Thursday, December 3, 2015

December Author of the Month: Carmel Harrington

Our featured author Q&A is written by Susan Lobban from our UK Facebook Page.

*FEATURED AUTHOR* This month is Carmel Harrington, who is delighted that she has been chosen for December as she has a very Christmassy release out now! Thank you so much Carmel for taking part. Here is the first part of her Q&A.

Book link USA link / UK link

1. How did you decide to become an author? What/Who inspired you?

I’ve always written. As a young girl, I always had a diary. Then I began writing short stories when I was about ten. My problem was that I never wanted to share what I wrote. I was too shy. It took me until I was forty, to follow my lifelong ambition. It was my children who inspired me as it happens. When the kids came along, I knew I had to lead by example. Can’t expect them to be fearless and follow their dreams, if I didn’t do the same myself.

2. Can you describe your typical writing day?

Monday to Friday, the children are in school from 9am to 2pm.
We are early risers, about 7am most days and for two hours its a marathon of getting kids dressed, washed, fed, lunches made, housework done! Then at 9.15, with a cuppa in hand, I start to write. I have to set my alarm for 1.30, because there are time when I get so absorbed in what I do, I don’t realise how late it is!
Afternoons are all about the kids, then once they go to bed at 730pm, I’m back working again. Usually in the evenings, I’m doing some promotional work. And right now, I’ve lots to do, with my new book out, Every Time A Bell Rings. I try very hard to keep my weekends free, family time is precious.

3. Where do you write?

At home. I live very rural and am lucky to have a spectacular view from every window in our house, so I like to sit by a window. Right now, I’m working at my kitchen table.

4. How do you come up with your plot lines/characters?

The newspapers, radio, songs, overheard conversations…… the slightest thing can make a story come alive in my head. For e.g. yesterday, I was writing a Christmas Short Story for Woman’s Way magazine. I was trying to come up with a story, when a balloon from my sons 4th birthday caught my eye. It had floated up to the ceiling and attached to the end of the string, was a card my daughter had made for me. From that image, a complete story came to life. Funny what can trigger my imagination!

5. Which of your characters are you most like?

There’s parts of me in all my characters. I think I’m a cross between Belle in Every Time A Bell Rings and Grace in Beyond Grace’s Rainbow. But there’s a good lot of me in Gerry, from Beyond Grace’s Rainbow too, the dramatic over the top side!

6. Do you ever get writer's block and if so how do you get through it?

Thankfully it’s not happened to me yet. But I would say, if it does, it would mean that
I need a break.

7. What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Once you have written your manuscript, make sure it is the very best it can possibly be, before you submit to an agent or publisher. I’d invest in a good editor. Or at the very least, make sure that you get constructive feedback from writer friends.
Know the industry, be informed. There are a lot of options now for aspiring writers and publishers worldwide are now more accessible than ever before.
Get involved on twitter and Facebook with your favourite authors and publishers. Start a conversation with them; you may be surprised at how accessible they are!
Take advantage of any opportunities that are out there. For e.g. there are so many literary festivals on, not least of which this one! Empower yourself with knowledge. And enjoy the journey. Believe in yourself and know that it will happen one day. The when is the only bit that is unknown.

8. What are you reading right now?

I’ve got a couple of books on the go - Cecelia Ahern’s The Marble Collector and a manuscript called Hooked, from a new writer and friend, called Catherina Hogan. Both are excellent.

Part 2 of the interview coming later in the month!

For Carmel's author page on Amazon, see UK page/ US Page

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