Thrilled to share this interview with best selling author and judge for World’s Best Story Carolyn Arnold.
1- What are the ingredients for a blockbuster story to you?
Strong and believable characters, spot-on pacing, and unique plot twists.
2- What story has influenced your life?
I’m sure a lot have, but when I saw The Secret, it changed the way I think about life and the world around me. To realize that within all of us is the power to attain all we desire, is empowering, to say the least. The Law of Attraction is something everyone needs to know about, but something so few harness the power of. Really, whether you believe it or not, it’s having an outworking in your life.
3- What writer would you consider a mentor?
I’d pick two—David Baldacci and Sandra Brown. I’ve learned a lot from both of their writing styles.
4- What story do you enjoy reading over and over again?
I typically only read a book once. There are so many great books out there and hardly enough time to read all of them.
5- Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?
Keep at it. There are days it will feel like hard work, especially when you’re buried in revisions and the editing process, but keep going. The reward in holding a polished manuscript in your hands and being able to share that readers, is priceless.
6- Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When I was a teenager, I used to write poetry to handle the many emotions I was experiencing. From there, the desire to write a full-length novel grew within me.
I switched from poetry to writing novella-length romance, but as I got older a lot changed in my life. I got married and moved far away. It wasn’t until 2006 that the universe called me back to my true calling—the way it happened could only be explained this way. I had been away from writing for thirteen years.
I was working for a large company and the department I worked in was facing a lay-off. We all knew it was coming but didn’t know when. A co-worker emailed me and randomly said, ‘tell me a story.’ I fired back a few paragraphs off the top of my head, and she kept requesting more. She told me I had to finish the book, and a year later, I had.
My life changed the day she said that to me and I have never looked back.
7- How would you increase literacy?
This is a tough question and one I have honestly been considering lately. I believe it’s important to get children started with reading at a young age. One thought that occurred to me (and maybe they do this now), but during story time at pre-school, or kindergarten, what if the book being read showed on a screen? Then as the teacher reads, a ball or some sort of indicator (maybe themed with the story), goes from word to word. It’s a teaching practice I believe would really stick as the kids are having fun and it’s rather subliminal.
8 – If you could grant someone one wish, who would it be? Why?
Friends of mine are facing a complicated situation right now. Their son, who is three years old, needs open-heart surgery. The operation’s been booked for a couple of dates now, but things come up and it’s put off. More recently, they were ready to go, but at the last minute, due to a busy schedule, the hospital had to send them home. Now, again, the surgery needs to be re-booked. Meanwhile, all they want is to have this over with, for their son to have come through healthy and be able to mend. This happy outcome keeps getting pushed off, and the anxiety is rising.
My wish would be that the surgery is done very soon and that there are no complications, that he comes out healthy and heals quickly. My wish is for his health and his parents’ peace of mind.
9 – If you were given 5000$ and told you have one day to spend it, what would you buy?
I would book a nice trip, maybe Disney World because I feel like a big kid some days. Then I’d also have turned the one day to spend the money into something that would be enjoyed over several days and provide memories for a lifetime.
Carolyn Arnold’s first published work, Ties that Bind, became a Kindle Bestseller, reaching the top 100 in Police Procedurals in the US and in the UK. Her writing has been compared to New York Times Bestsellers such as JD Robb, Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, and more.
Carolyn was born in 1976 in a rural town of Ontario, Canada. She is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and lives with her husband, and two beagles in a city near Toronto.
Find out more about Carolyn and her books: carolynarnold.net