We are celebrating the release of Carly Drake’s novel through Escape Publishing today! Thank you very much for stopping by. Carly will be dropping in to answer your questions so check back.
This interview is not like most. Carly chatted with me LIVE on Skype while I recorded it. I asked her fifteen questions then chose the ones below. The goal is to have a level of spontaneity that is sometimes lacking in other interviews. Note: NO answers were changed or softened afterward.
To keep the idea rolling, you have a chance to do the same. Ask Carly a question in the comment section: one spurred by the questions below, one you wish I’d asked, or maybe one you’ve always wanted to ask an author. On Friday, Carly will choose the person who asked the most interesting question and they will receive a copy of her book!
Words Once Spoken: Evelyn might not love the confines of her village life, but she takes her small freedoms where she can get them. But everything changes when her parents decide it’s time for her to wed. Suddenly she loses her tunic and breeches, her bow, her horse, and gains rigid gowns, restrictive manners, and carriage rides. The best way to escape is through her dreams, but as they become more and more real, Evelyn begins to worry that she is losing her grasp on reality. It is only when she makes two new friends that the truth is revealed: she is destined for far, far more than even she could imagine.
(I LOVE this cover, don't you?)
JM: Hi Carly. Thanks for joining my experiment.
CD: You’re welcome, I think it’ll be fun, but I’m a little nervous.
JM: That’s ok, I am too. (both laugh) So, tell us what your novel, Words Once Spoken, centers around…what it’s about.
CD: It’s set in medieval times and is about the daughter of a feudal Lord. She has to go with her parents to the local palace where the princess is choosing new maids in waiting, they hope she’ll get chosen. She could care less about all that. She’s the outdoorsy type and has eccentric qualities about her that no one really understands, but just shrug off. She finds out she is actually part of the Fairy World and also that her (fairy) mother has been murdered and she could be a princess. So, she goes on a big journey to discover the truth of that.
JM: So…lost fairy princess?
CD: Right, and I know that sounds really cheesy when you talk about lost princesses and everything. (laughs and adjusts sweater) But, you know. (leans forward with a serious look) It’s a Young Adult book. With the Young Adult paranormal books you’ve seen a lot of the werewolves and vampires, but the Fae world has never really exploded. I’m not sure why, because they are a lot more predatory, dangerous and sneaky than the other mythological creatures. So, when I say fairy princess…she’s not Tinkerbell. There’s nothing cute or sweet about her at all.
JM: Great, it sounds fun. We know you have the release for Words Once Spoken, coming up October 1, but what are you currently working on?
CD: Even though the Words book is part of a trilogy, I haven’t started on those yet. I need to talk with Escape on when those need to come out. But, I wrote another book called A Chosen War, which is an adult fantasy book that I’d like to get an agent for. I’m also working on another one that’s going to be kind of like Jason Bourne/The Dollhouse…a spy novel.
JM: So, those books are not going to go through Escape?
CD: I love Escape and their support, but they are digital first and the one I just wrote…I really want to see it on the shelf. Like…really bad. The title (A Chosen War) isn’t final, by the way. I mean, when I pitched Words Once Spoken to Escape, that wasn’t the original title it was going be, but they changed it for marketing purposes so if it gets picked up it might change.
JM: Thankfully that hasn’t happened with my novel.
CD: Well then…you’re just awesome and picked the right thing.
CD: I really struggled with it.
JM: So, the book coming out in October, you had difficulty with the title?
CD: Yeah, it was originally called The Huntress. Then it changed to Deceitful Dreams but they (Escape) didn’t like “dreams” being in the title…so…
JM: When you wrote Words Once Spoken, was there anything that happened in the story that you didn’t expect?
CD: (Looks off thoughtfully) That’s a good question. Yes, kind of. I’d tried writing books before and it didn’t go well, so I was trying to be more structured. I did an outline and put plot points and bullet points of things I wanted to happen. Then I had other things that I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if… Without giving away the story, there are several twists and turns that just popped up while I was writing that made me go, Yes…that’s awesome!
JM: Very cool.
CD: Yeah when my husband read the book he was screaming at some parts because he couldn’t believe what I’d done. People around him thought he was crazy.
JM: Are you a fast writer?
CD: Words Once Spoken was my first book, so I didn’t really have expectations for it, plus it’s fairly small, only fifty-four thousand words. With A Chosen War I set a goal of two thousand words a day. I did take a small vacation break, but it was done in about two months and it’s about eighty-one thousand. I try and remain focused.
JM: (As side note…I’d say that’s pretty fast! Now back to the interview.)
JM: So you try to be structured?
CD: No. I’m more of an organic writer. I do plan, but it’s more background stuff, that doesn’t even come out in the story.
JM: Okay. Cats or Dogs?
CD: Grrr. I grew up with cats… I have two dogs, but one of them, she’s kind of the favorite child. (Laughs) If you look on my Instagram or Twitter, it’s mostly pictures of her. She has such an amazing little personality.
JM: In your novel which character would you most like to have lunch with?
CD: (long pause) I know it sound cliché, but the main character, Evelyn. I put certain aspects of myself in her, so I think we would’ve gotten along. Maybe she could show me how to shoot my bow and arrow, because I don’t have any idea what I’m doing.
JM: What would she have to eat?
CD: (laughs) She’s kind of a vegan, but not like most. She eats plants or trees, flowers, whatever she finds in a garden. I know that’s kinda weird, but that comes from the fact that I have a lot of my own food allergies.
JM: So…she hunts, but doesn’t eat what she kills?
CD: The hunt is partly for the challenge. She enjoys that. She doesn’t have an issue with killing the animals but her body won’t tolerate meat, that’s part of her being a fairy. The meat goes to help feed her village.
JM: What’s easier to write, hero or villain?
CD: (long pause) I think the hero is easier for me, but I do enjoy having the nasty villain. I enjoy trying to find a way for my readers to empathize with them. They’re not just bad people for evil sake. I want them to be three-dimensional so I really enjoy developing the psychology of their background.
JM: Are any of the characters in your novel based on people you know?
CD: I take attributes from people I know and mix them together. You know how someone you know might touch their face in a certain way when they are serious, or have a certain facial expression, or walk a certain way. So I’ll steal those things. I think, Evelyn’s adopted mother I kinda tailored her a little bit after my stepmom…well…she’s not my step mom anymore. So she’ll never know. (laughs nervously)
JM: What’s your favorite attribute in a person?
CD: Physical or emotional?
CD: (long pause…looks at the ceiling…pauses more) Communication. Someone who’s open with their communication.
JM What is your least favorite attribute?
CD: (answers instantly) I hate flakiness.
JM: Did you include either of those attributes in characters in your book?
CD: In the last book (A Chosen War) I had a couple who had really great communication. (pauses) I don’t think I had anyone who’s really, really, flaky. But that’s interesting…I might add someone in there who has that issue. (laughs)
JM: Okay. Our last question. What’s your personal or favorite motto?
CD: (smiles and pauses) I guess it’s more of a quote, can that count?
CD: L.M Montgomery said, and I don’t know it verbatim: “I’m just a book drunkard.” That’s me, nothing gets my creative juices flowing like reading.
JM: Okay, great, the interview is over. Did you have a good time?
CD: I did! I feel like I talked and rambled, but I love the spontaneity of it, thanks!
JM: Thank you, Carly.
Find Carly at the following places: