Carole Wolf

Carole Wolf


I originally met Carole Wolf online. I don't remember the exact details, but I think it was when I'd been running a contest trying to increase people following my FaceBook page to the level of 100 likes. Carole made a comment that I needed some 'likes' and she'd spread the word. That was extremely kind of her. This is a character trait that I find common among most of the authors I've met within the lesfic community. I've had a helping hand along the way from several of my fellow authors. These are essentially people who are my 'competition' but I've yet  to meet one who is unwilling to lend a hand or a kind word. With Carole's help I did achieve the 100 likes milestone on my page, although my FaceBook page still doesn't have the following I have here on my website. It's where I make most announcements of book releases and other things happening regarding books. If you haven't already, I'd really appreciate it if you'd stop over and like my page. While you're at it, I'd like to mention there's a newsletter here on site you can sign up for as well! 

Okay, following that bit of commercial interruption out of the way, here's my interview with Carole Wolf!


AJ: Thank you for taking time to answer my questions Carole. Tell us something about yourself that is not commonly known?

CW: I’m a musician (drummer since I was eleven years old) and a music producer. I produced a Neo-Soul album for an artist named Nesrin Asli, which can be found on Amazon and YouTube, and I played drums in her band for close to a year.

AJ: What did you do to earn a living, before this year when you are a full time writer?

CW: I worked in restaurants as a line cook for many years, but that is grueling work, which was kicking my butt and aging me way too quickly. I left that behind to go to school for Addiction Counseling. I’m two semesters away from my certification for that.

AJ: Congratulations on your achievement. Going back to school is always a hard thing to do. What made you decide to become a writer?

CW: It was never really a conscious decision. I think I was born with the affinity, or maybe it took root from my parents’ influence—they were both in the publishing industry. My dad has a Literature degree and wrote for the Army during Vietnam, and my mother wrote for Prevention magazine. They both worked for Rodale Press and the Allentown Morning Call newspaper when I was a kid, growing up in PA. If I wanted to know what a particular word meant, my dad would never just tell me—he’d make me go look it up. They made sure I spent time at the local library, and they got me books from the Book Mobile whenever it came around. I was always writing something, wrote my first ‘book’ in high school, filled up a whole spiral bound notebook with the adventures of my friends and me, with chapters and everything, and called it a novel. So, nature vs. nurture? Not really sure.

AJ: Well, I just learned something interesting, we’re neighbors!  Do you write full-time or part-time?

CW: Well, we were neighbors! I currently live in Columbus, Georgia and have been here since high school. But I’m now fortunate enough for the next year or so to be able to write full-time while going to school part-time.

AJ: Oh, my loss. I was hoping I'd finally met an author who lived near me. My loss, for sure. Okay, next question. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate, or write longhand?

CW: I’ve done a little of each over the years. In high school, I wrote everything longhand in the notebooks meant for class notes, which I rarely took because I was usually writing my own stuff in class. Then in my early twenties I had an electric typewriter that my mother gave to me. As computers came around and became the thing to have, I eventually got on board and got one of those desktop dinosaurs. Now I use a laptop.

AJ: Where do your ideas come from?

CW: They just sort of hit me out of nowhere. My upcoming novel Everything was like that. I was supposed to be working on the third installment of Monasco, an adventure trilogy, but the characters from Everythingkept coming into my head instead, ‘speaking to me’, if you will, insisting I tell their story. So, I just went with it. The idea for the book I’m working on now came from an (unsuccessful) attempt at writing about my childhood in PA; the characters just decided to ‘be’ something other than what I was writing, so again, I just went with it. I like to think they all exist in some parallel world, and we authors are like mediums, put here to channel them and their stories, which might never have been told, otherwise. We call it fiction but…who knows?

AJ: That’s an interesting theory. Sometimes those pesky characters want to do what they want to do, regardless of what we have in mind for them. When the characters are speaking to you, what process do you use when writing? Do you work to an outline or plot or do you use a more free flowing style?

CW: I am all free-flowing. I might write a summary of a story or a chapter if the storyline is particularly complicated, but that’s it. I write down character names and sometimes write their respective character sketches. Otherwise, I’ll mentally ‘cast’ my characters with actual actors as a characterization technique, just to keep everyone unique to one another. I think that helps them really jump off the page and not be so one-dimensional, just names on a page that do and say things. I use a LOT of music to write as well. To me, each book is like a movie in my head. I’ve got a sound effects website I use and will even find appropriate sound effects to play (city streets, crowded restaurants, sports events, etc.) for my own writing atmosphere. So, I’ll spend as much time on there, Amazon, and iTunes, finding just the right music, as much I do compiling academic research for the subject matter.

AJ: Have your characters ever surprised you?

CW: They have. One of the central characters in the novel I’m working on now completely changed his race, from a white man to a black man. He didn’t start out as a black character, but apparently I had that wrong about him, so he ‘let me know’ quite pointedly that he was not Caucasian! And that detail changed the story completely and is now making it better and richer than it would have even been, otherwise. I had a whole cast of characters in a horror novel I wrote several years ago go from being unwitting bystanders to a terrible crime…to all being in on it together! Again, that was not the original plan, but they led the way, and so I followed.

AJ: On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

CW: About a year. I do a lot of procrastinating when I’m not doing research and music searches.

AJ: If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

CW: Everything and the newest one I’m working on are stand-alone projects and not part of a series. The Monasco and Last Kappolarian books, however, are the first two in an adventure trilogy. Book three is coming in 2015…hopefully.

AJ: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

CW: I try to read for at least an hour or two every day. Some of my favorite authors are Cormac McCarthy, Zora Neal Hurston, Frank Herbert, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Tim O’Brien, among many more. But those are the ones I feel most influenced by and whose works inspire me the most. I’m pretty big into poetry as well, and some of my favorite poets are Pablo Neruda, Adrienne Rich, Dominique Christina, and Tracey K. Smith.

AJ: For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?

CW: I like both. But now that the eBook option is out there, I’ll say my Kindle has made it easier to take all my books with me wherever I go. And I do enjoy the dictionary feature, right there on the screen.

AJ: What are your favorite ways to connect with your readers to make them aware of your books?

CW: Facebook and Twitter have been invaluable resources to not only promote my works, but also to learn about others’ books. I’ve taken full advantage of social media over the past couple years to promote my projects, but now that I’ve got a traditional publisher—Bedazzled Ink Publishing—I’m hoping their expertise will assist in the promotional process as well. I’m sure they can teach me a thing or two!

AJ: Tell us about the new book you have coming out. What makes it similar/different from your other stories?

CW: Everything is a frame story, a coming-of-age story within a coming-of-age story. It’s written in two parts, in first-person but disguised as third-person, sort of a “first-person omniscient” POV, I suppose. If that’s possible. All that alone makes it different from my other books—the whole POV trick that happens in Part Two. It was previously self-published under a different title (The Months of Moon), which we changed when Bedazzled Ink picked it up last year in December, and it’s due for release in July 2014.

The story is told by twenty-one year old Myla Edmunds who, in Part One, is reflecting back on having lost her mother, Jolán, to a heart attack when she herself was a freshman in high school. She and her mother had gotten into a terrible argument in which Myla wished Jolán dead. Jolán dies the next day, and so Myla now blames herself. But with the help of family and her mother’s old college flame, Rachel Cole, Myla learns that her mother had a secret past, the activities during which were what truly contributed to Jolán’s premature death.  Part Two is the story of Jolán’s college days, the information for which Myla acquires via stories from Rachel, her uncle, and a slew of memorabilia from that era—her mother’s old journals, home video footage, photographs, etc. What Myla learns about Jolán’s youth is devastating, and it indeed explains why she might drop dead of a heart attack at only forty years old. But most importantly, Myla learns about forgiveness. There are strong themes of redemption, forgiveness, and secrecy throughout Everything.

What is your favorite line from the book?

CW: I think one of my favorite lines is from the funeral scene in Chapter Six, when Myla is watching her mother’s girlfriend Rachel sitting outside alone, lost in her own mourning at the post-service gathering. It’s more of a passage than a single line where Myla, feeling unimaginably guilty, narrates: 

“She’d held my hand at the funeral, and her hand was unusually cold, but I knew why. She had died that day, too. And now she sat out on our steps, hugging herself at the waist, overcast as the afternoon, a shell that I had picked clean with a forked tongue. “

I think that really captures Myla’s guilt, however unnecessary, for having wished her mother dead. There are other, similar lines throughout that chapter, but that one’s my favorite.

AJ: Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about you and your books, Carole. Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to add or have any questions you wish I’d asked that I didn’t? 

I guess I’d like to say that I believe Lesbian Fiction can and will and should crossover into the mainstream genres. I see that time coming very soon. Wouldn’t it be awesome for a Lesfic author to win the Pulitzer? Or the National Book Award? We can do it. We’ve got the authors—we just need to be patient, and those opportunities will open up for us.


You can contact Carole here:

   Monasco: The Last Kappolarian (Book II) 


   Monasco Passage to Anathema

© JEN 2014