The Writer Behind the Words – Cara Grandle

I’ve been excited about introducing a new feature to my blog this year. In the coming weeks and months – along with my usual author interviews and book reviews – I will also be introducing aspiring authors who are still on the road to publication.

I thought it would be fun for you all to get to know some of these great writers before you even pick up their books. πŸ™‚ Their dedication to the craft and their calling have blessed and encouraged me. Hope you’ll love meeting them too!

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Writer Behind the Words

I’m SO excited to introduce this special lady to you all. I first met Cara Grandle at the ACFW Conference and we’ve become really good friends. She’s a historical romance writer and she’s also one of my critique partners. πŸ™‚ Welcome to the blog, Cara!

Cara1When did you first start writing?

I first started writing in 2003 when my sister in law and I cleared out all the local Christian Fiction reads at our local library. I started finding what my favorites were and told her “Hey, I should write my own.” So that’s what I did. From 2003 to 2004, I wrote my first book. Then I chickened out. It became mostly hobby writing until May of 2012 where I finally dug in and gave it time to push through. There are so many finish lines to writing. I’m still working towards yet another finish line even today.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on a book called The Rock, which is book one of my Porcelain Doll series. It’s a story of a very poor girl and her pursuit of home and family. And love along the way too. πŸ˜‰

Can you tell us about one of your favorite characters you’ve written so far?

I get so familiar with my main characters that I often fall in love with my side characters. One of them is Trapper Jack, from a previous series of mine. He’s an older man who has a pet fox. He’s a strange combination of pieces of my dad and grandpa, so there’s a heart tribute to him too. He’s an old storyteller. So he’s probably my favorite right now.

What’s something you love about your home state?

Cara and her husband, Tim, snow-shoeing

Cara and her husband, Tim, snow-shoeing

Oregon has a little of everything. I love the beauty, the shades of green, all the trees. It has mountains, oceans, desserts, and even sand dunes.

What’s one of your favorite books?

I had to pick two. Nonfiction right now is 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I read it like 3 years ago and it’s still imprinting on my life and it changed the way I think on things. It helped me to value and have gratitude for the deeper things of life.

Fiction would be Katherine Reay’s Dear. Mr. Knightley. It’s written in letter form and I love the way the writer expresses emotion and literary connections. I’ve never seen anything else quite done like it and I’m pretty captivated by it.

What is one of your favorite Scripture verses?

I have lots of favorites, but my life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Being an impatient sort and all fire ahead, I like to think of myself of pausing in life. That He knows the end of my story and I don’t. It’s important to seek him. I value that He will direct my path. It has been vital for me.

Can you share with us a special moment from your writing journey so far?

Cara also gives a weekly Writers Encouragement show on Periscope. Visit her site for more info.

Cara also gives a weekly Writers Encouragement show on Periscope. Visit her site for more info.

My first experience stepping out as a writer was attending the Oregon Christian’s writing conference and I went out hoping that I wouldn’t be told my work stunk. To go to the three day weekend and garner interest from a big publishing house and land an agent was an epic moment. Such a huge start I won’t be able to go back from. πŸ™‚

Another one is finding the community of writers, people who think like I do, who have busy minds and dreams. I’ve lived here in the same town I was born in and to find this world of writers and connections, my world has grown. I’ve found that place I can settle in and be myself.

What’s been one of the most challenging aspects of writing?

Cara in her writing chair

Cara in her writing chair

The biggest challenge is time. Finding the time is always the kicker and then when you do find it knowing how to use it the best way possible. It’s not an easy feat.

Name a few authors who inspire you.

I’m gonna cheat and say any author who perseveres to finish their manuscript and then also sends it in for submission. That is inspiring to me. I tend to gravitate to their publication journeys, hearing how many years, the successes and failures. I love to hear about their processes, the behind-the-scenes of the journey.

Can you share a word of advice to other writers out there on the road to publication?

My advice to other writers is to find your people. Whether you go in search of them at a conference, or a local writer’s group, library, or online, find people who know and understand and can handle the shared learning and shop talk. It’s so important. We’re not supposed to walk this alone. We need fellow writers who can handle it too and can go on the journey intellectually with us.

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READERS, Cara has a question for you…

Do you read the book club questions at the end of the book or do you tend to skip them?”

She’d love to hear from you in the COMMENTS below. πŸ˜‰

Let’s spread the love, reading friends! You can help encourage and support Cara’s writing by connecting with her on the following sites.

Website: http://www.caragrandle.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Cara-Grandle-519718824772559/
Facebook “Author4TheAuthor” Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/author4TheAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaraGrandle
Periscope: @CaraGrandle

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Thank you so much for joining us today, Cara. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you! πŸ˜‰

Posted in Aspiring Authors
20 comments on “The Writer Behind the Words – Cara Grandle
  1. Cara says:

    It’s me. So strange and soooo exhilarating. Thank you Savanna.

  2. Staci says:

    What a great series you are starting Savannah!! Love it!

    To answer Cara’s question…the ONLY time I read the book club questions is when I participate in a buddy read through Goodreads and I’m looking for some questions to ask on the buddy read thread. In general, I skip them. I do read acknowledgments and I ADORE when an author provides a back story behind the book or with historical fiction novel when the author shares what was fact in the book and what was created in their mind for story enhancement.

    Best wishes to Cara!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying it, Staci! πŸ™‚

      I’m with you on the book club questions. I will sometimes glance them over, but my favorite “extras” are the acknowledgments and author secrets like you mentioned. Such fun to get the inside scoop of how an idea was created. πŸ˜‰

      We appreciate you joining us!

  3. Annie JC says:

    Nice to meet you Cara! This is such a great idea, Savanna!

    As to the question, I sometimes do, and sometimes don’t. It depends on the book I read and if I felt that I was missing something.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Annie! Thanks so much for coming by. πŸ™‚ Yes, different books do make a difference for me too. It depends on each story. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  4. Great article Cara. Even though I know you, now I know you better. So excited for the future.

  5. carylkane says:

    Cara, it was a pleasure meeting you. I tend to skip the questions.

  6. Karen R says:

    It’s nice to meet new Christian authors and inspiring to hear their personal story. Look forward to reading your book! I am not in a book club, but I do actually read the discussion questions at the end. They help me think deeper about the story, and pull a few ideas for a review sometimes. Appreciate anything extra at the end, historical notes, photos, references, places to visit, museums, etc. God bless you in your writing!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Karen! Isn’t it fun to see what “extras” there are at the end of the book? I always look forward to that part too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. It’s so good for us to hear from other readers. πŸ™‚

  7. Trixi says:

    I tend to skip right over the book club questions at the end since I’m not in one. Reading this post, maybe I should read them sometime, it sounds like they’d be rather thought provoking!

    Cara, I really enjoyed your author interview. I live on the Oregon coast so I’m wondering how far you live from me? Isn’t it just the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen? My husband and I have traveled quite a bit in both Oregon & Washington, there’s such a vast landscape here. I don’t think anyone would get bored, there’s always something new to see πŸ™‚ I think one of my favorite trips was the the Olympic Peninsula in WA. We went almost to the top of one of the mountains and overlooked the valley. There were literally miles of snowy topped mountains to see, it was my first experience on one! Growing up in Illinois, I didn’t even see hills that much…lol! There are so many more places I want to explore…Crater Lake, the Mt. Hood area, Pendelton, etc. God willing, someday πŸ™‚
    Thanks Savanna for introducing us to Cara today!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      You sound so much like me, Trixi. πŸ˜‰ I do think the book club questions can have something to add for readers. Unfortunately, I’m just not in a book club at the moment. πŸ˜‰

      Awww, someday I’m gonna have to take a road trip out to see all my faraway friends in Oregon. It’s such a beautiful place. One visit years ago just wasn’t enough for me. There’s so much else I’d like to see there. Maybe someday you can give me a tour, Trixi. πŸ˜‰

  8. Edward Arrington says:

    I usually read the questions.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Great! Thanks for sharing that with us, Edward. It’s interesting to see the variety of readers and see what their habits and preferences are. Have a great week!

  9. Loved hearing your heart in this interview, Cara. You hold a special place in my heart. God has great plans for you, my friend. Blessings on your writing journey!

  10. Brenda Arrington says:

    I usually skip the questions.

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