Carolyn Haines, author of Delta Blues (June 14-27)

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Carolyn Haines, author of Delta Blues (June 14-27)

1sonyagreen
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 10:56am

Please welcome Carolyn Haines, author of Delta Blues. Carolyn will be chatting on LibraryThing until June 27th.

2CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 11:08am


I grew up telling ghost stories in a small, rural Mississippi town. My grandmother and both of my parents (who were journalists) were accomplished storytellers. My early working years were spent in journalism, but I began to write short stories late at night or early in the morning. I wrote just for me. And I didn't worry with labels or genre or anything except telling the best story I could. My influences were Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Doris Betts, Lee Smith. Wonderful Southern voices that captured the place I loved so much--the South. As a high school student, I worked as a clerk in a local pharmacy and was allowed to read books on the spinning book rack (Lucedale had no bookstore). So I read all kinds of stories. As a result, I write in a lot of different genres. My feeling is that the story is a gift. And my job is to write the story that I'm given with as much skill as I can. So I write like I read--all over the board. General fiction, mysteries, short fiction, romantic mysteries, crime novels. I write dark and light, because I love both as a reader. My latest Sarah Booth Delaney Mississippi Delta mystery Bone Appetit will be released June 22.

I also teach fiction writing. And lately I've edited my first anthology of short stories Delta Blues--I am so glad to see short fiction making a return! I've worked with some of the finest professionals in the publishing business, and I am a strong supporter of the small, regional presses where a wellspring of talent is being discovered and published.

I have 21 animals--7 horses, 6 dogs and 9 cats. Most of them are rescue animals who have found a permanent home with me. We have a crisis (among many in this country) of overpopulation of animals. But this is one with a relatively easy fix--spaying and neutering. I am passionate about this.

The truth is, if I'm not passionate about something, I just don't mess with it. Life is too short to spend time and energy on lukewarm projects.

I'm happy to answer your questions on just about anything. Fire away.

3eley
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 11:23am

Oh my God, you have so many animals! I bet the horses are the most beautiful. I was wondering what inspired you to write Revenant?

I had another question too. I'm writing a book, and sometimes I have all these great ideas and I can't wait to get home; however, once I get there, I forget everything. I've tried writing on my palm, but even when I remeber them, they don't fit the story plot. How can I incorporate my ideas smoothly without making it seem like I'm rushing or warning the reader?

4eley
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 11:56am

I will be gone for a few days, so I'm sorry if I can't read your response right away. Once I can, I will reply, though:>

5NadiaDweik
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 12:27pm

O-m-g. I can't believe I'm corresponding to THE Carolyn Haines. First of all, I'm so honored you're reading my question. Second of all, thanks for taking time out of your hectic schedule to chat with your fans! Here is my question: Have you EVER considered hosting a contest where the winner gets to dine with you, or perhaps a drink? You could raffle off "Cocktails with Carolyn". Your Facebook.com contests are always so interesting and the prizes rock, but I think meeting you is taking it to the NEXT LEVEL. Any thoughts? Love, Nadia : )

6LadyLuck9
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 12:32pm

Carolyn,

You have this uncanny and wondrous ability to SHOW us, instead of TELLING us, which I highly prize in an author. You are a spectacular STORYTELLER and it angers me to see fungible writers who are catapulted to the top of the game, when far more superior writers don't get the recognition and appreciation that is their fair due. Can you explain WHY this happens in the industry and whether you believe this will change in the future? Love your work, never stop!

7MerryMary
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 12:32pm

I'm afraid I'm hopelessly besotted with Familiar. His stories have such a unique voice, at least when he's in charge. Thank you for the smiles.

8MistyBaldwin
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 12:42pm

Dear Carolyn,

Would you take the trouble to re-cap your adventures in Clarksdale, MS for the Delta Blues book launch party? I heard you met Morgan Freeman there and that the party was a success. I had a work contact who attended, and she scored me an autographed copy (I wish all the Delta Blues anthology writers were there that day!!) and I absolutely RELISH and ADORE all of the short stories contained within the book. Every time I see a woman wearing an uncomfortable YELLOW dress, I think of the main character in YOUR short story in Delta Blues.

How was it to work with Charlaine Harris? I just attended a True Blood screening party last night, and it made me read her short story again, too. Basically, I'm just dying to get the goods on your March 27th 2010 weekend bash!!

9Michael3478
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 12:48pm

I'm a dude, and I just wanted to say you did a kick-ass job of making the Delta Blues anthology happen. Was your publisher - Tyrus Books a pleasure to work with? I devour crime noir fiction, and I enjoyed the books that their former company --Bleakhouse Books, published. Any chance for another anthology for you to edit and contribute to? -Mike

10OhhhliviaDahling
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 12:54pm

I gloat when I say I was sent an ARC (advance reading copy) of Bone Appetit -- and I was just wondering if YOU, Carolyn were in a beauty pageant ever? If so, how did that go? And if not, how did you do the research for this book? Thanks!

11DublinedCreature
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 12:59pm

I LOVE your Familiar series under the name Caroline Burnes. Are you planning with coming out with more of these? A crime-solving cat with a penchant for the finer things in life totally ROCKS!!

12CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 1:27pm

The little town I grew up in, Lucedale, is not far from the Mississippi Gulf Coast where Revenant is set. I lived in Ocean Springs for a period of time, and the lore of the old Dixie Mafia intrigued me. So I took the idea of that time and some of the atmosphere and combined it with a journalist who is punishing herself for her daughter's death. I like to read thrillers, so I wanted to see if I could write one.

You can see some photos of my horses on my website and also sign up for my newsletter, which is full of happy animal news.

13CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 1:30pm

Nadia, I would love to have drinks or dinner with a fan. I hesitate to offer such a thing because it might not be fair to someone who lives too far away. Perhaps it could be an alternate offer--a book or a conversation. Or maybe we could at least manage a phone call, if anyone really thinks that might be something worthwhile. (My family would pay y'all to talk to me so they wouldn't have to!)

But thank you. It's very flattering.

14CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 1:37pm

Ladyluck,

Some writers have a lot of luck. Some of us have to work really hard. Maybe it's a karmic thing, maybe it's just that some writers work really hard and we don't see it. I do know that in the last 10 years, authors are being pushed to do more and more self-promotion. This is difficult in many ways. We're writers because we love solitude and are basically very shy people. (I know it's hard to believe, but I am truly shy. I've just overcome it through hard work.) I do love talking about writing, but for every trip I make out of town to give a talk, I don't write. Anything that snags my focus away from my writing costs me lots of time. The upside is that interacting with readers is such an incredibly relationship. The people who read my books are smart and fun and full of terrific ideas. The latest Bones book, Bone Appetit, was named by Rhonda Zion. What a terrific name! So this is a give and take relationship with readers that I value a lot.

As to the industry, I think sometimes that some publishers get caught up in trends. They don't exercise the quality control they should, and as a result all of us--writers and readers--suffer.

15CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 1:41pm

I love Familiar. After my cat E.A. Poe died (he was the prototype for Familiar and he lived to be 15 before kidney issues ended his life) I couldn't write the Familiar books. I just missed Poe too much. And then m neighbor found a seriously injured black cat in her garage. He was under some shelves and was horribly injured. When she called me to help her, I caught him and took him to my vet. His leg had gotten caught in his collar and the leg was wounded to the bone and had curled up and become paralyzed. He smelled like he was dead. But through great vet care, the help of several of my students who volunteered to help me do therapy, acupuncture and a lot of loving care, Coal Shaft Haines is perfectly healthy with all four legs. He, magically, has the same personality as Poe.

16CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 1:44pm

Misty,

The party was a smash! All of my angst and anxiety paid off with dividends. Blues Muse, our band made up of authors, sounded pretty darn good. And we rocked Morgan Freeman's blues club, Ground Zero. I think everyone had a good time and we had such supporters! And a little help from Mike Utley on the keyboard and Aaron Tyree on drums.

Charlaine and I have known each other for years. She is a writer who has worked very hard for a long time and has finally gotten her sue--great book sales and a hit TV show. I am thrilled for her. But never think she didn't work to get this. She sure did.

She was, as always, a pleasure to sing beside. (She can actually sing and I can't. Drat!)

17CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 1:49pm

Mike,

Thank you. Tyrus is the best. Ben LeRoy and Alison Jannsen have such an eye and such a heart for writing and story. Tyrus is a small publishing house, but I predict it will grow and grow. They made their mark with Bleak House and then decided to opt for more editorial freedom and start a new house.

I do have a short story in Florida Heat Wave, anthology by Tyrus Books due to come out this August. I didn't edit the collection--I just contributed.

And I have a short story in the up-coming Damn Near Dead 2, a collection of geezer noir published by Busted Flush Press out of Houston.

I love to write short stories, so this is very gratifying for me. And I hope to edit another anthology before too much time passes. What with a farm, a full time teaching job and the Bones books, I don't have as much time as I'd like to write, write, write!

18CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 1:51pm

Ohhhliviadahling,

You are the best! No, I was never in a beauty contest, but I was a judge in a junior miss pageant once. And I've known a few beauty queens. As a journalist I covered plenty of pageants, from tots to teens and beyond. It's a very intense, interesting world. Not one I want to live in, but it has the same kind of intensity as big sports. It is, after all, a competition. That amps everything up, and super-charged is always interesting to me.

19CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 1:54pm

DublinedCreature,

I hope to write another Familiar. It's time management. I love writing Familiar. He is such a debonaire cat, and always smarter than the bipeds. I keep thinking I can clear my plate and enjoy a feline romp, but so far, I can say it won't be this summer. Maybe around Christmas. I have plenty of ideas (Familiar is always getting into trouble, just like Coal Shaft, who sits in doorways like a troll so my big 70 pounds dogs can't pass)--it's just a matter of time.

20kssunflower
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 2:46pm

How do you determine whether a particular story line is better suited for a treatment as a short story or a novel?

I've noted that Charlaine Harris often seems to use short stories as a link between novels or as a background for minor characters or plot lines that already exist in her Sookie series.

I am just starting your Bones series and hope to go back and read all Familiar books as well. The short stories I will work in chronologically just in case they link to either series.

Thank you for many hours of satisfaction. I particularly like the emphasis on local color. You make me feel as if I understand the culture of the Mississippi Delta a bit more.

21CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 4:23pm

Kssunflower,

So much depends on the power of the conflict. Is is strong enough to sustain a 500-page length? How much does my character need to grow? Those questions determine what I'm writing.

I've only done one short story with the Bones characters, so most of my short fiction is stand alone. I love taking a break from Zinnia (though I love my characters) to explore new terrain and new characters. Charlaine has such a host of supernatural characters to explore--short fiction is a good way for her to delve more fully into these worlds she's created.

And thank you for your nice comments. I love writing about this land I love so much. Please keep a good thought for our poor Gulf of Mexico.

22Squeex
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 4:41pm

I concur. 'Life is too short' is my motto for pretty much everything. It's going on the wine bottle that will hold my cremains when I go. Life is too short to read bad books, that's my main lean on that motto. So I was happy to meet Sarah Booth Delaney. I've been having fun listening to them.
I'm looking forward to DELTA BLUES, it's at the top of the Wanton Wantin' Book List (WWBL).
Very cool that you rescue animals, they all need a good home. Would love to have a place to be able to do the same. Currently can only rescue plants for my garden. We go to the back of nursery to the 'rescue rack' as we call it and give the puny, wilted, barely living plants of all kinds a good home in our dirt.

23CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 5:35pm

Saving a plant is noble indeed. Living things. I wish I had the money to do more than I do. I really want to have spay and neuter facilities available for everyone to use. So much suffering is unnecessary. I met a young man in a rural vet clinic the other day who had a dog that had had over 100 puppies. He simply could not afford to have her spayed. A free spay/neuter clinic could have saved a lot of puppies a lot of pain.

I'm glad you're enjoying the Bones books. These characters are like old friends to me. Spending time in Zinnia is like being home, and it is such a rush when readers say they feel the same way.

24sarahbewley
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 11:24pm

I'm really looking forward to the new Sarah Booth book! But I also love your stand-alone novels, TOUCHED, PNEUMBRA, and especially FEVER MOON.

FEVER MOON fascinated me, and I loved that it took a supernatural idea - the loop garou, and dealt with it as a superstition being twisted to cover a murder.

Is there any hope of a follow-up book with these characters? As much as I love Sarah Booth, Jitty, and the rest, I have to say I miss reading more with the characters of FEVER MOON.

25N.Awalden
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 11:40pm

Ms. Haines.... How do you create you characters for your bones series? and does any of them have traits that you have yourself?

Another question... will there be anothers love intrest for Coleman? I love Coleman he is a ideal man....

26N.Awalden
kesäkuu 14, 2010, 11:40pm

Ms. Haines.... How do you create you characters for your bones series? and does any of them have traits that you have yourself?

Another question... will there be anothers love intrest for Coleman? I love Coleman he is a ideal man....

27SunburntToast
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 2:12am

Carolyn, what I love about you is that you're so APPROACHABLE and REAL. I love it how your characters have their own Facebook Profiles. It makes me want to believe that Zinnia truly does exist.

Which brings me to my next question. My friend Barbara told me that you're coming out with a real gift shop with Zinnia products stocked inside of it. Would this be an online store? What kinds of merchandise would be available? Would the stuff be made locally? That's really important to me.

Can't wait to hear your reply. I'll be one of your first customers. : )

Sunni Elmore

28CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 7:41am

Sarah,

Fever Moon was one of my favorite books to write--I love Louisiana and the lifestyle of that region. James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors. And I do love stories that have a chill in them. I also really enjoy working with local legends. So there were a lot of elements in this book that I had fun working with. I don't know if those characters will reappear, but I do have an idea for another book in that same vein, the darker crime novel. I really want to write it, but finding the time...books take so long! But thank you.

29CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 7:45am

N.Awalden,

I do "borrow" character traits from my friends and family, and some of my own, to weave into the characters. Jitty, Tinkie, Sarah Booth, Cece--all of them have a good bit of me, as well as a dollop of my friends. The men, too. For me, the characters are very real. They are firmly set in their traits and behaviors, but that doesn't mean that can't change, just like real people do. And they change in directions I don't necessarily foresee.

As to Coleman, I really don't have an answer. I have to write my way to that answer, and I'm not there yet. But it's a great question.

30CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 7:52am

Sunni,

Thank you very much! And deluded though I am, Zinnia is very real to me. What I'd like to do with the store is offer items that the characters would use or wear. Yes, it would be on-line. The problem is that I'm not very good with this kind of business detail. But I have a team of friends (very much like the Zinnia crowd) and we gather around the kitchen table at my farm and try to figure this out. My niece is an accountant, and she has a lot of business sense, so she's really helping me. And my neighbor is a graphic designer. And my assistant is the most creative person around. And my publicist is a young woman with more energy than a fireball. It's a great team. What we hope to do is start very small. Maybe with some t-shirts or something fun. Then expand. We did a survey of the people who get my newsletter and they had some original and brilliant ideas for things to offer. Is there something specific you'd like to see offered?

31Squeex
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 9:09am

{HUGS} I wish that free spay and neuter clinics were available, even if on a limited basis like shot clinics are for humans of limited means.

32mimsypie
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 10:16am

I'm a big fan of all your works, and I think it's amazing how many different styles and genres you work in. But I'm wondering: with all the books you have written and continue to write, is there one book that you're dying to write but just haven't had the time to tackle? Or maybe it's just percolating in your brain but hasn't fully come forth yet?

33CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 10:57am

Mimsypie,

you must be psychic! There are three books I really, really want to write. One is a dark crime novel, one is a story about soul transference, and one is a horror novel I cut my writing teeth on. I revised that book at least 15 times and never got it right. Now I think I may be able to use the techniques necessary to write it properly.

It's so funny to think back to when I started writing. I was a journalist, and even thought I'd taken writing classes, I was still unfamiliar with many, many terms and techniques. My point of view was just all over the board, I tried to write the main story along with the back story and hint at the future. My secondary characters took hold of the story and ran with it for pages before I reined them in...just the basic mistakes all beginner writers make. But I still love the story and want to try to tell it properly.

So I let these three ideas percolate. I think about them at the strangest times, and maybe when I get a chance, I'll just sit down and the sentences will fly from my fingers. Now that's a fine fantasy to have, isn't it?

34CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 11:06am

Squeex,

Technically, the cost of running a free spay and neuter clinic is far less than what a city or county pays for animal control personnel and pounds/shelters and the process of euthanasia and "disposal." That's the word that's used. Disposal, as if they were...nevermind. Statistics on a pair of unneutered cats show that, theoretically, that one pair can produce 250,000 offspring in a very limited time. In reality, not all of the kittens survive or live to reproduce, but technically, its possible. How much cheaper--how much more humane--to alter the animals, even if they're feral, and release them. If reproduction is stopped, the feral cat colonies will eventually dwindle away. With dogs, it isn't the same. Dog packs running feral are not a good thing. Neutering would greatly help this problem, too, though.

I truly believe we have to start asking our elected officials why we don't have these services in our communities. If we don't ask, we'll never get them. Politicians cater to the squeaking wheel. So, we should squeak loud and long!

35TheObjectionalOne
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 11:13am

Ms. Haines,

How in the world do you FIND the energy (physical strength) to care for your horses? Is the summer heat a hinderance for you? Do the horses get ill? Are vet bills exorbitant? Do your horses know how good they're getting it? I'm a huge horse lover myself, but I simply don't know how you can take care of ALL your animals, manage your writing career, teach college students, AND have a personal life too.

Are you on some program where each day is allotted an extra 5 hours? I want to get on YOUR plan, honey. What's your secret, missus?

36BarnicleLove6734
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 11:22am

Carolyn, I've been doing some reading up on you and I'm very intrigued with all the reporting you did, your adventures growing up, the pranks you played, your books and passion for animal rescue.

I have two questions.

1). What was the BEST time of your life and what helped make it a terrific time?

2) Is there ANY hope at ALL.. that you would publish a memoir? Please GOD say yes. (please!)

Jacqueline McCourt

37CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 11:58am

Dear ObjectionalOne,

I don't sleep a lot, and I like to multi-task. I'm very lucky that I can think about my writing while I'm doing physical labor, such as this morning while the horses were eating I cut the grass--and figured out how to fix a snarl in BONES OF A FEATHER (my 2011 Delta mystery). I hopped off the lawn mower, ran inside and typed like I was demon possessed, and then went back out to finish mowing. It's a very crazy way to live, and the end results is that I'm dirty almost all the time because I spread my chores out. But, hey, the dogs don't care.

The horses are labor intensive, expensive, and a lot of worry. They are extremely fragile to look so big and imposing. Also when they're ill, it's hard to take good care of them because they don't like to be confined.

And I hate summers. For a number of reasons: flies, hurricanes, heat, humidity, mosquitoes, yellow flies, heat, humidity, thunderstorms--the list goes on like that. But the longer days are nice.

38CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 12:07pm

Jacqueline,

I'll have to wait a while before I write a memoir and hope a few people die off--you know you can't libel the dead. Seriously, I don't know how I feel about a memoir. I've had a big life. Lots of tragedy and lots of good things. I'm blessed with incredible friends. And I did work in journalism at a time when it was really journalism and reporters were still viewed as the enemy by politicians and evil-doers. Journalists had teeth back then. And the best ones knew how to bite.

Growing up in a small town, I also had a lot of leeway. Folks knew my parents (and a few were afraid of my mama because nobody messed with her baby). I wasn't a great reporter, to be honest. I worked hard, and I wrote honest stories. But I preferred feature writing to hard news, so i was a better writer than investigative reporter. But I did cover an interesting time in history, especially in the South.

And yes, I am a terrible prankster. Even today. When I have time, I can plan our some really intricate pranks. I have to be careful, though, because I can't run as fast as I used to.

39Squeex
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 12:57pm

Oooo! A horror story, would love to read that one! October is my horror book reading month. I keep a stack ready to go for that month.

I think a lot of readers think that writers have it easy, the words just pour from the brain through to the computer or pen and paper. You just brought home how much it takes to get the story just right for the reader to want to get the book and read it..and finish it.

40Squeex
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 12:59pm

Getting out the address book for the Colorado legislature and local government. Thank you for the inadvertant rallying cry to do this for animals and the people who care for them.

41Squeex
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 1:03pm

How cool that there is another person out there like I am. I start working on something, think of something else that's been buggin' me, take care of that, then go back to the original chore. My husband thinks it's kind of like attention deficit...Ooo! Squirrel!..., but I prefer the term multi-tasking....

42CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 10:29pm

Squeex,

I am very persnickety about my horror. I hate these slasher/porn/torture movies that pass as horror today. I like the kind of story that makes you afraid to turn around and see what might be watching you from the shadows of the room. I just have to find the time to write this.

Maybe some writers have an easier time of it, but I work hard. I don't mind admitting it.

43CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 15, 2010, 10:33pm

Squeex,

Thank you for taking action for the animals. The temptation is just to pick up the stray dog or cat or horse and try to make a better life for it, but I'm maxed out and there are thousands of strays just here in Mobile County. I just can't handle any more. So it dawned on me that we have to get to the root of this. Maybe spaying and neutering isn't the only way--I''m wide open to hear better ways.

And yes, Squirrel perfectly describes my brain at work. Yikes! Grab an acorn. Oh,no! Run up the tree! Look, a better tree! What? Cat! Run! But you know, I am never, ever bored.

44Squeex
kesäkuu 16, 2010, 10:26am

I, too, am persnickety (one of my favorite words) about my horror. I think the slasher/torture/porn horror are lazy movie making. I do admit to the admiring the very first Halloween and The Exorcist. That music in both gives me the heeby-jeebies to this day.
I'd rather read good horror like Jeff Long, Dan Simmons, Jonathan Maberry, Joe Hill, Elizabeth Massey, Alexandra Sokoloff...The kind that makes you stay up at night from the affected dreams and makes me change out the book to read in the daytime...

45mimsypie
kesäkuu 16, 2010, 1:09pm

Maybe if you perfect the fantasy -- say by inserting George Clooney into it, or someone like that -- it might make it happen. Just something to jumpstart the story.

46CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 16, 2010, 2:11pm

You my kind of horror reader,Squeez. The Exorcist sets a mighty high bar because it was scary as all get out and also well written. The Shining was also one very scary book, though I didn't care for the movie versions all that much. I'll have to look into some of the other people you suggest.

47CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 16, 2010, 2:13pm

Good idea, Mimsypie. George Clooney could get a lot of things headed down the right path. I really admire his talent. He is the person I would like to see make Penumbra. I think he'd do a fine job.

48ScruncheePower
kesäkuu 16, 2010, 5:20pm

Carolyn, I saw your Summer Book-tour schedule on your LinkedIn page. I have a question. Are you going to rent a pimped out van or some kind of bus so your groupies can join you from city to city? It sure would make life easier to have easy means of transportation. I'd be happy to comp for gas expenses! Whaddya say?

49CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 17, 2010, 7:59am

ScruncheePower,

That would be the most fun! I would love to do that. Sort of a band bus. It would be great. I don't know if I can pull it off this year, but it's something to think about for next year. And it would be environmentally correct--always a plus.

Alice Jackson, Sarah Bewley and I are hatching an idea for a Daddy's Girl Weekend. Just a get together to do fun and crazy things (some involving peignoirs and the crowning of a Big Daddy). We were actually looking up peignoirs on e-Bay. Holy cow! It could be extremely wild and crazy fun. I think the spirit of Eugene Walter has hold of me.

50IntimatePulsingLips
kesäkuu 18, 2010, 12:28am

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

51CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 18, 2010, 12:01pm

Dear IntimatePulsingLips,

First, I have to say Eugene would greatly approve of your handle. He had a great sense of humor. Eugene marked my life in many ways, all of them wonderful. The best lesson he taught me was not to be a snob about writing. He wrote novels, poetry, lyrics, recipes--and he loved good writing, whether it was a light mystery or heavy literature. He saw merit in the art of story telling, no matter what form it took. He was also one of the most generous people I've ever known. He took time with young writers, like me, and read my work and encouraged me in times when I was ready to throw in the towel. By believing in me, he taught me to believe in myself. The publishing world is very difficult, and it was wonderful to have a friend to encourage me along the way. He was a rare and unique person, and I miss him every day. And one heckuva fine writer. His work is well worth looking into.

52FannyPack
kesäkuu 18, 2010, 3:35pm

Carolyn,

Is there something your fans can do to get the entertainment rights of your books sold? It's high time for your series to become televised. Evanovich's series will be made into a movie. True Blood is a hit show on HBO. Now it's your time. Sarah Booth and Jitty need screen time. These characters are too real for it not to be adapted onto screen. The tension between Coleman and Sarah Booth. When I read a scene between them, I get warmer where it counts. Now I want to to take it to the next level. What can I do?

Chasity Bozeman

53CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 18, 2010, 7:31pm

Chastity,

Thank you so much! I wish I had a definitive answer to your question. It's hard to understand how Hollywood selects material, though I truly enjoy Charlaine's wonderful stories and find Stephanie Plum to be a kick.

The people who read and love my books are wonderful about talking me up, about writing reviews on on-line sources, and suggesting my books for book club. I personally think that there is a "buzz" that builds around a book or series or writer that somehow gets the attention of those in the film or TV business. All we can do is keep writing, reading and talking about these characters. I do believe it will happen.

54Zizzybalooba
kesäkuu 19, 2010, 9:08am

Carolyn,

Let's get back on track with DELTA BLUES. I want to know MORE about it -- were there any tensions on the "set"? Did you have any "brownie point" contributing authors? Also, what was the editor role like? Have you had any experience in editing other people's works, besides offering student critiques? Did this position make you nervous at all? May I ask which story in the DELTA BLUES anthology was a personal favorite of yours? I also want to know if you're up for the challenge again, that would be quite indicative whether it was a positive experience or not. P.S. LOVE the cover of the book. Very bluesy crime noir. : )

55CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 19, 2010, 3:06pm

Dear Zizzybalooba,

You're referring to the Blues Muse performance at Morgan Freeman's blues club, Ground Zero, in Clarksdale, MS. Nathan Singer was in charge of the band, and he did a spectacular job. He had some real talent to work with. Our original drummer, one of the short story contributors, hurt his wrists and couldn't play, so Nathan found the wonderful Aaron Tyree to fill in on drums. And Michael Utley, who works his day job with Jimmy Buffett's Band and many others, played keyboard for us.

Everything went really well, except there was a snafu in getting a keyboard for Mike. And the I-Can-Make-Things-Happen Dixie Smith found us a keyboard. So while I thought my head might ignite, everything turned out just fine.

I did not have any authors who sucked up to me. Dammit. What did I do wrong?

And that was my first experience editing a major anthology. Would I do it again--I love working with Ben LeRoy at Tyrus Books. We may do another anthology in the future.

As to my favorite story--I don't have a favorite. Each story was a unique and wonderful pleasure. I will say that the debut authors wrote surprisingly accomplished stories: Alice Jackson, Daniel Martine, and David Sheffield showed they could carry their weight with the big boys in the world of crime fiction.

56TriSARAHtopheavyGirl
kesäkuu 20, 2010, 1:21am

Carolyn, you may call me the Demystifyer! You seem like you have it all - animals who love you, devoted fans, great friends, a strong online presence (Facebook), a trim figure, gorgeous blue-green eyes, a 2010 Harper Lee Award, and your own farm! But me being a psychology major, I know very well how public image is glossed over so everything APPEARS a-okay. So I want the dirt.

This may be my only opportunity for a true-or-dare session with you (being that I live in Oregon), so I want to know what ACHES you. What is miserable about your life? What sucks for you? Any gripes with the publishing industry? Any mentionable foes who come to mind? I want to crack you open and parse your soul and heart. Please discuss some things about YOU that makes you more like US, the regular folks who try to make it a go in life. And please don't tell us that you're flawed -- I want to know what exactly your flaws are. I beg of you -- do not be blase and do NOT give me a "skim-milk" answer. I want a full-fat cream answer! Your reader from afar, Sarah

57CarolynHaines
kesäkuu 20, 2010, 1:17pm

Dear Sarah,

Wow. DO I have to pay for this therapy session? On a personal level, I don't sleep well. I have a lot of anxiety. I worry about my animals--and all the poor creatures, four-legged and two--at the mercy of cruel, greedy people. I hate hunters and guns and fireworks and loud vehicles and subdivision development on farmland and asphalt for any reason. This makes living in the New South at times difficult. I am often at odds, philosophically, with most of the people around me.

While it may seem I have everything a girl could want, there is no decision that comes without sacrifice. To live on the farm is...to live on the farm. I am blessed that Miss Scrapiron is 33. This also means that I worry and fret when the weather is harsh or the neighbors are blowing up fireworks or shooting guns and she gets upset. I love this life, but it is also very restrictive. I am always hot and dirty in the summer, because I'm constantly checking on the horses. But would I change anything--no. I think what gives me happiness is that I realize I could change my entire universe at any given moment--if I wanted to. But I carry the responsibility of these animals because I choose to.

I"m upset that many of my friends are suffering economic hardship now. The publishing industry is in a huge plate tectonic shift. People are hurting. Publishers have for too many years produced too many books of poor quality. In the industry in general, too many decisions have been made by bean-counters and not editors. Publishing has always been an art and a business. When the business end gets too much weight, the art end suffers. New technology and delivery systems have us all wondering what will happen next and no one knows.

I'm a workaholic, which is nice since I don't sleep. I don't think I have any real foes in the publishing industry. (Perhaps they are merely clever and don't show it!) To be honest, I'm so busy hoeing my own cotton that I don't have time to look around and see if anyone else's cotton is growing taller or thicker. Idle hands are the devil's workshop--so true. Busy people don't have time to nurture grudges and I am a huge believer in Karma. What you put out comes back to you. I am careful to put out good energy, which is why I don't have a more specific answer for you. Do I have regrets? Most certainly. Will I discuss them? Nope. Living in that long-gone negative place wouldn't be good for either of us.

58Pushing40
kesäkuu 26, 2010, 12:51am

Dear Carolyn,

Do your plethora of critters ALLOW you peace and time to write? Or do you function better with cuddly creature chaos?

Thanks!

LKR

59eley
heinäkuu 16, 2010, 1:39pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.