#WriterWednesday- Interview with Carol Brill!

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!

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Welcome, Carol!

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.

Front Cover small

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.

BUY your copy today! 

 

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:

Goodreads     Facebook     Blog/Website     Amazon     Email     My Book Reviews

Carol, thank you for sharing a little bit about yourself. I wish you much continued success with your writing!

MJ

Guest Post – Rejection- How Do I Loath Thee – Let Me Count the Ways! by author Carol Brill

M.J.’s recent blog on the query process got me thinking about my own query experience, and more specifically about rejection.

They say Gone with the Wind  was rejected 38 times, Stephen King’s Carrie, 30 times, Harry Potter, 12 times, The Help, 60 times, and what might be the all-time winner among breakout successes, Chicken Soup for the Soul, a whopping 140 times.

Now I haven’t actually counted my rejections, but I think it’s fair to say, I am ahead of Harry Potter, Carrie, and Gone with the Wind and closing in on The Help.

Over the years, I’ve been rejected in a myriad of ways:

  • The “Email query letter only lost in the black hole never to be heard from again”
  • The automatic “Thanks but my list if full, we’re not taking on new clients”
  • The “I read your query letter and it’s not for me”
  • The “I read your query and synopsis and have to pass”
  • The “Thanks for sending the partial I requested, but I just didn’t love it as much as I expected”
  • The “Thanks for sending the requested MS. You are a talented writer and/or you’ve written a compelling story—but alas I’m not sure I can sell this”
  • The “Your story and writing are compelling, but I am not as passionate as I must be to take on a debut novelist”
  • The “I’d like to move forward with your project” YEAH, WOW, WOOHOO!  (Only to decide a few months later to leave agenting as a career!)

There are more versions, but you get the idea. The main reason I can’t give you an accurate rejection tally is that with all the variation in rejections, I am not quite sure what to count.

When I first started querying every form of rejection had the same ability to reduce me to tears and crush my writing ego. Over time, as the rejections mounted and I toughened up, I decided that not all rejections are created equally. Today, it feels much different to have someone not respond to or pass after reading a one page query letter than declining representation after reading the entire novel.

Even if they are different levels of rejection, my gut says you probably count each of them when you tally up. Faced with the possibility of accumulating more loathsome rejections than Chicken Soup for the Soul, I decided to put an end to the traditional query process, and self-publish my novel, Peace by Piece, instead.

So, how about you? Have you figured out the formula for tallying rejections? And do you loath them, too?

Front Cover smallSix 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.

Carol Fragale Brill’s first novel, Peace by Peace is available at:

  Amazon (Paperback and Kindle)          Facebook        Goodreads        Blog/Website         Email        Other

Carol-001 - 188 x 250 72 ppiCarol 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/