Monday Feature

Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday Feature: Carole Cummings



C.S.: What do you write?
Carole: Character-driven speculative fiction with LGBTQ+ characters. Mostly fantasy, some sci-fi, some steampunk. Basically anything that would fit the definition of “fantastical.”

C.S.: Why do you enjoy these genres?
Carole: I like the “what if?” of spec fic, the possibilities, the different worlds and cultures and political systems as they all apply to characterization and character growth.

C.S.: Tell us about your writing space.
Carole: I *love* my writing space. It’s fairly self-contained, and private without being isolated, and I’m surrounded by beloved books, posters, artwork, keepsakes… pretty much anything that means something to Geek Me.

C.S.: What sort of work-related items do you keep at hand?
Carole: Lots of reference books, lots of notebooks, and, um… Pixy Stix and Tootsie Pops. (Shut up, I get low blood sugar, okay?!)

C.S.: What’s the weirdest item you keep nearby that’s not at all beneficial to writing?
Carole: Well, to some, everything I have in my space is weird. (I really do have a lot of geek paraphernalia crammed in here—we can play “Spot the Fandom” in the pictures!—right down to a Darth Vader that dispenses red toothpicks like he’s drawing his lightsaber.) But the weirdest thing…? I guess my Metro card—I kept it as a souvenir from the DC Women’s March. Although there’s also the popcorn bucket from when I went to see Rogue One. Haven’t figured out what to do with that one yet.

C.S.: Do you have any ‘good luck’ charms?
Carole: I really don’t.  :/  For someone who’s into the things I’m into, I’m not a very superstitious person.

C.S.: What’s easily the most distracting item in your writing space?
Carole: The books. It’s really easy to pull one down to check a reference and then get caught up and just keep reading.

C.S.: Do you have any bad habits when you write?
Carole: Sometimes I decide I don’t want to write and just… don’t. I know a lot of authors say you have to have a set amount of time in front of your story every day, put down X amount of words, make it a habit, make it a job, yadda yadda, but that doesn’t work for me. My stories come when they want to, and I let them. If that means I don’t write for two weeks, then I don’t write for two weeks.

C.S.: What time of day are you most creative?
Carole: There isn’t a set time. When a story pushes me to set it down in words, it takes up all my brain space and every second of available time, no matter when that is.

C.S.: Do you have any ‘helpful’ pets?
Carole: Ha! We have a border collie who is my daughter’s service dog, so he’s trained to try to revive a person who’s lost consciousness, or get help if he can’t. This one is afraid to come down to the basement level of the house where my office is. We have no idea why. So no, he’s no help at all, and even if he somehow managed to contribute to the creative process, if I ever keeled over on top of my keyboard, he’d probably just sit at the top of the steps and cry while I died slowly.

C.S.: What do you do to de-stress or enjoy that’s unrelated to writing?
Carole: Read. Although… I guess that’s tangentially related to writing, so… listen to music. No, so is that. Um, watch mov—no, that’s related too. Actually, now that I think about it, for me, everything’s related to writing, since I get inspiration from the smallest, sometimes oddest things, so… sleep? Unless I dream, in which case— Yeah, okay, nope, going with sleep.

C.S.: Do you drink or snack while writing?
Carole: Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. And if I’m on a roll and can’t break to make more coffee, I resort to the aforementioned Pixy Stix and Tootsie Pops. (Although I’m out of Pixy Stix at the moment and have temporarily substituted leftover candy canes. Less of a sugar rush, but there’s the bonus of fresher breath!)

C.S.: Listen to music? If so, does the soundtrack change with projects?
Carole: I don’t listen to music while I’m in the act of writing, or I’d be too busy singing along and swinging my hair to actually type. I do often latch on to a particular band or album for the duration of a project, though, and listen while I’m doing other things, which will kind of keep me in the particular mindset I need.


C.S.: Question from the audience: What book did you most enjoy writing and why?
Carole: The Wolf’s-own series is a favorite because of how so many complexities dovetailed into a thick, juicy overall plot and character arc, and how intertwined everything on the page was with everything else, even if a reader might not see it. The world affected the characters, who affected the plot, which affected the world, which affected… and ’round and ’round. (It’s not for the casual reader. You kind of have to be a serious fantasy geek to enjoy it. And being an anime/manga fan wouldn’t hurt.) But I can’t say the experience of writing something so dark and hurty was enjoyable, per se. Very, very satisfying, though.



Release Date: July, 2016

Blurb: A complete four-book fantasy epic featuring Fen Jacin-rei—Incendiary, Catalyst, Once-Untouchable—and Kamen Malick, who is determined to decode the intrigue that surrounds him. Fen’s mind is host to the spirits of long-dead magicians, and Fen’s fate should be one of madness and ignoble death. So how is it Fen lives, carrying out shadowy vengeance for his subjugated people and protecting the family he loves? With a threat all too close and a secret he needs to explain, Malick is at odds with those who should be his allies, and no matter how much he wants to protect Fen, it may be more than he can manage when he’s trying to keep them alive. 

| DSPPublications | Amazon | Goodreads |


Author Bio: Carole lives with her husband and family in Pennsylvania, USA, where she spends her time trying to find time to write. The recipient of various amateur and professional writing awards, several of her short stories have been translated into Spanish, German, Chinese and Polish. Free shorts, sneak peeks at WIPs, and other miscellany can be found on her website.

| Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads |



Join Carole’s giveaway for a chance at either (1) e-copy of Blue on Black or The Queen’s Librarian.

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Thank you for supporting indie authors. Be sure to leave Carole a question or comment!


C.S.
xo

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the fun interview! That Darth Vader tooth pick dispenser is awesome.

    And I loved the Wolf's Own series. <3

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    1. Aw, thanks, Jen! <3 I love that you loved it. :)

      They were great questions, and lots of fun to answer!

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  2. LMAO @ "if I ever keeled over on top of my keyboard, he’d probably just sit at the top of the steps and cry while I died slowly."

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    1. *grin* Well, to be fair, he'd probably feel bad about it. ;)

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  3. What a great interview! You're a hoot!!!

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    1. Thanks, Blaine. :) They were fun questions!

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  4. Agreed with Josie, I snickered out loud at "if I ever keeled over on top of my keyboard, he’d probably just sit at the top of the steps and cry while I died slowly.". Silly service dog! :D

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful books with us! I'm in the middle of Koan, and I'm having such a hard time doing anything besides reading! Here at work, when I really can't whip out my Kindle, I'm still seeking out other ways to get a hit of the story, to hold me over until I can go home and read more. :D

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    1. Aw, thanks for that, Thistle! I'm glad you had (almost) as much fun with the Q&A as I did, and I'm so pleased you're enjoying the series. It was very sweet of you to tell me so. <3

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  5. Great interview. I must say I'm fondest of The Queens Librarian because that was the first of your books I read.

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    1. Thanks, Elayne! That's really nice to know, and I appreciate you telling me. <3

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