I’m really excited to welcome Carolyn Holland to my blog today. We grew up in the same small fishing community, lost touch over the years and when we reconnected, we realized that we shared a love of writing. Last month, she was on tour promoting her latest series – The Wraith of Carter’s Mill. You may have seen her on one of your favorite blogs. If you missed her, you’ll want to check out the interview!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a 46-year-old mother of three children. I always dreamed of writing but when my family was younger, there was just too little time to pursue it beyond a handful of notebooks full of short stories. I always intended to take these short excerpts and create novels from them someday.
My first novel, Seeds of Transition, written under my actual name, Carolyn Holland, was meant to be a dystopia novel but turned out more like a science fiction work. I found that while the concept was very interesting, and the subject of food security near and dear to my heart, I was not ready for such a huge undertaking. I became quite discouraged and then it occurred to me that I was trying to force a square peg into a round hole. If I really wanted to write well, write things people would enjoy, I HAD to find the right niche.
I am a fan of MANY genres, but I always felt that I had a knack for paranormal fiction. The idea for my series titled The Wraith of Carter’s Mill was born and I found that the writing was easier, partly because I enjoyed it more I suppose. I decided to use a pen name for this series, and for all future works of paranormal fiction since I am still exploring. My husband came up with the pseudonym C. Evenfall. I expect that I will write a considerable amount under this name but I also hope to try my hand with other genres in the future.
When it comes to a new novel, what/who usually shows up first? The idea for the story or the characters?
For me, the main character shows up first, and as I think about this person, his/her story begins to develop. As the story unfolds, so do other characters.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on their meaning or because you like how it sounds? What other things do you consider when naming your characters?
I pretty much stick with how the name sounds, unless a name in and of itself has the potential to speak about someone. For instance, in my current story, Carter’s Mill, several of my characters have biblical names. Why? Because the setting is rural North Carolina, 1907, and my protagonist is an upstanding, church going, local businessman.
Sometimes, there are people in our lives that we just don’t like. Have any of those people shown up in your stories?
Absolutely, most of my “villains” are people that I know! Names and circumstances are different, but I like to take the personality traits that I do not enjoy about these folks and give them to these characters.
Your current work in progress – Care to share a couple of sentences?
I am currently finishing up with the fourth novella in my series titled, The Wraith of Carter’s Mill. The first three, Sensitives, The Guardians and The Forgotten are currently available in Kindle format. The fourth installment, Carter’s Mill will only be available in the special paperback edition, which will contain the entire series.
The first three novellas chronicle the curse of the Carter women. It travels through time, beginning in 1945 and ending in 2007. The fourth, Carter’s Mill provides the history and back story to this terrible curse. I have had a tremendous amount of fun with this installment. It is full of shocking answers to questions readers may have from reading the first three.
When it comes to your writing career, where do you see yourself in ten years?
Well, I definitely feel that I will still be writing. I hope that within that time frame, I will continue to hone my craft and become a better writer. It is my dream to write/publish a very successful novel someday.
At the end of your life, when it is all said and done, what would you want your tombstone to say?
I would love for the epitaph to read:
Carolyn Holland loved and appreciated life and did not waste a single minute!
Thanks for stopping by & meeting Carolyn. If you’re interested in being the Q & A Featured Author, please contact me.