I have recently finished Love on Ice by Carolyn Miller. After chatting with her about how much I loved her story, Carolyn graciously agreed to conduct the following interview with me. I hope you enjoy it!
Hello, Carolyn, and welcome back to my blog! I have a few questions for you about your latest novels and upcoming projects. Let’s get to it!
After reading, AND LOVING, Love on Ice, it is very clear that you are a big fan of short-track skating. What is it that you love so much about the sport? Honestly, it seems so terrifying to me.
My writing journey first began when I saw an Australian female athlete entering the closing ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics holding hands with a North American male athlete. I didn’t know who they were, and despite my best efforts I couldn’t find out, so I made up their story. I made him an ice hockey player (because I think that’s an awesome sport), and I wanted something similarly tough for her. I’ve read and seen a number of hockey player/figure skater stories, so I wanted her to be a bit different. I didn’t want her merely pretty and cute, but fierce, competitive and as tough as him, so she’s his equal. So, I picked short track speed skating because it’s insane. Australia’s first gold medal in winter Olympics was in short track skating when Steven Bradbury was the ‘last man standing’ in Salt Lake City. I love the adrenaline, I love the excitement, anyone who watches it will find it amazing that people can do the sorts of things short track skaters do. It’s about stamina, strategy, and skills, and I think people who devote their life to a sport that receives little recognition or pay deserve the spotlight. I’m really touched that people who watched the recent Winter Olympics actually started enjoying short track because of what I’d written about in Love on Ice!
To piggyback from question #1, do you enjoy all sports, a certain sport, or just the Olympics? Do you watch hockey?
Oh, I’m a fan of sports, but for me it’s usually about knowing some of the athletes or teams’ backstories that really make me care. I do enjoy a wide variety of Olympic sports (summer and winter) and think these athletes overcoming obstacles are amazing. I do like hockey (we call it ice hockey here in Australia, as we do way more field hockey, although there is a small ice hockey league!) and support several teams. I have actually watched a Chicago Blackhawks game (way back when – and I might’ve used some of that experience in my book Checked Impressions J). To be honest, my daughter is now a bigger hockey fan than I am, and I’m often getting updates on the Winnipeg Jets or the New York Islanders. But again, I think it’s more about individual players. We’ll find the Christian players in their various teams and cheer them on!
I loved your inspiration for Love on Ice as a story, but what was your inspiration for Holly and Brent? Which character was easier to craft?
I feel Holly and Brent are so REAL to me, having lived with them for so long (in my mind anyway – LOL). Holly was probably easier to craft, and I think she shares a number of similarities with me. She’s pretty focused, she can be competitive, she gets insecure, she compares herself to others, she worries and that comes out via eczema, all of which are things I’ve struggled with at times. So, I really relate to and have put a lot of myself into Holly. I also really enjoyed setting certain scenes in Australia, particularly in Wollongong, which is near my hometown here in New South Wales, Australia. And her family situation, growing up with only a few people in her entire family, was something I could definitely relate with too. Strangely, I can’t relate nearly as well with a handsome Canadian hockey player…
I have to say, I am so impressed by all the work you have done lately. You have all your fabulous Regency novels (can’t wait to read Midnight’s Budding Morrow), six Original Six contemporary romances, and several contemporary novels in the Independence Islands series. How are you managing all the books you’ve got releasing right now and soon in the future? I feel like maybe you need a good personal assistant! LOL!
Ha! I TOTALLY need a good PA, so if you know of anyone… (not even joking) 😀
I had a BIG year writing last year and wrote nearly all of the books releasing this year in 2021, so even though I’m rapid releasing my Original Six books, it’s really only the marketing I’ve had to focus on for that series. I planned it that way knowing it would be a challenge. Last year I also spent WAY too much time doing rewrites and editing my Regency, so I’m glad that’s off to the printers and releasing soon. I find if I write one book, and there’s another in the same series, it’s often good to just immediately write the next one as I’m still in that headspace, so that’s what I did with the third Regency Wallflowers book, too (and just quietly, those who are Regency fans I think are going to love Dawn’s Untrodden Green when it releases next year – it’s Georgette Heyer funny!).
So yes, there is a lot going on, but I like a challenge, and I knew I had to get this Original Six series out this year in order to capitalize on the Winter Olympics occurring, so even though it’s been a lot of work, I’m really glad that I pushed through and made this happen.
What are you currently working on right now? Where are you headed in the future? More Regency novels? More Contemporaries?
Right now, I am venturing into something new: I am co-writing a ROM COM with an Aussie author friend of mine (Meredith Resce), and we are doing a modern-day first-person version of Pride and Prejudice. It’s so much fun! I’m also planning the first book in another contemporary series that will springboard from Daring Mr. Darcy (which comes out on Valentine’s Day next year as part of the My Funny Valentine boxset – only 99c if you preorder now!). Next year also sees the release of the third Regency Wallflowers book Dawn’s Untrodden Green, plus my first novella with Barbour – an Australian gold rush story (I’m SO excited to finally be setting a book in my homeland!). There’s also at least one more contemporary romance series (which just may be another hockey series – Northwest Ice), plus a few other options I’m contemplating. I love my Regency, but I started writing by writing contemporaries, and I’m having so much fun with this that I want to continue writing stories that are fun, funny, romantic, with relatable heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, that continue to encourage people to trust God with their lives.
Any book recommendations? What’s something you’ve read lately you just loved?
I really enjoyed Valerie Comer’s Urban Farm Fresh series – that was lots of fun.
How about TV/movies? Anything you’re binging now?
I’m kind of hesitate to admit I’d enjoyed watching the new Bridgerton series. I found the second season wasn’t as full on as the first and had a lot more depth to the story. I did binge watch Sweet Magnolias, and also enjoyed the movie of Angels Ruth Strong’s book Finding Love in Big Sky.
And, finally, what a Bible verse or chapter or book that’s been encouraging you lately?
Psalm 57 begins with these awesome lines:
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.”
I love the promise of hope we can all find in these words. God can be found, but we need to make the choice to rest in His presence, to actively choose to make Him our hiding place, to trust Him in all things. We all face trials at different times, but God is faithful. He loves us, He has good plans for us, so we can trust Him. Always.
Thank you so much Carolyn for all these great answers to my questions. It’s been so much fun catching up with you. Good luck with all your future writing projects. You know I’ll read them!
About the Author
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years and worked as a public high school English teacher.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and LM Montgomery, Carolyn loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her contemporary romance series includes The Original Six Hockey romance series, and the Independence Islands series, and her historical series include the Regency Brides and Regency Wallflowers series.
About the Series
The Original Six Hockey series by Carolyn Miller is a sweet, slightly sporty Contemporary Romance series.
Click on the book covers below to check out a synopsis of each story.
Book 1: The Breakup Project
Book 2: Love on Ice
Book 3: Checked Impressions
Book 4: Hearts and Goals
Book 5: Big Apple Atonement
Available May 26, 2022
(Cover not yet available.)
Available July 26, 2022