I welcome Joan Carney to my blog today. Though she and her five siblings were born in New York City, Ms. Carney and her family now enjoy living in the sunshine of Southern California. When not at her computer writing or revising a story, she can be found sipping espresso at the local coffee house or browsing her local bookstore’s shelves. For more about Ms. Carney, visit her website at joancarneyauthor.com.
Fated Memories is the story of a beleaguered woman forced to field the curve balls life has thrown her, and to discover her hidden inner strength.
1. 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?
2. 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.
3. 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 daycare center. I’m not retired, just tired.
4. 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. Otherworlds, 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
And the interview ends here. Thank you for your time, and I’m hoping for more blessing to come to you and your family.
Burdened with the scars of a tortured childhood and a shattered romance, Kitty is being forced to resign from the dull, anonymous job she’s been hiding behind. With her life in shambles and her friends moving on without her, she jumps at her cousin, Maggie’s, invitation to visit. However, Maggie’s new boyfriend, Simon, has a secret that accidentally hurls the trio a hundred and fifty years into the past. Trapped in the midst of the bloodiest war in American history, the events that unfold will require more mettle than Kitty’s ever had.
A transplant from the Bronx to San Diego, Joan’s lucky number is four. She has four children, four grandchildren, drinks about four cups of coffee a day, and is now enjoying her fourth career as a novelist. When not planted in front of the computer writing or doing genealogy research, Joan enjoys spending time with family and friends and volunteers at the local church.