We are joined this month by YA fantasy author Carrie Anne Noble. I had the pleasure of meeting Carrie at the Festival of Books of the Alleghenies in Ebensburg, PA, Sept. 18. Learn more about Carrie and follow along with on my own publishing journey in this edition.
If you read and enjoyedA DEAD MAN'S EYES,please consider clicking on a rating or leaving a review on your favorite website, such as Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Book Bub. Reviews are important to newbies like me, who are also published by small presses. We greatly appreciate them.
If you haven't read the novel, you can order A DEAD MAN'S EYES through any of these links or from your favorite book store.
Book two in the Lisa Jamison Mystery Series arrives in bookstores in April of 2022! For a description of NEVER BROKEN and my other upcoming novels, click here.
Three readers won $15 Amazon gift cards at events I took part in this past month: The Festival of Books of the Alleghenies, The Arnot Mall Homegrown Market and The Chocolate Town Book Festival. Congratulations to winners Asa Ana, Alisa Parzych and Susan Clark! Keep a lookout for announcement of giveaways for current and new subscribers in future newsletter.
Carrie Anne Noble
In the wake of her thrilling past as a theatre student, restaurant hostess, nurse aide, and newspaper writer, Carrie Anne Noble now crafts enchanting fiction for teens and adults. Her debut novel The Mermaid’s Sister won the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction and the 2016 Realm Award for Book of the Year. Her other books include YA fantasies entitled TheGold-Son and Gretchen and the Bear. Carrie lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania, where she enjoys taking walks, frolicking with her half-Corgi, and hosting the occasional mad tea party. Find out more at www.carrienoble.com or follow her Instagram account, @carrieannenoble7.
Carrie's Latest Book, Gretchen and the Bear
Sixteen-year-old Gretchen has been waiting forever to trade life on a dreary orbiting station for life on gloriously regenerated Earth. Still, visiting faerie-infested Britannia is not on her agenda—especially since no human who’s ventured there has ever returned. But when her stepsister sneaks off to the island to meet a faerie boyfriend, Gretchen’s stepmother forces her to choose: risk death to rescue the runaway, or forfeit her father’s life.
Lost in the faeries’ forest, Gretchen meets a family of Bearfolk—fae who can shift between human and bear forms. Kindhearted seventeen-year-old Arthur volunteers to help, while his mother, who believes Gretchen is the heroic Silverhair of faerie legend, schemes to use the girl for darker purposes. When the quest to save the runaway proves costly, will Gretchen and Arthur find the courage to sacrifice what they hold dearest to save the ones they love most?
Q: Your books are often described as modern-day fairy tales. What drew you to that genre? Had you always had an interest in fairy tales?
Carrie: Growing up, my mom read aloud to my sister and me from a beautifully illustrated book of classic fairy tales. That was probably the start of my love for the genre. I’ve also always loved the idea of elves and fairies that might secretly inhabit the woods and gardens of our ordinary world—adding just a hint of magic. And honestly, I’m a sucker for a happy-ever-after!
Q: What is the inspiration behind your latest novel, Gretchen and the Bear?
Carrie: I wanted to write something that expanded on the idea of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. There’s also a dash of Cinderella
in the story. At first, I set it in the 1800s, but after a while I thought it would be more fun to set it in the future and throw in some science fiction elements. I’m a lifelong Star Wars fan, so I had such a good time melding futuristic stuff with fantasy.
Q: You have had a unique publication journey, beginning with your win in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for YA and publication by an Amazon imprint. What was that journey like from there? How did you find your next publisher?
Carrie: It has been an unusual journey, for sure! Skyscape (Amazon’s traditional-publishing, YA imprint) published The Mermaid’s Sister and The Gold-Son and it was wonderful working with them. They’re a very professional, New York-style publishing house, with top-notch editors and a fast-paced approach. Unfortunately, Skyscape decided not to publish any more fantasy books for the time being. So, for Gretchen and the Bear, I took a friend’s recommendation and submitted to a small publishing company, WordCrafts Press. They were also great to work with, but have a much different, more laid-back, friendly approach—something quite comforting in the midst of the 2020 pandemic, and just what I needed. Gretchen and the Bear turned out beautifully in every way.
As for my next book, we’ll see what happens! I’d still love to sign with a great agent and see where that might lead.
Q: Had you always planned to become a novelist someday?
Carrie: My primary plan was always to become a mom (Goal accomplished!), but I did start writing little make-believe newspapers and comics pretty young. My first attempt at writing a novel was when I was about 12. It was a portal fantasy with nitrogen-breathing aliens—and I wrote about three chapters before setting it aside. I wish I could find those chapters and have a good laugh!
Q: What are some challenges you have faced in your writing life and how have you overcome them?
Carrie: I think it’s hard to judge the quality of your own work. Even when I work for a long time on something and do my very best, I usually doubt that it’s any good. Having a few trustworthy, capable writer friends who give me honest feedback helps so much. I highly recommend finding a good critique group—one made up of people who enjoy seeing one another succeed and grow.
Q: What are you working on now?
Carrie: I’m currently working on a YA fantasy romance about an 1800s coal mine town girl who grows antlers (much to her parents’ horror). She meets a mysterious group of young people with similar strange attributes and must join their fight against a villain who wants to destroy them all.
Q: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Carrie: Read everything in sight and write whenever you can. It’s been said that you have to write a million words before you’ll write well enough to create a good novel, and I think that’s probably at least close to true! Once you think you’re getting good, find a writers’ group and be open to advice from more experienced writers. Most importantly, always keep learning (through reading, classes, or conferences), and don’t forget to have fun as you write!
This is where you will find me virtually and in person!
(For the always-updated website version, click here.)
Oct. 23,Southern Tier Women’s Financial Conference,
The Center at Park Avenue, 400 Park Avenue, Corning, NY, 8 am to 4 pm:I will be selling and signing books at this event while also getting empowered and educated about finances and life by a fantastic group of diverse women! Come join us, virtually or in person.
Nov. 6,Dormann Library,Bath, NY, 10 am until noon.During this free and in-person event, I will talk about A DEAD MAN’S EYES, the craft of fiction writing and the path to publishing. I will be joined by
Lissa Redmond, aformer cold case investigator and author of several mysteries. We love questions. Bring lots!
New England Crime Bake,Boston, MA. This crime writers conference has special meaning for me. It’s where I met one of the three owners of
Level Best Books, my publisher, and best-selling author
Hank Phillippi Ryan, who endorsed my novel, A DEAD MAN’S EYES and is this year’s guest of honor. This year’s theme is HOME SWEET HOMICIDE. Come join an awesome group of writers, editors and agents for a weekend of craft and crime!
Dec. 4, Dickens of a Christmas, Wellsboro Fire Dept Annex, 21 East Ave, Wellsboro, PA, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 37th annual event takes place throughout Wellsboro, but I will selling and signing copies of A DEAD MAN’S EYES among dozens of vendors in the warm and cozy annex. So, roam the gas-lit Main Street of Wellsboro, where you can enjoy some fantastic music, lots of good food and a visit with Santa, and then come on over!
Dec. 10, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2692 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH, 7 p.m.Book discussion. This event is a homecoming for me. I wrote A DEAD MAN’S EYES while living in Cincinnati, where our two youngest were born. I used to take the twins to this totally awesome independent bookstore while the older kids were in school. I am so excited to return as an author!
With fall weather comes blankets of fog that lift with the sun as I set out to school with our twins each morning. Apples still cling to the trees that line our property near the base of that hill. They are too small for pie, but maybe not too small for a cider press. Someday!
What's up with my books?
NEVER BROKEN, book two in the Lisa Jamison mystery/suspense series, is in the hands of my editor at Level Best Books.
While she buries herself in its pages, I am already working toward its April 12 release, reaching out to fellow authors and making lists of bloggers and reviewers who might be interested Advance Reader Copies. I am also composing the acknowledgements and thinking about concepts for the cover art. My publisher is awesome about allowing authors input on their covers. Another advantage of a small press!
Soon after NEVER BROKEN releases, the manuscript for NEVER LET GO, my first standalone thriller, is due. I need to polish that manuscript this winter and spring while also continuing to promote A DEAD MAN'S EYES, working my part-time job, finishing book three in the series and, of course, being a mom. So things are going to get busy fast. That's okay though. This is what I had always hoped for. Work rarely feels like work when I am pursuing something I love.
What's up at home?
What a wonderfully crazy month it has been!
I am getting to know downtown Philadelphia much better now that our daughter attends Temple University. I am a bit envious every time I step foot on campus. Her on-campus apartment is huge, her roommates are wonderful and the food trucks ... Whoa! The variety of cuisines offered by all those aromatic mobile kitchens that line the campus streets would have quickly and easily persuaded me to choose Temple over any other school. :)
Oh, yeah, she is learning a whole lot of stuff, too!
Our oldest son was kind enough to host me in his State College apartment the night before the Festival of Books of the Alleghenies. I always enjoy seeing how mature and independent he has become and watching his friends grow as well. We met up with him the next weekend to tailgate on the grounds of Beaver Stadium with bagels, doughnuts, muffins and fruits, and then watched Penn State crush Villanova in football. He informed us that we get one more football season with him. Because he has a double major (one BA and one BS), he needs an extra semester to meet all his requirements. Way to put a good spin on an extra semester of tuition!
The rest of our free time in September has belonged to the twins, who run on their school's cross-country team. They are not super fond of running, but they love everything else about cross-country. I have always said that runners and writers are among the best people on the planet and it is cool to see them experience that.
I hope you are having a wonderful fall season as well. Stay safe and healthy!
Happy writing and reading. I hope you enjoy A DEAD MAN'S EYES!