I was so lucky to be chosen to be apart of Penguin Teen’s blog tour for 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac. And for my portion of the blog tour, I was able to interview Carrie Mac! I am so happy to have been able to pick Carrie’s brain about her writing process and her latest story that I loved! Thank you again to Penguin Teen for hosting this blog tour!
10 Things I Can See From Here SYNOPSIS:
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.
Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.
Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?
INTERVIEW WITH CARRIE MAC – Author of 10 Things I Can See From Here
In 10 Things I Can See From Here, Salix calms Maeve down by asking her to list ten things that she can see, can you use ten words to describe your story?
cannotputitdown (counting that as one word!)
If your characters were to pick up one genre of books to read, which one would they pick and why?
Maeve reads graphic novels.
Being an artist, she’s drawn to the visuals especially and how they drive the story. Maeve would be very successful at being a graphic novelist if that’s what she decides to do with her talents and time. And see? Now I want to read her graphic novels. It’s really frustrating when I discover something that exists in the imaginary world that I think should absolutely exist in the real world.
Salix reads science fiction and non-fiction books about music.
Robots, aliens, crumbling planets, outer space in every way, shape or form.
And biographies of composers, books of music theory, autobiographies of contemporary musicians.
One of my favorite aspects of your story is the fact that Salix can play the violin beautifully. Can you play any instruments?
Not at all. I took piano lessons when I was a kid, but I can’t play now. I admire musicians, and often stand around for far too long when I come upon a really good busker, which there are a lot of in my neighborhood.
What is one of the weirdest or coolest subjects that you’ve had to research during your writing process?
I came across The Canadian Disaster Database, which was a surprise. https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/cndn-dsstr-dtbs/index-en.aspx
Maeve found that one quite reassuring, actually.
It was hard to research Cholera, but fascinating. That was probably the scariest. Cholera has been a nasty antagonist throughout history, and of course, still now. Don’t research Cholera if you want to have a good sleep tonight.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
When I was seventeen, the writer W. D. Valgardson told me that “rejection slips enhance your self-esteem.” He went on to explain. Collect your rejection slips. All of them. Keep them together. Slowly you will notice something. Instead of a form letter NO, you’ll get a more personal NO. Then perhaps a NO THANKS. And then maybe a No, but we didn’t hate it. Or No, but it was okay. Then—then!— I liked this, but ___. Which leads to the awesome No thank you, but send us more. And ultimately, We would like to publish your story.
And so on.
I have a binder with over 250 rejections listed.
What’s the most difficult aspect of being an author, from your experience?
Deciding what to write next. I have a million stories and characters and novels and worlds and ideas in my very, very active imagination, but only so many hours in a human life allotted to bring them to life. It’s hard leaving the others behind when I launch on a new project.
Do you plot out a good portion of your stories or do you let the words flow freely without strict plans?
I used to write my novels as if I was watching a movie. Opening scene to final credits. No plot or outline, just what I saw as the movie went on.
I wrote myself into many dark corners that way.
Now I plot my chapters on the corkboard in Scrivener, not to say that I stick to the layout by any means. I move index cards around, change them, delete them. That has been a very good writing tool for me.