Carol Fragale Brill’s novels are, PEACE BY PIECE and CAPE MAYBE, an Amazon Women’s Fiction Best Seller. Her fiction received recognition from Poets and Writers and was a reader’s favorite for The Best of Philadelphia Stories. Her works have also appeared in Wide Array, New York Journal of Books, the Press of Atlantic City, and various online e-zines and business journals. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. In her “day job” in Leadership Coaching and Organizational Development she frequently uses stories in training. Find her blog at http://4broadminds.blogspot.com/search/label/Carol
What inspires you to write?
Reading great women’s fiction with well rounded characters and contemporary plots about relationships and realistic every day struggles. Throw in a little romance and I’m hooked. That’s what I love to read and it’s what I love to write.
I have loved stories ever since my parents read me Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Black Beauty at bedtime when I was five or six. (I know Grimm’s may not seem like the stuff sweet dreams are made of, but they mostly read the ones about princesses being rescued by the prince.) When I was 20-sometthing, I started dreaming about writing a book. It took me another 20 years to get started.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a blend of pantster and plotter. For both of my novels, I knew the beginning and end when I started. I write character bibles before I begin to start to know my characters. Character motivation and the “middle” of the story are revealed as I write, sometimes in little chunks. Other times, huge amounts come to me at once and it takes me days and many pages to catch up.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
When I am “in the zone” really in touch with my characters and their motivations, it’s as if they take over my brain. I can’t help but listen to them, and it’s clear they are telling the story not me. Sometimes my author-self intrudes and tries to take over, but when I can find that sweet-spot where the characters are revealing and I’m listening, there is nothing better.
What advice would you give other writers?
When I started writing creatively, I had no idea there were so many elements to writing craft. Put in the time to study craft—characterization, plotting, show don’t tell, creating a sense of time and place. Once you start to understand craft, grab a few books in your genre and read them like a writer, dissecting how the author uses craft to create emotion and drama. Also, the support of other writers has been so valuable to me. Find critique partners, join a writing group, and open yourself up to feedback. Perhaps the most important lesson is learning that writing is just the beginning, rewriting is where the story becomes what it is meant to be.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
From the first pages of my first novel PEACE BY PIECE, I knew I wanted to publish my novels. Like many debut authors, I decided to self-publish after the traditional query and publishing route didn’t work out.
I published with Create Space because a friend recommended them. I found their customer service and process to be supportive and it’s been a good experience working with them.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future is here. Self-publishing will continue to grow, but I don’t think traditional publishers or paper books will disappear anytime soon.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Women’s fiction, contemporary romance, coming of age
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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