Today I welcome Carol Stratton to my blog. She has written for several publications, including InTouch magazine and Kyria. Carol is a contributing writer for Forsyth Woman magazine and has been published in two anthologies, Writing so Heaven Will be Different and Extraordinary Answers to Prayers. She speaks to women's groups such as MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), and at national writers’ conferences. Carol and her husband live in North Carolina and have four children and two grandchildren.
Thank you for stopping by, Carol.
It's my pleasure to be here.
Tell us a little about yourself. I lived in Mexico City when I was thirteen as an exchange student and learned Spanish which now is very rusty. I also lived in New Zealand for about four months as I attended Capernwray Bible School in, Auckland. It truly is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Finally one more fact- I was majoring in English in college when the head of the department wrote in red pen on my essays that he didn’t think I had what it took to be an English major.
How and when did you begin to write? I had my first essay published in 6th grade in our town newspaper in a column called, Youth Said It. I got the bug and started sending things out to women’s magazines with no success and soon quit. It wasn’t until my four children were almost out of the house that I decided to revisit my desire to write. My first honest to goodness article was published in a newspaper in Zionsville, Indiana and described my thoughts on 9/11. Since then I’ve written hundreds of articles and currently work as a reporter.
Can you give our readers a short description of Lake Surrender? My first novel is about a career editor who loses her marriage, house and job. As a single parent of a precocious pre-teen and an autistic son, she’s forced to find a more inexpensive place to live than the San Francisco Bay Area. She ends up in Northern Michigan working as a cook at a dilapidated Christian camp. She can’t cook and right-wing religious types really irritate her. But God woos her as she discovers her journey ends where her life begins. I really put this girl through the wringer!
What led you to write it? I have a degree in Recreation Therapy and love working with all kinds of disabled children. A few years ago I was a teacher’s aide in an autistic classroom and was able to get a glimpse into their world. I also observed the difficulties their parents face every day.
What are you working on now? I am planning a small novella called, Lake Surrender Christmas.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers? Writing is humbling. It took me 12 years to get my first book, a devotional, published, and I still have a novel with 33 rejections! But here’s what I learned along the way.
First, I had to realize that I’m not my best editor and my masterpiece hasn’t arrived after one or two drafts! I had to allow trusted, objective people give me feedback.
Second, I learned I needed to share my ideas in a blog or newsletter. Yes, give them away. All writing that points to truth is precious to God whether it be a best seller or an encouraging email to a friend. It’s exciting to have my novel out there but I’ve enjoyed the journey and the fellowship of other writers.
How can my readers find out more about you and your work?
• I have a blog on my website called, ChangingZipCodes.com. My claim to fame is that I’ve moved 22 times and lived to write about it. I’m also on once a week on 7Christians.blogspot.com.
• I have a devotional for movers: http://tinyurl.com/cuwrcokdefault
• And of course, Lake Surrender
• I’m on Facebook: Carol Grace Stratton (Author page), Carol Stratton, and Changing Zip Codes. Or Twitter: @Carolgstratton. I’d love to hear from any of you. We are only a short link in time but with Christ it can be a strong link.
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