Meet the Author: Carol Underhill

Instead of interviewing another author today, I’m going to share a little bit about myself and the inspiration behind Angelica’s Christmas Wish.

I grew up on a farm in Michigan with four siblings. I have a huge extended family. My dad was one of twelve children. There are around 300 descendants among them. We were close to the families of both my parents and spent a lot of time with them.

My parents were faithful servants of the Lord and took us to church every time the doors were opened. I became a Christian at youth camp when I was 10 years old.

I wrote stories in high school and let my friends and teachers read them. I was encouraged to keep writing. When I went away to college, though, I left my days of fiction-writing behind.

I attended a small Christian college and studied journalism and Spanish. I spent some time studying in Mexico. When I returned home, I had enough knowledge of the language to get a job as receptionist to a bilingual attorney. That led into a career as a legal secretary.

In 1989, I met the man of my dreams and had my fairy tale wedding in 1990. I settled into life with my husband in a small village 5 miles from where I grew up. After our children were born, I started fiction writing again. Through the years, I wrote several novels and attempted to get them published.

Last June, I read a twitter post from Anaiah Press that said they were accepting submissions for Christmas novellas. If I submitted it before the end of June, they would give feedback. I had one started, so I finished it and sent it in.

I was looking forward to getting some feedback. I was shocked when the editor asked to see the whole manuscript, and thrilled when they sent me a contract. Getting published has been a dream of mine for a lot of years, and I am excited to be working with Anaiah Press.

The following are some of the questions I’ve been asked. I hope my answers will give you an inside look at my novella as well as who I am.

What is the inspiration behind Angelica’s Christmas Wish?

I kept envisioning a scene where a child was in danger and a woman sprinted in front of the car and pushed the child out of the way. The woman ended up in the hospital and no one knew who she was. It took me some time to figure out how that could happen in the age of social media. Once I came up with the solution, the story came quite easily.

Were there any surprises that came up as you wrote your story?

The mother-in-law, Geneva, became more important than I had originally intended. Her personality quirks made her a fun character to write.

Are you a plotter or a panster?

Definitely a panster. When I have a story in mind, I sit down and write whatever comes out of my head. When I am a few chapters in, I do make up a timeline to keep track of everything. So maybe I’m a bit of a plotter, too.

Are you a night owl or a morning person?

I used to be a night owl. I would stay up after everyone else was asleep and write until the early hours of the morning. In the past few years, I’ve become a morning person. That started because of my pets, who think 4:00 a.m. is a good feeding time. Now I like my early mornings.

Do you have a favorite author or book?

Lauraine Snelling is my favorite Christian author. I love her Red River of the North series, and have read it over and over. I’m also a Grace Livingston Hill fan. I started reading her books from my mom’s bookshelf when I was a a teenager. I now have one hundred GLH books in my own collection. I have most of them memorized from reading them so much.

What book or author has inspired you the most?

A Lantern in her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich. It’s fiction, but the details are so authentic that it feels like you are reading history.

Who was the first person you allowed to read Angelica’s Christmas Wish?

Since the time frame was short, I sent the completed story directly to my editor, Kara Leigh Miller, before anyone else read it.

Do you reward yourself when a book is finished? If so, what is your favorite treat?

I used to reward myself with cake. Now I buy a package of my favorite coffee, fresh ground at the coffee shop.

How has God used your gift to help you grow?

My husband passed away unexpectedly in 2010. Keeping my faith in God and his goodness has been hard at times. In Angelica’s Christmas Wish, the hero is widowed and has let his faith slip away. Helping Mark find his way back to the Lord was cathartic for me.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I would travel to Arizona to visit my mom’s relatives there. I’ve never met them, but they’ve become special to me and supportive of my writing. I’d like to meet them face-to-face someday.

What’s next for you as an author?

I have a contemporary Christian romance, The Reluctant Billionaire, coming out in November. I also have a couple of other stories that I am working on.

Angelica’s Christmas Wish is free on Amazon TODAY.

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