How long have you been writing? Has writing always been something you wanted to do?
I have been writing faithfully for the past four and half years. As a teenager I used to write romance novellas, and insisted family and friends read everything. When they wouldn’t read it, I’d read it to them. You could say I was persistent.
However, writing disappeared from my life for approximately 13 years. Life changed significantly during this time. I did a lot of growing up, got married and moved three hours across the country. During this time, I always thought it would have been quite an accomplishment to complete a full-length novel, but it was nothing more than a thought.
Everything changed for me four and half years ago. Things weren’t going well at the day job; in fact, the entire department faced a layoff. Needless to say, none of us were very motivated. A co-worker emailed me towards the end of one work day and said “tell me a story”—randomly, out of the blue. Writing wasn’t something I ever talked about during these years. Regardless, I complied, typed up a few paragraphs and fired them back to her. She loved them and requested more. I kept writing and sending back the emails expanding on the storyline pulling from nothing but imagination. She told me that I needed to finish this. It turned out that’s all the encouragement I needed. This became the birthing point for my first full-length novel, “Life Sentence,” a romantic suspense.
What books or stories have you written?
To date, I have completed seven full-length novels. Most of these belong in the mystery, thriller and suspense genres, with the exception of my first book. I have published three novels—two police procedurals and one thriller—at the point of this interview.
My police procedurals, “Ties That Bind” and “Justified,” which surround major crimes detective Madison Knight have proven to be best-sellers for Amazon Kindle. For this I am extremely thankful to my readers.
I was also honored to find out my thriller, “Eleven,” was noted as a special recommendation read on the Miami Books Examiner’s “Top 12 Fiction Books of 2011” list.
What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published?
Growing a thicker skin and not letting what one person’s opinion is to become the majority. It’s very important for an author to tune out the inherent internal critic. For authors attempting to get published the traditional way, most will find rejections are more abundant than requests for additional material. An author determined to get their work in the hands of their readers will not let anything deter them from doing so. Remember above when I mentioned I’d read my work to those who wouldn’t take the time to read it themselves? Above all else, an author needs to be persistent.
Be true to yourself and your work. Make yourself write on the days you don’t even feel like it. Sometimes those moments, where you push yourself, can prove be the most productive.
Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?
Most definitely. Writing is, if nothing else, therapeutic. It allows one to release the daily stress and cares from their thinking process because they become preoccupied with something else. Writing gives an author an outlet to deal with emotions they may be experiencing in real life. Writing has a way of making an author make sense of happenings around them. Let me explain.
In life, people do things to us or others we may not understand, however, by analyzing the behavior—the motivators—we’re able to align perspective. In my opinion writing helps authors become empathic of others. As authors we have to see things from every standpoint, and this cannot help but transfer to real life.
Has writing made you a better person? Was there a point in your life where writing helped you deal with something, a death or a problem relationship perhaps?
This question is excellent and expands on what I touched on in my answer to the previous question. As noted, writing is therapeutic. If an author utilizes personal experiences and tragedies, this serves to enrich their work. The characters become relatable, and the situations become believable.
As for the personal application of this question, I would say writing helps take me from stress I experience in my daily life. Unfortunately, my relationship is strained with the majority of my family at this point in time. It’s heartbreaking but there really doesn’t seem to be any resolution. Writing affords me the means of “escape” into a world of my creation. When I finish a writing session, I am able to better deal with my real-life situation.
Keep up with Carolyn
- Be her friend on Facebook
- Follow her on Twitter
- Check out her blog and website
- Read “Ties that Bind,” “Justified” and “Eleven” on Kindle
The busy life of Carolyn Arnold
Currently she works full-time in Accounts Receivable for a mid-sized company in southwestern Ontario. She balances her “free time” by marketing her books, social networking, writing, editing, and reading and supporting her fellow authors. Carolyn also is the founder of Celebrating Authors, a site dedicated to bringing readers and authors together. She showcases authors through interviews, Amazon snapshots and a weekly feature called “The Independent Voice.” Needless to say this type of support takes up much of her time, but she believes in helping her fellow authors.
Also married nearly 16 years to her best friend, she enjoys relaxing with a glass of red wine and a good movie. Although not a mother to the human variety she is a “furry baby momma” to two beagles—Max and Chelsea.
Her goals moving forward are to continue bringing quality books to her readers. At least two more of her novels will be released in 2012.