Thursday, February 23, 2012

Violets Are Blue- this is no cutesy fairytale!

Carrie Green has a unique style of writing that brings an element of humor to the horror. The story begins and you find yourself at the farm. You can hear the rustling of the stalks as you run through the corn field with the young lovers, Sarah & Todd. The newlyweds are quite sweet, but you quickly realize that all as not as it appears.

They had just been married in a no-nonsense civil ceremony. With no honeymoon in sight they moved directly in to the musty old family farmhouse that Todd shared with his mother.

The mother- in- law was not happy, and made no attempt to hide it. In fact, the only things that seemed to make her happy were her son and her bizarre penchant for creating mutant violets. She and Todd had run the farm for years- with the exception of his time away at college. But that was over and he was home where he belonged…with his mother.

Sarah had dreamed of a warm mother-daughter relationship with her new mother-in-law. She learned very soon, that this was not to be. What starts out as minor annoyances escalates to threatening behavior that now feels sinister. Her husband was no help- he refused to believe his mother was anything but perfect. Mama’s boy.

And in the end the lines blur and you cannot point out the monster.

Carrie Green Interview

K: Do you have a mother in law that lives on a farm? 

C: Nope, but the farm does exist, as does the family cemetery.  The cemetery was my playground during my childhood summer visits to the farm.  I was also horribly attacked by chickens when I was three or four years old.  There was a hen house with a tiny opening, sort of like a tall dog house.  I was small enough to crawl in.  It was a dark space with shelves on all sides that held nesting hens.  I stood up in the center and the hens all dove down at once on top of me to protect their eggs.  It scarred me forever--probably why I write horror today.

K: You must still have nightmares about those chickens. That is really heavy.
Your books are big hits and I can see why.   If you could offer one piece of advice on how to promote your book, what would that be?  

C: My one piece of advice is to cross-promote with other authors.  Many can accomplish much more than one.  It's easy to do, just start clicking on links on Twitter. 

I suggest downloading free books on Amazon then follow the authors that you enjoy; comment on their blogs, write book reviews, offer guest posts, be open to interviews, and Retweet book links and amusing tweets.  I promote other authors with greater frequency than I promote myself and that is how it should be… 

There are authors on Twitter, usually bestselling authors, who refuse to follow anyone back (but will send a Direct Message with a link asking you to buy their latest book).  That is not how you engage in Social Media.  They should just shut down their Twitter accounts, if they won't follow back, RT, and become part of the online community.

K: I just found out about  #TeaserTrain.  It sounds brilliant.  Would you care to share a bit about that?

C: The #TeaserTrain Twitter hashtag was the idea of Kellianne Sweeney.  She's a Woman's Lit author that I followed, regularly commented on her delightful blog, and RT'd her blog links.  Back in December of 2011, she tweeted asking if any authors were interested in exchanging teasers.  I thought it was a brilliant idea, too, and immediately responded. 

We went on to recruit a group of other authors to participate.  If you want to increase your blog traffic, #TeaserTrain easily doubles or triples your Internet visitors.  We hope eventually, by exposing our books to similar readership through other authors' blogs, that it also will lead to more book sales. 

We're always happy to add more participants, j
ust contact myself (@CarrieGreenBook) or Kellianne Sweeney (@KellianneSweene) via Direct Message, with your email address.  There is no cost beyond the commitment of your time every Thursday to tweet about teasers and to host a teaser once a month.

K: I really aspire to your style of writing.  You really "show" rather than tell.  Has your writing evolved over time or was this always your natural style?

C: It's probably a combination of both my natural style and working on it, over time.  I think that I did have some genetic help in that I have a couple generations of journalists, writers, and poets in my family.  Creativity was highly valued—I turned out to be a writer and my brother is an artist.  I had my stories edited by my grandmother (a traditionally published novelist and freelance writer) when I was a child and she wasn't gentle about it.  She made lots of corrections, she took it very seriously, but that is how you learn.

K:  I would love to do a little exercise with you. I did this with Sevastian Winters and it was powerful.   I will give you a scene and you have to re-write it in your dazzling style : ) Here it is:

I felt the hot sun shining on my face as I started to wake up.  It was really bright.  I could hear birds singing- really clearly- like I was outside. My head was pounding and my mouth felt like sandpaper.  I finally opened my eyes and found myself on a chaise lounge, outside, in the courtyard.  

"What the hell?"

I looked around.  Sharon and Dante were a few feet away- on the ground- half naked; passed out.  Ryan was flat on his back on the bar and Kirk was slumped in a bar stool with his head on top of Ryan's crotch.  As I tried to piece together the events of last night, I stood up and felt a wave of nausea.  I started walking towards the bar for some water.  Just then I saw him and my heart starting pounding so hard I could hear it.  It was Spike and he was floating face down in the swimming pool.  My chest started to hurt from the crazy pounding.

"What the fuck!"

C: OK, my edited version (this is really more about editing than writing):

The sun was hot on my flesh, burning my eyelids, so that I saw a glare of white tinged with pink.  I turned, trying to shade my eyes.  Some fucking, annoying birds were tweeting, all happy-like, keeping me from my slumbers--nearly as loud as the pounding in my head. 

My mouth felt like sandpaper.  I gave up trying to sleep and finally opened my eyes.  What the hell?  I found myself on a chaise lounge, outside, in the courtyard. 

Sharon and Dante were an arm's length away, curled up on the ground, half-naked.  Clearly, they must have passed out.  Ryan was flat on his back on top of the patio bar, an arm dangling, and Kirk was slumped on a bar stool.  His head was pillowed by Ryan's crotch. 

I rubbed my eyes, trying to piece together what had happened last night.
I stood up and felt a wave of nausea, everything ached.  I turned my head.  I saw him out of the corner of my eye.  It was Spike.  He was floating face down in the swimming pool.


K: That is fantastic! I love how you made that come to life. Thanks so much for the interview. I am looking forward to reading your new book, ‘Walk A Lonely Street’ when it comes out!

You can reach Carrie and read her books here:

For a sample of Violets Are Blue click here


  1. I love the openness in your interview, Carrie. Thanks for sharing so much about yourself and how your writing style developed. Given the chicken attack, I totally get where your bent for horror comes from!

  2. A farm can be a trauma inducing place.

    City Visitor: Oh, what a cute bunny, what's it's name?
    Farmer: Sunday dinner.

    It's an old joke, with an element of truth...

  3. The interview really felt like a conversation! I enjoyed both the interesting questions and the candid answers. Great idea to do a writing piece! Thank you also for mentioning #TeaserTrain. :)

    1. Thank you so much Kellianne- I appreciate it : )