I’m so pleased to bring you one of the most interesting author interviews I’ve ever conducted. I first met Carrie Hayes in July. She approached me asking for my assistance with her upcoming release. After reading it, I found myself wanting to know more about her and her writing journey. I asked for an interview and she agreed. So grab your favorite beverage and join us. Carrie, take it away…
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
My current inspiration is found in the work of (in no particular order) Taffy Brodesser Akner, Elizabeth Gilbert, Danielle Dutton, Julian Fellowes, Gail Godwin and Andrew Sean Grier…The list changes and evolves as the reading journey progreses. What I love, love about these writers is the direct yet elegant gentleness of their approach.
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Well, my book is about sisters, so naturally, I gravitate towards sisters…. Elle and Dakota Fanning, natch, but then again, I was so bowled over by the performances in Little Women, that any of those actors, from Emma Watson, to Saoirse Ronan, to Florence Pugh- in the hands of a great performer, I know the characters would shine.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully with another 2 books at least under my belt and out there in the universe.
Have you always liked to write?
That’s a tricky one. There are days when writing might be the last thing I’d want to do, but when I’m in the zone, I can think of almost no better way than to spend hours and hours with the work.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Read more and read with more discernment.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I try to be a plotter, and always nearly end up as a pantser.
Do you read your reviews?
Do you respond to them, good or bad?
I do thank people for the good ones.. maybe I shouldn’t? I don’t know. I know you’re supposed to say nothing when confronted with the bad ones. I only have the one book to my name… and I’ve received a fair number of bad reviews, too…. I’m surprised at how visceral my reactions are to reviews, though…. It’s like an intense discussion from the heart, even if I have no part in the conversation! There are certain good reviews that have moved me to tears, I’m so grateful that the reader gets it…
Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Deep breaths and walking right away from them is what I advise. Part of this business is allowing people to react to your material. The reviewer who is a hater doesn’t start out that way… It’s probably MUCH harder to write a negative review than one can imagine. There’s a good website with examples of negative reviews for books that are considered blockbuster classics, such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and Stephen King’s Carrie, and a couple others. It’s good to take a peek at those. It puts things in perspective.
What is your best marketing tip?
Start BEFORE you are ready to press ‘publish’.. WAY BEFORE and also reach out to Mr. and Mrs. N 😊
Aww, thank you for the praise. What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process?
My fear of imposter syndrome. When I am alone and writing, I don’t have those fears. When other people become a part of the mix, particularly people I don’t know, I am sort of afraid that they’ll say, “You wrote a book?! Ugh! Whatever made you think you could do such a thing?” So I have to wrestle with my imposter syndrome neurosis…. That and looking for typos… I am really bad at proofing my own work.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
Guys together doing guys together stuff. It’s just not my scene.
Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?
At my desk! It was a gift from a friend, and it’s burled oak veneer with cabriole legs. It’s super feminine in a way that I am not. I love my desk and where it’s currently located. It’s at the top of the stairs in a small room, overlooking the street. My dog usually sleeps on the bed across from the desk, and there’s an adjacent wall, stuffed with books on a rickety shelf. I’ve put pictures of my past and of things that are important to me on the walls. It’s very cozy.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Almost all important scenes are tough for me because you want to do them justice. I think the hardest are those which are just male-oriented, because as indicated above, I’m not really into that, so lots of male action doesn’t come naturally.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
This is my first book.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I’ve been writing essays and am also into the sequel for Naked Truth.
Do you write naked?
I always wear at least one article of clothing when I write.
What is your biggest failure?
I failed at mounting a production of “How to Succeed at Business Without Really Trying.” I was a drama teacher and had enjoyed a great run over a period of years at the school, which sort of gave me carte blanche. I loved this show, but the complexity of the music, compounded by the disintegration of my marriage at the time became a recipe for disaster. So, it's rich with irony.
What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?
It was a lie by omission. The first time I got married, I neglected to tell my husband that the car we were driving had a suspended registration and that my license had also been suspended because (this was way before the internet) I failed to insure the vehicle… or something…. You can imagine that when we were pulled over for a taillight that was out, my heart just STOPPED. The cop didn’t say anything, but when I finally told my husband, he was not pleased AT ALL this was the above mentioned marriage….I’ve since rehabilitated my relationship with the DMV.
Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
Have you ever gotten into a fight?
Screaming matches, yes. Brawls, no.
Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
There are few vices I haven’t enjoyed at one time or another.
What is your biggest fear?
A world filled with indifference.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Here lies Carrie Hayes. She was still a work in progress.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
The power to mitigate grief in others.
If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?
Am unsure what my name would be, maybe something like Maude.. my costume would be a simple longish dress, cut on the bias.
Thank you, Carrie, for taking the time to sit down with me for this insightful interview. Readers, to learn more about Carrie’s book and to enter to giveaway, scroll down…
Title Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit
Author Carrie Hayes
Genre Historical Fiction
Publisher HTPH Press
Following the Civil War, from Washington Heights to Washington DC, comes a true American Herstory. Filled with Intrigue, Lust and Betrayal, this is the fight for sexual rights.
“Divisiveness. Chutzpah. Seduction. Politics. Oppression. Spirituality. Gender relations. Betrayal. Healers -vs- scam artists. Fortitude. Dismay. Against-all-odds battles. Fighting the good fight. Just like the plight of humanity today, the historical and excellently well-crafted novel, NAKED TRUTH: OR EQUALITY THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Carrie Hayes has it all. ***** Indie Reader
Hyde Park, January 1869
Floor to ceiling books run the length of the room and are accessible by means of a ladder. Two winged chairs face the fireplace, their backs to the rest of the library, in the center of which is a round table with a large bowl of oranges. Whistling under her breath, Tennessee begins to search the Roosevelt collection and climbs a few rungs up the ladder.