Author Interview — Carla Beene
How did you become a writer?
All through school, I excelled at reading and writing. I was a voracious reader, even as a child. Then in junior high and high school, teachers recognized my writing skills and moved me to an advanced placement class. That was the beginning of my life-long love of writing. Throughout the years, I’ve attended writing classes and workshops. About ten years ago, I joined SCBWI as well as a local critique group. All of these classes and organizations helped improve my writing abilities.
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
I’m much fresher and more creative in the mornings. I make myself a latte and sit in my writing chair with my laptop. First, I review what I’ve written the previous day and make necessary changes where possible. Sometimes I’m stuck as to where to go next. Then I’ll go back and review my outline, which I’ve created before I ever begin to write. My outline is usually very detailed. The characters and plot don’t always adhere to the outline, so there are times when I follow where they lead.
What inspires you to write?
I worked with deaf children for many years, Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo. Their life stories were all so different, yet their deafness brought them together. Over the years, their stories would jump out at me, and I would envision a story or children's book. My own children were also a source of great ideas. I began keeping a notebook of these ideas and reviewed them when I was searching for a new children’s book.
What are your current/future projects?
Writing for middle-grade students seems to be my forte. Previously, I’ve written a historical fiction novel about a girl who traveled the Santa Fe Trail in the 1850s. My current book, written with cowriter Rosemary Zibart, is about a family who was stranded in the Canyonlands in 120-degree weather for nearly three days when their car broke down. Another manuscript I’m working on is a middle-grade fantasy about a girl with cerebral palsy.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Be brave. Don’t be afraid to take that first step. Take a deep breath, sit down at the computer, and type that first word. It will all flow from there.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
Through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org