It’s Thursday again already? Man does the time fly. Today I have Carol Davis, writer of mystery, science fiction, and women’s literature. You can find out more about Carol at her website here: http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Davis/e/B001HMQK40/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
1. What first drew you to writing?
The short answer would be… love. Thanks to my dad, I’m a TV baby, and I found myself wanting more stories about my favorite TV characters, so I started to write them myself. This being back in the pre-computer days, I did all my writing in spiral notebooks with a ballpoint pen, and sometimes I churned out so much material that it caused my hand to cramp and burn — all for something that had a readership of one. (Me.) Years later I found out that what I was doing was called fanfiction, and that thousands of other people did it too. What a revelation! I’d always thought I was the only one.
2. So you write mystery, science fiction, and women’s lit. What about those genres appeals to you?
For me, all those genres tie in together, because I write about family — both the family you’re born with and the ones you build, through marriage, friendship, “shared experience” bonding, all of that. It’s always been a way to try to make sense of my own life and the people around me, so when an idea pops into my head, a concept I want to explore, I think: “What’s the best way to approach this? Which direction is going to be the most fun?” So my characters could be investigating mysterious deaths in the Adirondacks, or noticing that an alien species is being mistreated, or discovering that a couple of days in a luxury hideaway has more benefits than they imagined — but in the end it’s all about family.
3. Your latest mystery, “Dead in the Water” came out in July. Tell me about the book.
It’s set in a small town in the Adirondacks, an area that has particular appeal to me because my family has vacationed there every year since 1939! It’s a beautiful area, very historic, and the geographic isolation (and lack of cell coverage) in some of the little towns lends itself nicely to talking about weird things: ghosts, strange critters in the water, people going missing. I liked the idea of sending a couple of investigative reporters up there, thinking they’re just going to find out what happened to a bunch of people who drowned — and at the same time, they’re finding out some truths about themselves and about their families… while they’re being spied on by the family who runs the inn they’re staying at. It has a lot to do with loss, and grief, and trying to move forward, and building a bond with the people who stick with you. I’ve tried to put some strong threads of humor in there as well, because I love random bits of goofiness in the middle of a lot of drama! If you’re intrigued, you can find the book on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Water-Carol-Davis-ebook/dp/B00LGYQB2K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411819959&sr=8-1&keywords=carol+davis+dead+in+the+water.
4. I haven’t spoken with any other writer who has written for Kindle Worlds. How was your experience with that?
I have a lot of love for Kindle Worlds! Being a lifelong writer of fanfiction, Amazon’s “birth announcement” for KW really caught my eye. I hadn’t done any self-publishing up to that point — other than fanzines — and KW struck me as a really cool way of getting a story out there, and maybe making a little money at the same time. I became acquainted with a terrific group of people (the League of Original Woolwrights, or LOOW, of which I’m now a member) who’d been self-publishing for a while, and I thought it was worth a try. I’ve got 9 titles in KW now, all in Hugh Howey’s “Silo Saga.” Most of them follow the journey of the Brownell family, who are among the people herded into those underground silos when the bombs go off in Atlanta: a young mother and her two children, and her brother, who becomes the silo’s deputy mayor. KW gets a lot of criticism for being “just fanfiction,” but it’s a great way for writers to take advantage of a built-in audience, and to do what I’ve been doing all my life: creating more stories about my favorite characters (or situations).
5. Who is your favorite writer and why?
Stephen King. For 40 years now, Stephen King. He may not write great literature, but he’s a master of making you turn those pages… even if there are 1200 of them! He’s got such a way of making you feel like a kid sitting at a campfire, asking over and over, “And THEN what happened??”
6. What are you working on next?
I’ve got half a dozen things in the pipeline: part 3 of my “Something Simple” romantic trilogy (the journey of a young woman with a head-spinningly crazy life who’s looking for… well, something simple); a couple of romantic standalones; a SF story I originally wrote in college, about an escape that’s not as benign as everyone thinks; the aforementioned SF story about a teenager who begins to notice that her colony’s alien “staff” are being abused and killed; and a collection of short stories about a young girl’s relationship with her dad. I also have a story in the upcoming superhero anthology being published by the LOOW group.
7. What has been the most helpful advice to you as a writer?
It came when I was still in high school, from the head writer of my favorite TV show: “WRITE YOUR FACE OFF.” At the time, I was a painfully shy kid from a small town, and I’d taken a leap of faith by sending him a spec script out of the blue. To my astonishment, he called me, and his key piece of advice was to keep at it. Just keep going. Keep writing.
8. Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
I worked on the U.S.S. Enterprise! Well, sort of. Thanks to another spec script I decided to send out into the big scary world of Hollywood, I landed a writing internship at Star Trek: The Next Generation. For 6 weeks I worked with TNG‘s production team, and got to see the journey a story takes from that original germ of an idea to finished product. And, I got to have lunch with a bunch of Klingons! Definitely a one-of-a-kind experience… particularly for an ardent fan. I’ve blogged about it several times at my website (http://caroldavisauthor.com).