Hey everyone! I have another author interview for y'all. It's by someone you all know, love, hate, I don't care. His latest book Year of the Cat is out and I thought I'd interview him again. So here is Carroll Bryant and his interview with Year of the Cat.
1) When did you start writing?
Carroll: Oh, let's see, I did some writing back in grade school when I wasn't dodging the dinosaurs. It was pretty difficult what with writing on stone tablets and all because I am sooooooo old. Actually, I wrote a book when I was about 9 years old and it was published by the school I was attending at the time and placed in their little library. It was supposed to be a few pages long for an assignment for class, but I think I got a little carried away with it and ended up writing like 50 pages or something. I got an "A" for the overkill so it was worth it.
2) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Carroll: I never did know I wanted to be a writer until a few years after I started writing. It all began really on my 18th birthday when hanging out at my place with an old friend who has since passed away. He was strumming a tune on his guitar and I started belting out some lyrics, singing them really, when he paused and said, "That sounds pretty good, write those lyrics down." So I did. That was my first song. The next few years I wrote close to about 500 new songs or lyrics or poems or whatever you want to call them. It wasn't until I was about 21 or 22 when I wrote my first novel size story. (Haven't published it yet) That was when I thought it could be pretty cool if I were a published author. The thing was, I just didn't like the sound of the term "starving artist" so I kept it on the back burner and focused on just making money the old fashion way.
3) How long have you been writing?
Carroll: Since I was 18. I thought we covered that? LOL Oh, wait! This was your attempt to get me to spill how old I am, right? Ha-ha. Very clever. Next question.
4) What is your book about? (Describe it)
Carroll: Year Of The Cat is about an American detective, Lancaster Parks, who is sent to a small town in Mexico (San Felipe) to help the local law enforcement there investigate a string of serial killings against American tourists. He quickly meets the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. The girl remains a mystery throughout the story until the very end and she changes her name on a daily basis. It doesn't take Lancaster very long to figure out that she is about as odd as odd can be, living in her own strange world, but he doesn't care, he falls madly in love with her anyway and gets a little distracted at times from his investigation. He also learns very quickly that the local law enforcement aren't exactly choir boys. He deals with their corruption while trying to solve the case and all the while, learning more and more the dark history of San Felipe, its people, it's traditions and dealing with their ghosts. The more he learns, the more he gets swallowed up in everything, making it much harder for him to come to terms with the truth about who he really is.
5) How many books have you written?
Carroll: Written? About 15 - and another 10 or so half written or started. Published? Four so far. How many will I have written and published by the time I cash out of this planet? It's hard to tell. I don't go in search of ideas, the ideas seek me out.
6) Who influenced you the most to start writing?
Carroll: That's a toughy. I can't say for sure that I was inspired by any one person. I know that Elvis was an inspiration as was Rick Springfield, but that is where songwriting is concerned. As for the books, I would have to give some credit to Margaret Mitchell and her book, "Gone With The Wind." That is an amazing book. It was also the first novel I ever read as a young boy. Dr. Suess may have been the inspiration behind my poetry. As for the music, it just popped in my head one time and never left. I hear music in almost every kind of noise around me. I hear the rhythms and the beats. It can be quite annoying at times actually.
7) What’s your next project? Any new books in the works?
Carroll: There is always new books in the works. Always something to do. To edit and what-not. I am actually planning to publish my Ebook "Last Flight Out" into paperback this coming year. I can't wait for that. I will be doing some book-store signings once that happens. I can't wait to get out there and meet some readers. I might stick close to home to start out with, then we'll see how far I spread out with it. Chillicothe, and Columbus will do just fine for now.
8) What’s your favorite genre to write? To read?
Carroll: My favorite to read is romance. No, really, it is. Although I haven't done much reading lately, and most of what I do read is what I swipe from my mother when I go visit. I can't say if I have a favorite to write. I go with my mood in that department. I have a Western story on tap at the moment. I try to add a little of everything in my books as best I can. For example; In my sci-fi story, I have romance in it. In "Year Of The Cat", I have mild erotica / romance, mystery, thriller and a dab of comedy.
9) Tell us two things about you that not too many people know.
Carroll: Not too many people know I am a softy at heart. I am also petrified of heights. Not that I won't go up to high places, but man, if I do, I will have nightmares for weeks on end about falling to my death. It absolutely scares the crap out of me to be higher than maybe 20 feet. My grandfather was the one who taught me how to confront my fears. I used to be terrified of snakes until I took a job for the forestry department one year. I had to deal with a lot of them with that job. The good thing is, I was able to learn more about them and that seemed to help. They still give me the willies, but at least I don't freak out anymore when I see one like I used to. One should always learn to confront their fears.
10) How did you come up with the idea of your book?
Carroll: I never really get any ideas, they seem to find a way to find me. (I think I mentioned that earlier) Anyhow, I originally thought the story was going to take place in Europe somewhere, maybe Paris, France. However, I had a friendship at the time with a Mexican girl and through her, I decided that it would be best told if the story took place in Mexico. Mexicans have a deep history where religion is concerned and this was a somewhat important background for the story. I think it worked out great.
11) If you could be a character in one of your books, who would it be? (And why?)
Carroll: Oh, by far, Zenakis Vinzant in "Of The Light". I mean, he gets to meet extraterrestrials for crying out loud. How cool would that be? In fact, I created and molded the character of Zenakis after myself.
12) Where can we find your book?
Carroll: My books are available on all E-readers. KINDLE - NOOK - SONY READER
You can also find my other books on Copia too. OF THE LIGHT - LAST FLIGHT OUT
CHILDREN OF THE FLOWER POWER and YEAR OF THE CAT You can also find them on E-BOOK PIE, KOBO, Baker and Taylor, Gardner's Books and of course, for ipad users, The Apple / ipad book store.
13) Do you read the same genre you write?
Carroll: Yes. When I get time to read.
14) Is writing the only thing you do?
Carroll: Pretty much. I quit working about six or seven years ago to focus on it. Between my books, my songs, my poetry, my blog - about the only other thing I do is play football fantasy and travel.
15) How do you find the time to write?
Carroll: I have all the time in the world. Granted, I have been really busy of late, but my schedule is somewhat clear or could be cleared at any time.
16) Do you edit your books yourself?
Carroll: A couple books I have, but two others I had someone else go over them.
17) What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Carroll: Oxygen! LOL Seriously, I can live without anything. The one thing I learned in my time on this planet is, everything burns, and nothing lasts forever. I suppose as long as I got my health and my sanity along with my cheery disposition, I will be okay.
18) If you were stranded on an island, name three things you MUST have with you.
Carroll: Three girls. (A blond, a brunette and a red head) LOL
19) If you were stranded on an Island, name three characters from your books you would want to be stranded with.
Carroll: Zenakis Vinzant from "Of The Light" because he is a survivor (like me). Ian Finnegan from "Children of the Flower Power" because he would be the comic relief. And then maybe Kavita Davidson from "Last Flight Out" because we are both artistic.
20) Did you get a lot of support from your family where your writing is concerned?
Carroll: Define support. To a degree I think they tried to understand it. You have to understand that they are blue collar people and trying to persue anything in the arts doesn't really compute with them. Which is why I think it took a while for me to finally do anything with my writing. However, their approach to life is what helped me get to where I am now. I mean, even I had a problem with the proverbial "starving artist" life style. Working for a living and saving my money, making some wise investments - has led me to where now in my life I can quit working and focus on it full-time without worrying where my next meal will come from or paying the rent. I like this better than the alternative.
21) What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Carroll: Stay away from Goodreads! LOL They have too many bullies there and it's not worth the risk to have them target you. If you think Goodreads will help you in a bully situation, think again. They're librarians are leading the way in online bullying against Indie authors. Other than that, you might want to stay clear of Kindle Boards too. And if by chance you do get targeted (like I did) then by all means, try and understand that they are the "minority" and your career isn't over just because they target you. Don't give them that power over you and your dreams. Fight back! And keep doing your thing.
22) Name a book from someone else that you wished you would have written.
Carroll: That would be a toss up between "Gone With The Wind" and "To Kill A Mocking Bird". I love both of those books.
23) Of all your characters, which one do you have the most in common with?
Carroll: Far and away, Zenakis Vinzant in "Of The Light". I modeled that character after myself. (Did I already mention that?) Oh, and before we end this thing, let me plug a link to my songs on my Youtube Channel THECARROLLBRYANT and my fabulous blog Carroll Bryant - which has over a quarter of a million views on it in just ten and a half months. I am really proud of that. It took a lot of work to get it where it is. It's just overwhelming that so many people from all over the globe find it interesting enough to visit. I also have a "poetry only" blog (with some information about my work and the stories behind it) that I just started a few weeks or so ago. It's called The Carroll Bryant Collection. I also have a blog on Wordpress that I started a month or so ago, but I don't post much on that. Just poetry only. I might be deleting it sometime soon, I don't know. I also have an old blog on Weebly, but like Wordpress, I didn't really get into it much and have pretty much abandoned it. I also want to say to all aspiring authors out there that if you don't think you can do it (get published) then I am here to tell you that you can. Just go to my blog and check out the Bookbaby page and links or go visit BOOKBABY.COM today and learn about their services. Don't wait to be "discovered" - just discover yourself. And thanks for the interview Ira, it's been real. LOL
I'll leave you all with a pic of me and my little buddy last Spring after taking him (my sister and mother) to the movies. It just seems like you can never spend enough time with the ones you truly love. What with life and its many demands.
This is me in deep thought.