Interview with Time Travel Romance Author Joan Carney
What inspired your latest release?
My inspiration for writing Fated Memories came after researching my father’s family tree and finding ancestors from Pennsylvania who fought in the Civil War. Intrigued by these faceless relatives, I read as much as I could find on the daily lives of people from that era. That led me to wonder; what if a woman from our time was thrown into that life with no preparation? Could she live without a supermarket, a car, a microwave oven? After growing up in a world where women demand respect, where a woman can run for president, what resources could she rely on to survive in a time when women had no status?
Do you outline your books or wing it? Describe your process.
My first draft was a complete “seat of my pants” effort. With a firm grasp of the beginning and the end, I let the middle develop and grow on its own. I threw challenges and adventures at the characters, watching them weather every storm. By allowing my imagination to run wild though, I wound up having to slash a third of the story. My mistake taught me that planning form and structure ahead of time is a huge stress saver. You live, you learn. The one good thing that came of that error was a deeper connection to and understanding of my characters.
Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
I’ve worn many hats. First and foremost I am the mother of four wonderful, beautiful successful grown up kids. For several years I worked as a ward clerk at a hospital where I had to re-apply for my job every so often. It was a tax saver for the hospital, a pain in the butt for me, but a good source of stress for Kitty’s character. I’ve worked in accounting officers, a police department, examined worker’s compensation claims, and ran a day care center. I’m not retired, just tired.
What do you like to read?
My reading tastes are at all ends of the spectrum. Like my character, Kitty, I’m a sci-fi nut. I’ve read almost everything Stephen King has written. Other worlds, black holes, wormholes and other time vortexes fascinate me, but I’m not above curling up with a steamy romance novel or an action packed spy thriller. As long as the players speak to me and transport my imagination to wherever they are, the genre doesn’t matter.
You’re having a party. What character from your book do you hope attends? Why? What character do you hope doesn’t attend? Why?
I hope it’s Sam—he’s hot!! He can sweep me off my feet with those piercing eyes and Southern charm any day. Of course I’d have to make sure Kitty wasn’t around. She’d kick my butt from here to next Tuesday for flirting with her man.
The character I’d be least happy to see would be any of the ones named John.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks)?
The window in my office faces a serene lake with ducks and seagulls squawking in the distance. When I’m stuck for the perfect word or phrase, I gaze out at the light sparkling on the water and allow the alpha brain waves to flow. If that doesn’t work, I do the opposite and munch on chips, crackers, anything chocolate or high in carbs to stimulate my creativity. The calories are balanced out with long walks around the lake or, if I’ve been especially brilliant, I reward myself with a couple hours trolling the department store racks.