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Caroline McBride: “Traveling empowers the mind and fosters self-discovery”

Traveling empowers the mind and fosters self-discovery. Four Seasons at Angelino’s is the story of a woman’s journey to find “the one,” but as she travels around the world she learns more about herself than she anticipated. As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great […]

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Traveling empowers the mind and fosters self-discovery. Four Seasons at Angelino’s is the story of a woman’s journey to find “the one,” but as she travels around the world she learns more about herself than she anticipated.


As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Caroline McBride, Director of Public Relations and Business Development for Serafina Restaurant Group. She spent the past decade marketing, branding and launching restaurants across the globe, as well as consulting for private clients. McBride earned her B.A. in Political Science at Loyola Marymount University and holds an M.A. in International Relations from the Universiteit van Amsterdam where she studied as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar. Four Seasons at Angelino’s (Post Hill Press) is McBride’s debut romantic comedy novel and it is influenced by her work experiences and personal escapades around the world.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

As I navigated international waters consulting for private clients and serving as the Director of Public Relations and Business Development for Serafina Restaurant Group, someone very dear to me inspired me to write a book. The restaurant stories were too juicy to ignore so I incorporated a composite of what I witnessed into a fictionalized romantic comedy novel. My work and travel experience gave me the ingredients I needed to create Four Seasons at Angelino’s — a modern-day love story based upon a career woman’s quest to find true love.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

It’s a story that taught me a life lesson. A famous athlete who is a regular at Serafina had a relaxed lunch with a popular actress many years ago when she was his girlfriend. We always respect the privacy of all our guests and they left smiling as usual. The next day, a widely circulated tabloid published an article falsely claiming that the couple had a huge fight in the restaurant and he had stormed out leaving her in tears. It was an absolute fabrication. As a publicist, I work with the media often and I reached out to the publication to demand that they retract the story. They refused and I learned the lesson firsthand that you can’t trust celebrity gossip. There were several additional incidents over the past decade that solidified this sentiment.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming an author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?

Finding a literary agent to give a first-time fiction writer a chance is a huge challenge. I worked through my network and finally connected with an agent who agreed to consider me. After numerous meetings, calls and rewrites during a seven-month period, she still wasn’t ready to pitch me to publishing houses. Fortunately, I was introduced directly to the publisher at Post Hill Press and he agreed to publish Four Seasons at Angelino’s. If you can work directly with a publisher, do it.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Asking a literary agent for additional feedback after getting rejected is a rookie mistake that I made. They don’t have time to mentor aspiring writers.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m currently writing the sequel to Four Seasons at Angelino’s and, like the first novel, each chapter is named after the city that it takes place in. I’ve recently completed chapters about Mexico City, Sirmione, Houston, and Philadelphia. Due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, it’s nice to live vicariously through my characters while they explore the world as I used to.

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

That would be a major spoiler… Some highlights in Four Seasons at Angelino’s include a colorful chapter that takes place in Mumbai involving several of the city’s most revered monuments; there’s a groping incident at Sensō-ji Temple in Tokyo — unfortunately, something similar actually did happen to me; and the book gives readers a glimpse at some special places I’ve been blessed to visit like Hôtel Cap Estel. I only write about places that I’ve stepped foot in.

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?

Traveling empowers the mind and fosters self-discovery. Four Seasons at Angelino’s is the story of a woman’s journey to find “the one,” but as she travels around the world she learns more about herself than she anticipated.

Based on your experience, what are the “5 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Author”? Please share a story or example for each.

Accept Rejection — Most writers get rejected when trying to publish their first manuscript. Don’t take it personally. Accept it, stand up straight, and try again. Repeat.

Perseverance — You must try, try, try and try again to get published. If you stop trying, it definitely won’t happen.

Think Outside the Box — How can you make your story as interesting as possible? Maybe you include a person or place that you didn’t plan on writing about. Be flexible and embrace unusual angles.

Listen to Others — People are a great source of ideas and they can give you a totally different perspective. Listen to them!

Write What You Know — Your firsthand experiences can fuel an interesting story. If you don’t know about something, do your research.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?

Discipline. I’ve always been a committed student with nearly perfect attendance and copious note-taking habits. As a freshman, I convinced my high school counselor to put me in honors courses even though there wasn’t time to administer the entrance exams. I slid in with kids much smarter than me but I could compete with them academically because of my discipline. In college, I’d pull all-nighters just to turn in assignments early, before many of my classmates had even started. I even graduated a semester early because I took extra units and participated in summer school courses. To write, you have to give yourself deadlines, force yourself to do research and revise, revise, revise. It all requires discipline.

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

Lately, I’ve been drawing inspiration from fellow romance writers. Effectively conveying the powerful emotion of love is a delicate craft and I can always learn from others.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

World peace might be shooting too high, so I’d direct my movement toward individuals and encourage others to end the disheartening hate that is constantly spewed on social media. It is unnecessary and often downright cruel. Think before attacking someone and their beliefs. Is there a nicer way to make your point? Perhaps in a way that doesn’t disparage others? Words and bullying can be extremely hurtful. Let’s try to be more humane. Social media is a great platform when used in a positive manner.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

My website has all my social media profiles: www.carolinemcbride.com

Or you can go directly to my Twitter: https://twitter.com/Caroline_Alexa

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mcbridebooks/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/McBrideBooks/

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!

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