The game of tag wouldn't work without making connections. There's the thrill of the chase, the sense of achieving when the connection is made, and the desire to pass it on. A good game of tag is a lot like a writing journey. We are "chasing" the editors and agents, seeking a connection, and passing it on to other writers once it is made. There is nothing better than helping other writers, so really, our game of tag rocks!
My friend Kristen has been a huge help to me in my writing career. This very blog site was launched with the assistance of her creative hand. I shared my thoughts of what I had in mind for this site, and voila! She designed my logo and helped me get my site up and running! This special collaboration among writers is amazing, and I am thankful for dedicated colleagues like her. You won't want to miss the opportunity to join the nonficiton writing challenge she started this year. The second annual WOW~Nonficpic runs June 21-27, 2014. I hope you will join us!
It has always been easier for me to reflect on things when I write them down. You could say I'm a brainstorm junkie. I am not a person that has quick comebacks or blurts out witty responses within seconds. I need time to reflect. (Even after reflecting, I need time to reflect on that, too!) You know when someone yawns, and it makes you yawn, too? I hope that my reflections will have that catching effect on you, too. I reflect...you reflect! So without further ado, may I present: Reflections a la Carrie!
What experiences have influenced you?
Although many experiences influence my writing, two of them are constant: Being a mom and a teacher. Most of my ideas seem to pop out at me from being around kids, listening to what they say, seeing what they are interested in, and how they feel. It also helps me think back to special childhood memories and place myself in the shoes of my characters.
Why do you write what you do?
My main focus is on writing picture books. To me, a picture book is storytelling at it's best. And storytelling to me, is a dramatic performance, a reenactment, and a chance to be in another place and time. I love drama and started performing in fourth grade. A picture book is like a storytelling performance for me. It is a passion.
What are you working on right now?
I have found that keeping myself challenged brings wonderful things to my writing table. After just completing the WOW~Nonficpic Writing Challenge, I am working to revise seven nonfiction picture book manuscripts. Add that to the sixteen fiction picture books I am still revising, and the five that are polished, but not really totally polished until an editor says it's done, I am one busy gal! Oh yeah, and there is an unfinished middle grade novel calling my name as well!
Who are the authors that you admire most?
For picture books, I tend to gravitate toward authors with super strong voices that evoke silliness or emotion in creative ways. Mac Barnett earns my love in all of those areas! I generally judge picture books on a book by book basis, and have an unending list of favorites from varied authors. For middle grade and up, I admire authors that capture my full attention, feature relatable characters, and have an incredible ability to make a movie in my head. J.K. Rowling is the queen of details, among other things! When the details are are so vivid, the movie just starts playing. Although he is not a children's author, Khaled Hosseini keeps me in suspense, builds an amazing world, and evokes my emotions to the core.
Now, why is is good to reflect on these questions? You never know when a prospective agent will be calling to chat! Are you ready to talk about yourself? It's not always easy, especially with nerves in the mix, and excitement jumbling your brain. Best wishes reflecting on your own answers and connecting with my friends' blogs!