Growing up as a home schooled kid, Cara C. Putman graduated from high school at sixteen and college at twenty. She completed her law degree at age twenty-seven. Now an attorney, college lecturer, wife, mom, and women’s ministry volunteer, she also writes—prolifically.
Cara began her writing journey in 2005; her fourteenth novel releases this spring. Her books cover several genres—from historical and historical suspense to contemporary romantic suspense and mystery. She has also written one non-fiction title, The Complete Idiots Guide to Business Law.
She and her family live in Indiana with a dog named Jessie.
After establishing a law career, you added author to your resume. Was writing always a goal?
I first started writing when I was fourteen. One semester I wrote all my favorite authors asking for advice on writing. I received so many responses—letters my mom put in a scrapbook for me a couple Christmases ago. The beauty of being homeschooled is that my mom let me write as part of English, so I wrote and wrote and then hit walls. But the dream never died. I love how God resurrected the dream in His timing.
How does your faith play into your writing?
I write in part to share God’s truth. And I’ve learned that He is always teaching me something as I write. Often I don’t know the exact spiritual truth that will be highlighted in the story, but as I write, it comes out. And there’s always a connection: that God is with us even in those dark times when we can’t see Him. And when we lean on Him, we can be stronger than we ever imagined.
Let’s talk first about A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island (Barbour Books, April 2012). Please tell us about it.
Attorney Alanna Stone vowed long ago to avoid Mackinac Island. Although it may seem the perfect place to heal, for Alanna it holds too many memories of a painful past.
But an exhausting high profile case and an urgent plea from her parents have brought Alanna home. Moving into the house next to Jonathan Covington doesn’t help her. Jonathan may have been her first love, but he was also her first lesson in betrayal. Now Alanna must protect her privacy and her heart. Then secrets and a murder intersect, and she’s thrust into controversy again as tragedy turns public opinion against her and potentially her family.
Jonathan has stubbornly resisted the urging of his family and friends to date, believing he’s already found the perfect woman. With Alanna’s return, he begins to wonder if he’s waited too long for someone who isn’t the right one after all.
You also contributed to Rainbow’s End (Barbour Books, May 2012). Please tell us about that.
Rainbow’s End is a collection of four novellas that are set in the Missouri Ozarks during a geo-caching competition. I’d never been geo-caching, so it was fun to learn about that process.
Join a geocaching adventure in the spectacular Lake of the Ozarks wilderness, with Lyssa, the reluctant volunteer whose former nemesis is now her chief sponsor; Madison, a city girl paired with an outdoorsy guy who gets on her very last nerve; Hadley, who doesn’t know enough about guys to realize she’s met a womanizer; and cautious Reagan, who meets an equally cautious guy. Will they find the treasure they’re looking for . . . or something else entirely?
Detours in life can be frustrating—kind of like plot twists in the stories we write—but the outcome is often more intriguing than our original plan. Can you tell us about a recent “detour” in your life—or in one of your character’s lives—that taught you something?
I recently thought God had opened a door at my dream publishing house. Instead, I got a not yet. That’s lead to a season of praying and learning how to take my writing another level deeper. I hate hearing not yet! Still I know that I don’t want to be one step out of God’s will and where He wants me. So I’m relearning yet again to release this journey to Him and His timing.
What advice would you offer to writers who are trying to juggle writing with a career and family?
Be prepared to give something up. For me that was T.V. (I watch one show a week when it’s new.) And be prepared to set your own deadlines. If it’s just something that would be nice to do sometime, you’ll never start writing and it will be very difficult to finish a book. So you have to set intermediate goals. For example, five days a week, I will write 500 words or I’ll write 2500 words a week. Those goals are critical to turning a book into reality.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
I love ice cream sandwiches. I don’t know why, but they’re one of my favorites and it’s a celebration food as well as a pick-me-up when things aren’t quite going right. The other celebration food would be Dutch apple pie. Skip the cake and give me a pie : )
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I took eight years of piano lessons, so I love music. But . . . I’m not very good at it : )
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
I would be a praise song. I love turning on some praise and worship and belting out the tunes with my kids as we dance and worship.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
What a great question! I want to say I’m the strong, female lead. But I think most would probably say I’m the girl next door. Don’t necessarily stand out that much, but someone others trust.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
We have a pound puppy named Jessie. She’d love to be a farm dog who can run freely, but we live in town without a fence. I’m a huge fan of cats—not as needy as dogs. But my husband is allergic, so it must be true love!
Thanks, Cara! It’s nice to have you at DivineDetour.
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For more information about Cara, visit her website at http://www.caraputman.com/ or her blog at http://blog.caraputman.com/.
To purchase A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island logon to:
To pre-order Rainbow’s End, logon to:
Thanks so much for hosting me, Kathy!
Really glad to have you, Cara! The new book sounds great!
She’s as busy as you are, Kathy. Her stories look very approachable, easy to get into.
LOL, Shannon. I think we’re all short on time these days. The important thing is to enjoy it!
Somehow we all find a way to do the things that matter most to us 🙂
Hi, I enjoyed reading the interview. I guess I’m sort of following Cara around today, but I promise I’m not a stalker (LOL!). Blessings!
Hi Sybil! Thanks for stopping by this morning!
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