Sixty Seconds II with: Carin Marais

Ten answers to ten questions in 20 words or fewer. That’s less time than it takes to burn a match*.

(*Depending on the length of the match and your tolerance for burned fingers, obviously)


Our latest Flash! Friday winner (for her 2nd time!) is Carin Marais.  Read her winning story at her winner’s page here, then take one minute to get to know her better. (Read her first interview, from Nov 2014, here.)

1) What about Grimms’ fairy tales inspired your winning piece? I love fairy tales and “The Juniper Tree” is one that has stayed with me since childhood. It’s very twisted!

2) Please sum up your writerly year for us. I’ve been working on a novel and have had a bunch of articles and an essay published. And writing flash!

3) How would you describe your writing style? I’m definitely more of a pantser, but for longer pieces – and the current novel – I’m having to do some outlining.

4) When did you begin writing fiction? I only began to seriously write down my stories in grade 10 –  definitely one of the healthier coping mechanisms available!

5) Introduce us to a favorite character in one of your stories. The main character in my WIP, Selena Tellah. She’ll keep her loved ones safe no matter what it costs her.

6) What books have influenced your life the most? The Lord of the Rings. Also all of Tolkien, Pratchett, Roald Dahl, Jorge Borges, Umberto Eco, and Karel Schoeman’s works.

7) What are you currently reading? The Secret Life of Trees (Colin Tudge), The Meaning of Everything (Simon Winchester), and The Book of Lost Tales (Tolkien).

8) How do you combat writer’s block? Sometimes reading something completely different to what I’m writing helps. Otherwise writing really bad prose until it starts flowing again!  

9) What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? The best advice I’ve received is to write as much as possible every day and to write what you love.

10) What do you admire most about dragons? There are so many types of dragons all over the world in folklore/mythology I don’t know where to start! [[Editor’s note: Wise answer.]]

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