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Author Interview – Carla Howatt

November 9, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Author-Interview-Button

Carla.jpeg

  1. 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?

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Chocolate. Laundry. Anything I can use to procrastinate!

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Absolutely! Still haven’t ruled it out in fact.

  1. 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.

Bearing

  1. 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.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Time away; retreats, get-aways, whatever I need to do to focus.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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?

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Two.

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

People like what they read and my writings make a difference in this world.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

Sex scenes

  1. 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.

  1. How long have you been writing?

Since I learned to read. I don’t really remember not writing.

  1. 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.

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

Honestly, I don’t find enough time. I fit it in for the most part.

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

Finishing a novel is my primary focus right now.

  1. 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!

  1. Share a link to your author website.

Right now the only website I have is for my first book Bearing Witness – www.Carlahowatt.com

Bio:

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.

Writing Prompt Wednesday

October 24, 2018
mandyevebarnett


With snow fall here in Alberta, this prompt seemed appropriate.

What does the winter season bring to your mind?

I hope you enjoy my poem.

Creator of Winter

winter

Her cloak glistens and sparkles in the moonlight

Intricately made from icicles and snowflakes.

Gliding across the sky, flakes fall behind her

They increase as they tumble

 

Blown hither and thither by the breeze

Coating branches grass and houses alike

With a thin white gauze

That builds layer upon layer

 

She is cold to the touch

But not cold of heart

Spreading a glistening white cloth

For all to play in and enjoy

 

Her eyes are the purest clearest blue

With skin as pale as the snow she creates

She is a glimpse in your eye

A sparkle in the twilight

 

Please share your response in the comments below.

Writing Prompt Wednesday

October 17, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Today’s prompt is two-fold. Firstly, a theme: A Fall Walk and secondly, words to include: bird, wheel, envelope.

147cbbac82b9e19e53c118c39afddb9f--autumn-leaves-autumn-fall

Here is my response:

Gerald replaced the letter into the envelope, folded it in half and pushed into his jacket pocket. With a scarf wrapped tightly around his neck to keep the fall chill from creeping in, he pulled on gloves and his heavy hiking boots.

“I’m just popping out for some fresh air, Martha.”

“All right, dear, the soup will take about two hours, so don’t go too far.”

Gerald tutted under his breath. Martha always had a schedule and woe betide you if you didn’t keep to it. He called back as he exited the warmth of the house and entered the golden hued avenue.

“I’ll be on time, Martha.”

With determined steps, he walked along the treed avenue focused on his destination. Turning a corner a bird flew upward from its foraging in the leaf litter startling him.

“Silly bird!” he turned to follow the bird’s flight path and tripped. Stumbling with hands outstretched to save himself. One hand became entangled in the wheel of a bicycle and Gerald and the rider crumpled into a heap on the verge.

“Oh my God! I’m so sorry. I tried to stop when I saw you falling but wasn’t quick enough. Are you okay?” The young man’s voice was tense with worry.

“Just a bit shocked. Although, I think I may have hurt my hand.”

“Let me see. Can you take off the glove?”

Gerald pulled at the woollen material and winched.

“Oh, that doesn’t look good. I’m going to call an ambulance.”

“It’s just bruised, an ice pack will suffice, I’m sure.”

“Well you will have to do that quickly. I should come with you to make sure it is not more serious. I’m a doctor.”

Gerald looked at the young man- how can you be a doctor? You look as though you’re in high school. Not wanting to be rude, Gerald kept his thoughts to himself.

“I live just up here. It’s not necessary to come – really.”

“I insist.”

Gerald let the doctor accompany him home. Martha, of course, made a huge fuss. The envelope’s content would have to wait another day.

Writing Prompt Wednesday

October 10, 2018
mandyevebarnett


mermaid

 

Inspired by the news story headline: ‘mermaid tails emerge from washing machines at a laundromat in LA’ I thought it was perfect for a word prompt.

Let’s see where it takes your imagination.

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday

October 3, 2018
mandyevebarnett


postcardprompts

I found a fun prompt exercise I thought would be fun to share. Find postcards (or virtual ones) and write about the person writing them and/or the person receiving them. It can be any era, location or relationship.

I wrote this one: Fate on a Postcard

Justine pushed the hotel information booklet to one side and spread out her purchased postcards on the small desk. With a glass of red wine to her right and an open window to her left overlooking the piazza, she made her choice of recipient for each postcard.
A view of the cathedral for her mother, she knew her strongly Catholic mother would love the adornments, the statues and grandeur. For her brother she chose a view of the harbour full of fishing boat, nets and curvy young women flirting with burly rugged fishermen. He had always wanted to go sea fishing but being confined to a wheelchair did not make his wish easily granted. She wrote quickly filling in the available space with her smallest writing, trying to convey the beauty, aromas, atmosphere and the bustle of people in Capri.
She took a long sip of wine and looked at the bustle of cafes below her hotel window. The aroma of garlic, coffee and dry stone invaded her nostrils.
Justine looked at the last postcard with its scenes of Capri and couldn’t help but remember the last conversation she had with Marco. Now she understood her fear of leaving England for him. A man she had only known for four months. But now she was confident and sure – it was the right thing to do. She paced back and forth compiling her words and then dismissing them. With a deep breath she put pen to paper.
Dearest Marco,
I do love you. I will marry you. I am here in Capri. Come to the piazza Cordon at eight tonight.
Your love. Your heart. Justine X
So she did not second guess her decision yet again she walked swiftly from her room to the reception and asked for directions to Marco’s workplace. Timing her arrival at siesta, she placed the postcard on the table outside the small store and walked away to find the post office, the receptionist had advised her about. Now she would wait. Her fate on the back of a postcard.

Now you have a go! Have fun.

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