Hello and welcome to my blog Author Interviews. My name is Fiona McVie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is yourage?
Carol: First of all, I’d like to thank you, Fiona, for inviting me to talk with you. It’s a pleasure. I’m Carol Pouliot. It’s French and rhymes with Julio. The t is silent. I’m 67.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Carol: Liverpool, New York, in the United States. It’s a small town in the center of the state atwo-hour drive from the Canadian border.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Carol:I have a B.A. in French and Spanish and a Masters in French. I taught French and Spanish for over 30 years. I also ran an agency that did translations in more than 25 languages. I’m single, but have 2 nieces and 3 great-nephews whom I adore.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Carol: I recently finished the second book in The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery Series. It’s titled Threshold of Deceit. I’m in the dauntingprocess of looking for a new publisher. I am currently writing the third book in my series, which takes placeon Halloween.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Carol: I started writing after I retired from teaching. I had a memory from my teenage years that I wanted to preserve for my family. When I sat down to write it,a huge wave of contentment washed over me. I haven’t been the same since! I submittedthe piece to Victoriamagazine. They published it and asked for more. I absolutely love the feeling of writing. I can’t not do it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Carol: The day I held that magazine in my hand.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Carol: I had a strange experience when I was 29. I saw someone who wasn’t actually there. The image of him stayed in my mind for decades. I ended up building my series around him and the experience.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Carol: Actually, I didn’t. My friend and fellow mystery writer Frankie Bailey came up with the title for my first book Doorway to Murder.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style orgenre that you find particularly challenging?
Carol:My background is languages. In college and grad school, I read mostly poetry and plays. Because of this, I focus on the sound of the words and sentences. They must have rhythm, a certain cadence. They must flow.
What is most challenging for me is to write enough description so the reader can picture the scenes, especially those that take place in 1934, but not to over-write. It’s a fine line because I want to give plenty of details on what the towns, buildings, automobiles, people, and clothing looked like in a time that is unfamiliar to most of us.
Fiona: How much of the book is realisticand are experiences based on someone youknow, or events in your own life?
Carol:Well, the books are time-travel mysteries so 90% is made up and has nothing whatsoever to do with me or my life experiences. However, having said that, I did interview my Dad, who remembered quite a few things about life in the 1930s. Because of what he told me, I was able to create real experiences for some of my characters. Also, because they would have been contemporaries, I gave my main character Steven two of my grandfather’s interests−baseball and Chevy cars.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Carol:The only travel I have done so far has been into the past. I’ve used a number of primary sources to get the information I needed−newspapers, magazines, menus, photographs, old movies. I own a reproduction of the 1927 edition of the Sears Catalogue that I use for lots of household goods and clothing. I made an amazing find in a used bookstore−a February 24, 1934 copy of Radio Guide! That’s the week when Doorway to Murder takes place. So, I can be accurate about the programs Steven is listening to on the radio. How cool is that?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Carol: My niece Erin Sadowski is a fabulous artist. She designed the cover for Doorway to Murder. I think she knocked it out of the park. It’s awesome! I hope she can design all the covers for the series.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Carol: The original title of Doorway to Murder was A Betrayal of Trust. There are several betrayals in the story which devastate the people affected. I think loyalty and trust are two of the most important elements in any relationship. Without them there is nothing.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is yourfavorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Carol: I like Susan Elia MacNeal. (She’s new-ish.) My favorite writer is Deborah Crombie, author of the Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James Mystery Series. I love the way she’s created a community of friends, family, and co-workers around her two main characters. This enhances the stories and makes the characters seem real. It’s something I hope to do with my series.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported yourcommitment to become a published author.
Carol: I can’t name just one. I am blessed to have wonderful friends who have been solidly behind me, supporting me every step of the way. I don’t know what I would do without them.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Carol:Yes. It is much more work that I could ever have imagined but it’s a labor of love. I’m working as hard now as I did when I was in my 30s.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latestbook?
Carol: Yes, one sentence toward the end got edited out. I now realize that it would have made understanding certain things easier. I would put it back in.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Carol: I learned a lot about the craft of writing during the editing process of my first book.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Carol: Aaron Staton did a great job as a 1940s-era man in the PBS show My Mother and Other Strangers. He was very believable both in the way he spoke and the way he moved. Although the hair color is wrong, he would make a good Detective Sergeant Steven Blackwell. As for the female protagonist Olivia Watson, no idea.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Carol: Never give up.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Carol: Only that I hope I brought some enjoyment into their day or evening.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Carol: Susan Elia MacNeal’slatest−The Paris Spy. I’m looking forward to being in familiar places again. I lived in Paris for a short time twice in my life, and visited there numerous times.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Carol: Haha, I sure do! The first non-picture book that I remember taking out of the library was The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, by Cameron.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Carol:Andrew, Charlie, and Jacob make me laugh.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Carol:I have always been fascinated by ancient Egypt and would love to meet Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh. I felt almost transported when I visited her temple atDeir el-Bahri. One of my all-time favorite novels is Child of the Morning, a fictional account of her life and love.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Carol: Reading, walking, photography, playing cards and games.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Carol: I’ve been a fan of PBS Mystery for decades. They show mostly British mysteries which are my favorite−Endeavor, Inspector Lewis, The Unforgotten. I love Madame Secretary and The Americans, although sadly this is the last season of The Americans.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Carol: Salad. I’ve been into wearing a lot of gray lately. Adele, Cher, classic Def Leppard.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Carol: I can’t imagine that future. I would do everything and anything to continue to write.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Carol: With my family.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Carol: Loving sister, aunt, and friend.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events andspecial offers?
Carol: Yes! I’d love for people to stop over to my website. But, please note, the forms to join my email list are broken and I haven’t had a chance to get them fixed yet. My email address is on the Contact page.http://www.carolpouliot.com/
Amazon author page: USA https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Pouliot/e/B01MR80NIA/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1527356860&sr=1-2-ent