When I interviewed Carleen I couldn't help noticing the similarities. Our covers, for one. (Is there a secret guild of jacket designers who meet under cover of dark to agree upon certain tenets for that year's novels? Reflective waters, children running into a far-off surf, a sense of joy and yet some rather large unknowns as well? I like to think of it as serendipity, a pull both cover artists felt when they read the books but maybe it's a whole new order of the illuminati.)
Second, were her answers to my interview questions, favorite movies, writers, you name it. Carleen lives in Denver, which is where I was born. Our second novels both came out in June of this year, they're both about families, secrets and relationships. And I just bet you her hair is naturally curly.
On the other hand, she's got a movie contract on her first book, she once worked at the storied Tattered Cover, where her launch party was held, and you can bet she's not wearing her pajamas at 1:27 on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
On other hand, since her blog is called the pajama gardener, maybe I'm wrong about that too.
I'm really eager to read Children of the Waters , which, like Everyone She Loved is about secrets, but which, unlike mine, takes on the issues of race in a way that only a woman who's walked the walk can. In this month, where Professor Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct in his own kitchen, or as someone put it, being "housed while black," Carleen's novel could not be more topical. What's even more important to me as a consumer, though, is that everyone says it's a fabulous read.
Here are just a few of the blurbs:
"I was exhausted and singing the blues the hour I began Carleen Brice's new novel, Children of the Waters. Five hours later, I'd finished this fresh, free-rein novel about mothers' secrets and children's sorrows and was shouting 'Hurray!'" - Jacquelyn Mitchard author, The Deep End of the Ocean
"It is one of those books that you will not want to put down until you reach the last page." Fredericksburg, VA Freelance Star
"...the plot clips along at a summer-reading pace...a great beach read." New West
“In Children of the Waters, Carleen Brice manages to explore the difficult, messy and unpleasant details of life with both humor and wisdom. The parallel journeys of sisters, Trish and Billie, will resonate with everyone and anyone who has questioned their identity and place in this world. Once again, Carleen Brice has crafted a thoroughly enjoyable novel that gets at the heart of the human experience." – Lori Tharps, author of Kinky Gazpacho
HERE's OUR INTERVIEW: If I had to offer two bumper sticker explanations for my novel, they'd be "Appearances are deceiving" and "Mean people suck." Tell me what your slogans would be, and why. “We’re more alike than we are different.” And “Legalize marijuana for senior citizens.” The first slogan is because the novel deals with race, identity and family. People will need to read the book to get the 2nd slogan!
2. Your two favorite movies over the past twelve months and why? “Rachel Getting Married” because it was well-written and well-acted and quietly about similar subjects as my book. “Forgetting Sarah Marshal” because it cracked me up!
3. What was the one thing you learned in getting your book published that you were really surprised to find out? How little control the author really has. There’s so much info about self-promotion (and it’s valuable) and you certainly need to do it, but still, there’s so much that’s simply not in your hands.
4. If you had to pick one and only one condition (beyond computer or pen and paper) that would allow you to write would it be: a. solitude b. caffiene c. sleep d. food e. sex or f. ______. Definitely Caffeine.
5. Do you have a favorite genre? If so, who are your three favorite writers? If not, who are your three favorite writers and how have they influenced your work? I’d have to say that Bebe Moore Campbell, Alice Hoffman and Pearl Cleage are 3 of my favorites. They influence my work by making me want to write better.