Author: J.A. Carlson
Genre: Crime Fiction
I have aspired to be a writer since my grade school days. Shrike is my first novel. I live in North Carolina's Triad. Originally I am from Connecticut – Southern Connecticut to be exact, where we put mud flaps on the BMWs. I’m proud to be a Swedish American. When I'm not thinking about writing, I like ice hockey and traveling. I've tried stand-up comedy too;
however, no one thought I was as funny as I thought I was. A cat owns me; in fact, she has helped me pen three picture books featuring her and her friends and the compilation thereof has just been published. I have a few more novels in various states of inception; I hope Shrike's success will give me the impetus to finish them. Right now, writing is my avocation, not my vocation. I’d love for that to change someday, as I was told by a teacher in high school that I have a natural talent for writing and that has stuck with me over all these years.
Interview with Carlson
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Carlson: I got started writing in grade school. I hated reality so I found writing as a way to make my own.
2. Is this your first book?
Carlson: Shrike is my first book made public. I wrote two others, but now they belong to the ages.
3. What genre do you enjoy writing the most and what is this book about?
Carlson: I don’t have a favorite genre as such. If I have a story to tell, I will tell it. Shrike is the story of one young woman's overcoming tremendous physical, emotional and logistical adversity to defeat evil incarnate.
4. What inspired you to write this book?
Carlson: For years I wanted to write a story of someone who is just a regular person by day and a hero by night. With the help of the young lady to whom my book is dedicated, Shrike came to be.
5. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
Carlson: I just like the name Shrike. It’d be great as a movie title.
6. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
Carlson: One of my Facebook friends offered to design it for me. I wanted a vision of my heroine rising from the flames.
7. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Carlson: I have been told Rooney Mara would be great as Taryn. I can see Gene Hackman as Bill Tatum, but he may be too old for it. Maybe Melissa Fumero from Brooklyn Nine-Nine for Miranda. Kate Burton (from Scandal) as Nancy Mounce.
8. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Carlson: In a Composition class in high school, the teacher grading an assignment of mine told me I had a natural talent for writing. For someone who had been pretty meaningless previously, it was kind of a big moment.
9. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
Carlson: I love to drink and write. Often did a bottle of Jack Daniel’s sit next to me as I wrote Shrike.
10. Are you a plotter or do you write by the seat of your pants?
Carlson: I always have a beginning and an end. Both are quite clear. Then, I have to plot a path between the two.
11. Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others?
Carlson: Writing a love/sex scene is a challenge for me. I task myself to write them without naming body parts. I think that is a true test of a writer.
12. What book do you wish you could have written?
Carlson: I’m throwing up in my mouth a little, but I wish I had written the 50 Shades trilogy. I’d be a trillionaire by now.
13. What is your biggest fear?
Carlson: Leaving this world as someone meaningless. I’m most of the way there now.
14. What do you want your tombstone to say?
Carlson: I would borrow from Dan Fogelberg – “Between the worlds of men and make believe I can be found.”
13. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
Carlson: Sweden – land where my fathers died.
20. What is your favorite song?
Carlson: Shilo by Neil Diamond. My life in a few minutes.
23. What is your favorite movie?
Carlson: Animal Crackers.