Not exactly…. No..
But it’s about dating……..
There you go then. Anyway, not only is our guest a wonderful author with a book about dating, she likes you. AND she has a fabulous blog, I just love. So let’s sound it for the one, the only, the amazingly talented and all round nice lady, Carol Balawyder.
Shey. Firstly I want to ask about your blog because you feature some wonderful big hitting writers from the past who were ahead of their time. http://carolbalawyder.com/2014/08/23/femme-fatale-bedelia/
Why are you so drawn to these writers?
Carol. First, I want to thank you, Shehanne, for having me share the stage with your adorable hamsters and alongside all the amazing writers featured on your blog. It’s a real pleasure for me.
Now back to your question. Authors such as Dorothy B. Hughes
were the queens of pulp alongside their more famous male contemporaries like Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. I was interested in giving voice to these excellent writers from the past who countered the conventional standards of the time (mid- 20th Century) about women.
Shey. But Carol Balawyder is also an author. Crime writing,
short stories, http://carolbalawyder.com/short-stories/
what’s your favorite genre to write?
Carol. I don’t really have a favorite genre.
It all depends on what is happening in my life and what feeds my creativity at the time. Writing contemporary women’s fiction counterbalances the heaviness of writing about crime. I’d like to think that my writing is an amalgamation of both the crime and women’s fiction genre. Although Getting To Mr. Right is definitely not a crime novel it does bring up some criminal behavior such as incest.
Shey. How much of you goes into your work?
Carol. I am a great believer that you can’t separate the writer from the fiction. I mean, if I am imagining something then it’s already part of me. I drew a lot of my own dating experience and also those of girlfriends’ for Getting To Mr. Right.
As for the dysfunctional father/daughter relationships, I am still not certain where that comes from. I had a very loving and supportive father when I was growing up, not at all like the fathers in my novel. I worked for several years supervising students in their field work in the area of criminology where I was constantly confronted with the effects of absent parents. I chose to concentrate on the father but a mother’s absence and abuse is just as damaging. Perhaps that might be another book.
Shey. Can you tell us a bit about the heroine in your wonderful new book Getting to Mr Right? As well as just ignore the hamstahs?
Carol. Although I’m not much of a plot planner I tend to do intensive character profiles. Naturally, these profiles deal with the physical aspect of my character but also their past history and future dreams. Several years back, I worked as a counselor in a Community Center for women going through separations. These women were all so broken. They were women who’d placed all their hopes and dreams on one man – their Prince Charming.
So, I decided to transfer this experience to Campbell. In drawing up her family background, I had Campbell’s father abandon her when she was young. I started to read a lot of scientific studies on father absence. Throughout the novel Campbell sites some of these studies as she tries to understand her own failed relationship with men and eventually her fear of commitment as a coping mechanism to her fear of abandonment.
Shey. I’m liking the sound of this Carol. Especially the depth. Now am I right in thinking the book started out as a blog?
Carol. Yes, the book did start as a series of posts on a now closed blog called Writing Scales in which a character, Brenda, wrote about her dating experiences. As the blog evolved more characters began to show up, among them Missi Morgan, in Getting To Mr. Right. After a painful divorce, Missi begins to write about dating again…and yes, Brenda becomes her main character. In looking back on it all I find it intriguing how this novel took shape. I’m not much of a planner and so I just allowed it to organically develop.
Shey, Carol, a lot of aspiring Hoping to find Mr or Miss Right follow this blog, do you have any dating tips?
I think it’s really important to remain true to yourself. The only advice I give myself is that a man in my life has to make it better and not worse.
Shey. Come on…. share your best and worst date.
Carol. Missi’s Dating Adventures pretty much sums up all the worst dates I’ve ever had. As for the worst of worst it would be the time a man I was dating wanted me to go to the country to meet his daughter who was leaving for Hong Kong. He didn’t tell me that the country house belonged to his wife and so when I got there the wife was there. It was obvious that the wife was uncomfortable seeing me and I told the guy that I wanted to leave. On the way home I asked him if he didn’t think it hurt his wife for him to show up with another woman. “Why should it,” he answered. “It wasn’t with you that I cheated on her.”
Best date ever? In my dreams! Well Chand in Getting To Mr. Right is my ideal of a Prince Charming.
Shey. What is next for Carol Balwyder?
Carol. Besides trying to get published my crime novel, The Protectors and working on a sequel, I’d really like to try my hand on writing a Femme Fatal crime novel. I also have another idea about a women’s fiction book but that’s still in pre-embryonic stage. I just hope that I’ll have the energy and the drive to do all this.
Shey. I hope so too. I mean, good luck with the writing Carol. You can NOT deprive us fans.
He sits by her when she writes and she consults him about her characters to which he always wags his tail. He’s her biggest fan! He’s only four months old and is teething so, as you can see by the photo, is always chewing at something. Never mind buying him expensive dog toys – he loves socks and pages of her manuscript!
Visit Carol’s at www.carolbalawyder.com
Campbell’s research into the father/daughter dynamic and how it affects a woman’s personal choices proves that Prince Charming is nothing but a myth. In a few months, she will receive international recognition for her work.
As part of her study, Campbell gives workshops to help women still seeking Mr. Right. Her latest group is made up of three women: Missi Morgan, who can’t seem to let go of a philandering spouse; Suzy Paradise, a self-proclaimed queen of online dating; and Felicity Starr, whose life and career are dictated by a controlling father.
In the midst of her study, a charming and personable man enters Campbell’s life, putting her theories in shambles. Not only does she now question the validity of her research, but she must choose between her career and having her own Prince Charming. This personal dilemma makes it difficult for Campbell to give these women advice, as she encourages them to find their own paths to happiness and helps them set themselves free.