Me: Hello Carolyn. I'm so glad to have you here today. It's an honor.
Carolyn: Oh, thank you for having me.
Me: I'm curious. How long have you been writing?
Carolyn: I've always been writing. I have poems and stories from when I was a kid boxed up in my closet. I just never thought I'd do anything with my writing. About 14 years ago I happened upon a website about the ABC soap operas here in the states and I was given an opportunity to write for that site. That writing led to other website writing and eventually I started doing freelance work for local magazines and newspapers and then I wrote my first book. Well, my fourth book, but the first one I actually finished.
Me: Were you inspired by a real life story?
Carolyn: Absolutely! I wrote Unfinished Business, my first book in the Angela Panther series, as a way to honor my mother, who passed from lung cancer in 2009. I wanted to do something to honor her memory and I wanted people to know the woman I loved. She was so funny...so amazing and so frustrating at times, too and I wanted to share all of that wonderful and frustrating stuff that made her the woman she was. So, I wrote the first book. There are many elements of Unfinished Business that are true...how we buried my mother, the scenes with Angela's father and stepmother...the characters. It has a very real element of life to it but unfortunately, I don't see my mother's ghost, like Angela does. Though honestly, I wouldn't complain if I did! Actually, I'd be the luckiest woman alive if I could!
Me: Oh wow! I'm so sorry for your loss. It's tough to lose a parent, especially a mother. What do you think is the most important thing in a mother-daughter relationship?
Carolyn: Oh boy. Do I have to pick just one? There are so many elements that are important...honesty, support, appreciation, respect...actually, I'm going to go with forgiveness. No one is perfect. Even our mothers have imperfections. They're only human, just like us and just like our daugthers. I know I've made a billion mistakes and my mother always...always forgiven me when I did something that hurt her. No one can ever love you like your mother and it's so important to remember that and understand what that truly means. I hope one day my girls can realize that about me, too.
Me: What does your own mother think about your book?
Carolyn: Sadly, I don't know for sure but I suspect she's up in Heaven bragging and telling everyone about the books. While writing the first one it became tough on me and I stopped for about six months. I honestly didn't expect to finish it. One night I had a dream where my mom was standing behind me. She leaned onto my shoulder and said, "Carolyn, you need to finish the book." That next day I got up and did just that. I think it was a sign. I think she knows.
Me: How do you feel about mother-daughter book clubs?
Carolyn: If I were to join one with my mom when she was alive, I'd have to have joined a historical romance one and read the likes of Barbra Cartland, because she was my mom's favorite author. She also read the Harlequin romances of the 70's and 80's. We used to grab them off of the bookshelf and start reading them and I'd be horrified! They were almost porn to me! Now I'd be thrilled to read with her—whatever she wanted. If your mom is still alive, be grateful, be thankful and do all you can to be with her because that moment she's gone, your whole world changes and nothing you do will ever be as it was. Cherish that time. I'm all for the book club, going to Walmart, sitting on the couch and talking...all of it. Do it. You won't regret it!
Me: What's the one thing your mother taught you that you will never forget?
Carolyn: Gosh, one thing? That's a tough one. I realized after she died that most of what she taught me wasn't stuff like, how to set a table, or how to eat in public. She taught me things that became a part of me. Things that made me the person I am today. How to stand up for myself. How to follow my gut. How to forgive, but not always forget. How to deal with the ridiculous crap that hits us throughout our life and walk away better, smarter, and happy. How to handle the tough stuff. She was incredible at that.
Me: What's the best Mother's Day gift you've ever presented to your mom?
Carolyn:I don't know. There were 42 years of Mother's Days! After she died and I went through her stuff I found some things I'd made as a kid and cards I'd given her throughout the years. She kept things I hadn't thought of for years. In one of the cards I wrote, "Thank you for loving me unconditionally" and I think that's the gift we gave each other, unconditional love. She was my best friend for many, many years...after I stopped hating her when I was a teenager, at least. I loved her then but I didn't like her, though I really can't tell you why and I bet she liked me even less!
Me: What's the most fun thing about writing?
Carolyn: Dialog! I LOVE dialog! I can say things I'd WANT to say to someone but can't for various reasons. I can think about what should be said...kind of like when someone says something to you and you say something back and later think, "Man, I wish I would have said ---- instead!" I can go back and say the ----- instead and I LOVE that!Me: You were amazing, Carolyn! I hope to have you here again soon!
Title: Unbreakable Bonds
A Mother's Work is Never Done...
Carolyn Aspenson's (Unfinished Business) latest picks up the story of Angela Panther's dealings with her dead mom, Fran and the duo's dynamic is as delightful as ever!
Angela had her psychic gift under control until a traumatic loss shut it down. And now that Angela's daughter is in too deep with a boy and her best friend Mel's husband is cheating, she needs her mom more than ever.
Fran knows that when you're a mom, there's no such thing as till death do us part and she won't rest in peace while there's strife in her daughter's life. Using her nifty celestial superpowers, she's soon back in the game and helping out, regardless of her daughter's defunct gift.
Title: Unfinished Business
Stay at home mom Angela Panther is living the good life. Happily married with two kids, a house in the suburbs and, a fantabulous best friend, she's got it all. But hours after Angela's mother dies, her ghost pops in for a visit, leaving the door to the other side wide open. Suddenly Angela's life is jam-packed with ghosts - ghosts that need her help. Now Angela must find a way to balance the needs of the living along with the unfinished business of the dead, all while keeping her mother's ghost in line. Hilarious and bittersweet, Unfinished Business tackles the emotional ups and downs of the relationships between mothers and daughters and the desperate desire for that one last chance to tell someone we've lost how we feel.
Amazon purchase link:
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Barnes & Noble purchase link:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is the Amazon and Barnes & Noble best selling author of Unfinished Business; An Angela Panther Novel, Unbreakable Bonds; An Angela Panther Novel, the novella Santa's Gift, a Cumming Christmas Novella and The Quick Start Weight Loss Program.
An avid fitness buff, Carolyn writes a monthly health and fitness column for Northside Woman Magazine as well as regular weekly news articles for various Atlanta area media outlets including the Forsyth Herald, the Milton Herald, the Revue and News, and the Johns Creek Herald. Her works have also been published in Countyline Magazine and various Internet publications.
A native of Indiana, for over eighteen years Carolyn called the northwest Chicago suburbs home. She now resides in the Atlanta area with her husband, three kids, two dogs and cat.
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