Q&A With Carin Fausett

Carin is a recent addition to North Sanpete Writers, and she took on the role of project organizer for submissions and edits this year for Miscellany III, keeping us on target with our deadlines.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I loved art after winning the school Reflections contest. Then in Middle School I became fascinated with China and decided I was going to write a novel based in ancient China. Looking back, it’s hilarious I would even attempt something as vast and intricate. Biting off more than I can chew continues to be a pattern.

When did you write your first story and how old were you?

I started many stories over the years, but my first real story I wrote as an AP English assignment. My teacher said that the story was standard but she read one paragraph to the class as a good example of a descriptive metaphor. I felt like I could actually write, and wanted to write more from that point onward.

How long does it take you to write a short story?

I can pump out a rough draft in a couple of days but it takes a few weeks of revisions before it should see the light of day.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I write in the evenings on my comfy sofa, usually for 2-3 hours stretches. The challenge is to hit my energy window before my brain powers down. Also my grandbaby loves laptops, so I have to be very careful or he will rewrite or delete whole swaths of text.

Is it different working on an anthology than writing on your own?

There is a certain momentum working with a group that I love. I have truly enjoyed learning how other writers function.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I need to have a heart or core purpose in my stories. If there is not some sort of message it feels empty. I also love to put least likely scenarios together. For example: a dance - at the end of the world, or burned at the stake - then turned into a dragon.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

A few years ago I started having these amazingly detailed dreams with terrific plot lines. I started writing them down and building on them. Then it escalated and the stories would just come to me. It was like I honored the stories and because of that I was given more.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I enjoy Yoga, gardening, painting, medical crime dramas, and I love natural hot springs. Sleep is also great. But most of the time I am working on my house or yard that we recently built.

What does your family think of your writing?

My husband has encouraged me to write, which is amazing. I am also grateful for my daughter in law who is an avid reader and very supportive. The most surprising support comes from my ten year old son who is sometimes bored with books from the library and asks me to read from my stories at bedtime. He especially loves my YA series about teens with superpowers.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?

I learned that I have good ideas, but that James Elliot is a great editor and I would love to hire him. A great editor is a must, if you find one, value them.

Do you have any advice on how to be a better short story writer?

I like the advice of R. L. Stine, have a beginning, a middle, and a twist. Most of all, have fun and cut out the adverbs. Steven King has much to say about the evil of adverbs, he is correct. Listen to the King.

How many stories/books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have written a self help book on loss and the five stages of grief that is published on Kindle titled “The Course of Wisdom.” I’ve also developed a 6 book YA modern fantasy series. My mind keeps circling back to the last manuscript in the series called “Eve Brought Death.”

It is a story about baby Eve who is rescued from a dumpster in an apocalyptic society. She innocently kills Ax's mother simply by looking into her eyes. The story follows Ax and Eve as they develop. The opening scene of this book came from a dream. I could see baby Eve’s otherworldly eyes and Ax as he became “hers.” I could see The Family struggle and support each other and I had to write it.

Have you written any full length books or do you have plans to? If so, what are they?

I’ve developed the Flawless Series, the 6 book YA modern fantasy collection I mentioned. Each book features a heroine who feels broken yet her flaws make her powerful. The books are woven with current issues and the powerful life lessons that come from difficult situations. Summaries of these books can be found at: www.carinfausett.com/category/my-writing/novels/

I am looking for Beta readers. The books will be published initially as serials on Vella.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story needs to be honest and fun with a good hook. By the time I am done reading it I want to have learned something, been inspired, or enjoyed the journey. It doesn’t need to be perfect but it does need to be honest.