Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm On Tour!

Last week Becky Shillington tagged me on her blog tour and as you'll see at the bottom of this post, I'll tag three more writers. I hope you'll enjoy this post and check out my fellow bloggers.

What are you working on right now?
As many of my faithful blog readers know, I'm writing my first work of fiction, Half-Truths. This link will take you to a list of posts about the evolution of my book.

Although I've been working on the story for at least six years--my first blog post about researching the novel was in 2007--the story actually started out as a picture book about Wing Haven.  I fell in love with this bird sanctuary and the history surrounding it when  my youngest daughter and I visited when she was 5. (She will turn 22 soon, so you do the math!!). 

There were too many stories to fit into a 2000-word-picture book (that was before picture books had a 6-800 word count) and the book morphed into a book for boy readers. I spent months devising a book based on a real story of a young boy rescuing a robin and bringing him to Wing Haven. When my son-in-law informed me that no boy would read a story about a robin--I went back to the drawing board.  

This time, I started imagining a young woman (Kate Dinsmore) who moved from Cheraw, South Carolina into the high society of Myers Park. Her world radically changes when she meets the light-skinned granddaughter (Lillie Harris) of her grandmother's cook. After writing the book from Kate's POV, Mary Kate Castellani an editor at the 2011 SCBWI-Carolinas conference, recommended writing it from both girls POV. I completed that draft this summer and have begun the third "major" draft (there were many starts and stops that I haven't counted in that number!). I am deepening the characters and working on both girls' story arcs. 

How does Half-Truths differ from other works in its genre?
As far as I can tell, there isn't another book that is set in Charlotte on the eve of the civil rights movement. In addition, I am hoping that the alternating points-of-view will deepen both white and black readers' perspectives on race, prejudice, and privilege. 

Why do you write what you do?
Initially, I was intrigued with the challenge of finding the story in my own backyard that Carolyn Yoder posed to my friend, Joyce Hostetter. I also love seeing how the actions, thoughts, and decisions of previous generations influence a person's "now." And I think it's pretty cool to visit places that in Charlotte and think, "My story happened here."

How does your writing process work?
Research (reading books about the era, civil rights, Charlotte history, dialect, fashion) and interviewing experts--folks who lived during this time period--are intermingled with my writing. I actually do less research now, but still find libraries I need to visit and people I want to talk to. I like to write for a few hours in the morning, but my days don't always unfold like that.  

Any departing words of wisdom for other authors?
Don't give up, seek and receive input from writers who you trust, and believe in your story. But most of all, 

A path in Wing Haven that Kate and Lillie probably walked on
as they persevered in their goal of friendship.
Here are three more bloggers who I hope you will visit as they go on tour next:

Janice Green whose blog combines family entertainment with Bible lessons. 
Becky Levine who has a blog full of writing tips. 
Janie Sullivan who is the director of the Center for Writing Excellence, runs writing contests, and sponsors writing classes.  


Joan Y. Edwards said...

I am very proud of your perseverance with your manuscript for Half-Truths. It is going to be an exciting book to read.

You are a very talented author.

Thanks for joining the blog tour and sharing the blogs of three other talented authors.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Rosi said...

Nice interview, Carol. Good luck with Half Truths. I think it might be like olives. The first one is so hard to get out of the bottle, but the rest are easier. So when you get Half Truths finished, the rest will be easier.

Linda Phillips said...

Looking forward to seeing this book FINISHED! Thanks for the updates.

Clara Gillow Clark said...

Perseverance is key, but a couple of other things struck me when I was reading your post. When we set out to write a novel it had better be about something we care about deeply since the process to finding the right characters and structure may take us years. Also, that key point from Carolyn Yoder about our own backyards. We experience our backyards every day and in every season and for some of us that has been true for generations of our families, so our connection runs deep. Great post, Carol. Cheering for you!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks to all of you for cheering me on. When Half-Truths is finished, I'll need to write a blog about how my other writer friends' encouragement kept me going. Love the olive analogy, Rosi. I'll remember that for sure!

Linda A. said...

I always enjoy reading your blog posts and I can't wait to read your novel. Thanks for sharing your writing journey with us.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, for being another person who is hanging in there with me, Linda!

Becky Shillington said...

Thank you so much for participating in the blog tour! Half-Truths sounds fantastic!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Becky, for inviting me on tour. I hope Half-Truths will be fantastic--whenever it makes the light of day!

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