Carol Caverly said recently that she’s the kind of person who goes from being interested in something to becoming almost obsessed once she’s had a chance to see what’s going on. It’s no wonder then, that when she borrowed her first Writer’s Digest magazine as a young Wyoming mother in the 1980’s, both the magazine and creative writing in general sucked her in. Soon she was writing more and more, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers benefited as a result.
“It was all so much fun!” said Carol. Over the years she’s written three books and several short stories, was a founding member of Wyoming Writers and then Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She participated in Mystery Writers of America as a chapter president and is a long-standing member of Sisters in Crime.
“I found the three or four gals, and we started getting together to discuss writing. The group kept getting bigger and bigger and we added critiques as well as meetings,” said Carol. “Our first RMFW Colorado Gold conference was held at the Aurora Public Library where I worked. I remember we had sack lunches and donuts for food, and Rex Burns was our keynote speaker.” The meeting was quite a bit different from the 400 member strong Colorado Gold conference held these days.
Carol seems to have fun wherever she’s involved, and writing has been a big part of it all. She’s been an avid reader since her childhood just outside of Chicago, Illinois. There, she enjoyed Nancy Drew books from the library, and shared that interest in mysteries with her mom. Years later, when her books won recognition as Detective Book Club selections and local best sellers, she was filled with nostalgia for those times spent reading with her mother.
While in Wyoming, Carol subscribed to Writer’s Digest and read every issue for 20 years. She also read every book she could get her hands on with regard to writing and still has a copy of Dean Koontz’s How To Write Best Selling Fiction which she pointed out currently sells for over $50 on Amazon.com (a check in August revealed the book is now worth $72).
“His books are excellent,” said Carol. “Of course, I love his writing.” She said that Donald Maass is also her guru, and she keeps a copy of his book handy too.
One of the best things about talking to Carol is the story of all the people she’s met and shared writing memories with.
“At one of the first conferences we held in Colorado Springs, Clive Cussler was a speaker,” said Carol. “He was a nut when we were signing books together. I remember he signed a book for a woman who didn’t know him at all. He wrote, ‘I’ll never forget that wonderful evening we had here.’ That woman about died! What would her husband say?”
“But when my first novel came out and I was at a signing in Cherry Creek, Clive came in with his wife and bought one of my books because I was a new author.”
Carol also is good friends with Deni Dietz, one of the visiting editors to Colorado Gold this year.
“We used to carpool to critique in Colorado Springs together,” said Carol. “She’d tell me her plots as we went. I’ve been so proud of what Deni’s done. She works hard to this day, and is very diligent. I’m really happy for her.
“The first time Deni came to conference to hear pitches, I signed up for a session with her, even though I had nothing to sell. I sat down and said, ‘So you’re an agent now. Good for you!”
Carol said that she has had fun watching everyone’s careers take off, that she soaked it all up, and has enjoyed the entire writing community, from dear friends like Christine Jorgenson to Sharon Mignerly to Kay Bergstrom.
“Kay is an inspiration,” said Carol. “She’s one of the few who earns a living with their writing. She’s so knowledgeable, and she’s funny—just delightful.”
Carol will be one of the celebrated Guiding Members at Colorado Gold in September and left with this last piece of wisdom:
“I suppose it’s most important when you want to write, is to write right now. So many say they’re working on a novel or a thriller, and will probably write them when they retire. I say, do it now.”
And one more thing. If you’re Carol Caverly, be sure you’re having fun.