Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m happy to have Carol Raj. As a linear writer — meaning I start at the beginning and write to the end, I’m fascinated by someone who can write a book out of order! Her book sounds like a lot of fun! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of it. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.
Tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in the Midwest, lived in the beautiful state of New Hampshire for forty years, and recently moved with my husband to Georgia. We have three successful children and five grandchildren with one more on the way.
Tell us about your current release. The Curious Prayer Life of Muriel Smith is about an impoverished retired teacher. When she prays for someone to mow her lawn, she gets carjacked. How could God get everything so wrong? Things go from bad to worse until… Well… You’ll have to read the book.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I wish I knew how! Sometimes a long walk helps. Sometimes reading a book about writing triggers an aha moment. Often I write chapters out of order and fill in the gaps later.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? In second grade my story about a duck earned a gold star and a prominent place on the classroom bulletin board. I decided then that I wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first novel when I was in sixth grade, worked on my elementary school newspaper, and was a copy editor for my high school yearbook. My father was my greatest encouragement.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I always felt that if I couldn’t get a traditional publisher, my work wasn’t good enough to self publish. So I never even considered it.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? (1) Join a good local or online critique group. (2) Once your work is the best you can make it, go to a conference and sign up for as many editor and agent appointments as you can. If you’re lucky, someone may make an offer, but, even if no one does, you’ll get valuable individualized feedback.
Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? The plot and characters are for my own enjoyment, but I do follow generally accepted guidelines, like word count appropriate for the genre.
I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book and go in a different direction? When I started Muriel, I knew the beginning and the ending but nothing about the middle. Trouble is, nobody else liked the original ending. The published ending is revision number four and 180 degrees different.
Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story? I was sitting in a car in a parking lot while my husband ran into a store “for just a minute.” He laughed at me for locking the car doors, and I thought: What if I had been carjacked? And what if I hated to drive?
Here is where you can find Carol online:
Carol is giving away an ebook copy of her book to a reader! See below how to enter to win: a Rafflecopter giveaway