Saturday, March 13, 2010

Carolyn Turgeon Interview

I wanted to start my author interviews off with the amazing and beautiful Carolyn Turgeon. Last year, by some unknown source I received a copy of her book "Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story." How or why I still do not know. Regardless of those matters, it was for the best. I enjoyed her novel quite well. I fully blame her book as the reason why I am now doing what I am doing- the joys of reviewing books for authors. So read on further below and find out more on this talented author.

What inspired you to become a writer?
I don’t really remember ever not wanting to be a writer! I wrote a book when I was eight called “The Mystery at the Dallas Zoo” about a group of kid detectives trying to figure out who stole the missing tapir at the Dallas Zoo. They cleverly solve the crime by finding a note detailing the crime with the thief’s name signed at the bottom. I was one of those kids who was always reading and loved going to the library. And I loved the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. They’re set at the end of the 19th century and Betsy is always romantically dreaming about being a writer and scribbling in her notebook while wearing long dresses and hanging out in trees. I don’t remember if I already wanted to be a writer or not then, but those books sure didn’t help.

How long have you been writing for?
A long time. After my amazing debut as an eight-year-old, I wrote a lot of bad teenage poetry about my soul, and a short story or two about vampires and spooky dolls whose eyes clicked open as soon as you left the room. It was in college that I wrote the story that would eventually be the basis of my first novel, Rain Village.

Of your work, which is your favorite, or that you hold dear for one reason or another?
Hmm. Well I have written three books—the third comes out a year from now—and I’m probably most fond of the last one, Mermaid, but I did just finish it a week ago, a big revision of it that is, and it is about mermaids. And it’s the first book I sold before writing it, so I was forced to write it much more quickly than the others, which meant I couldn’t be nearly as lazy about it, and it has this beautiful beautiful cover: So, that one.

As an author, who is your favorite to read from?
I love elegant, old-timey crime writers like Patricia Highsmith and Raymond Chandler, and I love lush, gorgeous writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, and Italo Calvino. I love reading my friends, too, like for example I’m very excited that Anton Strout’s new book Dead Matter just came out, as did Elyssa East’s first book Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town, and I can’t wait to see Jeanine Cummins’s The Outside Boy: A Novel and Jennifer Belle’s The Seven Year Bitch on the shelves in the next couple of months. A few of my favorite books from recent years were Scott Heim’s Mysterious Skin (and the movie’s also amazing), Natsuo Kirino’s Out, and Daniel Woodrell’s Tomato Red. And The Lovely Bones I thought was gorgeous.

What is your favorite genre?
To read, it’s probably vintage crime.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Writing isn't an answer. :)
Let me see. I like lots of things! Going to movies, to restaurants, to shows, music and plays and burlesque... Taking road trips, traveling in general, taking photographs, playing the accordion, playing racquetball, watching bad reality television or Law and Order, reading, playing cards and board games, playing Scrabble online, buying shoes, petting dogs, hanging out with my friends…

Have you ever collaborated with another author? Or plan to?
Nope! I don’t have any plans to collaborate, though if the right idea came up with the right person that would be lovely. But really, one of the best things about writing novels is you get to do it alone at a computer on your own schedule, and you get to do whatever you want. I’m more interested in collaborating with an artist, like on a picture book or a graphic novel or any other project involving beautiful illustrations. I hope to work one day with my friends Michael Kaluta ( and Laura/Mme LaLaVox (, for example. I’m also working a bit with my old friend Jennifer, who is off doing amazing things in Tanzania and has an amazing story to tell.

Do you have any pen names? If so why do you choose to use a pen name?
No. HOWEVER I am going to finish a noir/thriller soon that is quite different from my other books, and it’s possible that it’ll be published under a pen name. After some brainstorming, I decided that the one I like is Vivien Street. I wanted a name that sounded old-fashioned and pedestrian and glamorous all at the same time, like you could image a 40s starlet with that name who had a couple little roles but never really made it. And, you know, she came from Ohio or something and showed up in Hollywood on a bus.

Any words of wisdom for your fans and readers?
Words of wisdom …. Well if there’s one thing I know it’s that leopard print never, never goes out of style. And if you’re trying to write something? Have an unshakeable faith in what you’re doing but at the same time gets lots and lots of feedback and listen to it. There. My work is done.

Thank you Care for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend time with us. As a fan it was great to find out all these amazing things about you. I love the pen name you should add she could be a flapper as well. I am also looking forward to your Mermaid book, and also fighting to get in some reading on my copy of Rain Village. Good luck on your thriller work, and if there's ever a sequel to Godmother please let us know!

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