Monday, May 25, 2020

Garden Interview with Margaret L. Carter

Welcome Margaret

Do you plot or let the story unfold as you write?

I outline extensively. Since first-draft writing is a slow and laborious process for me, especially since I edit as I go (probably a byproduct of my academic background), I need to know in considerable detail where the story is headed. Early in my attempts to write novels, I learned that without an outline I would usually bog down in the middle and give up.

What's your favorite book you've written?

Dark Changeling, my first published vampire novel, in which I expounded the biology and psychology of my naturally evolved vampire species in the most detail of any of my works. I’ve used Dr. Roger Darvell, the half-human, half-vampire psychiatrist from that book, in several other novels and stories. Of all my characters, he feels the most “real” to me.

How did you do in English as a kid?

Honor roll student in high school. I majored in English at the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia) and went on to earn an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English.

When did you decide to become an author?

Shortly after reading Dracula at the age of twelve. The novel enthralled me and got me into reading horror, fantasy, and all sorts of speculative fiction. From the first, I wondered how the “monsters” felt about the stories in which they were portrayed as villains. I started writing fiction about vampires and other supernatural creatures at age thirteen, often from the viewpoint of the “monster.”

When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself a writer?

When I sold my first professionally published piece of fiction, a story in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s anthology Free Amazons of Darkover. One of my favorite authors approved of my work—and paid me for it!

And for a little bit of fun

What did you want to be when you grew up?

In childhood, I wanted to be a doctor, because I was fascinated by biology and anatomy. I wouldn’t have been able to handle the stress, so it’s a good thing I dropped that idea. During the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon election campaign, I got the notion of wanting to go into politics. As a hardcore introvert, I would have been terrible at that! At age thirteen, I decided to become a writer (as explained above). I majored in English in college and graduate school on the premise that I could eventually get paid for reading.

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Adventures are nasty, uncomfortable things that make you late for dinner.” — Bilbo Baggins

Have you ever found true love?

Yes, with my husband of over fifty years. We met in a church youth group when I was in high school and he had just graduated. We were drawn together by our mutual love of speculative fiction and the fact that both of us wanted to become writers. We got married at ages eighteen and twenty, respectively, and we’re still married, thank Heaven.

What is your favorite comfort food?

Main dish: My husband’s chicken curry. Dessert: Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy ice cream.

What is your favorite time of year and why?

Summer. I enjoy hot, dry weather. I loved Southern California, where we lived off and on as a Navy family. Summer in our present home (Maryland) doesn’t fulfill the “dry” criterion, but even with the humidity I like it much better than being cold.

And tell us where we can find out more

Carter’s Crypt:

Available today! Spooky Tutti Frutti 
On Amazon and other online retailers


Sydney Winward said...

Great interview! Also congrats on the release :)

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Love that quote! “Adventures are nasty, uncomfortable things that make you late for dinner.” — Bilbo Baggins

It was nice learning more about you. Love the book cover for the One Scoop or Two series.