Interview With Carrie Dalby

Hey readers! Today we’ll be talking with Carrie Dalby and I am taking full advantage. I have some major questions for her to answer! Since I’m super excited, we’ll just jump right in.

Hello Carrie!

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Carrie Dalby: Hello Meleesa and Legendary readers!

A few days ago, I reviewed your book Fortitude. Great job by the way! I loved the story! Okay, on with the question. Fortitude read very vividly. How much research went into this novel? Or are you like, a history major who knew everything?

Carrie Dalby: I’m open about admitting I failed my AP U.S. History test in high school. History wasn’t my thing—it was for old men, right? It wasn’t until I developed a love for historical fiction in early adulthood that the past came alive for me. Authors like Katherine Paterson, Laurie Halse Anderson, Avi, and Richard Peck wrote such amazing historical novels that I fell in love with the genre. How do you make a history buff out of an AP failure? Vivid characters!
(And yes, all those authors write middle grade-young adult historical fiction, among other things. But as a children’s literature geek, that’s what I turn to first.)

You’ll get no smirk from me about reading middle grade or young adult. I love the genre! And I agree about the vivid characters creating a love for the genre. Your characters did the same for me. So, in Fortitude who did you love writing the most?

Carrie Dalby: As it’s told from Claire’s point of view, I of course liked telling her story, but Loretta was fun. Her personality tends to steal the scenes she’s in. (I have a reccurring problem with secondary characters who take on a life of their own and become main characters.) And Auntie’s snappy dialog was entertaining. And on the opposite spectrum, I hated Joe Walker from when I first wrote those opening chapters. It wasn’t until the end of the first draft, when I was struggling with where his character was going, that I finally released my hatred and accepted him as a Gilbert Blythe. (Please tell me you understand that reference!)

Duh!! I had a crush on Gilbert Blythe! Ha ha ha! But I also have a crush on Joe Walker, so that makes complete sense! Okay. I know secrets that have yet to be released onto the world. I know that some of these characters continue on in your new series. Could we talk about that for a moment?

Carrie Dalby: Gladly! My project of the last two years has been crafting a multi-generation Gothic family saga for adults titled The Possession Chronicles. The eight book series spans 1904-1929 and takes place in the Mobile Bay area. A few of the characters live on/are from Dauphin Island, which sits at the mouth of the bay, so some of the characters in Fortitude have cameos in this series. Those wishing to know what happens to Claire should be satisfied. I’m in the process of querying publishers with the first book, Perilous Confessions, and hope to have news to share soon.

Well, I’ll definitely be watching out for that news. Gothic is a new genre to add to your list of writing styles. What have you found you enjoy the most? Where is your literary home?

Carrie Dalby: Historical for sure, though given the right characters I’d write a story set in any time. I do love to read and write coming-of-age stories, which can span anything from preteen to adults out in the world for the first time, which most of my stories encompass. Along those lines, I also have a contemporary middle grade novel in the process of revisions.

Wow! You are one busy woman! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today.

Carrie Dalby: No problem. Thanks for having me and thanks for chatting with me today. I always enjoy dishing about books and writing.

Thanks for joining us readers! I hope you enjoyed meeting author Carrie Dalby. To find out more about her and stay updated on her progress, click here.

Stay Legendary!

Book Review: Fortitude

Hello readers! Last week you got to meet Carrie Dalby a bit. Today I’m going to talk about one of her books, Fortitude. This book was actually the first time I’ve read a historical fiction for fun, and now I’m totally hooked on the genre.

Carrie does an amazing job of painting a vivid view of the South in the late 1800’s during the Spanish-American War. This story touches on some very sensitive racial issues and handles them brilliantly. Fortitude’s passionate approach to real issues entertains while educating. Would I recommend to others? DUH! Heck yeah! I’m making my youngest daughter read it now!

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So, what’s the book actually about? In Fortitude, you follow alongside main character Claire O’Farrell and her Creole best friend, Loretta Davis as they travel to Tampa, volunteering as nurses for the soldiers in the war. With the two being different races in a time where each color stuck to their own, they are slammed into a reality that is heartbreaking and eye-opening.

What’s my favorite part about the book? Well, I kind of know secrets that the world hasn’t been privy to yet. Two of the story’s characters continue on in Carrie Dalby’s newest series yet to be released.

If you want to check out Fortitude, which I highly recommend, click here.

Thanks readers!

Fortitude jpgGrowing up with a Creole best friend, sixteen-year-old Claire O’Farrell held little regard for the Jim Crow laws and the consequences of befriending those of a different color. But once she leaves the haven of her home on Dauphin Island, the reality of racial intolerance can no longer be ignored. Though she’s underage, Claire makes the bold decision to serve alongside Loretta, her best friend, in the “colored camp” hospital tents during the Spanish-American War, but her idealistic attitude and choice of working location immediately puts her in danger. Claire gives her heart to a soldier in the camp, only to find herself caught in the racial violence besieging the area. When the intolerant attitudes and stigma follow her home, she clings to her faith to navigate through her social isolation and find the path she was meant to travel.

 

 

Guest Blog – Carrie Dalby

 

Hey guys! Today we have author Carrie Dalby guesting on the site. Yay! Carrie is a good friend of mine and amazing writer. I’ll be talking more about her book Fortitude later this week. For now, say hi to Carrie!

Thanks for having me and hello, Legendary Readers. I’m happy to share a bit about my search for visual writing inspiration with you all today.

Seeking Inspiration

For a person who deals with words, I’m extremely visually oriented. From finding photographs of settings to collecting character images, I’m always on the lookout for pictures that represent my stories. My two published novels (so far) have somewhat abstract titles but they embody the theme of each book. In daily life I look for examples of Fortitude and Corroded (young adult books available from the Surge imprint of Anaiah Press.) When found, I feel an instant connection to these stories through the visuals representing them.

Nature is a great place to find fortitude. Check out this tree in my backyard that didn’t let a fence stand in its way.

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What could have halted progression became woven into its life, making the core stronger—it’s survived several hurricanes. Not only is the tree still growing, its providing a craggy surface for other living things.

 

 

I find the patina of corroded metal beautiful. The trials and weather of life turns bland metal into a gorgeous display of colors and textures, like this retro playground slide.

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Sometimes it takes looking closer to the world around you to find your inspiration. It can be as large as a rusted roof or as small as a nail.

 

 

 

 

 

Where will you find inspiration today?

 

Thanks Carrie for guesting today! If you guys want to learn more about this awesome author, just click here!

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While experiencing the typical adventures of growing up, Carrie Dalby called several places in both San Diego and Santa Cruz counties home and has lived on the Alabama Gulf Coast since 1996. Her two young adult novels, Fortitude and Corroded, released in 2015 and 2016 by the Surge imprint of Anaiah Press.
Currently she is writing a Gothic family saga for adults.
When Carrie isn’t reading, writing, browsing bookstores/libraries, or homeschooling, she can often be found knitting, volunteering, or attending concerts.