GUTGAA Meet & Greet

I’m excited to be participating in the Gearing Up to Get an Agent blogfest/pitch contest (also known as GUTGAA), hosted by the generous YA witer Deana Barnhart. For this week’s post, the participants are doing a meet & greet.

I’m Carla, a former archaeologist turned stay-at-home Mom/writer. I grew up on Vancouver Island, lived in Los Angeles for many years, and currently reside in Wisconsin with my husband and two kids (a 15-year old girl and an 11-year old boy). I love books that transport me to different worlds, like Narnia, Oz, and Middle Earth, which is probably why I write young adult fantasy. Among my sources of inspiration are the countries I’ve visited. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on archaological digs in Spain, Israel, Turkey, Jordan, and Cyprus; I also lived in India for five months. I’m a big fan of Broadway show tunes, 80s pop culture, and really good coffee.

Where do you write?
My home office, which is basically a computer desk in my bedroom. I often have to fight the cat for writing space.

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
A miniature statue of Ganesha, the elephant-headed god from India, known as the ‘Remover of Obstacles.’ He’s there to prevent writer’s block.

Favorite time to write?
In the morning, after the kids have left for school.

Drink of choice while writing?
Coffee. Lots of it.

 When writing, do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
Although I love music, when I’m writing, I prefer silence, otherwise the words interfere with the flow of dialogue. I’m way too easily distracted!

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
I entered a writing contest where I had to create the backstory for a fairy tale character, preferably a villain. I started writing about The Pied Piper and ended up creating a new character—his teenage daughter, Marisa. This character became the basis for my futuristic Pied Piper retelling, PIPER GIRL.

What’s your most valuable writing tip?
Find a critique partner that you trust! Mine is not only ruthless with her line edits, but also a great source of support.

Thanks for stopping by!



19 thoughts on “GUTGAA Meet & Greet

  1. Exactly how does one go from soaking up the sun in LA, to braving Wisconsin winters? I’m a Michigander who hates the cold and often fantasizes about heading south.
    It’s nice to meet meet another YA (I write contemporary, I love fantasy but lack the talent needed to create my own worlds) writer.

    1. I’m still not used to the Wisconsin winters, even though I’ve been living here for 13 years! I just bundle up and stay inside a lot. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

      1. I’m a midwesterner by birth (Michigan, now Chicago area) and I have to say, I don’t want to live where it’s hotter. If anything, I might take more mild temperatures like Colorado. But I HATE hot. I’d rather brave a winter, honestly. Fall is my favorite season. Bring on the sweaters!

        Also, good luck with GUTGAA!

  2. I’m just dropping by with the GUTGAA hop. Your story sounds interesting!
    Archeology was always something I was interested in going into, I love history.

  3. Thanks for stopping by! I grew up in Victoria, and I still go back to visit the island because my brother lives in Mill Bay.

  4. Hi Carla,

    Just dropping by to wish you good luck as well! Love your method for preventing writer’s block 🙂 Your Pied Piper retelling sounds cool — I hope to see more of it throughout #GUTGAA!



  5. I love that you’re an archeologist! Growing up, I was obsessed with Indiana Jones and wanted to be an archeologist because of him.

    1. I’m a big Indiana Jones fan. I think I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark when I was 15 (showing my age here!) and I loved it!

  6. I love your kitty, how cute. I also must battle my fluffly furball companion for the arm rest on the couch when it’s writing time. nice to meet you 🙂

  7. Just love your blog! So nice to meet a former L.A.!ian! I’m a native here, but have braved the winters of Tulsa and Philadelphia…still love the snow, but prefer to drive up to greet it for a weekend :-)! Actually, I love watching it fall down. Great to meet you on GUTGAA! * Good Luck to you* Muaaah!

    Dr Margaret Aranda

  8. I have a writing cat, too. I’m trying to train him to be my muse. Grin, it’s not quite working. After finding out you were doing GUTGAA, I had to visit you.

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