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Interview with Author Carrie Lynn Barker

Today, my blog is featuring a written interview with author Carrie Barker. I’m honored to say that I acted as Carrie’s editor for her most recent book, Exodus, which will be released on November 1, 2012. I am really excited to post this interview for many reasons.
First, Carrie is likeable. Although that may sound strange, it is true. Many writers tend to have an elitist attitude, portraying an air of knowing special knowledge of which the rest of the world is unaware. This does not describe Carrie. She is witty, fun, and approachable, not to mention the fact that she is very humble in the midst of having phenomenal talent.
Secondly, and probably most importantly, Carrie is a talented writer. To me, what makes her so special is that she takes supernatural characters and makes them believable. sometimes I  have a difficult time connecting with characters and plot lines in paranormal-type books. Carrie has a special talent for making her characters real and believable. Though they may have special ‘skills,’ they are much like you and me in the fact that they have dreams, fears, and even insecurities. Carrie has a  great talent for drawing in her readers in a way that we, as readers care about the characters as if they are old friends we’ve known for a long time.
And last, but certainly not least, I am happy to present this interview because Carrie’s 3book in her series will be released on November 1. Because I amCarrie’s editor, I have already read the book, and I’m so excited to hear the feedback from her readers, as the book is filled with turns, surprises, and lots of clean and not-so-clean fun. Of course, if you have not read the first two books in the series, then I recommend you start with those, first. When I get the opportunity to read a book that strikes me, I am haunted by the duty to tell others about the book. There are a lot of choices out there, and sometimes finding a gem can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. This is a gem, folks.
Okay, without any more rambling, here’s my interview with Carrie Barker:
1.      Can you tell us how you got started writing? Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I learned how to spell. The first book I read when I was 5 was Black Beauty(which no one believes but it’s true). That’s when I knew what I wanted to be.After all these years, it’s just a part of who I am.
2.      What is your inspiration for writing?
I’m inspired by life,the universe and everything, including Douglas Adams, who inspired my first published novel, Fractious. Small things can trigger new and major ideas.People in general are pretty inspiring, too.
3.      You are a published author, and you are published by a real publishing company, not a self-published press, nor a POD or Vanity Press. For many hopeful authors,this seems like an unattainable goal. Can you describe how you were published?
Funny story… when I wrote Fractious – my first published novel - I wrote it as a joke and did so really quickly. From start to finish, Fractious took a month. I’d been sending out stuff repeatedly for years with no luck and had a good laugh at myself when I started submitting Fractious. I thought it would be the last thing anyone would want to publish because it was just so corny. But I made sure to do my homework and, as it happens, I specifically had picked a press because they happened to be looking specifically for comedy. They loved it and it fit their desired genre at the time. From page one to acceptance of publication took twomonths’ time and I hadn’t really believed anyone would pick Fractious up.
4.      What advice do you have for struggling writers?
Never quit, first off.Research the publisher, magazine, etc that you want to be publishing by or in.Cater to their wants and make sure you do everything to their specifications. I probably would still have Fractious sitting in a folder on my computer if Ihadn’t really hunted down a publisher looking for that exact type of novel. Having a Writer’s Market on hand can be helpful too. I still buy one of those every year.
5.      Some of your books are a series. I edited the last book in the series, so I’m a little biased when I say that your writing is phenomenal. However, can you give us an overview of your books for those who have read none of the books in the series?
Well, first thanks for calling my writing phenomenal! Makes me giddy when you say that. It’s really an honor to have my editor think so highly of my writing. The series, which should probably have a series title of some kind but I have never been able to think of one, follows government experiment Christiana Fletcher as she, at first,tries to live like a normal person. She soon realizes that nearly everything she does puts those she loves at risk. After a car accident that took her father from her, she finds herself ‘adopted’ by a group of other experiments in the California desert. But death follows her there and pretty soon, due to her own actions, her new home is destroyed and almost everyone she loves is gone once again. Held together only by the love of her significant other, Jonas, she decides it’s time to take on the government that made her, in particular one single man, Arturo Holt, her creator. But Holt is elusive, clever and tormenting and just when he’s in reach, something happens to send Chris nearly back to the beginning again. Revelations began the journey with the second in the series, Genesis taking Chris and friends up to San Francisco, where she again is foiled by her creator. Still, she adds to her little family of experiments along the way. Exodus is Chris’s final attempt at striking down her enemy but Holt sends someone after her that she could never have fathomed.Connection, the fourth volume, is slated for release next year. New surprises are in store for Chris and Jonas but will Chris finally be able to take down the man who made her? Find out in February.
6.      Your books have interesting characters with interesting skills. What drew you to the phenomenal aspect of the characters?
As the novels often mention, I like the X Files. I don’t care how dated it is now, but the show still holds merit. While the basis for these novels came long before the XFiles, that show really brought it home for me. I knew I had to finally writeChris’s story and quit goofing off. I wanted my characters to be believable and interesting. I wanted their powers to be unique to each one so I picked traits that interested me personally in hopes that those same traits would interest others, as well.
7.       In your series of books, Chris embodies the symbolism of Christ, though she hates the allegory. Do you have any religious affiliations? If so, how do those affiliations (or the absence of those affiliations) affect your portrayal of Chris?
Any religious affiliations were actually driven out of me when I was a child. I won’t say how or who did what, but I drift more towards the older religions, like paganism,and modern ones like Wicca. I’m not really a pagan or a Wiccan or anything like that but I like aspects of those religions, as I like aspects of Christianity,among others. Chris, being who she is and doing what she does, seemed to be a logical atheist. Her beliefs were her own and not really based on mine.
8.      Who is your favorite author? What is your favorite book?
My favorite author is Edna Ferber and her novels are perfection. Nobody seems to read her anymore but her characters embody their time periods and settings in a way no other author has been able to do. You live the lives with her characters and get such a sense of what is going on around them; it’s almost impossible to describe the feeling I get from reading her books. Of her novels, So Big is my favorite, but my favorite book of all time is The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas.My copy is literally held together by scotch tape. It is the ultimate perfect novel.
9.      Writers are artists, so many readers are always curious about how an ‘artist’ spends his/her free time. What are your hobbies?
What is free time? I’venever heard that phrase before. J I have very little free time. My job, while fantastic, is pretty much 24/7. I hate telling people what I do because that leads to 2 hour discussions that usually end with, ‘So, how do I apply because I want your job?!’ When I have that fabled ‘free time,’ I write as much as I can . I see a lot of movies and love spending time with my husband, my dogs, and our friends.
10.  Are you working on any future projects?
There’s always something floating around in my head besides dust motes. There might possibly be a moth in there too… Anyway, I never stop writing. Sometimes, while I’m at work, I have scenes playing in my head over and over again and they stay there until I write them out. I recently started trying out short stories again, one of which is featured in the October issue of FoliateOak. There are also a couple novel ideas I’m working on, too.
11.  How can we get your books?
Amazon.com is always a good place to go. Exodus will be released on November 1, through Eternal Press.You can also buy Christiana’s books at the publisher’s website
Then for a good,lighthearted laugh, there is always Fractious, from UncialPress.
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