Saturday, January 21, 2012

Author Interview: Carrrie Salo, author of The Sounding

Welcome to The Wormhole! Today it is my pleasure to feature The Sounding by Carrie Salo 
and host an author interview!
The Sounding by Carrie Salo

(Book Description from
In the Book of Revelation, a man named John has a prophetic dream. He dreams of the final prophecies that will come to pass - and the seven archangels that guard them. Each angel waits to sound their trumpet at God's appointed time, preparing humanity to fight and win the final battle. 2,000 years later, Father Chris Mognahan is a member of the Hetairia Melchizedek, a secret society within the Catholic Church that studies Biblical omens. The society asks Chris to investigate an unusually grotesque crime - a murder on a college campus where the killer's hand literally burned off the victim's face. While the killing seems isolated at first, the society ties the murder to the final Biblical prophecy and a terrifying omen that the order of the prophecies is about to be disrupted. The final battle is coming too soon - long before humanity is prepared to win it. Suddenly, Chris finds himself fighting against time and hell to keep the prophecies in order and stop an early Armageddon. He is joined by a band of unlikely allies, and together they find themselves in Rome above the Vatican Necropolis - the city of the dead - where the future is revealed to them in ancient texts. They are not alone, however; an evil as old as time itself hunts them. As they travel across continents on their mission, the demonic force follows relentlessly, waiting in every shadowed corner, and every dark place. As Armageddon descends, Father Chris finds that his only hope lies in a young woman within the group who has a secret gift - and their belief that God Himself may have sent her to keep the final angelic trumpet from sounding out the early end of the Earth.

Please welcome Carrie Salo!

? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer all the way back in the second grade.  My teacher gave me an extra credit assignment to bring up my grade.  She told me to write a short story.  And since it was around Halloween, I wrote a scary short story.  She liked it so much, she had me read it to the class.  And that was it – I was hooked on telling stories.

? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
Well, I still have a “day job,” even now that I am a writer.  The publishing industry is funny, mostly because it is old and has a lot of traditions, including a pretty ancient pay schedule.  Publishers typically only pay their writers every six months (and some wait a whole year).  So, you can sell quite a few books, and still need another way to put food on the table, at least at first.  But, previously, I have held jobs as a lifeguard, a graphic designer and after I finished school, as a public relations account manager and as an advertising account manager and copywriter.  I used my evenings and weekends to write The Sounding, in addition to taking a short sabbatical.  At this time, I am working as a copywriter part time while I begin my second novel. 

? How long does it take you to write a book?
The Sounding is my first novel, and it took about 4 years to write, 2 years to fully edit and then a bit more time to find a publisher.  I think that time is mostly a function of working days and writing nights.  The next book should go faster, now that I can dedicate myself part time to fiction writing. 

? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I don’t work with an outline.  I find them to be too constrictive.  I just write off the cuff and the plot finds its way through research and daily writing.  Some of my FAVORITE parts of The Sounding were “accidents.”  Many of the best lines, scenes and plot threads weren’t planned until they presented themselves while writing.

? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
My routine is –waking up!  Really, that’s about it.  I get up.  I do get dressed (no writing in pajamas for me).  And then I sit down.  The only ritualistic thing I do is: I listen to classical music while I write, and I try to match the music to the type of writing I’m doing.  If it’s an action scene – I’ll find something with drums and cymbals and angry violins.  If it’s a romance scene – I’ll try to find something softer.  Then, when I go to edit the scene or just pick-up where I left off, I’ll play the same music.  I find it really helps to get me in the same mood as I was when I started the scene originally.  It helps me build narrative consistency and avoid writer’s block.
? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
All over!  Many of the characters are pieces of people from my life.  Just as many are certain facets of my own personality, but made better or worse; allowed to flow unchecked.  In most projects, there is usually at least one character I really relate to.  In The Sounding, that’s Father Chris.  He helped me to ground the story, raise some hard questions that the reader might ALSO be asking, and he gave me a common viewpoint to share the story from.  The rest of the characters, while not as relatable, were a bit more fun to write for because of their more extreme viewpoints.  I especially like to write for the bad guy, as well.  Giving depth to a bad character is so much fun and so thought provoking.  I think the ultimate bad character is one you hate, but one you also fear because you recognize just a little bit of yourself in him or her.  Getting that far into the dark side (at least when I’m imagining) is one of the best parts of writing. 

? How do you decide what you want to write about?
If you are going to write a book, you have to pick an idea that is AT LEAST going to entertain YOU (the writer) for a very long time.  So, I tend to sit with ideas for a while – years sometimes.  If they are still around after that much daydreaming, still rattling around in my head, then I feel I can sustain a narrative.  That much initial imagining also usually helps me get a sense of where to start and where to end (which helps when you don’t use an outline).  It also usually means they have lots of “threads” – they can go in multiple directions and keep even me guessing.

? What books have most influenced your life?
I have a pretty eclectic reading taste.  So, these books are all very different, but all VERY wonderful. Some are from my childhood – they taught me a love of reading.  I have a pretty long list.  These are just a few…
Ann of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Shining by Stephen King
The Stand by Stephen King
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Watchers by Dean Koontz
The Ghost in the Garden by Carol H. Behrman
Wait ‘Til Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
A Mercy by Toni Morrison

? What is the first book you remember reading by yourself?
A Bobbsey Twins mystery!

? What are you reading right now?
I usually read more than one book at a time.  So, I am enjoying quite a few different things:
Piercing the Darkness by Frank Pereti
Is the Coffee Fresh? By Marc Rensen
The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe
The Dome by Stephen King

? What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Well, I obviously enjoy reading!  I also like to jog at night, spend time with my very large family, sail with my husband, and travel anywhere.

? What is your favorite comfort food?
Does lobster count?  I’m not sure it’s comforting, but it is delicious and my favorite!

? What do you think makes a good story?
Any story that carries you away from your own reality.  It has to be well done enough to make you forget you are reading, and remember to imagine things differently.

? Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
 My favorite author is Stephen King.  I find him to be such an amazing storyteller.  He is not afraid of ANYTHING when it comes to getting into the dark parts of his characters.  His mastery of language and his insight into humanity – dark or light – is by far one of the most amazing things to experience as a reader.  Not to mention that he can build suspense like no one else.  Some of his short stories are so wonderfully creative – I can’t even describe them to you.  But you should read him! 

Fun random questions: 
  • Dogs or cats?
  • Coffee or tea?
Both – coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon!
  • Dark or milk chocolate?
  • Rocks or flowers?
  • Night or day?
Both – I’m equal opportunity when it comes to sun and moon
  • Favorite color?
  • Crayons or markers?
Crayons, especially the blue violet crayon
  • Pens or pencils?
Pens – with fine felt tips

Thanks to Carrie for being with me and thanks to all the readers for stopping by The Wormhole! 
Be sure to stop back on Jan. 28 for my review!
Happy Reading.