A Confab with author Carma Haley Shoemaker

Hey there, Brownies, guess what’s back? That’s right, I’m starting up the confabs again! This time we’re talking to uber-creator Carma Haley Shoemaker.

Carma has four upcoming releases (like I said, uber-creator) in the next two months, starting with her story Code Red in the Moonlight Mist Box Set.

You can also pre-order the Rite to Reign Box Set for only a buck, and that has over twenty stories, PLUS, if you pre-order, you get some delicious free shit, too. What? Well, how does a free spellbook and more free books strike you? Good? Then click that link and pre-order, then click here and get your free stuff.

I’ve rambled enough about her newest stuff, so let’s see what Carma has to say, shall we?

Chris: Starting off these conversations is always fun, right? Like what question is really the best first question? But, I’ve known you for years, and I imagine some of the Brownies don’t… so, let’s get some of that out of the way. I know you were a magazine writer for a long time, are you still doing that? And with your fiction, what genres do you write in and how long have been writing?

Carma: Actually I am. I do more for online magazines now, but I still write nonfiction on a regular basis.

I guess I’m what they’re calling a cross-genre writer. I write mainly paranormal and urban fantasy, but some of my stories have been known to walk on the dystopian side of things, or mingle with a bit of sci-fi tech. 

How long have I been writing? Well, like many other authors will tell you, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I still have stories and poetry I wrote in sixth grade! But if you mean in a more professional sense, I started writing magazine articles in 1999, and published my first novel in 2015. 

Whispers of Winter Box Set

Chris: I recently did a blog post on how words matter, where I talked about language and the words we choose or don’t choose impact readers. What was your earliest experience where you learned that language had power?

Carma: I attended a poetry slam (do they still do those?) years ago. One person got on the stage and talked fast, loud, and it was emotional driven. It was impressive. However, the next person took the stage and said five words, using varying tones and emphasis, pausing between each one, and I was moved to tears.

Chris: Following up on the prior question, working within your genres, what type of impact do you want to have on readers? Are you just there to entertain, or do you believe/want your fiction to impart something deeper?

Carma: Does it sound too cliche to say I want to do both? I want my readers to be entertained, smiling, laughing, even gasping as they read my words. But I truly want to offer something deeper. Not a moral lesson or anything, but maybe a better understanding of various situations and issues that they may apply to real life.

Chris: It’s definitely not cliche to want all those things for your readers. Speaking of want, though, let’s lighten it up by going even deeper… What’s your best tip for writing a sexy kissing scene?

Moonlight Mist Box Set

Carma: Oh, great question! My best tip for writing a steamy, sexy kissing scene is to close your eyes, and imagine it’s you. How would you want to be kissed? Think about how it feels, how it makes you feel. Where are your hands? Are you breathing heavy? (You should be!) Now … open your eyes and write it all down.

Chris: See, that was fun, right? Talking dirty for a cause is a great thing. But let’s go back to the serious questions. You’re extremely active in your local writing community. You run several writing groups, you’re an ML for your NaNoWriMo region, plus you’re doing convention appearances now… considering the Great Divide in this country at the moment, how important is it to have a group of not necessarily like-minded creative people working toward a common goal of helping each other succeed?

Carma: I believe it is extremely important to have other creative people around you. The groups I belong to are wonderfully diverse. The members vary in age, race, nationality, sexual orientation,  and backgrounds. We have poets, novelists, and screenwriters. I believe all members benefit from having a variety of insights and opinions. Our diversity contributes to our success.

Chris: Of your new releases coming in the next few months, which are you most excited to see hit the light of day and why?

Carma: I’m really looking forward to the feedback on A SHIFT IN DESTINY, but I would have to say that I am the most excited about TOUCHDOWN DANCE. I allowed myself to open up more with this story and wrote from a place deep inside. It is also my first attempt at writing a “perfectly flawed” (that’s what I call her) character. Sure, my characters have all had flaws, but with Peyton, her flaw is an actual “disorder.” I hope everyone loves reading it as much as I loved writing it.

Scales and Flames Box Set

Enjoyed this interview? Be sure to follow Carma on Facebook and Twitter!
To find all of Carma’s writing, click the link for her Amazon Author Page.

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Words Matter

Hey there, Brownies! It’s only been a little over a month since last we spoke. Well, I rambled, and you listened (or didn’t, I don’t really know one way or the other) and now I’m back. This is where you either cheer or run and hide. As you can probably tell, based on the post title, this might get a little heavy.

Once upon a time, a more respected and more published author told a bunch of us that there were three things you never spoke about on your blog: politics, religion, and sex. Basically the same things you’re not supposed to discuss at work. The reason for that, so we were told, was to avoid pissing off (and therefore alienating) readers (who are our consumers). They stop buying, they start talking, others stop buying… all because I have a contrary opinion to theirs and as we all know, we don’t play well together anymore.

Well, I said fuck that awhile ago and this post isn’t any different… well, not really. It’s less rant-y, I think. Or at least I’m intending it to be. We’ll see.

You may not know this, but I’m an ordained person, which means I’m able to join two humans in matrimony. This isn’t unusual as lots of people can do this, but you’ll notice (or not) I didn’t say “holy” matrimony. That’s because I’m not religious and, in my opinion, there isn’t anything truly holy about matrimony. Yes, I’m aware others will disagree. But, by leaving out a single word, I’ve presented a religious viewpoint. Because words fucking matter… both the words we say and those we don’t.

You may also not know this, but I traveled back to Ohio this past weekend and performed a wedding ceremony for a dear, dear friend of mine. She is a progressive liberal and her instructions to me for writing the ceremony were “be yourself” and so I was. But in doing so, and in crafting a ceremony for this couple, I chose specific words at specific points in the ceremony for specific reasons. For example, during the statement of intent, I specifically chose “partner” over husband and wife. Why? Read the definition of partner… go ahead, I’ll wait… just click that link. Now, let’s see what it says for husband and wife… yes, I’ll wait. Continue reading