Author on the Couch: Carrie Padgett
Today I’m conducting a session with…Carrie Padgett!
Carrie is giving away an ecopy of SHORT, SWEET, AND SASSY and a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
Just comment and share this post to be entered into the giveaway! Feel free to use the handy-dandy click-to-tweet links to share it quickly.
#WIN an ecopy of SHORT, SWEET, AND SASSY & a $10 Starbucks gift card. @CarriePadgett @Abbie_Roads Click To Tweet
Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Carrie: The last three years have been incredibly stress-filled for our family. Pretty much anything horrible you can think of happened to us. A family member arrested for sex crimes. Incarceration. My beautiful niece lost her life to cancer. A suicide. Health issues. A sudden and permanent hearing loss. Job loss. We’ve had our ups and downs, but the last few years have been extra-challenging. I’ve learned how incredibly resilient we human beings can be. Some nights I’d go to sleep not sure if I would be able to get out of bed the next morning. But somehow, when dawn broke, I was ready to face the dayI’ve learned how incredibly resilient we human beings can be. @CarriePadgett #amwriting Click To Tweet
Me: We are so much stronger than we think we are! I also believe in balance. When a string of bad times hits, I always believe that a string of good times will hit afterward.
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
Carrie: I pay attention. I have a mind and an eye for detail and not much gets by me. This helps me with authenticity. My work in progress is about a former ballroom dance champion who hasn’t danced publicly in years because of a “wardrobe malfunction.” My critique partner read a scene where the protagonist takes to the dancefloor, then asked me if I’d ever danced because the details seemed so authentic. I’ve never been a dancer, although a few years ago, my husband and I took a few ballroom lessons. I paid attention and took lots of notes.
Me: That attention to detail is so important. It’s the difference between reading words on the page and being in the story.
What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
Carrie: Probably my introvert nature. It’s hard for me to ask questions of experts, to go to meetings (even writers group meetings), and I tend to downplay my accomplishments. It feels like bragging and no one likes a braggart!
Me: So many writers struggle with being an introvert. Me included.
What was your high point as a writer?
Carrie: It’s a three-way tie: The phone call telling me I was a Golden Heart finalist in 2014. It was such a validation that I was on the right path. Then receiving an offer of representation from my dream agent this past June. Again, the validation was everything. And back in 2012, I self-pubbed a collection of romance short stories (and one mystery) that my husband and a few friends had been encouraging me to put out in the world. The feeling of seeing a beautiful cover with your name on it is absolutely priceless! I hope to see my name on a novel in the near future!
Me: Everything works at a glacial pace in this industry, but I know your name will be on your novel soon!
What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path?
Carrie: Every time I get harsh criticism back from a contest judge I question myself and my writing for about twenty-four hours. I’m a freelance editor and I’ve written for newspapers and magazines, and a judge’s suggestion that I read a few beginning craft books was a dagger to my heart. After a day or so I could shrug it off. Writing about it now, I’m smiling and wondering if the judge needed coffee or a glass of wine.Every time I get harsh criticism back from a contest judge I question myself. @CarriePadgett #amwriting Click To Tweet
Me: Oh, Carrie–I’ve been there. I feel your pain.
If you had to pick a mental disorder to have for only one day (purely for writer research purposes), which one would you choose? Why?
Carrie: I’m borderline OCD myself (living with my non-OCD husband has been a trial and a gift at the same time) so I’ll go with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In my current manuscript, the protagonist’s husband is back from deployment and suffering from PTSD. I’ve researched it quite a bit, but no research can substitute for the experience.
Me: As a mental health counselor–I agree. It’s very different reading about a disorder versus witnessing it first hand. No text book, no online article can convey how it impacts real people.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Carrie: Ever since I learned to read, I’ve been a voracious reader. I was the kid who read the ketchup bottle at the kitchen table. Even when I was still in Dick and Jane and Spot books, I couldn’t imagine a better life than creating stories and putting them on paper for others to enjoy. After high school, I tried writing a young adult romantic suspense (think Nancy Drew with more romance) and it was not just bad, it was dreadful. So, I put away my writing aspirations and decided I was meant to be a reader only. Fast forward about twenty years and I asked a writer friend to look at the notes I’d prepared for a talk I was going to give. She said I should consider turning the talk into an article and submitting it to magazines. So I did. I wrote a few other articles that were published right away. I believe that was a gift from God to keep me writing because I didn’t sell another thing for five years. But in those five years, I took classes, joined an awesome local writers’ group that has produced many published authors, and learned some of what I didn’t know that I didn’t know.
Me: It’s amazing how many of us knew we were supposed to be writers from an early age, but life took us down another path–only to eventually lead us back to writing.
What’s your life motto? Why does that motto speak to you?
Carrie: This was a comment in an email on a writer’s loop years ago. I printed it out and it hangs over my computer still:
I would rather be disliked for who I am than to be admired for who I’m not. –Cec Murphy.
I’m a recovering pleaser and I need this daily reminder to be myself, even if it means someone will be displeased or won’t like me.I would rather be disliked for who I am than to be admired for who I’m not. –Cec Murphy. @CarriePadgett #amwriting Click To Tweet
Me: Love this quote!
Tell me about your upcoming short romance stories , SHORT, SWEET, AND SASSY.
Sixteen short stories of couples finding their happy ever after.
Buy Link: http://amzn.to/2dSAwCx
Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from your work-in-progress HARLEY TAPS OUT.
The next hour whizzed by as Harley demonstrated the cha-cha, the rhumba, and the pasodoble. She paired up some students and pressed the button to start “Besame Mucho” playing. Andrea Bocelli implored her to kiss him a lot as the couples moved around the studio floor.
“Good, Mr. Vanderlay,” she called to the gentleman holding his wife in a gentle embrace. “Remember, your weighted leg is straight, your non-bearing leg is the one that bends.”
“Easy for you to say. Nothing on my body bends without a protest anymore.” But he straightened his left leg as he moved his right foot into position.
“And put in a little hip action. The ladies love it when you shake your booty.”
“Now you’re just being mean.” He gave her a mock glare.
“Oh, Jerry.” Mrs. Vanderlay tapped his shoulder with her fingertips. “You still rock my world. Do it for me.”
He shook his head but obliged by shaking his hips with the music. His wife laughed and they cha-cha-ed away.
I love this for the little peek at an older couple, still in love, still active. My husband and I are closing in on forty years of marriage and I need this reminder that being active and in love requires being intentional. It’s too easy to collapse on the couch each evening and turn on the television. Going dancing, visiting the farmer’s market, even playing cribbage, are all better ways to stay connected.
You can find Carrie here:
Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. Her first novel RACE THE DARKNESS is available now!
HUNT THE DAWN is available for pre-order now.