Here is some more information about her before we get down to the nitty gritty and her interview :)
Carolyn has been a psychologist, a paramedic, a proof reader and several other things, not all of them beginning with P. A trucker, for example. She began writing the day she decided to try and see the world...doing both just to find out whether she could. When excerpts from her first travelogue were published by the Rough Guides she decided to keep on doing both. It made a change from teaching CPR to nightclub bouncers and designing wedding cakes.Carolyn maintains that she is either multi-faceted or easily bored, depending on who is enquiring. Born and bred in London, England, Carolyn and her son Ben are now Canadian citizens and live permanently in Kitchener, Ontario.Her Armchair Emigration series, which began with A Year on Planet Alzheimer and finishes with Trucking in English, will be complete when Bed and Breakfast is published in 2013 to fill the gap in the middle
Hi Carolyn, thank you for accepting to be interviewed. As my blog says ‘Complete randomness from a crazy author’ so expect the unexpected J
How long have you wanted to be a writer?
Only since I realised I was one, I really wanted to be a comedian and I tried stand-up for a while but I wasn’t that good. When I started writing instead it all fell into place. Writing is really funny if people titter once a page and laugh out loud maybe once a chapter. That’s easier to achieve than a room full of drunk guffaws so now I want to keep on writing.
I like that way of thinking.
Have you come up against any hurdles along the way?
Fewer I think than people who were writing before the Indie explosion, we are less cowed by the rules and the gatekeepers and that’s very freeing. I write books that cross genres and nobody is telling me I shouldn’t. The only real hurdle is still needing a day job. Oh and being a Brit when it comes to marketing, it’s just not polite to brag eh?
LOL yes so true. I suck at promoting myself. I don’t even know where to start. I don’t post lots about my books when I have been told I should and I should be on different fb pages shouting from the rooftops, but I just feel too cheeky.
What would you say is the most difficult thing about being a writer is?
Believing that you can do it. It’s hard to sit and write and use all that time up and feel like you’re doing worthwhile work unless you keep on believing. Even when good reviews roll in it’s easy to assume that the people who don’t review actually hate your stuff. But without self-doubt we won’t get better.
I love it when I get people saying ‘OMG your books are amazing’ I still sit there and think ‘wow’. Such an amazing feeling as I never expected that reaction. I think I just thought people would say ‘Yeah that wasn’t bad’ lol.
What or who inspires you to write?
Life, it just amuses me and I have to write it down or I’d forget all the mad little things that happen in a day. I love people and I’ve finally realised that you can immortalise a person, a comment, a characteristic or an idea and once it’s written it’ll never get lost.
If your books are a series, how many books do you plan to have in your series?
Three in my non-fiction series about moving across the Pond, then there will be a novel which might just deserve a sequel. Then, I have some serious stuff to get down.
Do you have any other writing projects on the go, apart from your current series?
I am sorta-kinda researching the novel while I get the last of the emigration series written, but the older I get the harder it seems to be to multitask.
According to Scientists no-one can multitask. We apparently just think we can. I know I can drink hot chocolate, eat chocolate, write and still find time to talk a lot of rubbish lol.
If you could be any of your characters who would it be and why?
There will be a character in the first novel who is based on a friend of mine, she works quite high up in the UK Civil Service. She’ll be a subplot and I’d love the life twist I plan to give her by the end of the book.
Sounds interesting J Does she know?
What genre would you say your books are in?
Currently non-fiction, more travelogue than anything else with a touch of memoir and a hefty dose of ‘ok I’ll go do this and have the disasters so you don’t have to’. The novels will be political satire.
Do you have any favourite authors?
Bill Bryson, Terry Pratchett, Christopher Brookmyre, mostly people who make me laugh. People think I’m nuts but Anthony Trollope draws the funniest characters I’ve ever read and he is another fave. There are women too, Margaret Atwood, Zadie Smith, writers of character driven psychological issues. Recently I’ve discovered the work of Laurie Boris through being on the staff of Indies Unlimited and I love her books as well.
As a Brit we have one burning question going around our country…………… Do you scrunch or fold? ;) (toilet paper)
It depends on the day and the mood, sometimes one sometimes the other. I am a little too OCD for my own liking, I can’t write in a mess, for example, so if I find myself folding too carefully I’ll scrunch to see if it’s too confusing.
I thought my OCD was bad lol.
What do you like to do besides writing?
I really enjoy coding websites, which is starting to become the day job. It’s meditative and relaxing. I also love comedy clubs (in the audience these days) listening to BBC Radio 4 and making stuff. I’m a sucker for traditional handicrafts and am a dedicated tatter, that’s a form of lacemaking.
What is your favourite cheese?
Sage Derby, can’t get it in Canada, I miss it terribly.
Sweet or savoury?
Always savoury, except for Christmas pudding ice cream.
I hate Christmas pudding. It is yucky. My husband loves the ice cream but it just gives me the boke lol.
Would you rather be attacked by one horse sized duck or 20 duck sized horses?
Hmm, that takes some thought. A horse sized duck would be very clumsy, so I’d stand a good chance of evading and weaving until it fell over, but then if I was less nimble that I think I am that would be one heck of a nasty peck. Duck sized horses, you could kinda swipe them out of the way maybe, and less of the peckage, but they’d be fast and strong for their size. On balance, I’ll take the big duck.
If you had one wish that I could wave a magic wand and grant you, what would it be and why?
I’d like the chutzpah to get out there and sell books and the self-belief that people will love them please. J
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my interview with Carolyn Steele. Dont forget to follow my blog and leave a comment :)