Growing up in Bedford, New Hampshire with the Meyers brothers on Saturday Night Live and MadTV is where her story begins.
Carrie Jones, currently in her thirties, now resides in Ellsworth, Maine, with, “two huge dogs and an obese cat.” Once, she had a séance with Sarah Silverman; “It was incredibly freaky and [she] swore off séances ever since.”
No, she‘s not a witch, pixie, vampire, werewolf or any mythical creature for that matter--or is she? Carrie Jones is an author. A writer of the normal and paranormal universes, she brings to the table powerful, entertaining, and all around impressive writing that keeps a book up against a readers’ nose at any chance possible.
*FYI: This interview took place before Entice, therefore, there is no mention of the third book in the Need series.
1. For those people who don’t know about your books, please give a brief description.
Need and Captivate are the first two books in a series set in Bedford, Maine, which is a semi-fictional town loosely based on some Hancock County towns. They are about Zara who moves up here from Charleston and gets stalked by a supernatural creature and then has to become pretty kick-butt to defend her friends and town.
Tips On Having A Gay (ex) Boyfriend was inspired by a hate crime in a high school where this girl was harassed because her boyfriend came out. Love (and other uses for duct tape) is the sequel.
Girl, Hero is about this girl whose life is horrible. She's a freshman. Her mom suddenly has a weird boyfriend. Her dad has started cross dressing, and she has to become a hero for herself. That sounds so Hallmark.
2. Who are your favorite authors? What authors inspire you and your writing?
I am totally in love with Sherman Alexie. I like most authors actually. We're a pretty tight bunch, and they've all inspired me. Pretty much every book I read I think, "Oh... wow... Look at how she does this."
3. How do you come up with titles for your books?
I don't. The only title that is mine is Need. The other books were retitled by the publishers.
4. What pulled you into the world of writing?
I used to be a newspaper editor and every time we drove somewhere my daughter would get bored. She was all, "Tell me a story, Mommy." So I did. The stories got longer and longer and eventually it became a lot easier to write them down. Then I realized it was a lot more fun to write fiction than newspaper articles (No offense). So, I went to get a Masters in Vermont College for writing. That was in 2006. My first book was published in 2007.
5. What training did you go through to become a writer?
Well, I was a newspaper reporter and editor so I know how to write pretty quickly on deadline. At Bates College I took some undergrad classes. Then I went to Vermont College of Fine Arts and got a masters.
6. Do you ever have struggles on what point of view to write in, and how do you decide between first and third person narration?
I tend to naturally write in the first person present. I think this is because I started out as a poet. I have a much harder time writing in the third person. I try it, but it always comes off flat to me.
7. What surprised you most about the process of publishing?
That I'm actually published at all. I've been incredibly lucky because:
1. I make enough money to make a living. (Most writers earn about 3-5,000 a year on average).
2. That I'm published.
3. That I get fan mail. Seriously, how weird and cool is that?
4. That my books are published in different countries.
Actually, I guess everything surprises me.
8. What advice would you give someone who wants to get their writing published?
To think of writing as a craft like guitar or sculpting. The more you do it, the better you get. And also to live the biggest, fullest lives you can because it will all some day make your story better. Sky dive? Do it. Fall in love? Do it. Eat 5,000 strudel in some weird Swedish contest on a cruise ship? Go for it.
9. Please describe your relationship with your editor. What parts of writing did the editor help you with?
My current editor, Michelle Nagler, is a genius about story structure. She makes the story so much better. Basically, I write the first draft. She gives me feedback like "Too many love scenes. CUT!" and then I do it, send in another draft, and she gives me more feedback. It generally takes me 3-4 drafts to get to the finished product.
10. Fantasy has been all the craze these days. Tell us about your pixies and weres. Why did you write about them?
My pixies are not nice Tinkerbell, fingernail-sized sprites. They are human sized and can be pretty darn evil.
I was at the Common Ground Fair, which is this huge, cool fair in Maine that’s sponsored by Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association (MOFGA). To get to the main part of the fair you have to walk through this sweet trail that curves through these tall spruce trees.
Right in front of me was this guy. He had a weird vibe. He was wearing all corduroy – blazer, pants. And sticking out from his blazer was this long tail-like appendage that was wrapped in different colored earth-toned cloth. I guess he could tell I was checking him out because he turned his head and looked at me. His eye was this startling silver color. How startling? So startling that I actually gasped and got creeped out.
Then when we were in line to pay we made eye contact again and his eyes were brown.
I know! I know! I probably imagined the silver eye color.
It doesn’t matter. That was one of the main things that got me started. Then, I just had this image of a man standing outside an airport pointing at an airplane this girl was on.
It also creeped me out.
So, I started writing.
11. In your first pixie book, Need, each chapter started with a phobia. Throughout both books, Zara has an obsession with phobias. What’s up with all the phobias?
Zara's dad just died and she feels like she's a zombie or else she feels like she's controlled by her fears, so she names them and that makes her feel better, like she's in control. Plus, phobias are interesting, I think. My mom is pretty phobic about everything, actually. Birds. Bridges. Small spaces. Big spaces. Water over her head. It's amazing. Anyway, I think that's partially why I'm interested in them. Plus, it's cool to watch Zara get beyond that and become tough.
12. What’s your thought process? Do you just sit down and decide to write? Or do you wait for the next chapter to just pop into your head? How do you do it?
I write every day. That's it. I don't outline. I just sit down and write and sometimes I daydream about strudel or check my email way too much, but that's my process.
13. You were recently on a book tour for Need and Captivate. How was that? Is it something that you would like to do again in the future?
It was pretty fun. It was crazy busy. Sometimes we wouldn't get our first meal till 9 p.m., but it was amazing to get to stay in hotels for free, and order room service all the time. I'd do it again definitely. It was amazing fun seeing fans and stuff like that. Some people made me a Bedford High t-shirt, which was beyond awesome actually. That's the high school in Need and Captivate.
14. How many pixie books do you plan on writing?
At least four. Maybe five.
15. What happens when you’re done writing about pixies?
Well, I have two non-fiction picture books already being published and I have a scary upper YA novel about this demon guy trying to possess people in a town that's totally Ellsworth.