Saturday, March 4, 2017

0 Carrie Mac, author of 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE, on there being no writer's block

We are delighted to have the chance to discuss Carrie Mac's latest novel 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE.

Carrie, what's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I don’t sit still very long, ever. I like to travel a lot, for months at a time, with my kids and partner, so when we’re traveling I’m mostly collecting all the sparkly bits I can find—snippets of conversation, character outfits and traits and names, location details, backdrop images, and on long stretches of road at night with the kids quiet in the back, large chunks of stories, or just hours spent in my imagination with my characters, getting to know them better.

When we’re home, I get up at 5:30am and go for an hour-long walk to collect my thoughts and wake up, then I write at a coffee shop for two hours. Once I have a complete draft, I print that out and it comes everywhere with me, so I can edit and revise whenever I get a chance.

When I work in the cafĂ©, I have ear buds in, to cut the noise and to signal to my lovely and friendly neighbors that I’m busy. I don’t listen to music unless I’ve done a complete revision on paper and am putting in the edits into the Word doc. Because that is a tedious job.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Writing is not precious.

There is no writer’s block.

If it’s not coming to you, write something else. If the something else isn’t coming to you, let go of its importance and write anything to do with your story, but that isn’t your story. Your main character’s grocery list, a detailed description of their apartment, what they would wish for if they had three wishes, how their parents met … just make words about the story you want to make. The more words you make, the easier it is to write. The more you write, the easier it is.

First drafts are shit, which brings me back to the fact that writing is not precious. Unless you’ve written a complete first draft, your sole purpose is to get the words out. You can fix them later.

Keep writing.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a couple of projects right now.

I’ve just signed a contract with Knopf Random House for a YA novel about a genderqueer kid who goes to a new school and is determined not to be labeled as either male or female. But the students have other ideas, and Charlie has to navigate through the resulting fallout and come out the other side safe, and still true to themself.

That book will be out in 2019.

The other book that I’m working on is about two best friends who head into the wilderness, but only one comes back. I’m deep into it right now, which means I don’t really want to talk about it. Once I get a good first draft, I’ll have more to say. Right now the story is the boss and the boss says it’s too early to talk.


10 Things I Can See From Here
by Carrie Mac
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 2/28/2017

Perfect for fans of Finding Audrey and Everything, Everything, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.

Think positive.
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?

Purchase 10 Things I Can See From Here at Amazon
Purchase 10 Things I Can See From Here at IndieBound
View 10 Things I Can See From Here on Goodreads


Image resultAward-winning author Carrie Mac is well-known for her adeptness at captivating young adult audiences; she has written ten books for young adults, and won the 2010 Sheila A. Egoff Book Prize for her previous work, The Gryphon Project. She lives with her family in Vancouver, BC.


Have you had a chance to read 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE? What tricks do you have when you get a "writer's block"? Do you write your character's grocery list or imagine their backstory? What do you think about Carrie Mac's new book project coming out in 2019? Is that a story you can't wait to read? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Emily, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Sam, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, and Lori Ann

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