Brenda Carre

Pulp Lit­er­a­ture: Did you cre­ate the flawed and ad­mirable char­ac­ter Gret de­lib­er­ately, or did she walk out of the woods into your heart?

Pulp Literature - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - Brenda Carre

Brenda Carre: Gret-the-witch strode into Truth-seer, the epic fan­tasy novel I am cur­rently re­vis­ing. In Truth-seer she is older and crustier. I loved her in­stantly and knew she had a back-story I was go­ing to write some day. When Rag­narok Pub­li­ca­tions put out its open call for stories I took the op­por­tu­nity to be­gin Gret’s story. As soon as I was one or two pages in, I knew I wanted to han­dle Gret’s life in a se­ries of chap­ters that would even­tu­ally be­come a novel.

PL: As an artist, as well as a writer and speaker, how does your art in­form your writ­ing?

BC: I see so many par­al­lels be­tween the can­vas and struc­ture of vis­ual arts and story. One in­forms the other. Both are nar­ra­tives that spring from the artist’s de­sire. Both be­gin with im­pulse, ex­tend into vi­sion, and fin­ish with process. I see both as a kind of push and pull be­tween the artist and the cre­ation, where artist/sto­ry­teller is the ve­hi­cle for the cre­ation, struc­tur­ing it and rein­ing it in, but al­ways with a re­spect for what is be­ing formed. The best writ­ers and artists are those who can per­fectly bridge the gap be­tween themselves and their viewer/reader with

the cre­ation it­self, which per­fectly ex­presses the un­der­stand­ing on both sides, both viewer and cre­ator. Hard to do but al­ways sim­ple and clear to be­hold.

PL: You give bril­liant work­shops on world build­ing. What was your first new world?

BC: My first writ­ten uni­verse was the world of the Chron­i­cles of Arde­brin, the al­ter­nate world in which both my cur­rent work Truth-seer and Gret take place. I be­gan this world when I was seven­teen, though I be­gan to in­vent worlds long be­fore I learned to write by ly­ing in bed and telling my­self stories. I latched onto the oral tra­di­tion of sto­ry­telling from my dad, who used to sit and tell us stories ev­ery night. I think he got his skill at sto­ry­telling from his dad, who used to do the same thing.

PL: You live in such a beau­ti­ful part of the world. Does your own set­ting greatly in­flu­ence your fic­tional set­tings?

BC: Ab­so­lutely and all of the time. Many of my short stories take place here on Van­cou­ver Is­land. I am cur­rently writ­ing a faery story, ‘On­dine’, for a story bun­dle com­ing out in May. It’s set in New York City and on Ch­ester­man Beach near Tofino.

PL: Can you re­mem­ber your first mag­i­cal in­flu­ences?

BC: These had to be the stories my dad made up on the spur of the mo­ment. He had a cre­ative im­pulse that was deeply sen­si­tive to myth and magic. I was lucky.

PL: We love your use of lan­guage and spe­cial id­iom. Where do your voices come from?

BC: I have to lis­ten hard, but if I do, I hear them clearly. Then I take dic­ta­tion. Some­times do­ing this is harder than others, ob­vi­ously. The hard­ness for me is let­ting go of what I think needs to hap­pen. Lis­ten­ing for the story voice started early on in my writ­ing ca­reer when I be­gan to ‘in­ter­view’ my char­ac­ters. It freaked me out at first, be­cause of­ten their voices would come through loud and clear. The thought of ‘voices’ in your head and all that. Nev­er­the­less I de­cided there was noth­ing alien about this af­ter talk­ing to other writ­ers, and I started ask­ing my char­ac­ters ques­tions off the cuff to see what they’d say. I al­ways knew it was get­ting good when my char­ac­ters would start to ask me ques­tions back.

PL: What pro­jects lie ahead for you? What shall we watch for on bren­dacarre.com?

BC: I’m hop­ing to put up more in­ter­views from fel­low artists and au­thors about their sources of in­spi­ra­tion as well as more free stories of the month. I want to re­turn to my art and show more of that as well, once I have fin­ished the re­vi­sions of Truth-seer.i have a lot of stories that have been pre­vi­ously sold to an­tholo­gies that need cov­ers and a home as e-pub­li­ca­tions. The busi­ness end of this job is at times be­wil­der­ing: there are cov­ers to de­sign, brand­ing to con­sider, and con­nec­tions to make out there in the form of story bun­dles and shared worlds. I have sev­eral pro­jects to write for in these ar­eas and some re­vi­sions to make on my web­site.

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