Born in Virginia, CARLA KNOWLTON inherited a love of books from her father. As an adult, she now shares her love through writing. She occasionally escapes the tangle of word-weaving and enjoys spending time with loved ones, studying the Bible, and crocheting. Carla resides in Arkansas with her husband of eighteen years and several furry friends. Visit her online at HalosAndPens.weebly.com.
What inspires you to write?
I write to give release to the voices in my head. My characters, whether fictional or historical, are always speaking to me. Their amazing stories must be told. I can only strive to do them justice.
Tell us about your writing process.
My first book, “You’re Not Alone”, was strictly by the seat of my pants. I would hear the words rolling through my mind, and the volume steadily increased. It felt like my head would explode with the pressure of the words, so I grabbed my laptop and started typing. I had to do some research and studying for the book to ensure accuracy, but little to no time was spent trying to find the right words or structure a sentence just right.
On my several works in progress, it seems each one uses a different process. A yet-untitled non-fiction has a bullet-list of main points and/or chapters, yet the first word remains unwritten. I am in the studying/researching phase. My novel seems to be my greatest source of frustration. I have written the storyline, and my main character is my greatest imaginary friend; I’m just a bit stuck on the details for the moment.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I have no choice! If I try to ignore my main character, she begins drowning everyone else out! My husband can tell – he says he always knows when I’m thinking about my writing, because I get a far-away look in my eyes and don’t hear anyone speaking to me.
While writing, I sometimes get stuck on the details of the story. I know that character A and character B are sitting at an outside cafe, chatting, when event C suddenly happens. I’ll often have to ask my main character, “What you are two chatting about?” At times, she’s kind enough to answer.
What advice would you give other writers?
Do not get discouraged! You have to know why you want to write. What is your greatest desire concerning your writing? The answer to that question has to drive you through discouragement, failure, and frustration.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have self-published through WestBow Press. I knew I wanted to self-publish; I didn’t want a traditional publisher, or anyone else, to have the option of changing my work. As a Christian, it was important to me that I present the message God gave me as He gave it. I researched dozens of publishers, and honestly, I pretty much gave up on getting published. The cost to self-published was WAY out of my range. I even quit answering the phone. One day, my husband answered the phone while I was sleeping. He woke me, telling me a publisher was calling. I told him to just hang up and he wouldn’t. I wasn’t happy with him! But I spoke to the agent. By the end of the conversation, my opinions were changing. Maybe it WAS doable. I repeated to my husband all that the publisher had said, and we took a few days to pray about it. We both felt led to go that direction, so we did.
I have been very pleased with WestBow Press, although the price has been hard for us. I am currently researching more options for future reference. While WestBow Press has been amazing to work with, I may pursue options than enable me to do the work myself. That would be my advice for new authors, as well. Knowledge is power. Do your research, and don’t expect to have all the answers within a week. Take your time to know what is available to you, then follow the path that you feel is right for you.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
That’s a hard question for me to answer. I’m still learning about publishing in the present! I’ve read statistics that claim traditional publishing will die; I’ve also seen statistics claiming that self-publishing is a fad that will soon fade back into oblivion.
I see people becoming excited about reading again. Even children and youth are reading, thanks largely to electronics. If we can continue to create quality and keep their interest, then we can change the world we live in. If these young people are sparked by books, and it changes their lives, then we can guarantee that they will continue to publish, and to improve the methods of publishing.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Christian fiction; Christian living; poetry; cooking
What formats are your books in?
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