings, because I thought the authors would think I was too lowly to buy their books.  So about 15 years ago I decided to write a few things and try to get them published, instead of just journaling. 

Revered? We wish. Most of us can't get recognized in the grocery store. Our families want to know when we're going to get "real" jobs. We're like the prophets. We get no respect in our own homes.

Your protagonist, Jamie, is a pastor's wife, as are you. How much of you is in Jamie? Have you used any of your personal experiences in the book?   

Not much of me is Jamie.  She has guts.  I think of things, but never do them.   She does them.   Yes, I use some experiences, things that are common to many in the parsonage.  That is mostly just background info and not plot lines.   The rest is just stuff I imagine.  

Is Dry Bones being marketed as a Christian novel? I noticed it wasn't mentioned in any of the book's tags on Amazon.  

On the book it is listed as a Christian mystery and cozy. You notice the little things.   I don’t.  But I will have to start learning.  

As a pastor's wife/church secretary/mother of three and grandmother of five, you've got a pretty hectic life. How do you find time to write?  

Early in the morning, whenever everyone else is asleep. And I only work three days a week so I usually can take a Friday or Monday morning to myself and the computer.

The Kindle edition of Dry Bones has gotten off to an impressive start. Aside from mysteries being a popular genre, to what do you attribute that? 

I think most of my friends have been such good promoters.  They post links to my book on Amazon and share my Facebook posts on a regular basis.   It is good to have people who believe in you.

This question is for your husband, John: writers are generally a quirky lot. We're considered odd ducks by normal standards. How has it been for you, living with a struggling writer and now a published author?  

John says: For twenty-five years in ministry this author stood by me in everything I did.  She stood by my side through thick and thin and now it is my turn to stand by her and be her greatest champion and cheerleader.  And yes, she is quirky.

Carole, tell everyone about the contest you announced on your Facebook page.

 I just finished a contest, but I will start one soon.   Because I do all my promotion through my Facebook author page, every time I get a new page “like” I add that person’s name in a hat.  If I can trace the source of who recommended the page, I also put their name in the hat.  That becomes the basis of who wins the next contest.  Then I also add some twist to the contest.   I am not sure what it will be next, but I might just ask you, Norma, to give me an idea.  You are always thinking.

Well, thank you, Carole, but not everybody thinks that’s such a good thing.

You mentioned that you’d considered using a pseudonym, your maiden name.  I think that was a clever idea.

At first…but I changed my mind. Marjerrison.  Just Marjerrison.  No first name.

Dry Bones is the first of a planned series, right? What’s up next for Jamie Storm?

I am about a third of the way through with Earthly Treasures.  This is based on real life hidden treasure in Montana.   A young sheriff by the name of Henry Plummer was hanged when he was about 28 (in 1864) but before that he hid a bunch of gold.  He tried to trade it for his life but wasn’t allowed to.  It is still considered one of the best hidden stashes of gold that has never been found.  Fast  forward to Jamie. She is trying to solve a cold case about a mother and son who were murdered 20 years previously.  And guess what it all ties into?  Yep, the hidden gold.   I am really enjoying writing it.  Abigail Thornbush stays but the Cliffhangers will not make an appearance in this book.  This all takes place in Montana.

Speaking of Abigail…any chance I can get you to finally tell me who was the inspiration for the old bat?

Abigail Thornbush is a conglomeration of several “Saints” but I have already had several people tell me that she is their favorite.

Good save! She is quite a character. I can see why she's getting so much attention. And it's obvious why you're getting so much attention, too, Carole. You have more guts than you realize. You stuck it out in this perpetually nutty business, after all, and you made it!

For anyone who hasn't yet read Dry Bones, it's available at Amazon.


  1. Hope she sells bunches. Congrats :-)

  2. Abigail Thornbrush is a showstopper of a name. I'm not sure the real versions of her would want to know they inspired her. Excellent interview!

  3. Prophets? Oh my. I love this woman and look forward to reading her book.

  4. @ Cheryl: Thank you!

    @ Ivy: So far, she's doing great.

    @ William: Isn't it? I've been in and out of a lot of churches, and there's been an Abigail Thornbush in every one of them (one of the reasons I never stuck around long).

    @ Eve: You'd love her and the book!

  5. Thank you all for kind comments. I am lucky to know Norma personally and it has been great for me to be able to learn.

    1. Carole, there have been a lot of page views here and at WordPress. You're a popular lady!

  6. @ Kitty & @ Lynn: I had a good subject. She's better at this than she thinks she is.

  7. Quirky is good and John sounds like a lovely hubby:) Good interview Norma.

    1. Thanks, Grace. They're both lovely people. I would have left the church a long time ago, had it not been for them.

      Carole's going to be a bestselling author one day very soon.

  8. I can't wait to pick this up and read it once my brain starts working again.
    As I said before I was so intrigued by her blog named "Dry Bones" that I stayed to read. It was a very good choice.
    Great review Norma !

    cheers, parsnip


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