Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Carolan Ivery.
Carolan first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
Carolan: I have two main projects right now. Book 3 of my “Legends” series of paranormal romances should be number 1 on my agenda, however a family trauma earlier this year got me sidetracked. I decided to take a break from it and delve into some new creative territory to recharge my batteries. It’s a short erotic romance piece set in the Yucatan. I traveled there last spring and while Cancun proper didn’t exactly thrill me, the surrounding countryside is saturated with the kinds of legends and history that sparks my imagination.
Book 2 of the Legends series, A Ghost of a Chance, is available now in both ebook and print.
Debra: Sometimes we need a little break to rest and allow the creative urge to well up again. Cancun is rather touristy. Any time you can visit Mayan ruins though, there are always legends and quite a bit of atmosphere.
Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?
Carolan: Travel! We’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to travel all over the United States, mainly to see our treasured wild and historical sites. My husband’s career with international companies has also allowed us explore parts of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Britain, France and Germany. We’re castle geeks. J
I’m also a firm believer in occasionally getting out of your comfort zone. For example, guns scare me, but a friend of mine took me target shooting and not only was it an education, I found myself enjoying it.
Debra: Ah, you're a kindred soul I think. I used to work as a travel consultant. Haven't made it to Wales, Britain or Ireland yet, but they're on my list. There's nothing quite like visiting a new place for the first time. Target shooting is on my to do list too. I'm determined to get over my fear of guns.
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Carolan: Yes, but it’s almost never in the first draft! Somewhere during the second or third revision stage, my creative process is in full gear and that’s when I hear the characters carrying on full conversations in my head. In fact, I know a book is really finished when I stop hearing them. It’s eerie, and a little lonely when that happens.
Debra: Yes, then you know the book is truly done.
For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?
Carolan: In general, I don’t remember my dreams. So it’s possible I’ve dreamed a scene and it emerged later from my subconscious.
Debra: As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Carolan: I was a horse nut growing up, so my go-to authors were Marguerite Henry, Walter Farley, Dorothy Lyons, Will James, Stephen W. Meader and Jo Sykes. As a child I often had trouble falling asleep, and I entertained myself making up long, involved stories in which I interacted with the characters of the books I loved.
Debra: Yes, I wonder how many of us have imagined ourselves in the stories we read, right along with the characters.
If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?
Carolan: Interesting question. So far I’ve been blessed to write exactly what I want to write, blending sub-genres and stretching out of my comfort zone to my heart’s content.
Debra: Carolan, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
Carolan: Thank you for having me!
Debra: It's been a pleasure. Readers can find out more about Carolan at
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Last week I was down with bronchitis, but I'm happy to report that I'm up and about this week, doing much better. I signed up for Nano, which is sort of a write-a-thon type challenge for writers. The idea is that you write as fast as you can without editing all through the month of Nov then in Dec you edit the novel. Fast way to a finishing a novel I have been told. This is my first time to try it however.
I'm also working on the 2nd manuscript to get the revisions and edits done. Seem like I keep reporting that, doesn't it? Well, it does take time to finish a 300 to 400 page manuscript. Now if we could only write them as fast as you can read them.
I'm also doing a little exercise where I find one thing to be thankful for each day in November. Why should we wait for a national holiday like Thanksgiving, right? It wasn't my idea and I don't know where it originated but I like it. There is always something to be thankful for.
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I'm planning to redo the photo section a bit as time allows and there may be other changes.