Writers and Authors Feature Interview

Many thanks to Writers and Authors for this recent feature interview

 

What genre do you write and why?

I write mostly in the horror/supernatural genre, but also in dramatic fiction. I am a screenwriter and filmmaker too, which allows me the freedom to experiment in different genres and formats of storytelling, so in terms of creativity, I have many structures to imagine and develop stories.

Tell us about your latest book.

‘Arkyne, Story of a Vampire’ is my debut novel and is a supernatural tale of myth and magic. It is set mostly in Ireland on the Aran Island of Inis Mor, where Caleb Flaherty encounters the beautiful and mysterious French girl, Coco de Rais, only to discover that she has unwittingly unleashed a daemon vampire, Lucius. Drawn together from vastly different lives and finding themselves in mortal danger, the lovers must accept and utilize the power they have each inherited through their strange and magical lineage.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?

I learned a lot through the process, particularly in terms of the amount of discipline and commitment that is necessary to apply to the long form of novel writing. The story meandered between a screenplay and a novel for a number of years, and eventually, to force myself to finish it, I began to post sample chapters on my blog. I received some very helpful feedback from supportive readers and it really spurred me on to finish it. The sheer satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that I felt on ‘having written’ a novel was also rather unexpected!

Who are your favourite authors?

I have so many, so perhaps I’ll just list the ones I find inspirational in terms of writing: Stephen King, Agatha Christie, Ann Rice, Alice Hoffman, Susan Hill, Neil Gaiman, and lately, David Mitchell and Audrey Niffenegger.

What’s your favourite quote about writing/for writers?

One of my favourites is from Anne Lamott: “When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.” From Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?

I’m in favour of any method that enables an author to get their work out there. I understand how difficult it is for a lot of publishing houses, they simply don’t have the resources to publish every good book that comes their way, so authors have a right to look at alternative paths to publishing. I think people’s attitudes have changed for the better in regard to self-publishing in the last while. Sure, there are works out there that perhaps don’t meet the standard required, but overall, I think the vast majority of Indie Authors are sound, talented people with voices and stories that deserve a platform. I’ve been a librarian for almost 20 years, so I also understand that readers will find the works that speak to them, and whether that is fantasy, horror, crime, dystopian, erotica, western, romance, high-brow literature, classics or whatever else, taste is taste and there is an author out there to meet that need. Self-publishing bridges many gap, particularly with ebooks, supplying reading material that is cheaper and in abundance, and that means that more books are read, and more people are reading. Who can argue with that?

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Giving yourself permission to daydream, to imagine and to live in the fantastical worlds with the magnificent characters that exist inside your head!

What advice do you have for other writers?

Be brave. Write what you want to write. Write what you want to read. Look for feedback from people you trust and admire. Take the negative in your stride, don’t respond to it. Save your energy and embrace only the constructive criticism. Don’t assume you are better than anyone else. Don’t assume you are not as good as anyone else; you are unique, so strive to express your work in your own voice. Take inspiration from your own experience. Don’t try to imitate others. Keep at it.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

I’m always delighted to connect with readers.

I have a website and blog: https://carolinefarrellwriter.com

I’m also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarolineFarrellScreenwriter/

And Twitter: @CarolineAuthor

Where can a reader purchase your book?

Links to purchase ‘Arkyne, Story of a Vampire’ can be found here:

https://carolinefarrellwriter.com/category/links-to-purchase-arkyne-story-of-a-vampire/

To Dream On and Dream Big…

No reminiscence, no resolutions, just looking forward, dreaming big, and thankful. Thankful to the people I’ve connected with so far; the ones who contributed to helping me create good work; the ones who were at my back and remain there; the ones I look forward to working with this year.

ADAM Short Film 2013

https://www.facebook.com/ADAMtheshortfilm

Cover image with titles

https://www.facebook.com/inribbonsmovie

Cover title

https://www.facebook.com/VampireofArkyne

Hushaway cover photo

https://www.facebook.com/HushawayShortFilm

And as I knuckle down to push ahead, this will be my self-penned mantra…

Be where your soul needs to be, and whether light or shade, cherish the experiences that have made you richer, wiser, stronger. Take what you have learned, sprinkle it with hope to dream on and dream big.

Here’s to a magical, peaceful and creative New Year for all of us.

Beyond the common eye…and being thankful for the writer’s ‘writing’ friends

I recently put out an SOS call to some writer buddies. A colourful, interesting bunch of talented scribes, men and women at varied stages of their own careers. Busy people, too busy to be putting hours aside to read my stuff.

And yet, for the most part, that is exactly what they took time to do.

You see, I had gotten stuck in the mire of whether to move forward with a project, a novel. A project that over the years, the writing of which could be likened to a long-term relationship of passion, nail-biting obsession, occasional bouts of frustration and even the odd period of apathy.

Until, that is, I lost it all. Every frigging word of approximately 45,000 so far written, non-retrievable in all its fledgling glory between the scratched layers of a burnt-out Hard Drive. [And that’s another story!]

Six months later, having finally made peace with my own stupidity [BACK UP YOUR FILES, PEOPLE!] and with a template from the screenplay drafts of the story, some retrieved from said writer friends, I set about starting from scratch, writing the first chapter, while my brain, all the while, niggled with thoughts akin to the words of W.C Fields.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”

And as the chapter developed, between the lines, the doubts went back and forth as the nagging lefty DEVIL and righty ANGEL, each digging into weary, laptop-hunched shoulders, continued the schizophrenic debate…

You loved it enough to begin, so begin again.  Let it lie, and quit flogging the proverbial dead horse. It’s in your system still, write it out and purge! You’re wasting precious writing time on this. You should be working on the other half-dozen concepts vying for your attention. Finish the goddamn thing and see where it takes itself! Pointless trying to revive something that should now be laid to rest...

Much like the smoking, smashed Hard Drive, the brain was deeply fried from it all. The squabbling might continue forever. I needed help!  And I needed that help in the form of honest and solid feedback.

And the ‘writers’ rallied to the cause, with practical, sensible, encouraging, truthful opinions and feedback – and enough of a nudge to spur me on for one more try. What they gave me was indeed beyond the common eye,  each, in their own way, reminding me of the heart and soul stuff that just refuses to QUIT!

 

 

Image/ quote sourced from Google images: Not the copyright of the author.