• Dana Arpquest

Q&A wiTH Christian Author J.Carol. NEmeth

A native North Carolinian, J. Carol Nemeth has always loved reading and enjoyed making up stories ever since junior high school, most based in the places she has lived or traveled to. She worked in the National Park Service as a Park Aid and served in the US Army where she was stationed in Italy, traveling to over thirteen countries while there. She met the love of her life, Mark Nemeth, also an Army veteran, while stationed in Italy. After they married, they lived in various locations, including North Yorkshire, England. They now live in West Virginia, where, in their spare time, Carol and Mark enjoy RVing, sightseeing and are active in their church. They have a son, Matt, who serves in the US Army and a daughter, Jennifer, her husband Flint, who serves in the US Air Force, and three grandchildren, Martin, Ava and Gage. Their four-footed kid is pretty special too. Holly, a black Lab loves traveling in their RV, and when they pack up to go, she's waiting inside for them to head out.

Q: Hello Carol and thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Before we get started, what can you tell me about yourself that is not in your bio?

Hi Dana. Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share a bit about me and my writing. One very important thing that definitely helped shaped me as a person and brought me to my faith in Christ was the fact that my father was an old-fashioned Baptist preacher. From the time I can remember I was raised in church and taught the Bible. My father led me to Christ when I was six years old. I’m so thankful for that fact. As any Christian, I haven’t always remained faithful, but the Lord has always brought me back to Him and helped me grow closer to Him over time and through life’s experiences.

Q: You write Christian Mystery and Suspense Romance. Where do your ideas comes from?

I’m writing a series of books set in the National Park Service. As was stated earlier, I worked in the NPS, and I’ve brought that experience into my writing. I also wrote a book set in England where we lived for four years. So I get my ideas from the places I’ve been and from my experiences.

Q: How many books have you written and which one is your favourite? I’ve written nine books and I’m starting a new short story series that will eventually end up in an anthology. As to my favourite? Oh, my that’s a tough one. I suppose I would have to say my debut novel because I spent the most time with that one and the characters. It took over 26 years before the Lord decided to send the right publisher along to publish it. I was rejected quite a few times before Winged Publications took a chance. I finally came to the realization that it was God’s time, not mine, and He would see it done when He was ready. And He did. I did many revisions on this book and the characters in this book are special to me.

Q: Should your books be read in a certain order?

Most of them, yes. There is a prequel to the Faith in the Parks series, Dedication to Love, that gives the backstory, then comes Mountain of Peril, Faith in the Parks Book 1 and Canyon of Death, Faith in the Parks Book 2, then A Beacon of Love, the next Prequel, then Ocean of Fear, Faith in the Parks Book 3, and finally Glacier of Secrets, Faith in the Parks Book 4. Book 5 will be coming in 2021. The other three books that I have written aren’t part of the series and can be read separately.

Q: What do you hope your readers to take out from your books? That God’s love and grace is free and available to all who will receive it. I try not to be preachy in my writing. I just want my characters to exhibit that love and grace. Some of them need it and seek it.

Q: What is your favourite trope in romance? And do you choose the trope before writing or does it come alive as your story develops?

I suppose one of my favourite romance tropes would have to be new co-workers due to the fact that in the Park Service these guys and gals are working together, sometimes pretty closely. However, I don’t really think about the trope. I suppose it comes alive as the story develops.

Q: How do you come up with the titles for your books?

I use what’s happening in the story to create the title. In my Park Service series, since it’s romantic suspense, I’ve tried to keep the titles similar while using what’s happening in the stories. For example, Mountain of Peril, Canyon of Death, Ocean of Fear, and Glacier of Secrets. Each book takes place in a different park. Mountain of Peril takes place in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Canyon of Death in the Grand Canyon National Park, Ocean of Fear at Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Glacier of Secrets at Denali National Park.

Q: Are you planning to write more books in the Faith in the Park series or are you planning a new series?

I have one more book to write in this series. The title will be Battlefield of Deceit and takes place at Gettysburg National Battlefield. After that I have another book to write for my publisher that’s part of a series with other authors in Winged Publications. When that’s finished, I’ll begin a new series. I’m still in the brain storming stages of that one, and since it’s two novels away, I have some time.

Q: What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on the first in a short story series that takes place at Oak Ridge, TN where the Manhattan Project took place in 1943. This short story will be complimentary to those who subscribe to my newsletter. In a few months I’ll have the second in the series and will also be complimentary to new subscribers and so on through five short stories. Folks can subscribe at my website which I’ve given you below. Once the story changes, it can also be purchased on Amazon for .99.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer? When did you write your first novel? Can you tell us about it?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since junior high school. That’s when I started writing, and I wrote a lot, but I didn’t actually finish a novel until Yorkshire Lass, my debut novel with Winged Publications. I began that back when we lived in England when my daughter was a baby. She just turned 30. Yorkshire Lass was published in 2016.

Q: Do you prefer writing short stories or full novel? And why?

I’ve found that while I enjoy writing short stories but I much prefer full-length novels. I have the freedom to express myself more and to go into more detail. I love doing research, and I can use it more in a full-length novel. However, having said that, I am using research to write my short story series set in Oak Ridge, TN.

Q: Can you tell us about your writing routine?

I prefer to write in the morning when I’m fresh so I like to get started when my husband heads to work. My personal goal is 1500 words a day, but as long as I don’t have an appointment or have to get groceries or other interruptions, I can sometimes make 3500-4000 a day. It’s easy for me to skip lunch and that’s not good for me. I have to make myself stop and eat something.

Q: What is your favourite part of writing/ publishing?

Just sitting and allowing the words to flow. So far, knock on wood, the Lord has blessed me, and I don’t generally have a problem with writer’s block. Before I begin, I pray and ask Him to give me the words He would have me to write. I don’t ever want anything to be written that would be contrary to His will. I want it all to bring honor and glory to Him. He surprises me sometimes with what He gives me. When I was writing Glacier of Secrets, I only knew who one of the bad guys was and it wasn’t until near the end that He gave me the other one. It was like a light switch flipped and I was like, wow, you’ve got to be kidding. Him? Oh my goodness! I was as surprised as any reader will be when they read it. That’s no joke!

Q: What do you think is the most important element of good writing?

Quite a few years ago when I was trying to get published, I went to a writer’s conference and had my first chapter critiqued. The author told me that no matter what I did in the following chapters, I must get the reader’s attention on the first page or the rest didn’t matter. She told me I needed to go home and re-write the beginning of my chapter to grab the attention of my readers. She made helpful suggestions, and I went home and followed them. Ever since then that’s how I write the beginning of every book, to grab the attention of my readers from the beginning. After that it’s important to keep the reader’s attention and keep them moving forward through the story. Don’t let the story lag or you’ll lose them.

Q: What is your favourite book of all time (I know this is hard but just pick one) and why?

Happiness Hill by Grace Livingston Hill I’m not sure that this was the first of her books that I read as a young teen, but I used to devour her books when I was about 13 or 14. My mother would take me to the library, and I would come home with a stack to read. One summer I read one of her books a day. Grace was the one who inspired me to become a writer. I decided if she could do it, so could I.

Q: Have you any hobbies that are not writing related?

Yes, I love to sew, crochet, machine embroidery and quilt, however, I don’t have much time to do them these days.

Q: Any advice for someone who is just starting out writing or who is thinking about writing? I would tell them to never give up no matter what. Even if it takes 26 years and a pile of rejections. If God has truly called you to write, and you’ll know because that desire will never go away, it will happen when He’s ready. You just may not be ready yet. Hang in there. Keep writing. Keep submitting. The time will come.

Q: Finally, a dinner with three famous people: who would you choose? Queen Esther, Grace Livingston Hill and Mary, the mother of Jesus

Q: Are you on social media? Where can people interact with you?

Yes, I am on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodread. Readers can also find me on my internet site.

If you want to receive a complimentary short story, sign up to J. Carol's news letter.Newsletter Sign-UP | mysite.

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