Get to know author Robin Michele Carroll
“I listen to the voices in my head. Those vibrant personalities that struggle to permeate empty spaces. They’re nameless, yet familiar faces, that constantly speak to me and beg to be liberated. Until I acknowledge them, there is no inner peace as they endeavour to unearth the impetus that inspires me to create. Once they’ve succeeded, those impulses are ignited, and I have no choice but to tell their stories of suspense, romance, mystery, and heartache. These characters are my family. They are a part of me. And they are the reason I write” – Robin Michele Carroll.
Welcome inside the mind of Robin Michele Carroll, a writer who currently resides in Englewood, Colorado. Robin began writing short stories at the age of nine, but her artistic journey didn’t truly begin until eleven. That’s when she created her own soap opera in junior high and became known as the little girl with the big imagination. Her formation of “The Search for Love” made her popular amongst her peers as the pages of Robin’s drama circulated throughout the halls of the middle school she attended. Eventually, the teachers learned about the content, and Robin was called to the principal’s office with her mother. She was told that the subject matter was too mature, and that she was no longer allowed to share it with her classmates. However, the school didn’t want to squelch her talent, so they placed her in an English class with a teacher who helped Robin hone her skills. There, the seeds were planted, and Robin realized that she was born to be a storyteller.
Ramona: Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Robin Michele Carroll: Yes, I do. Writing is not necessarily about the author’s emotions, particularly in fiction. It’s about how the characters feel that the author created, which can be illustrated through observation, conversations, research, and, of course, experience. However, the latter is not required to write a great, emotional story.
Ramona: Born to be a storyteller, how long on average does it take you to write a book?
Robin Michele Carroll: I don’t have a writing process, which is why I can’t give an exact timeframe for how long it would take me to write a book. I merely go with the flow and allow the characters and the words to lead me. Some days I can write 10 pages, and other days, I can only write 2. However, with Two Faced, it took me a little over a year to complete, not counting the hundreds of rewrites I did.
I’m currently writing the sequel, which is titled Dream Killer. I’m hoping to have this book completed by August 2019, and if I meet that deadline, I’ll be able to say that a year is my average to write a book.
Ramona: Your latest book was released last August 2018 – ‘Two Faced’. What is it all about?
Robin Michele Carroll: Two Faced is about Robert Melendez, a plastic surgeon who changes the faces of criminals. He gets greedy and decides to blackmail them by threatening to reveal their true identities if he isn’t paid additional money for his services. His plan flourishes until he ends up dead, found beside the corpse of a woman believed to be his wife, Melissa “Missy” Melendez. Upon further investigation, however, it is revealed that the wrong woman has been executed. Once the mistake is discovered, the murderer sets his sights on Missy, determined to finish the job. Now, Missy must fight to stay alive as she grapples with the “gift” that connects her to Robert’s murderer. She has to prove her innocence in a double homicide, all while fighting her feelings for the detective who could possibly destroy her.
Ramona: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Robin Michele Carroll: My process has changed completely for Dream Killer, which is the sequel to Two Faced. I had to make a chart with names, dates, and summaries of characters and events to keep track of everything that happened in the first book. I couldn’t just go with the flow because there are a few storylines from Two Faced that need closure. Therefore, my writing process is more structured and disciplined this time around.
Also, I want to keep raising the bar on my storytelling, which is why I’m following my three R process rule (reading, research, and relaxation) while writing this book. When I was working on Two Faced, I only did research and ignored the other two, which made writing seem more like a burden rather than something I love to do.
Ramona: What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Robin Michele Carroll: For me, the most difficult part of writing has been the ability to find my own voice. People in the publishing industry strongly suggest that you follow a certain formula to be successful with book sales. Every writer’s conference that I’ve attended has been filled with agents and publishers warning the participants about the dos and dont’s of publication. But I’ve learned that I don’t want to follow the exact path that’s been laid out for me. I want to carve out my own space, and I can only do that if I stay true to myself and my talent. However, that choice could mean losing a portion of my audience. So, every time I write, I wonder if I should abandon my artistic process for something that is considered more mainstream. My answer is always no, but occasionally, I hear a soft voice in the back of mind that causes doubt.
Ramona: In your opinion as an author, what’s the best way to market your books?
Robin Michele Carroll: For me, personally, the best way to market my book has been through word of mouth. I keep copies of Two Faced in my car, and I talk it up to people at work, in the grocery store, at restaurants, and wherever else I can start a conversation. I’ve sold the most books that way. However, I would recommend that new authors who are self-publishing find a publicist or someone who can promote them. That has been a great investment for me along with my website.
Ramona: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Robin Michele Carroll: When I was a child, my mother told me that I couldn’t make a career out of writing. And that was fine because I understood that she was only trying to look out for her youngest daughter. However, I wish I could have said these two simple words to my younger self…keep writing. During those times that I felt I wasn’t good enough…keep writing. When all I had was an idea…keep writing. When someone read my work and hated it…keep writing. And most importantly, when fear and doubt darken my doorstep…keep writing.
More information about Robin Michele Carroll on:-
www.robinmcarroll.com – complete with blog titled I’m A Fu$#&@% Introvert
Amazon author page: