This week Carol Van Natta visits the blog. Carol writes science fiction with romantic elements and action/adventure. She has won the SFR Galaxy Award for Best Difficult Relationship. Carol is an author and a playwright, and today I asked her one question on how her life experience has helped her writing.
BBTF: Your bio states you've done many jobs and been many things. How have your personal experiences supported and encouraged your writing?
Carol: I've always been a writer, and I can't imagine not doing it. I want to be like Andre Norton, who was collaborating with other writers when she was nearly on her deathbed. That said, since I'm not prolific like Norton (or Patterson, or Howey, or King), and I also like to eat regularly and sleep indoors, and keep the furry addicts in my house in catnip, I've had day jobs, and forays into other artistic areas, plus things I volunteered for or got roped into. I'm sure no one reading this can relate. ;-)
My muse's home planet is science fiction, but it really likes visiting romance, mystery, action, fantasy, and suspense. The thing about most jobs and experiences is that there are people in them, and funnily enough, although I write science fiction, they're all books about people. People who have careers, relationships, disasters, and extraordinary events. When I had all these crazy ideas in my head for stories, it was the real-life people I worked with that inspired me (mostly quite unknowingly) to put pen to paper, or more accurately, fingers to keyboard, to capture their their flaws, their noble moments, and their humanity.
I don't know anyone who is an ex-assassin hiding in plain sight, but I know plenty of people with secrets. I don't know anyone who has psychic powers that others want to control, but I've known several people with family that seems bent on destroying their happiness or success. And don't get me started about bureaucrats. I've had friends ask if they're in my books, and I say yes, all my friends are in my books, but I'm not telling which ones. I will admit to using staplers, salt shakers, and aspirin bottles to model action sequences, though. Doesn't everyone?
LOL on the staplers and salt shakers (looks around nervously). You can find out more about Carol Van Natta's books on her website. Be sure to buy a book and tell a friend. Happy reading!