Today I am excited to meet and talk to Amazon Kindle bestselling horror author, Carrie Green. She already has 3 books under her belt. Roses are Red; a collection of short stories, Violets are Blue; a novella and Sugar is Sweet; a collection of short stories. Her first novel, Walk a Lonely Street will be published in 2012.
Carrie not only writes and compiles stories, she also regularly blogs on her own website www.carriegreenbooks.com/blog and for www.worldliterarycafe.com.
“An impressive trilogy of short stories that grab you from the start and keep you hooked to the very end.”
Amazon Review of Roses are Red
“Carrie Green has a unique style of writing that brings an element of humour to the horror.”
Amazon Review of Violets are Blue.
“Carrie Green is an author who knows good fiction is character driven. She is a star on the rise.”
Amazon Review of Sugar is Sweet.
Today we talk about what inspired Carrie to become a writer, her advice on writing groups and tips on researching your story.
Read on for Carrie’s interview...
MW: Welcome to the Let’s Meet segment. Tell us about how you became an author?
CG: I became an author due to a life-long love of writing, which had been encouraged at an early age. My grandmother was a published author and poet, as well as an English teacher (she was my first editor) and she started writing, herself, as a child via a daily diary. Inspired by her example, I kept a diary beginning at the age of five, when I first had the ability to write words and simple sentences. I’d admit that my earliest diaries were rather heavily illustrated, imagine a child’s picture book, but writing every day turned out to be good practice for becoming an author. Wanting to write is not enough—authors write!
MW: How long did it take for Violets Are Blue to go from an idea to a published work?
CG: My writing tends to be brutally quick—I’ll spend non-stop hours fleshing out an initial concept or idea for a story. I’ll stay up all night, without sleep, as I’m that passionate about putting my thoughts down on paper. The editing process, where the final product comes together, is much more slow and laborious. Violets Are Blue probably went through at least ten revisions. There were numerous scenes added and deleted. The rewrites literally took months.
MW: If the film rights to Violets Are Blue are obtained, who would you like to see play Martha, Todd and Sarah?
CG: I’ve given this some thought, as many people have asked if Martha, the monster mother-in-law, was inspired by my own mother-in-law. I want to state publically that Martha was in no way inspired by my mother-in-law. If I had a source of inspiration it was Elvis Presley and his mother. I actually pictured them while writing these characters. I’ve long believed that an overly close mother and son relationship that creates a ’mother’s boy’ can be a huge dilemma for any girl who unwittingly walks into such a situation. I once dated a boy in college whose mother was less than delighted to have her son introduce me. I have no clue as to the reason, but I actually broke up with him after two visits with his parents, when it became clear that I wouldn’t ever be welcomed in that family.
Anyway, for the exact actors, perhaps Kathy Bates for Martha (she rocked it in Stephen King’s Misery) and Twilight cast members, Kristen Stewart for Sarah and Robert Patterson for Todd (I think that he has a certain Elvis-like appeal).
MW: Do you work with a writing group?
CG: I have participated in numerous writing groups, but I’m more selective, now, about whom I’d share a manuscript-in-process. I found my college writing workshops were particularly useless. Other than the feedback from the professors, it was the blind, leading the blind. Today, I prefer to work only with experts. I highly recommend taking a writing workshop with an author that you admire and respect. I took two workshops with Sue Grafton. In my opinion, she’s at the top of her craft with her mystery series (while she did not personally review my work, her tips on how to write were invaluable). My advice is to seek out groups that are led by successful published/bestselling authors, or just find that one talented mentor whom you can trust to provide constructive criticism.
MW: When you decided on your story, how did you set about researching?
CG: I like to visit the locations that I write about in my books in order to capture the sights, sounds, and the overall impression of a place. Since the characters are fictional, I like to ground them in the reality of a location. I do make up street names, etc. to give myself a little creative lee-way, but it is possible to use my books as (rather dark) travel guides to the Midwest.
MW: Do you create an outline before beginning a new book?
CG: I do create an outline, but I don’t feel forced to follow it. The best ideas often occur in the midst of writing (while outlining happens, generally, before you start) and I like to keep myself open to opportunities to enrich my stories as I go along – not strike them down because they were not a bullet point on my original outline.
MW: I love my kindle and believe it is a marvellous invention. However it doesn’t quite replace my love for the printed book; the smell, the feel of the pages, even better if it is an ear chewed second hand version! Do you have a preference for e-book formats or the traditional paper and hardback versions?
CG: I’ve pretty much converted to reading books almost entirely on my Kindle. The odd physical book that I read, on occasion, is usually a gift from someone else. Yes, at times I can feel nostalgic for the feel of book pages, but I really do enjoy all the benefits of the Kindle. I like how light it is, that I have endless access to reasonably priced books, and that I can highlight text and make notes without destroying a book… It’s also very handy to never have to scramble to find a bookmark!
Owning a Kindle actually ended my regular visits to the library to borrow books, because I can not read all the books currently on my Kindle—I don’t need any more reading content. I fear for the future of libraries. Everyone talks about publishers and bookstores closing, but I think that public libraries will soon be shutting their doors, due to the loss of regular patronage which determines their funding. I know, for a fact, that most libraries are now seeing AV materials, such as DVDs, borrowed more often than books. Libraries have turned into glorified video stores. This seriously saddens me, as libraries and books brighten my childhood and expanded my world beyond my resources as a teenager and I’d hate to see them go.
MW: Are you the type of person that constantly carries around a notepad to jot down ideas or are you more in the technical age and use a dictaphone or other sound recording devices?
CG: I used to carry around small notebooks in my purse to catch any inspirational story ideas, but over the years, I’ve decided if an idea does not linger, on its own, in my head, that it wasn’t powerful enough for me to develop it further. The only exception would be an idea that occurs at night. I’ll often work out a specific sentence or paragraph for a current manuscript—if I don’t write it down, it’ll be gone in the morning, so that I’ll jot it down on my daily calendar that I keep in my bedroom. Extremely low tech. I do, however, use the highlighting and note taking features on the Kindle when I’m planning to write a book review. Thriller author Doug Dorow introduced me to that very handy short-cut.
MW: Thank you very much Carrie for your time and words!
For more information about Carrie Green’s debut novel and her other books please visit www.carriegreenbooks.com
Follow on Twitter: @CarrieGreenBook
Carrie’s books are available at www.amazon.co.uk