Thanks for inviting me here, Charlie. I’ve met so many wonderful people online, especially within the writing community. I appreciate this opportunity to connect with your readers.
What’s your name, and where are you from?
You’ll find me online under three names—Careann was the pseudonym I used when I began blogging, because it was my Shetland Sheepdog kennel’s name and the name I used when painting, so I felt comfortable hiding behind it as a writer. Iris Whyte is identified with my Young Adult short stories. And eventually I owned up to my real identity, Carol J. Garvin. I added the “J” when I discovered another artist and writer in Florida with the same name.
How long have you been writing?
It depends what genre we’re talking about. I was sketching and writing bad poetry since I was ten. Fortunately none of it survived my childhood! I’ve been writing non-fiction—devotionals, magazine articles, and book reviews—since the early-1990s, but didn’t begin my first novel until 2000.
What genre(s) do you write?
At one time I would have said contemporary suspense, but my stories seem to have evolved into inspirational romantic suspense.
What’s your current WIP? Can you tell us about it?
My current story is still in the unfinished draft stage and apt to go through a metamorphosis or two before it develops into anything we’d want to talk about. But my last completed novel is tentatively titled SHOWDOWN and is the story of what happens when a couple’s addiction to purebred dogs and the world of dog shows gets out of control. The price of success is costly!
What’s your current day job? How does it help or hinder your writing?
My current one? I’m retired. Sort of. I’ve been a teacher, secretary, and film consultant, but most recently for a dozen years I ran my own professional dog show business. Its workload was a feast-or-famine thing. I’d work eighteen hours a day for several days, then coast for a week. A writing routine didn’t exist. During that period I snatched time to jot down words whenever they occurred to me. Most of my writing was non-fiction then, with shorter pieces that I could complete in bursts of writing.
I’m also a pastor’s wife, so there are church commitments, plus I’m the Director of Music. Fortunately, I like being organized, and now that my time is less chaotic, I compartmentalize my various tasks, staking claim to mornings and late nights for my writing. The continuity is necessary when I’m writing a novel.
Who is your favorite author?
You’d have to be more specific. What genre? J I enjoy Jodie Picoult, Barbara Delinsky, John Grisham, Diana Gabaldon, Linda Hall, Maeve Binchy, Robert Service, Dan Walsh, James Scott Bell, Jody Hedlund, Jane Kirkpatrick… and so many more, each one for different reasons.
Oh, dear! Do I really have to pick just one? One of Barbara Delinsky’s novels made a big impact on me a few years ago. SHADES OF GRACE brought me face to face with Alzheimer’s Disease just when a dear friend’s husband was dealing with it. And then a couple years later my father was diagnosed. Perhaps the story was more poignant because of its relevancy, but its one I’ve never forgotten. I wasn’t a fan of her early romances, but I’ve read everything she’s written since that one.
What other hobbies or activities do you do outside of writing?
In a nutshell… photography, oil painting, gardening, music and, of course, loving/raising/training/exhibiting purebred dogs… Shetland Sheepdogs and Labrador Retrievers.
What is something unique about yourself?
………. (that’s silence while I try to think of something!) I know God has created everyone with distinct strengths and abilities, but I’m not sure I can identify something truly unique about myself. Does it count that I was the Grade One teacher of the astronaut Robert Thirsk? I did a blog post about that a few years ago—http://wp.me/phaYw-cs
Do you have a blog, Twitter, and/or Web site we can link to?
Careann’s Musings is my blog at http://careann.wordpress.com
I’m @caroljgarvin on Twitter,
Carol Garvin on Facebook, and
CarolJGarvin on Google+
Thanks again, Charlie. This has been fun!