Ask Mrs. M – Part 6

See more Author Interviews and Author Trivia in Andi’s Attic >>

So many more great questions came in after the “Ask Mrs. M – Part 4” that I had to answer them in two posts! This is the second post.

1. What is your favourite song? -S.J

Oh, dear! There are too many of my favorites to name. I guess one of my favorite modern-day songs is “In Christ Alone.” The entire message of the Gospel in one song and it’s right on. It’s like a modern-day hymn. My favorite childhood hymn is “He Lives.”

2. Out of all the Circle C characters, which one was the most fun to create? -Katie Moen

Creating Andi, of course! I could create her any way I wanted. Creating characters is a whole lot of fun. I also liked creating Johnny Wilson. It was fun to make him a bully and yet not make him truly wicked. Just your run-of-the-mill bully who in reality has a huge crush on Andi. He’s a complicated character and manages to get others to follow him (like Jack Goodwin).

3. Whom did Jack Goodwin married? Did Johnny Wilson ever get married? -Katie Moen

I’m afraid I do not know the answer to those questions. I would like to say yes, but I don’t know whom they should marry. Any ideas? I kind of see “Jack and Virginia” together but I have no idea who in their right mind would marry Johnny!

4. Why did you have Justin and Chad get married when they were older and Andi get married when she was young? -Jenny

That is an excellent question. My editor at Kregel wanted to know why Andi’s older brothers were not married and suggested I’d better get to it. So, beginning in the Milestones with Thick as Thieves, I made it my goal to marry off at least two brother and Melinda. By the time book 4 is finished, Courageous Love, I have reached my goal. Only Mitch is left. I thought it would be a little rushed if I married them all off in so short a time!

5. When did you decide to start writing more Andi books after your first one? -Jenny

I already had a number of Andi books written or planned before I was even published. Long Ride Home, Dangerous Decision, Family Secret, Trouble with Treasure (Trouble at the Line Shack originally), and even Price of Truth. I just wrote them for myself so it was heaps of fun. But I needed a book between Family Secret and the Treasure one, so I decided to send Andi to the City. That turned out to be a very hard book to write (San Francisco Smugglers). Why? Because I was under contract and had a due date, rather than just writing for fun.

6. What’s your favorite animal? -Jenny

I have decided I like dairy goats better than I like horses. Update. Nope, now I like horses better than I like goats. Goats trample me whenever they see my grain bucket, and their hooves are sharp! Horses are much better behaved! Cat are high on my list too.


7. Why did Mitch never get married? -Annie

Easy answer. Because I have never gotten around to writing a girl into the storyline for him. If I ever do, I believe he and Liberty Flanders (another rancher’s daughter) will get together. I like her. She lives on the Triple L ranch (in the Stepping Stones book, Andi Lassos Trouble).

8. Do you ever pick up your own books and read them, like for fun? -Brianna

Absolutely! But I haven’t had much time to take a fun read these days because I’m trying hard to finish the Goldtown Adventures books. Update! I finished book 5, Valley of Treasure and am hard at work on book 6, Oceans of Trouble.

9. Do you use the CC stickers, tumblers, hats, tote bags, etc? -Brianna

I don’t personally because that would delete my stock for selling. But my mother uses the tote bag, Kristi (age 10) listened to the Stepping Stones on the new MP3 player, and I gave my grandkids a Circle C mug just for fun. I did get one mousepad for myself but when a fan asked to buy it, I relented and sold it to her.

My Mousepad

10. What gave you the idea to start doing fan fiction? -Sara

I know I liked to write fan fiction. I like to write my own “episodes” for my favorite shows, like Star Trek and The Big Valley. I thought fans might want to write their own episodes/stories for the Circle C Adventures, and boy, howdy! Was I ever right about that!

11. How did you get the ideas for each of your books?  -Anonymous

I will tell you about where I got the ideas for my first six books. There are too many to go through all of the series.

  1. Long Ride Home (I imaged how a young girl would live on her own in the countryside, then just had to find a way to get her out on her own.)
  2. Dangerous Decision (I watched the episode “Guilty” on The Big Valley and decided “what if” I changed a few things around and had Andi kidnapped by the outlaw instead of the Audra character in the episode. (I might do a Peek Behind the Curtain about this one sometime. Hope I don’t forget.)
  3. Family Secret (Events and situations from my extended family morphed into the whole Kate/Troy/3 kids plot.)
  4. San Francisco Smugglers (A “What if I sent Andi to San Francisco to school? What could happen?) Lots and lots of research.
  5. Trouble with Treasure (Trouble at the Line Shack). I thought, “Oooh, what would happen if Andi and Mitch went on a two-week camping trip and Mitch got shot?”
  6. Price of Truth. I watched the Big Valley episode “Down Shadow Street.” Instead of the main character, matriarch Victoria witnessing a back-alley murder, I had Andi do it. The episode started strong but got very dumb and unbelievable halfway through. I knew I could do a better job with the plot, so I did. 😂

12. What character in your books do you most relate to? -Sophie

Andi is “me.” Enough said. Just wishing I could either 1) Live on the starship Enterprise (Star Trek) or live on a ranch in the 1800s. I just had to put myself in a bunch of fun episodes of either show and out popped Andi (for the Circle C) and Jamie (for the Star Trek stories)

13. What is Andi’s favorite color? -Sophie

The oranges of every shade of a sunrise or a sunset.

14. What is the Bent Pine Ranch’s brand that they put on their cows? -Sophie

It’s a simple vertical line with three horizontal lines crossing the “trunk” (different lengths), and the top bent at a sharp angle.

15. Have you ever lost all your work when you were writing a book? -Sara

Yes, but not since I’ve been published. In my “write for fun” days on an old Commodore 64, sometimes my stories went into a “black hole” and never returned. I learned very quickly to back them up on my “floppy” disks.

16. What is your least-liked Andi book? -Sara

I don’t have a least-liked Andi novel. If I didn’t like one, I would have changed the plot and written it differently. 🤩 That said, I don’t care for the short-story collection Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch. My editor accepted it on a whim and I wish I never would have offered it, or that they would have asked me to change the stories to third person like the rest of the books, and most of all, that they would have listened to me and not used the cover they did, which I do not like at all. It doesn’t match anything so it’s an orphan book in more ways than one. I wish it would go away.

17. What made you write four somewhat different series on Andi and not just one long one? -Sara

Good question. I started with middle grade (12 year old Andi) and never dreamed I would write any other series. But, at homeschool conventions, parents ‘begged’ me write some fun Andi stories for early readers. My publisher had never done these kind before, so I did all the research, and the Circle C Beginnings was born! After that, fans who had grown up with the Circle C Adventures wanted more books about an older, teen Andi, so the Milestones were born. THEN, young readers had a hard time jumping from the Beginnings to the Adventures, so I create another series to fill the gap (Stepping Stones).

18. Are you married? -Sara

Yes. My husband, Roger, is my support with homeschool conventions. He hauls the boxes of books, helps sets up, and talks easily to all the attendees. He gets them to come into my booth!

19. Did you write all your books on a keyboard or pencil and paper? -Sara

When we got our first computer, Roger suggested I write stories on it. I did not think I could do it, since I had always written on paper. But I gave it a try. I wrote Dangerous Decision on the keyboard and I have never looked back!

20. Fav fan fiction story? -Sara

I love the POV fan fiction stories best. These are where fans have rewritten a scene in one of the books but have written it from another character’s POV. Many of these are very well done.

21. Did you enter any writing contests before?

Never! That would be too scary. But I guess that submitting to a publisher is the ultimate writing contest, ya know?

Published by Andi Carter

I'm the main character in the Circle C Adventures series. I live on a huge cattle ranch in 1880s California. These are my adventures.

16 thoughts on “Ask Mrs. M – Part 6

  1. Love these!!! I like the “Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C ranch” a lot! (even though the cover does NOT match the rest of the books 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the “Tales from the Circle C Ranch,” too!
    You said before that you based your characters off the characters from The Big Valley.
    Is Melinda based off Audra? Because she seems more calm and “prissy” than Audra- I think Audra was more of a tomboy/Andi type if you know what I mean.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have you ever thought about writing a totally different book series other than CC and Goldtown?
    Which is your favorite cover of all your books?
    What’s your favorite time of the year?


  4. What is your favourite colour?
    Have you ever thought about making Andi have more kids?
    Which is you favourite character out of the grandchildren?

    Liked by 1 person

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