Today I introduce you to fellow Women’s Fiction author, Carol Brill. I had the privilege of meeting Carol in the Women’s Fiction forum on Goodreads…so many talented authors to be found! Take a moment to get to know her and learn about how she finds her character inspiration!
What inspired you to write?
I have loved stories ever since my parents read me Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Black Beauty at bedtime when I was five or six. (I know Grimm’s may not seem like the stuff sweet dreams are made of, but they mostly read the ones about princesses being rescued by the prince.) When I was 20-sometthing, I started dreaming about writing a book. It took me another 20 years to get started.
What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?
I write women’s fiction. It’s what I most enjoy reading and I still have a sweet spot for happy-ever- after love stories.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Like many writers, I have to fit my writing time in around a non-writing day job. Morning is my best writing time. On weekends and days off I try to write for at least four or five hours a day. I am an early riser—often at my computer in the dark hours before the sun is up. On workdays, you will often find me there at dawn, rereading and editing what I most recently wrote before getting ready for work.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I keep a box of 96 crayons—a gift from my husband— on my desk. There’s a line in Peace by Piece where Maggie says, “I never had a box of 64 crayons. “After reading that line, Jim bought me my box of 96—complete with the built-in sharpener. That green and yellow box is a constant reminder of his support, and I often skim through the box reciting the color names when I need creative inspiration.
Are you a pantser or plotter?
I am a blend of both. Before starting a new piece, I spend a lot of time in my head, envisioning the beginning and end of the story. For longer pieces, I write character bibles. Once I start writing, the characters reveal the middle to me, sometimes scene by scene. Other times, huge chucks of the character’s motivation emerge and it takes many chapters for me and the writing to catch up.
Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?
Years ago, I heard a writer say in an interview—sorry, can’t remember who it was—that every character and scene must be part of me somehow, since it all comes out of my head. I have had pieces of Maggie’s experiences, or felt her feelings, but not always for the same reasons she feels them. Real-life events definitely influence my stories. For instance, while taking a walk on vacation in Florida, I read the name, Campbell McKee, on a mailbox. Instantly, a wholly formed character popped into my head—a full-of-herself adolescent with flowing red hair. I trotted the two miles back to our cottage and my laptop to write about her, before she could vanish into thin air.
Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?
When I started writing creatively, I had no idea there were so many elements to writing craft. Put in the time to study craft—characterization, plotting, show don’t tell, creating a sense of time and place. Once you start to understand craft, grab a few books in your genre and read them like a writer, dissecting how the author uses craft to create emotion and drama. Also, the support of other writers has been so valuable to me. Find critique partners, join a writing group, and open yourself up to feedback. Perhaps the most important lesson is learning that writing is just the beginning, rewriting is where the story becomes what it is meant to be.
Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?
Peace by Piece is self-published.
What are your current projects?
My second novel, Cape Maybe (the red-headed adolescent, Campbell McKee, is a character) is on track for publication later in 2013. I blog at www.4broadminds.blogspot.com/ , write book reviews for New York Journal of Books at http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/reviewer/carol-brill , and have a children’s book and co-authored article on Leadership Style in progress. I am toying with the idea of linking four short stories or novella’s into a novel, but that project is in the early stage of cooking in my head.
Six years after fleeing college and Thomas’s betrayal, Maggie has nearly given up on love. Enter Izzie, a motherless eight year old, and every maternal instinct kicks-in. There is not first love thrill with Izzie’s dad, but Maggie lets herself believe loving Izzie will be enough to finally lock Thomas out of her heart.
Dealing with unshakable first love, family, relationships, the difficulties of being a step-partent–all overshadowed by the curse of anorexia and bulimia–Peace by Piece is ultimately about hope and second chances.
About the Author
Bio – Carol Fragale Brill, earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Poets and Writers named her fiction the 2010 Maureen Egen Writer’s Exchange first runner-up, A novel excerpt turned short story was selected as a favorite for the Philadelphia Stories Anthology. She writes book reviews for New York Journal of Books. Her work has also been published in Wide Array, Philadelphia Stories, and The Press of Atlantic City. Find her blog at www.4broadminds.blogspot.com/
Connect with Carol:
Carol, thank you for sharing a little bit about yourself. I wish you much continued success with your writing!
- #WriterWednesday- Interview with Florence Osmund! (authormjkanebooks.wordpress.com)