For today’s #WritingWednesday I’ve interviewed writer, Carolyn Menke.
You can find her at http://carolynmenke.com/
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Author name: Carolyn Menke
Works: I write historical fiction and just finished a magical realism novel for middle-grade readers.
What is your all time favorite book?
To Kill a Mockingbird
What is the most recent book you’ve read?
A Girl and Five Brave Horses
What genre is your favorite to read?
Historical is my sweet spot.
Do you feel your writing style is similar to the type of books you read?
Who is your author role-model?
Gruen. Hemingway. Dahl. Green. Austen.
How old were you when you began writing?
I was in elementary school. I used to wake up early and sit at my little desk in my bedroom and write in spiral-bound notebooks. Then I’d bring whatever story or poem I wrote down to the breakfast table and read it aloud. My parents found a box of my old stories recently and decided to read one to my kids. When they got to “the good part” and turned the page, the rest was blank. I never finished some of them.
How old were you when you wrote your first book?
I was in college. The book wasn’t very good. I only wish I hadn’t waited so long to get back to fiction.
Is writing your career or something on the side?
Writing is my career. I’ve always worked as a writer in some capacity—technical writing, marketing communications, or blogs for clients. I love writing about trips we take. Along the way, my interest in fiction has always been there, like a dear childhood friend, ready to pick up where we left off.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I used to float around, from my dining room table to coffee shops. But all it takes is one loud talker or a mountain of laundry, and my mojo is off. So, I set up shop in the front room of our house. The space is removed enough, and bright and cozy – flooded with sunshine all day. And I can see the school bus coming.
What inspires you to write?
Hmm…when I experience something that changes me. I also feel compelled to “share” after I’ve worked out some big conflict in my life. I’m a sharer. It has to come out. And writing is my favorite outlet because I can edit myself. I put it all on paper and then go back and whittle away until I’ve captured the crux of it and nothing more.
Who inspires you to write?
My kids. My husband. My family. Everyone in my life, including the very nice older gentleman named Hasim, who works at the local gas station, and who lost fifty pounds by walking up and down the road I travel every day.
Do you base characters off of people in your life?
Read the book or see the movie first?
Definitely the book first. Then I can’t help but run out and see the movie even though I’m usually disappointed. The film version is inevitably different than what I envisioned in my mind, and never seems to go as deep. Except Fault in our Stars. That movie was dead on.
Do you like when a movie is slightly different from the book with its own twist, or does it have to be exact?
Has to be exact. I don’t know why.
What are your thoughts on major plot-twists?
I adore and admire them as long as they’re not zucchini in the closet.
How do you read a book (i.e. cover to cover, sometimes finish it, will tear through it in a day, read the last page before starting)?
If I love a book, I tear through it quickly, but find myself slowing down as I reach the last pages, not wanting it to end.
What is a writing goal you have?
Put out the best work I can, every single day, even if it’s only a paragraph or two.
If you could sum up your writing style in a word or phrase what would it be?
Going for all the feels, one metaphor at a time.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Read everything. Write the story only you can write. Pay it forward. Find critique partners.