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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Author Interview – Carey Jane Clark

7:30 AM Posted by James Noel No comments


What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? I really enjoy hearing from readers. My favorite comment of all time came from someone I’d previously had only professional contact with. While it’s women who seem to identify most with After the Snow Falls, this was a male reader. He told me that although mine wasn’t the kind of book he usually picked up, he was glad he did. He compared himself to Alfie, Celia’s father, and told me how the story had touched his life.

This was the best reward I could have received for writing After the Snow Falls. This was the dream I had when I sat down to write it.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I set After the Snow Falls in a location that’s familiar to me: the Ottawa Valley where my husband grew up and where his parents live today. The story I’m working on now, with the working title What the Girl Knew, is set in Ontario, Canada, also in a location familiar to me. My middle-grade novel is set in the Amazon rainforest. While I’ve been close–three different cities in Brazil–I haven’t been to the heart of the Amazon basin yet (but I’d love to go). I do a lot of research into locations I haven’t encountered, and readers tell me I’m able to evoke vivid, convincing imagery.

What was the hardest part about writing this book? I’ve learned a lot more about how to write more quickly, but I wrote After the Snow Falls over quite a long period of time–with life interruptions like the birth of a third child and a move to China. Having never experienced any difficulties in pregnancy myself, I wrote the part of Celia’s infertility and frequent miscarriages from information I researched on the Internet. But when it came time for revision, I was working through those scenes while I was actually going through a miscarriage myself. That was tough.

Have you ever had writer’s block? I’m not a big believer in writer’s block. It’s easy to get stuck, but the key is to learn tricks and techniques to quickly get unstuck. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting up and making another cup of tea–a change of scenery, a matter of getting the blood pumping again. Sometimes it’s a little tougher, but what I’ve learned about my (perfectionist) self is that a blank page can intimidate me. But if I open a new document outside of my project and just start freewriting and talking to myself on “paper,” I start to think of new possibilities and developments that hadn’t occurred to me before. I need to have that permission to just follow any trail and not have it matter if it doesn’t turn out or isn’t the most brilliant thing I’ve ever written. Once I’ve freed myself that way, the words start flowing.

When and why did you begin writing? I began a novel while I was in university, and although I received a personal reply from an editor after sending in the first three chapters and a synopsis, I didn’t pursue that story. After my son was born, while I was on maternity leave, I began to seriously write and study the art of fiction. After my daughter was born, I began work on what–after numerous revisions–became After the Snow Falls.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I am most comfortable with contemporary fiction. I am writing another contemporary novel now, and am working on revising a middle-grade novel–also set in modern times.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? I am immensely proud of my children. That’s not really an accomplishment, but I’m really grateful for the opportunity to homeschool them and spend the time with them that choice affords.

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Genre – Inspirational

Rating – PG (some difficult subject matter)

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