Beginning March 2019, Colleen’s Conversations will change to a monthly author interview feature.
Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you a mother/daughter writing team. I asked these ladies to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions.
First, please meet my guests, HL Carpenter.
About HL Carpenter
Mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. Visit HLCarpenter.com to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.
HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo. The Carpenters are multi-genre authors of family-friendly fiction. Their published works include cozy mysteries, middle grade/young adult novels, middle grade/young adult fantasy novellas and novelettes, a futuristic speculative novella, and a satirical short story.
The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.
To contact HL Carpenter, find out about their work, and read excerpts of their books, visit HLCarpenter.com. While you’re there, sign up for Top Drawer Ink, the official newsletter of Carpenter Country, to keep up with the latest happenings.Hi, there! We’re happy you’re here! We’re HL Carpenter, a mother/daughter duo. We write family-friendly fiction from our studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue. When we’re not writing, we enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.
In addition to being multi-generational writers, we’re also multi-genre writers. You’ll find a list of all our work here and a list of our fiction here.
And don’t miss the Carpenter Country essays, brief slice-of-life peeks into our escapades here in Carpenter Country.
Hello, Colleen! So happy to meet you! Thanks for the opportunity to guest on your blog! Hi, everyone! (Waves) We’re HL Carpenter, a mother/daughter author duo. We write from our studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue.
This is such an interesting question, Colleen. Though we’re not averse to creating a series at some point, at present each of our nine books stands alone. That means no connections between them in terms of “visiting” characters from other books or a common supernatural world that follows a similar set of rules.
However, all our books do have similarities. Besides our “author voice,” those generally include strong female leads, companion animals, minimal offensive language, adventure, and sweet romance. We like to think that when a reader picks up an HL Carpenter book, they can expect a story that’s as familiar and interesting as an afternoon spent with a friend.
Research is tremendously important. We want our books to be accurate, and we generally haven’t had the experiences our characters do. Among other shortcomings, we have never solved a mystery or met a ghost. Yet. Instead, we have to absorb all the knowledge we can and then use that knowledge to make our books realistic.
That could sound like drudgery. It isn’t. We love to learn and research is fun. As an example, while we enjoy gardening, we’re not as deep into plant science as the main character in our book, The Ghost in The Gardens. Since the story sprouted from a brief article about a small botanical garden and a woman who spent her entire working career cataloging the plants in that single garden, we had a lot of learning to do.
So, we dug in (sorry for the pun!). In the process, we learned how vital plants are to everyday life. For instance, you probably have a plant in your house right now. Even if you don’t tend houseplants, you may have salad greens in the refrigerator and bags of vegetables in your freezer. The cotton garments you wear, the aspirin you take for granted, the wood chair you sit on—these are all plant-based.
Our research brought home to us that plants are everywhere, living on light, communicating with each other via underground root systems and with other species via color and scent, and demonstrably conscious of their environment.
Isn’t that fascinating? We think so.
As a bonus, we were so interested in what we discovered we ended up with acres more information than we could use in “The Ghost in the Gardens.”
Never fear—the extra will not go to waste. We have an idea for another book that will feature plants, as well as the familiar HL Carpenter hallmarks: a strong female lead, a companion animal, minimal offensive language, adventure, and a sweet romance.
You’re welcome, Colleen. We had a great time.
“A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.”
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Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Poet who loves crafting paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre flash fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry. Colleen's syllabic poetry has appeared in the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, and in “Hedgerow, a journal of small poems.” She’s won numerous awards from participating in the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, a yearly flash fiction contest sponsored by carrotranch.com. In 2020, she won first place in the Carrot Ranch Folk Tale or Fable category, with her story called “Why Wolf Howls at the Moon.” Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path through her writing. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.