Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Carolee Dean Author Interview & Giveaway!

A couple of months ago I was blog-stalking the “Take Me There blog tour” and I was excited to hear that Carolee Dean signed extra copies of her book and had left them at a couple of local bookstores! I made a quick run to the Barnes & Noble around the corner and was excited to find an autographed copy!  I read the book and really enjoyed it – and then I ended up winning TWO of the blog tour contests! Since I don't really need two book totes, I decided to share one of them with you! Carolee  was gracious enough to answer a handful of questions to go along with the giveaway.... Check out her great interview below!

1. Describe yourself in five words or less.
Compulsive, Obsessive, Creative and Caring.

2. What inspired you to write Take Me There? I’m a speech-language pathologist at a local high school and I’ve worked with a lot of kids who have been in trouble with the law or who have had parents in prison. Most of my students have a really hard time with reading and it truly limits their life choices.

3. How long does it take you to write a book? Does it all come flooding out really fast ...or is it a slow and steady process one section at a time?
It used to take me about a year to finish a first draft. I’ve gotten much faster. The last two novels I’ve written have only taken about 3 months each. I usually take another 3-4 months for revisions and rewrites. I’ve devised a plotting program that works well for me and that helps with organization. The plotting is a slow and steady process, but once that’s done, the writing comes flood out very fast. I work full-time however, so it’s more like fast little spurts that are interrupted with having to go to my day job. I love my job though, so I don’t mind.

4. What book are you reading right now?
I’m actually reading four books simultaneously, which is part of the reason it takes me so long to finish anything. I was in the middle of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, when my husband took it over, so I read that whenever I can get it back from him. Then he gave me a non-fiction book called KICK-ASS CREATIVITY, which was probably because he felt bad about stealing HORNET’S NEST. I’m reading that one, too. Simone Elkeles is coming to Albuquerque in November for the YALSA conference, so I went to the library and checked out her book, HOW TO RUIN MY TEENAGE LIFE. I’m currently working on a therapy book about teaching writing to kids (I’m a speech-language pathologist at a local high school), so I’m reading this big fat book called the HANDBOOK OF LANGUAGE AND LITERACY.

5. What is something interesting you learned during your research for Take Me There?
Huntsville, Texas is not a very big town, about 30,000 people or less, but there are 9 prisons in that town. The Walls Unit, where they hold the executions for the entire state, is not where death row is located. Death row is at the Polunsky Unit, which is forty miles away in Livingston. On the morning you are to be executed, they put you in a prison van and drive you to the Walls.  I visited Huntsville and took a look around the Walls. I also interviewed Jim Willett, former warden, who is now the curator of the Texas Prison Museum. There is a huge, dilapidated arena next to the prison where they used to hold the Texas Prison Rodeo. They would raise half a million dollars a year with that event and celebrities came from all over to perform there.

6. What is the first thing you notice about people?
Their eyes. The eyes are a window into the soul.

7. Is Take Me There going to be a stand-alone novel, or do you plan to touch back some day on that world?
I actually have ideas for at least two more books with these same characters. I’ve had numerous requests from readers for a sequel, so I’m thinking very strongly about starting one. I just finished writing an unrelated novel in verse which I recently submitted to my editor at Simon Pulse.

8. What is on your mouse pad?
Boring. Plain blue. Frayed around the edges. I need a new one.
9. Who is someone you admire?
We have a poet here in Albuquerque named Jimmy Santiago Baca. He taught himself to read and write in prison and became a world class poet. There is a woman named Temple Grandin who is a professor at CSU where my daughter goes to school. Temple is autistic and overcame great obstacles to get her Ph.D. She now lectures on around the world on the topic of autism. I admire anyway who has faced overwhelming odds to follow their dreams.
10. Any advice for an aspiring writer?

Get connected with other writers. Start a blog. Join a writers group. When I first moved to Albuquerque I joined Southwest Writers Workshop. It’s for writers of all genres. They hold yearly conferences and that’s how I met my first agent. I later joined our local SCBWI (Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators) chapter. SCBWI has been a great source of support for me and many other writers.

Carolee's Twitter
Carolee's Website

Thank you so much Carolee for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share a little of yourself with us!

Take Me There Synopsis Goodreads):
Sometimes sexy, sometimes sad, and always intense, Take Me There is a dark and surprising novel about a boy on the run who's headed nowhere fast.

Dylan has a bad-boy past and a criminal record. He knows that rich, beautiful Jess is way too good for him—but she has always been the one person who sees through his tough exterior and straight to his heart, and he has been hopelessly in love with her from the first time they met. He would change his life for a chance with her.

But trouble follows Dylan wherever he goes, and a deadly mistake soon forces him to hit the road and leave his dreams behind. He’s on the run and in search of answers—answers to questions he wishes he’d never asked. 

Scoot's Review of Take Me There

Read the first 11 chapters of Take Me There here!

Take Me There Giveaway:
One Autographed paperback of Take Me There by Carolee Dean (gently used) & one Take Me There themed book tote!

Fill out the FORM to enter!
This contest is international and ends November 5, 2010 at midnight.
Must be a GFC follower of the blog to enter.
Comments don't count as entries, but are always welcome!
UPDATE: This contest is now closed!


Jenny said...

Really nice interview, I always like knowing what authors are reading:) Loved the mouse pad question too, it's something small that gives us just a little insider knowledge!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks so much!! i'm a new follower, love your blog!

Jessi E. (The Elliott Review) said...

Wow! I think this it is so awesome that Carolee is a speech-language pathologist and that her students have been some of her inspiration in writing.

Precious said...

Lovely interview! Thank you for the post! I'm a new follower! SO generous of you to host an international giveaway.

Fi-chan (Bookish-Escape) said...

thank you! :D

girlsinthestacks.com said...

A sequel, awesome!! I really liked TAKE ME THERE and all the characters...felt real. Great interview!!

Day said...

This is a new author to me, and I would LOVE the chance to read her work! Great interview and giveaway, Thank you.


Anonymous said...

OMG I want so badly win this! I can't find it in my country...but I'm not so sure what "GFC" means? Im following your blog...

Anne R. said...

Thank you for the giveaway!

norida said...

Thank so much for this awesome content! Let's this book on my hand! ;)

andrea said...

thanks for the giveaway!

latishajean said...

great giveaway thank you very much!

kjovus - my life with books said...

What a good sport for sharing a book when she is in the middle of reading it. LOL

Come on over to my blog and enter my national adoption month contest - we would love to have you.



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