Pen Friends ~ Today we have awesome YA Author, Carrie Anne Noble, to chat about the writing life and her newly-released novel, The Gold-Son!
SP: Welcome Carrie Anne! Can you start out by telling us a bit of who you are and when you started writing?
C: Hi! I’m a stay-at-home mom/writer who lives in the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania with my family and assorted pets (currently two cats, a dog, a lizard, a foster hedgehog, and some chickens). I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, but I really got hooked on it when I was about eleven years old.
SP: Essential info next: Tea or Coffee? And one fact about yourself that we wouldn’t know by looking at you?
C: Tea! I adore tea! Favorite flavor of the moment: Twinings Prince of Wales.
You might not know by looking at me…that I am madly in love with my 2004 MINI Cooper, nicknamed “The Baby.”
SP: So, let’s talk about your new book, THE GOLD-SON. How did this idea come about?
C: There’s a bearded gentleman who walks his dog past my house every morning, swinging his walking stick. One day, I asked myself, “What if he’s really a leprechaun looking for a place to bury his gold?” That got my crazy imagination going, and before long I was planning a story about a leprechaun-cursed boy addicted to gold.
SP: You’ve had quite a variety of work experience over the years. What’s been your most interesting job, and what led you to settling into writing fiction?
C: Before I had my first son, I worked as a nurse aide in a geriatric care facility. It was the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done (besides motherhood). Taking care of the elderly residents was alternately heartbreaking and heartwarming. I still think about those special people to this day, and look forward to meeting them again in heaven.
I think I returned to writing because it was something that made me feel like myself—just me, not “mom” or “wife” or any of the other things I was required to be in a day. I love writing fiction because it allows me to explore imaginary places and situations. It’s a little like playing dress-up all day long.
SP: Will you tell us the story of how your books found their publishing home at Skyscape?
C: In early 2014, I entered a novel called Seashell, Stork and Apple Tree in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest—without thinking I stood the smallest chance of winning. I was completely shocked when the book won the young adult category! Part of the prize was a publishing contract with Skyscape. The novel, renamed The Mermaid’s Sister, was published in 2015. Contractually, Skyscape had first dibs on my next book. I was so pleased they chose to publish The Gold-Son. Everyone at Skyscape Publishing is top notch and a delight to work with, from the editors to the marketing staff.
SP: Many of our readers are young aspiring writers themselves. What are your best secrets and pieces of advice on writing habits, editing, and publishing?
C: Be brave! Get into a critique group and share your work, and be willing to learn and grow at every opportunity. Go to writers’ conferences to meet other writers, agents, and editors. Read and write as often and as much as you can, because that’s the only way you’ll get better.
Editors are your friends. Let them help you! Please don’t sell yourself short by self-publishing without first hiring a reputable editor. You want to put your best work out there, not something you’ll cringe over later.
Most of all, don’t give up! Know that getting published or finding an agent can take a long time, and that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Use that waiting time to hone your skills.
SP: What’s your ultimate life-time writing goal?
C: To fill a whole shelf with books written from my heart and to the best of my ability. Also, if we’re dreaming big here, it would be nice to receive praise from Neil Gaiman!
SP: Wouldn’t that be fantastic? Neil Gaiman is great! Okay, Carrie, where can we learn more about you and your books?
C: I have a blog at http://www.carrienoble.com, and I’m also on Twitter (@noblebat), Instagram (@carrieannenoble7) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CarrieAnneNoble/).
Thank you for having me here on The Spinning Pen!
Thanks for hanging out with us!
Dana, signing off.