Author Archives: Carla Norton

Book Clubs: Love ’em or Hate ’em?

Sometimes I finish a book aching to talk about it. You know what I mean: The story has burrowed under your skin, the ideas keep ticking in your head, and you just can’t let it go. At times like these, rather than latch onto strangers on the street or corner them in elevators, it’s nice to belong to a book club. One friend of mine had a book club that left me envious. Not only did their reading list include literary masterpieces, but they had Continue reading →

Writing from Here to There

Most of us love the fact that books can take us out of our ordinary lives and transport us to distant lands. But how does an author create a story that can do that? Many novelists root their stories in places they’ve once lived. Barbara Kingsolver, for instance, spent part of her childhood in the Congo, which lends verisimilitude to her terrific novel, The Poisonwood Bible. And while The Stockholm Octavo is set in the 18th Century, the novel was doubtless inspired by the nine Continue reading →

Travel on the Horizon

If you love to travel and love to write, you can simply weave together these two urges to create the ideal occupation, right? It makes perfect sense… or so I thought when I first landed in Thailand. My writing implements were at hand and my senses were primed. I would absorb it all, craft pages of sparkling prose, and my imagined career as a travel writer would be underway. By day two, however, I’d yet to write a single useable paragraph. And by the next Continue reading →

The Writing Life: FAQs

  I get a kick out of talking with interested readers and aspiring writers, and the past few weeks have been jam-packed with presentations at various events: a book festival, a crime writers’ conference, and an annual assembly of state librarians. For me, one of the highlights comes toward the end of the hour when the floor is open for questions. Since not everyone can make the time or afford the cost of a conference, I’d like to share a selection of frequently asked questions Continue reading →