Today’s Friday Five focus is Carolyn Dennis-Willingham, author of historical fiction novels.
Ms. Dennis-Willingham writes poetry, memoirs, and children’s books and historical novels. Her first book, No Hill for a Stepper, was published in 2011, and The Last Bordello was published in August 2016. A native Texan, Ms. Dennis-Willingham lives in Austin with her husband and a miniature Aussie. She enjoys oil painting, boxing, and spending time with her grown children and two grandchildren.
When one of Madam Fannie Porter’s soiled doves is accused of murdering a woman of the Temperance Union, nothing will stop her from learning the truth. Set in 1901, The Last Bordello is not only a who-dun-it. It is a reminder that ladies of the night struggled for survival while the suffragettes fought for a better life for all women –Two opposing sides of the same female coin.
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1. What genre do you currently read most and why?
I read most any genre but mostly enjoy a good historical fiction. I love picturing myself and the characters in a world from the past.
2. What do you want your readers to take away from your works?
Emotional engagement with the characters and an appreciation of how they change during the course of the novel.
3. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
To travel back in any time period I feel like visiting.
4. Why should people read YOUR stuff? Who’s your target audience and why?
So I don’t have to beg. I’m not good at begging. Seriously, I like to think my characters are strong enough to either like or hate and the stories themselves will take you to places you’ve never been before. While No Hill for a Stepper appealed equally to both genders, I envision more women reading The Last Bordello. The Moonshine Thicket will appeal to young adults, the young at hearts, and anyone who likes coming-of-age stories.
5. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? How do you deal with this?
Writing descriptions of places set in the past can be difficult since, obviously, I was never there. To combat this, I rely on old postcards and descriptions in old newspapers.
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The Last Bordello is currently available through Amazon.