- Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing both energizes and exhaust me, depending at what stage I am in the writing process. Coming up with cool plot lines and ideas, as well as character development is fun and energizing but about half way through the book, I bog down and get tired. A bit of writing ADHD?
- What is your writing Kryptonite?
Chocolate. Laundry. Anything I can use to procrastinate!
- Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Absolutely! Still haven’t ruled it out in fact.
- What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I didn’t have any writer friends until I decided to go on a writers retreat. It was there I learned I could call myself a writer even if I didn’t have a bestseller.
- Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Both. Some will be connected, some absolutely not.
- What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Time away; retreats, get-aways, whatever I need to do to focus.
- What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I remember coming home from grade one, waving my reader. I was so excited, and so amazed at the world that was opened up to me through the words. I have never forgotten that feeling of awe and amazement.
- What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I’m not sure it is under-appreciated but I loved The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I was hooked beginning with the first paragraph; such lyrical words and such a beautiful picture she painted.
- As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Gosh, I really don’t know. Maybe the A&W Root Bear?
- How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
- What does literary success look like to you?
People like what they read and my writings make a difference in this world.
- What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I don’t do much research, as the type of books I have written don’t really require it. I may research the odd thing as I go along, just to make sure I have a name right or something. Most of my writing is based in some way on real life.
- How many hours a day/week do you write?
Very sporadic and not disciplined. It can be from 20 hours to zero, sometimes one week after the other.
- How do you select the names of your characters?
I try them on with their character to see if there is a fit or not. Pure gut instinct.
- What was your hardest scene to write?
- Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
My first book just happened. I call it my accidental book. It is a collection of FB posts from the time I announced my son had taken his life until about a year later. The second was a children’s book. Coming up I have a novel that walks the line between romance and smut (lol!). I also have a collection of stories that all involved the same women going through different things in their lives.
There is no real balancing as I go with what I am in the mood for and tend to work on that one until I am finished.
- How long have you been writing?
Since I learned to read. I don’t really remember not writing.
- What inspires you?
If I can find a place of solitude and peace with little distractions, lots of sleep and nature, I find that is when my creativity flourishes.
- How do you find or make time to write?
Honestly, I don’t find enough time. I fit it in for the most part.
- What projects are you working on at the present?
Finishing a novel is my primary focus right now.
- What do your plans for future projects include?
I have a few non-fiction ideas that I would like to work on when I have the time to do the necessary research and interviews. There just are not enough hours in the day!
- Share a link to your author website.
Right now the only website I have is for my first book Bearing Witness – www.Carlahowatt.com
Carla Howatt lives in Alberta, Canada where she helped raise four children, two husbands and a pug. She is a recovering politician and business owner. A communicator at heart, Carla is also a proud introvert, port inhaler, and dark chocolate hunter.