Today in the Library we have the multi-talented Caroline E Farrell, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author and film maker.
You are very welcome, Caroline, please introduce yourself:
I’m a writer and filmmaker from Dublin, Ireland. My current novel, Lady Beth, won the Carousel Aware Prize for Best Novel, 2017. I have also written a vampire story, Arkyne, Story of A Vampire, and have recently written and directed a short film, Framed, which is currently on the film festival circuit. Several of my feature scripts have won awards, and I have written and co-produced two other short films, Adam (2013) and the multi-award winning In Ribbons (2015).
Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
My earliest experience of reading as a child is being rather frustrated because I couldn’t understand some of the words in the comic books, mostly Beano and Dandy, that my brothers had at home. I must have been only 3 or 4 years old though. My first memory of reading proper books is when I joined the library at aged 8. I am an avid reader – I worked as a librarian for 20 years, so books were always accessible. Now, I have my own library at home! I will read most genres as long as the book captures my interest in the first chapter.
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
I am an independent author, so yes, self-published. I am also an independent filmmaker. Indie spirited all the way!
Which genre do you write in and why?
I write a good bit of horror. My first novel, Arkyne, Story of a Vampire was actually an experiment to see if I could write a novel. It was a feature script initially, and I began to blog the novel chapters on my website. It could have died a death, but to my surprise, people began to respond to it, and to offer me encouragement and feedback, so I kept going and it’s there now, a fully formed novel. My second novel, Lady Beth is a gritty thriller, and to my absolute joy, it has been described as gothic writing. My current work in progress is supernatural and ghostly.
Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
I have been inspired by many people, from authors and filmmakers, friends, family and most of all, my better half – my biggest supporter in terms of encouragement. Rather than a ‘who’ though, I think my life experiences to date have been my biggest influence – personally, writing gives meaning to life and to all the joy and sadness in between the everyday stuff.
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
I would say yes, from the Celtic myth and magic of my writings in the supernatural genre, to the gritty reality of city living that inspired Lady Beth, I absorb my cultural world as I know and experience it, the light and shade of it.
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
I tend to let ideas percolate for quite a while before I put pen to paper, and often, getting down to the first pass of a draft can be daunting. I quite like the day-dreaming stage of creating story, but once the actual writing begins, things get serious! It is difficult work and so it should be.
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
I don’t have a favourite time. As long as I am alone, I can disappear inside my head and write for hours. Sometimes, I am so engrossed, I forget to eat!
What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?
The best thing about being a writer for me is, having written, when someone takes time to tell me that they’ve enjoyed reading my work. There is no better reward than that. The worst thing has got to be the struggle for exposure to reach a potential readership. It is difficult for any author to break through, no matter how talented – but it is even more difficult if you don’t have a publishing house behind you. I’m not complaining though, it is a choice, and I support the ideal of celebrating good writing and great stories, regardless of who publishes it, or how it is published.
Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?
I love the connection element of social media. It is such an important forum for authors, trad and Indie, so for the most part, I enjoy it. I use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They can complement each other.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
I do a little facilitation and teaching now and again, so I would probably do more of that if I weren’t an author.
It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?
I’d go back to a classic favourite, The Picture of Dorian Gray. So much going on in that book, pure escapism, but also dealing with subject matter that is just as relevant today. Wilde was way ahead of his time!
Please tell us what you are working on at the moment.
I am currently on what I hope to be the final draft of a supernatural ghost story. It’s challenging but it wouldn’t be worthwhile if it wasn’t! I hope to have it ready for publication later this year.
If you would like to know more about Caroline and her work, please check out her social media links below:
Arkyne, Story of a Vampire: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arkyne-Story-Vampire-Celtic-horror/dp/1975622464