Carolyn Greeley is the award-winning author of Emerald Obsession and Treasure Bound (the first two books of The Treasure Quest Series). Equal parts city slicker and beach bum, she concocts adventure-mysteries, combining contemporary action and historic exploits in an engaging escape. A former Manhattanite, she now lives in St. Augustine, Florida, where she’s at work on Book 3. For more writing, join her newsletter at carolyngreeley.com and follow her on IG and FB.
You can buy Treasure Bound here.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
My dad would talk about himself and say, “Jack of all trades, master of none,” to which I’d reply, “Excellent, Dad, you know so much about so many things!” I aspire to be as knowledgeable as he was. I’m the hugest fan of lifelong education, and of keeping an open mind and continuing to broaden your horizons. Since my early years, I’ve worked as a waitress and hostess, a furnishings wholesaler, a print traffic manager, an advertising production and retouching manager, a home renovator, a retail flooring and tile designer, a kitchen and bath assistant designer, a website developer, a blogger, a book marketer, and oh yeah, an author! Whew!
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
The title of my first book, Emerald Obsession, was my editor’s suggestion, for which I’m so grateful. I’d had a completely different working title that I liked, but she pointed out how EO speaks quickly and directly to the story (whereas my idea was more abstract). I researched that title, found it wasn’t overly used, and then included it in a vote by my favorite reader-fans. EO won! For my second novel, Treasure Bound, that had been my working title, and after putting it through the same rigors as EO, TB won hands-down. What a cool process.
How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?
Blown away. On both counts, and for both books. You start off giving an art director a story description, and I also supplied rough concepts, but then to see your dream come to life in picture form … unreal. I’ve worked with ADs half my life, and it’s wild what crazy-cool ideas they produce from your collaboration. Stunning. And then to hold an actual printed book? I cried. Simply blown away.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
An escape from their norm. My stories fall into their own sort of blended genre. They’re mysteries, but with elements of adventure, travel, and food, a few of my favorite things! 😉 The stories are meant to entertain, for sure, but also hopefully to introduce the readers to a new travel location, or fun hobby, or unique food experience. I hope my stories give readers a sense of fun and excitement, step them away from the daily hum-drum for just a wee bit.
What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?
Many writers experience the highs and lows of submitting work to agents in the hopes of publishing traditionally. I tried that route, too, early in my writing career. Ultimately, I received a bunch of lovely rejections. Which urged me on. Some unexpected life experiences opened my eyes to the flight of time, and I decided to self-publish. The experience has been an incredible and educational ride. As part of the branding and platform-building, I taught myself how to create a website and blog, as well as how to market my books online. I’m not sure I would’ve gained such knowledge if I hadn’t decided to go my own publishing route. When I did finally hold the printed books in my hands, knowing I created the entire thing (with help, of course), made me feel unbeatable. I realized I could accomplish anything I put mind to. Really, how often do we get to feel so lucky and grateful?
What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?
I feel like I always have projects going! That’s just life, I suppose. But I am currently writing the first draft of Book 3 of The Treasure Quest Series. I’m both really excited and really frustrated. Haha. This is my first venture writing a series, and the undertaking is more challenging than I thought. The process is fun and complicated. Needless to say, I’ll be stoked when the first draft is finished, and I can set the script aside and let it stew before editing and revisions. In the meantime, I’m working on an Interior Design course, and that’s been equally fun and challenging. Gotta keep things interesting, right?
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.