Authors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…
Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.
An executive member of Crime Writers Of Canada, Donna Carrick volunteers her time as a mentor to aspiring CWC authors. She remains active in the Canadian writing scene, supporting Sisters In Crime, Word On The Street, Bloody Words and a variety of other venues for the literary arts.
Joan O’Callaghan interviews author Donna Carrick:
JO What have you written?
DC I currently have three Crime novels to my credit:
The First Excellence ~ Fa-ling’s Map, 2009, Literary thriller set in China
Gold And Fishes, 2006, Literary Thriller set in post-tsunami Indonesia
The Noon God, 2006, Mystery/Suspense set in Toronto
I’ve also penned a number of short stories, some of which appear in my anthologies:
Sept-Ȋles and Other Places, 2011, Literary Crime stories
Knowing Penelope, 2012, eclectic Crime/Detective stories
As well as in:
THIRTEEN, an anthology of Crime Stories (Carrick Publishing, 2013)
EFD1: Starship Goodwords (Carrick Publishing, 2012)
JO When did you start writing?
DC I don’t remember beginning my writing life, but I do remember the first time I articulated my desire to be a writer. I was six years old, and had written a series of poetic ‘ditties’ for my mother, based on popular children’s poems. When I saw her smile, I knew my die was cast…
JO Why write mysteries?
DC That’s a potentially loaded question. No doubt, many Crime writers will tell you they love the art of placing clues, or the carefully constructed plot. I do cherish those elements, but they are not the reason I write Crime.
I refer to my work as “Literary Thrillers”, which may provide a clue. My first love is Literature, including poetry. That’s where my education and passion lay.
However, my personal experiences, especially those of my impressionable youth, have endowed me with a heightened sense of “good vs. evil”. I know that may sound odd; however, no matter what story I set out to write, no matter what my intentions, sooner or later, a criminal will appear. And, sooner or later, my hero will be called upon to take action.
(It’s probably best not to question too closely what this indicates about my own world-view. LOL)
My stories tend to be character driven, rather than plot or clue driven. I believe they represent the best and the worst of people I’ve encountered.
JO Why do you think people like to read mysteries?
DC I can’t speak for other readers, but for me it comes down to the “quest for justice”. Even when good does not prevail, Crime genre usually offers us a chase, holding the criminal element “to account”.
JO Is there a favourite place you like to write or ritual you go through when writing?
DC I’ll write any place, any time. In a busy life, the opportunity is so rare that I can’t afford to miss it when it presents itself. My favourite place is looking out the window of our Northern home.
JO How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family?
DC With varying degrees of success, I’m afraid. Married with three children, two of whom are still school-aged, and an office manager in a busy Accounting environment to boot – writing remains my constant love and passion, but I won’t pretend that it gets all the attention I’d like to give it.
JO What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing?
DC In 2011, The First Excellence was honoured with the first-ever Indie Book Event Award, which Alex and I flew to NYC to receive. That was a thrill!
Most recently, my story Watermelon Weekend in the Crime anthology THIRTEEN by the Mesdames of Mayhem was short-listed for the prestigious Arthur Award for Best Short Story.
The Arthur Award is a long standing-dream of mine, so this nomination means a great deal to me.
JO What are you working on now?
DC I have two new Crime novels underway, though I’m not sure which will be completed first. They both feature brand new characters, and that’s all I can say at the moment.
JO As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
DC Write because you love it. There really is no other reason to do it. Money is nice, but remains elusive for most writers. Recognition is the salve that heals us in difficult times, but it, too, is not the primary motivation.
Follow your passion. If it leads you into the Literary Arts, then give it everything you have.
JO What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ?
DC I’ve never met a more talented, generous, witty and intelligent group of writers. These ladies share their knowledge, war-stories, wine and laughter. They make this writing-life fun!
JO Is there anything you’d like to add?
DC If you are a lover of Crime genre, a reader or a writer, editor or publisher, then I hope to see you at Bloody Words 2014! This will be the final “HURRAH!” for Canada’s most popular Crime Conference.
Time is running out – SIGN UP NOW!
Conference: June 6 – 8, 2014.
Place: Hyatt Regency Toronto at 370 King Street West in the downtown theatre district.
All titles are available in paperback as well as Kindle versions. Her first collection of 5 mysterious short stories titled Sept-Iles and other places is available for Kindle. Her second anthology, titled Knowing Penelope, features brand new sexy & sassy PI Penelope Canon.
Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.