We’re kicking off the new Into the Mind series with a double dose this week. We’re excited to share a little insight to this year’s Realm Award winner, Carrie Anne Noble.
In the wake of her checkered past as a theatre student, restaurant hostess, certified nurse aide, and newspaper writer, Carrie Anne now writes novels and short stories–mostly for a Young Adult audience. She lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with her tolerant husband, four charming children, two naughty cats, a not-so-bright dog, and some really-not-so-bright chickens. The chickens do not live in the house.
Her favorite authors include Mervyn Peake, Neil Gaiman, Maggie Stiefvater, Ardyth Kennelly, Catherine Cookson, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
When not reading or writing, Carrie Anne enjoys sewing, attempting to garden, and having tea parties with friends (preferably Mad Hatter style!).
Into the Mind
Chocolate chip made by our local ice cream shop. Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey is a close second.
What is your favorite TV show?
How many books have you read so far this year?
At least 30. Most of them were library books. Honest.
What book has made the most impact on you?
Besides the Bible, I’d say Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy. I discovered it when I was about fifteen, and I’d never read anything like it. His poetic, descriptive style kindled a deeper love for language in me and inspired me to write more.
Since I’m not good in heat and the thought of being stuck on a vessel in space freaks me out, Middle-Earth wins! Besides, with how much I love drinking tea, frequent meals, and staying home, I think I’d make a pretty good hobbit.
How many books did you write before being published?
I wrote five complete NaNoWriMo novels before revising and submitting number five (The Mermaid’s Sister) to the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and winning the prize for the young adult category—which included the publishing deal. I’m afraid to even look at the first three novels I wrote, but my fourth (which I’ve completely rewritten several times) just sold to Skyscape.
What was the inspiration behind your most recently published work?
In May 2012, my younger sister Kate was diagnosed with colon cancer. I spent a lot of time at her bedside as she suffered and slipped away from us in the months that followed. She was transformed from a vibrant, delightful, curvaceous mother-of-two into a thin, pain-consumed shadow. One day, I asked myself, “What if she were changing into something else? What if a girl transformed into a mermaid?”
The image stuck with me as October unfolded and I began to plan for NaNoWriMo.
My sister passed away on October 22, and I considered not doing November’s NaNo. In the end, focusing on story for hours a day seemed like a good way to distract myself, and so I wrote. There are many true moments in that novel, pieces of my heartache and her unflagging bravery. When November ended, I’d written the required 50,000+ words. I closed the document, and I didn’t know if I’d ever read it again.
On a whim the next summer, I decided to read it. The experience was really strange, kind of like reading someone else’s story, but I felt like it was pretty good, and worth working on more. I did some revisions, got a few beta readers’ opinions, and then submitted it. Miracles followed! God brought beauty out of pain, provision out of suffering. It still amazes me.
What is the #1 writer’s resource that you cannot live without?
Maybe I should be ashamed to say it, but I love the thesaurus. Yes, I do. I love the thesaurus. And also, I like the stegosaurus—not that it helps with writing.
What was your first novel about?
My first attempted novel (written in seventh grade) was about two girls who found a cave that led to an alien planet. I was watching a lot of Star Trek reruns at the time…
Thank you, Carrie, for hanging out with us today. Does anyone have any questions for our guest?