Wednesday, July 12, 2017

INTERVIEW with Author and Blogger Trin Carl

Today I do a sit-down interview with Trin Carl, a writer and prolific blogger and book reviewer from Minnesota.


I know you are working on your book, a YA novella called "O Brother." Do you find feedback from online writers’ critique forums helpful in your writing?
Online critiquers are especially helpful.  To receive such immediate feedback from writers on websites like Scribophile has helped me so much.  Sometimes in person critique groups can be intimidating for beginning writers so meeting writers in an online setting has its potential.  I suppose it can be compared to introverts finding their love on an online site like

My regular readers know I have some unusual writing habits, and I understand you do, too. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of writing in varied environments vs. writing in the same environment everyday?  
I never write from home.  I feel home is a place you hang your hat but it’s also filled with distractions.  I like to write away from home so that I feel like I’m truly at work and where my ideas flourish.

That's a great way to look at it. Every writer has different techniques and processes. If you could talk to any famous writer, what would you say?  
I would ask the writer about their routines, their motivation.  I would ask them about those secrets in a novel that remain mysterious yet amazing.  Let’s say for instance I had a sit down with Donna Tartt, I would really want to know how she found the time and energy to write such long beautiful narratives.  My writing tends to swing towards the shorter novella so I would really like to know how she works out her outlines to draw out the story.

You review a number of books on your blog. What do you look for in a book? Do you have any advice for readers?
Readers rarely get posed this question.  But I think it’s important to address the reader.  Therefore: Reader what are you looking for when you pick up a book?  Is it for time pass?  Is it because someone told you to read it?  What makes you reading a book so special?

What about other kinds of entertainment? What is your favorite movie?
 I loved the movie Kite Runner.  I would love to have a son like the character of Hassan. Someone who is so genuine and forgiving and humble.  Hassan’s character is a devoted servant and loyal friend to his brother Amir.  Hassan eventually dies to the hands of the Taliban, in Afghanistan for defending his father’s house from takeover.  


Trin Carl writes YA and Contemporary fiction.  She enjoys dance and writing her two blogs50schoolsn90days and From Minnesota, Trin enjoys the outdoors and all the seasons, especially the fall as it reminds her of her days teaching and attending school at Metropolitan State University.  She can be contacted on Facebook, Goodreads, or

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

STRANGELY FUNNY IV Release! (#IWSG July 2017)

IWSG Day! It came at a perfect time, since last week was absolute shit for me personally, but I'll spare you the details of that.

The one bright spot was that I found out STRANGELY FUNNY IV, the anthology featuring my short story, was released on Monday! I've been waiting months for this, and it's finally a reality!

Behold, the appropriately weird cover:

Yes, the cover depicts zombies playing basketball with skulls. Possibly their own heads. It's the kind vibe that this humourous supernatural/horror anthology is going for.

The story I contributed is called "Save or Die." It's a comic fantasy in the vein of my "Werebear vs Landopus" stories, but it's way less obscene. It's like a PG-13 Grimdork. If you're into self-aware comic fantasy and roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons, you'll probably appreciate my story. I received a proof copy of the book and everything I've read so far is pretty great.

I was absolutely stunned earlier this year when my story was accepted, not only because it was the first real acceptance I've received for one of my submissions, but it was the very first time I submitted that particular story anywhere. To compare, I've had another story (one I personally thought was better) rejected 12 times already this year. I guess with "Save or Die" I just had the right piece for the right market at the right time.

Strangely Funny IV is edited by Sarah E. Glenn and published by Mystery and Horror, LLC. You can check it out here.


IWSG Question for July:
What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Ideas are worth shit.

Everyone has ideas. Many of them suck, some of them are fabulous, but until you actually make something out of them, they're worthless. A finished story is worth thousands of good ideas.

How many people out there say they have great ideas for books but have just never gotten around to writing it? Or have half-finished manuscripts they've been working on for years? I was there for a long time myself, and I always felt crappy about it.

I didn't feel better until I actually finished my first book and got it out there. Sure, it's not setting the world on fire, but just the act of finishing it and putting it out there into the world is a tremendously satisfying accomplishment. That alone puts me ahead of many people, and it's an achievement I really don't stop to appreciate often enough.

So I'm going to stop and appreciate it today. I need every victory I can get.

Get out there and make your ideas into something real. You'll feel way better once you do.

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

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