***Sue Stinnett, you are the winner of our Coffee With Carol E. Keen! Please be sure to email celebratelit(at)gmail(dot)com***
It is a beautiful Friday morning here in Southern California. I have my coffee in my hand and chatting with Author Carol E. Keen. Pull up a chair, let me pour you a cup, and join the chat!
What inspired you to start writing?
I have written since I was old enough to write. At the age of two I was making up verbal stories and simply wouldn’t stop. My family tells slightly embarrassing tales of my monoplozing visitors with my non-stop sagas, which were very repetitious at that age. The older I got, the more I wrote. By high school I was jumping at the change to write research papers. In college I took every English class I could, and went on to minor in English. Soon after college I was being published in an international magazine. Seeing my articles and photos in print was amazing. I went onto publish an ebook on CD, because this was before we had the current ebook formats.
July 13, 2015 I self published my first book. I’m still going “Wow! This is so amazing!”
How have you grown spiritually through your writing?
I can say that I have so many ideas, that I do pray about which one comes next. I was working on some other books about two months back. Then something happened that lit a fire under me in another direction. I’m writing in that other direction as fast as I can, and then I will go back to the other books in progress. I don’t want to miss that “still small voice” of direction when Father says to me, “Psssstttt! Carol, write this one next!”
Does that count as growing spiritually while writing? Oh, and I also think of some huge issues I want to tackle later on. I’m already thinking and praying about how I can do that.
The books in your beauty series are written after fairytales, what inspired you to choose to write after fairytales?
After some major hurts, huge set-backs that left me feeling like I would never publish or write again, a contest occurred. It was being hosted by a Christian author that I admire. The challenge was to retell Cinderella in a new way, and pay a small fee to enter. I was unable to walk away from that tug that I needed to enter. (I know that pull when I feel it!)
I locked myself up during the day in a place that was available to me at that time. In one week I had my manuscript completed, within the 20,000 or less words required. I entered, and waited. Five winners were going to be chosen and put in one book. That wait felt like forever! When the winners were chosen, I wasn’t one of them.
My story didn’t make it into their collection. I was a little sad, but not devastated. I went right back to my manuscript, added the rest of the story I wanted before that wouldn’t fit, and my first fiction book was published.
Beauty For Ashes was given such a warm welcome that I quickly started the next book in the series based on reader’s requests. It didn’t hurt that I have always felt that too much was missing from the traditional Cinderella story. I was able to put that, along with a message that is important to me into my rendition.
Factoid – Beauty For Ashes is probably the most difficult thing I have ever written that wasn’t a final exam! It was no easy task to rewrite a classic. Little did I know that new versions of fairytales were about to be something that is an “in” thing right now.
The second book, Monstrous Beauty is based on Beauty and the Beast, which is a favorite of mine. I have more books coming up as soon as possible in The Beauty Series.
Where do you like to write?
Anywhere I can! I had a huge blessing this past Christmas. I have a Macbook now. It is so light weight and easy to use, that I write just about anywhere. The living room, the den, bedroom, my husband’s office room to name a few. If I have a burning idea, and I’m not at home, I write using the note features in my phone, or my email program in my phone.
Where would I most like to write?
Let’s say if I had the resources, I would love to join this one group writing in a castle. I wouldn’t mind one bit writing in a cabin in the woods in Tennessee for example either. I just need food nearby for when I remember to eat, and lots of coffee and I’m good to go.
Do you listen to music while you write? What songs are on your play list?
Now that is two totally different things. LOL! I can listen to music, if it is classical or jazz, something I’m not prone to stop and sing with. I can’t play my favorite songs all the time, unless it is on a break, because I will be singing the words even in my head, and then I wind up typing them into my sentences. It looks really funny when that happens. I can, however, have my family watching a TV series and I can write and listen to the show at the same time. The exceptions are if it is a show or movie that I am really into, or that takes a good bit of concentration to follow.
Music is a HUGE part of my life, it’s actually in my blood. Songs on my play list – Here you will find songs and groups that are a bit dated, at least I am told that.
The Violet Burning. The Choir. Skillet. Red. Reliant K. Petra. Alice Cooper. The Waiting, some of Demon Hunter’s songs to name just a few. Those are all in the Christian music genre. (Please don’t choke over Alice, I first heard him on my Christian radio station many years ago. He is a Christian and I love the message in many of his songs!) I also know more Praise and Worship and hymns than I can count.
Right now you got me thinking, so I have a specific song playing. Song of the Harlot by The Violet Burning, from their album Strength. It’s a worship song about repentance and being honest with how we have actually been more times than we might care to admit, but His endless grace and forgiveness is right there, rescuing me again. Frankly this entire album is one that got me through difficult times more than once. As I Am is another very good song from that album.
Carol E. Keen currently resides in Alabama with her husband and family. She spends her time writing, reading, working on photography, and working with her much loved critters. She started creating stories to share with others at the age of two years old. She was published for several years in FAMA magazine (Freshwater And Marine Aquarium) as a contributing editor. She published her first book on CD, called Simply Seahorses. She is overjoyed to be publishing her fiction to share with you now. Carol currently has more books in the “works”. Please feel free to follow her for updates.On a personal note: Carol really enjoys coffee and a good book.
To celebrate our coffee time, Carol is giving away one of her books! Comment below sharing your favorite song to enter. Be sure to include your email in a safe format so we can contact you if you win.
This giveaway will end June 27th at 11:59 pm PST.