Friday, February 24, 2012

Author Carrie Green Talks About What She Loves Best - Writing Horror, Feb 24 - 26

Carrie: Stephen King made an early impact with 'Carrie,' which was the the bane of my childhood. I can't tell you how many of my peers thought it was funny to suggest that I should run for prom queen, so that they could splatter pig's blood on me.  Anne Rice was another early influence. Tabitha King, Dean Koontz, Stephanie Meyer and Laurell K. Hamilton are other authors that I'd pick up when they publish a new book.

Carrie Green "a powerful new voice in horror and suspense" will have her first novel, 'Walk a Lonely Street,' published by McMullin Press in 2012. Set in Chicago, a jazz nightclub owner is found dead in the parking lot with a bullet to the brain. Police have written it off as a suicide, but his wife and best buddy think that it's a murder and they embark on their own investigation. Carrie is excited to build her audience, in the meantime, with the 'Roses are Red,' 'Violets are Blue,' and 'Sugar is Sweet,' trilogy of shorts stories and a novella being released as eBooks for a limited time. Born and raised in Chicago, Carrie now lives with her husband in the northern suburbs of the city. Contact Carrie or sign up to receive notification of the publication of her next book at  

Carrie's books are available on Amazon

Louise: Carrie, welcome to my blog! I’m so excited you could join me for a chat. When did you first decide to submit your work to be published? Tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.

Carrie:  My day job is in Public Relations and I had a client for whom I wrote a business eBook.  As part of this project, I researched eBooks and Amazon (as the leader in eBook sales).  I was intrigued by what I had discovered, especially about how Amazon has made it possible to make MORE money self-publishing than going with a traditional publisher. 

I was always passionate about writing fiction, but I had placed that dream on a shelf, since I didn't see it paying the bills (let's face it; there are more state lotto winners than there are bestselling authors).  Today, however, thanks to Amazon's online marketplace, it is feasible to make a decent income.

Louise: Please tell us a little about your new release Walk A Lonely Street without giving too much of a spoiler away. (Cover not available)

Carrie:  I'm very excited about my new release due in a few months, Walk A Lonely Street.  It picks up some of the themes displayed in my short story and novella New Blood Trilogy (Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, and Sugar Is Sweet) that true horror is most often tied to personal relationships.  In a nutshell, a man is found dead under suspicious circumstances. When the police rule it a suicide, his wife and best friend investigate on their own.  It's a journey which is all about the secrets that we hide from those who are closest to us.

Louise: Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

Carrie:  I do a combination of both planning and trying to allow room for spontaneity.  Often the best scenes in a novel are tangents that were not in the original outline.  I’m sure that you've experienced that type of writer's high when the words are just flowing and your fingers can not type fast enough to transcript the sentences and paragraphs that are appearing whole and complete in your mind.  If a scene starts to turn in another direction, under those circumstances, I'll pursue it.  When I edit, later, I'll decide what I'm keeping or deleting.

Louise: How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?

Carrie:  In my business life, I conduct tons of research online, stuff like competitive overviews, reading all of a reporter's articles on certain topics, but I like to go more old-school for my writing research.  Rather than depend on the Internet, I'll go to experience, in-person, and a location that is featured in my book. 

Reality serves as the best inspiration for fiction.  If the settings are true to life then what I portray happening at those locations will seem equally realistic.  It's the old adage that the best lies have an element of truth. 
Louise: What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?

Carrie:  Same answer as planning the characters that I answered above (I actually outline all my major characters, provide them with a back story and figure out their motivations—this is what drives the action/plot).  It's a combination.

Louise: Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer or still do?

Carrie:  I do write full time as writing is the bulk of my day job in PR.  Sadly, my fiction writing, however, is still a hobby that happens evenings and weekends.

Louise: Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.

Carrie:  Since I write full-time during the day, I'm pretty business-like in my approach.  I compose directly on the computer (in college, I used to write first drafts, long-hand, in yellow legal pads).  I prefer no distractions.  While I have a window with a lovely view in my home office, I sit facing a wall and focus only on my computer screen. 

I've learned to divide writing from editing, which is the key in order to prevent writer's block from happening.  I write and then edit only when I'm finished (usually at the end of a chapter).  Writing is about being open and creative.  Editing is about following rules and being restrictive.  These are opposite goals. 

To be successful at each, I perform them at separate times.  Writer's block occurs when a writer tries to accomplish both writing and editing at the same time.  FYI, I actually spend more time editing than I do writing, because it is that important in creating a polished product.

Louise: Describe a typical writing day for you.

Carrie:  I sit at the computer all day and type.  I take break to prepare and eat meals.  I try to exercise at least once a day.  I like to write down ideas whenever they occur to me—often whole passages of text or a solution to a plot problem.  It's not very exciting, which probably why you'll never see a reality show featuring writers—not enough action, most of writing is very internal, it takes place inside your head.

Louise: Please give us a sneak peek at your future books. What’s on the horizon?

Carrie:  After 'Walk A Lonely Street,' I plan to write serial killer/ghost story for my next novel, but I'm also involved in several collaborative writing projects with other authors that will be released in-between my novels.  I really enjoy the brainstorming aspect of collaboration.  I take great pleasure in seeing a good idea, after some creative input, become great.

Louise: What is your favorite genre to read and who is your favorite author?

Carrie:  I love horror, but I also read mystery, thrillers, detective, women's literature, literature, biography, historical nonfiction, cookbooks, management and business books.  I tend to bounce around multiple genres.  My favorite author is one that writes well, whatever the genre.

Louise: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?

Carrie:  To give Indie authors a chance.  There is an unfair perception that Indie authors are sub-par.  The more that I've engaged with other Indie authors, I've discovered that the most successful ones are highly professional, have their work edited, and produce books equal to anything that a traditional publisher is releasing. 

I think that there is some hostility towards Indie authors because of the misconception that they are the reason for bookstores dying.  The truth is that bookstores were a monopoly held by the top 6 publishers.  Amazon and the eBook format is actually customer driven and allowing real competition. 

For example, the top 6 have recently decided that paranormal romance is over and that military romance will be the next big publishing trend.  That is how the top 6 operate—they only publish what is bringing in the largest profit.  Due to eBooks, readers can still find thousands of Indie authors that will write and publish their favorite styles of fiction.  A niche market that the top 6 won't support, can flourish online.

eBooks are here to stay because they serve all readers, whatever genre that they like to read, and the price is right.  The customer is now actually deciding what books become bestsellers, not the publishers.  It's time to embrace this change as it actually benefits readers and authors alike.

Louise: Where can the readers learn more about you and find your books on the web?

Carrie:  Readers can visit my Author Amazon page

Louise: Carrie, thank you again for visiting with me. Readers, Carrie is giving away an eBook copy of her first book Roses Are Red from Smashwords. Leave a comment with your email address. Good luck!

Violets Are Blue, A Novella

Newly-wed Sarah was delighted to move in with her mother-in-law, Martha, a widower who had raised her son, by herself, on an isolated Midwest farm.

A kid from a broken home who had been raised in a group house in Chicago, Sarah had struggled to put herself through college on scholarships.  She considered herself to be self-reliant and willing to work hard for her dreams.  She wanted only one thing, a real family.  Todd was the love of her life, so that she was sure that she'd love Martha, too.

It never occurred to Sarah that Martha would see her as competition, to be eliminated.


Sarah stood on the dirt road, staring at the six foot high stalks, at the long, rippled leaves that concealed, in seconds, the bold red of Todd’s t-shirt. The corn had swallowed him up. She hadn’t expected him to take off.

Seriously, he wanted to play tag in a corn field? Then, she thought, why not? It was as crazy as anything else that they had done together.

She remembered the time that they had walked through a snow storm, licking ice cream cones. People drove by; laughing at them, but a cone in winter had the advantage of not melting. It was the perfect weather for ice cream.

“Todd, where are you?”  She tried to sound pissed, after all, he was forcing her to play tag. She waited to hear his voice, so that she could follow him. “Todd?”

“Come and get me!” he shouted, but she heard him moving again as she ran into the field, the noise of him running was fainter than the crashing of her own elbows and legs through the corn stalks.

In the corner of her eye she saw the ears of corn which were both uglier and smaller than those in the supermarkets back home. The cobs, half eaten by the birds, had empty black sockets that resembled gap-toothed smiles. Tassels draped over the cobs like a bad comb-over.

The leaves sliced her skin. She was forced to run through random swarming circles of flies. Her hands were held out straight in front of her in a futile effort to protect her face. Sarah could hear Todd, up-ahead. He sounded closer.

She stumbled. Her feet kept getting caught in the rope-like webbing of the corn roots. The ground was rock hard and dry. Only her momentum kept her from actually falling. A glimpse, finally, of Todd’s shirt; she was gaining on him.

His dark blue baseball cap flew up above the corn. Her eyes followed its descent. Sarah almost went to pick it up, but she didn’t want to lose Todd now. It was his problem, if they couldn’t find the hat later…

Grinning, she gasped for more air, she was getting closer. Todd was too smug in his country boy superiority, condescending about her fear of chickens. They were big birds, peaking at her knees, chasing her around the pen.

They had flapped their useless wings in what she figured was their attack pose and made their warning cries, high and screechy. Fried chicken. Roasted chicken. Sweet and sour chicken. Her revenge would be tasty.

Todd was no longer a blur, but begun to take shape, again. She could see, in clear detail, the dark wave of hair at the top of his neck, formed by his constant habit of wearing baseball caps.

She was getting closer. Growing up in Chicago didn’t mean that she couldn’t run. There had been plenty of things to run from in Chicago. She liked to think that four years in college hadn’t slowed her down.

She could see Todd turn his head to check on her progress. He started quarterback dodging, going left and then right, around the rows of corn. Sarah followed, replicating his sudden turns. She steadied herself by reaching out at the corn, ripping off leaves, knocking down stalks. She was beginning to enjoy herself, exhilarated by the pounding of her heart and the heat of the sun on her head.

Carrie on Twitter  



  1. Carrie, thank you again for visiting this weekend.
    We have lurkers in the hall. Don't be shy readers. Let Carrie know you stopped by and or ask her a question.

  2. Great interview, and I love the point about separating the writing and editing process. When I'm stuck in either my fiction writing or my legal writing, it's usually because I'm trying to edit as I go along instead of just continuing the draft. Carrie's books inspire me as well - great suspense, horror, and real characters I care about.