Saturday, April 27, 2013

Interview with Lea Carter


Deirdra: When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I have been writing since I was nine, but did not complete an actual book until I was about 25.  It only took me three months to write it, but since I did not really know what I was doing, it took me seven years to get it edited and published.


Deirdra:  What is your writing schedule like?

As a public transportation rider, I primarily write while travelling between work and home.  Sometimes things do get slow enough at work to write a little, though.

Deirdra: What do you do to relax and unwind?

I enjoy watching a good movie or listening to an old-time radio program.  If it makes me laugh or start thinking, either way things around me seem better.

Deirdra:  Where do your ideas come from?  How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?

My ideas come from a wide variety of sources.  It might be a song or a movie reference, or just a “what if…”.  Then a character is in my mind as vividly (sometimes more vividly) as if it were an actual person.  Their story just begs to be told, often surprising me in the process.
I’m not sure asking if a story is “good enough” is quite how I’d phrase it.  Many times a story will not catch my attention but will fascinate other people I know.   The ideas that won’t leave me alone are typically the ones I write down, but I strongly recommend that beginning writers focus on the verb – write.   Sometimes the best writing exercise is forcing yourself past the easy part, finding out by trial and error whether you prefer a bullet-point list or brainstorming.


Deirdra:  What do you hope readers will get from your books?

I sincerely hope they experience the escape that I consider so much a part of what I enjoy about reading.  If I learned that people found something illuminating or uplifting in my books, that would make me very happy.


Deirdra: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?

I certainly have during my third book, Silver Verity, though for me it seems to act more like a snarl than a block.  I find that giving it a day or two to unravel itself, taking time to go back over points in the story and make sure I haven’t missed a connection, or discussing it with my biggest fan (hi Mom!) is enough to rattle a surprise loose.

Deirdra: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?

I don’t need quiet, but some things are almost impossibly negative and hard to ignore.  Quarreling people and profanity are particularly distracting.  I do listen to music at those times or when I need to make real progress.  I choose songs that I can tune out or in at will.


Deirdra:  What authors do you admire, and why?

I am particularly fond of reading Emily Loring and Louis L’Amour.  Their books are primarily clean and intriguing.  I will admit that Emily Loring’s can be a bit predictable but that’s sort of like complaining because you always enjoy your favorite dessert.  Louis L’Amour’s Sackett series has never seemed predictable to me and I would love it if Silver Sagas became an extended family series.

Deirdra:  How do you come up with your character’s names?
For the Silver Sagas books, it depends on the “tribe” they are from.  I might take a word and visit Google translate, see how it sounds in Latin or Greek.  I have also researched things native to their land, such as mountains, trees, or plants, until I found something that I thought sounded unique and like a name at the same time.


Deirdra: Where can readers go to find your books and order them?

At the moment, my books are only available digitally from Amazon.  I look forward to a time when they are out in print and am even working towards it, but I am temporarily stumped on that front because of the many contracts inherent in Print on Demand publishing.  When I know more I’ll post it on my site, https://sites.google.com/site/leasbookshelf/.

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