Callie Hutton, a USA Today Bestselling author, has a passion for her craft. And today, she is thankfully sharing her passion, hoping to inspire fellow writers to pursue their dreams.
Please introduce yourself by telling us about your background.
My name is Callie Hutton, and I write mostly historical romance, although I do have two contemporary romance novellas published. One of my books, The Elusive Wife, just made the USA Today Best Seller’s List, which I am quite proud of. I live in Oklahoma with my husband, college-aged daughter and two dogs. My son and his wife live nearby, and are expecting twin boys in a few months.
Can you tell us about your journey as a writer?
I have been writing most of my life. Primarily my work has been for
newspapers and magazines. Then about four years ago I decided to write a romance novel, and since then I have twelve books published. Three of them are self-published and the rest are with four different publishers. Right now I only work with two publishers, Entangled and Soul Mate.
Are you a full-time writer? If not, how do you juggle two work lives?
Yes, I write full time. It’s a job like any other. I have my own office and I have set hours. During those hours I’m either writing, researching, or doing promotion work.
In your website bio, you said you wrote for magazines. How has that helped you complete a novel?
Those articles helped with learning how to do research, which is vital when you write historical, how to meet deadlines, and how to structure a story from beginning to end.
We are told to write what we know. Do you write from your real life? Where do you get your ideas?
I see a little bit of myself, and my daughter, in my heroines. My ideas come from everywhere. A song, a TV show, a conversation, a movie, a book. Sometimes it comes from hearing a name, or meeting a new person.
Any editing tips?
Once you’ve gone through your manuscript, checking punctuation, sentence structure, and looking for missing words or extra words, have at least three other people read it. No matter how hard you try, you will miss things. You know what it says, so that’s what you see, not what is actually there.
Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they inspired your writing?
There are so many, I could take hours listing them all. My absolute ‘my goal is to write like her’ authors are: Jude Devereaux, Sandra Brown, Lynsay Sands, Linda Lael Miller . . . Well you get the idea.
What do you love most about the writing industry? What do you dislike?
I love that I can make up stories, and once they’re in print (or on kindle) other people can read them. I also love when a story of mine touches someone. I once had a woman write that my books got her through chemotherapy. That one brought tears to my eyes.
I dislike having to do a lot of promotion since most publishers have you do a lot more than they used to have an author do. But at the same time, I get to meet and come to know a lot of wonderful people through social media.
Do you have any other books or new releases that you would wish to talk about?
My book, The Duke’s Quandary, just released about six weeks ago, and is doing quite well. It is the second book in my Marriage Mart Mayhem series. The third book in the series, The Lady’s Disgrace, will release in October of this year, and the fourth book, The Baron’s Homecoming, will hit the cyber shelves in December.
If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?
Don’t give up. You can’t win the race if you’re not in it.
Can you share a sample?
From The Duke’s Quandary:
Drake bounded down the steps. It was unfortunate that Mother’s propensity for rescuing hopeless strays extended to women as well
He scanned the immediate area, and at first it appeared Miss Clayton had vanished into thin air. Then a slight movement up ahead caught his eye, and he hurried forward. “Miss Clayton, please stop.”
She came to a halt and spun around, taking in great gulps of air. “Please, Your Grace, just let me return to Devonshire. I really do not want to be here.” Her shaky fingers wiped tears from her cheeks, leaving behind a smudge of dirt.
As he grew closer, he could see her squinting, most likely in an attempt to view him since her spectacles were still on the floor in the entrance hall. She gripped her bundle close to her chest, her teeth chattering, whether from the damp night or nerves, he couldn’t tell. But the slight moon reflected her paleness, leaving him wondering if she would swoon any moment.
“We must return to the house.” He reached to grasp her elbow, but she yanked it away.
“No. I don’t belong here, and I just want to go home.” She hiccupped, her huge green eyes pleading with him. Something deep and feral in him softened. The poor girl looked scared to death. And he was sure his rudeness hadn’t helped.
“Please,” he held out his hand. “I wish to apologize for any discomfort I may have caused you. Won’t you return with me to the house? The night air is chilling, and I’m sure you could do with a cup of tea. I know I could.”
She continued to shiver as she stared at him. Apparently coming to a decision, she stiffened her spine, swiped at her tears, and gave him a slight smile. “Yes. A cup of tea would be most welcomed. Thank you.”
Amazed at her quick transformation, he held out his arm and she placed a delicate, albeit, dirty, hand on his sleeve. He tried very hard not to wince, and led her back to the house.
What is one good book you read this year you would recommend?
Since I read about 250 books a year, it’s hard to pick just one. One book that has always remained fresh in my mind is an historical romance by Lynsay Sands, “The Perfect Wife.” Very funny. I’ve re-read that several times.