Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bringing Up The Rear...that doesn't sound right!

I've never enjoyed talking about myself, which is partly why I enjoy writing so much. When you write you can escape into your characters and typically your book overshadows you as the writer. But alas, today writers have had to learn how to sell themselves along with their books, so I'm forced to talk about little old ME!

I haven't always wanted to be a writer. When I was five I was certain I was going to become a veterinarian. When I was nine I was positive I was going to be Laura Ingalls Wilder and even insisted that my parents call me Laura and in return I referred to them as Ma and Pa. It wasn't until I was in my late teens that I toyed with the idea of becoming a writer. My interest however was not in writing novels, but in becoming a world traveling journalist. So in an effort to set that goal in motion I joined my high school newspaper, and eventually joined my University newspaper. After graduating from University I decided I would go to the University of Ryerson in Toronto, get my journalism degree and then get a job on the Toronto Star like my literary hero, Ernest Hemingway.

Life however threw me an unexpected curve ball that came in the form of a handsome man, who I eventually married. All of a sudden my life was that of a wife, traveling from province to province, in my husband's quest to find employment. My dream of becoming a journalist was over, or so I thought. In the next eight years we moved four times and had four children, and in that time opportunity presented itself and I took it. I got work as a part time reporter on a weekly newspaper in Ontario, which led to a freelance job with the CBC...I was lucky. That led to a freelance gig with the Los Angeles Times...again lucky!

After my youngest son was born I was watching a documentary on television about Japanese picture brides who came to Canada and the United States in the early 1900's, to marry Japanese men who had come to North America to seek their fortune. The idea stuck and from there I wrote my first picture book. I sent it out to four publishers, who all turned it down. I was discouraged and figured I should just give it up, but something told me to send it out again. This time I got a response and it was from a wonderful man named Peter Carver, who eventually became my editor. The book was published in 2007 by Red Deer Press and I couldn't be more proud of it.

In 2009 my second book, a middle grade novel called How to Ruin Your Life and Other Lessons from the Fourth Grade, will hit bookstores. I'm currently working on my next book, writing for two magazines and freelancing for Sun Media. When I'm not at my computer, which doesn't seem to be that often, I mother four beautiful and hilarious children who not only inspire me, but also act as my sounding board.

I can't guarantee where my writing will take me, but I can guarantee one thing...I'm gonna enjoy the ride! I couldn't be more pleased to be a part of this wonderful group of talented women. Each one is such a promising new writer with a very bright career ahead of them.

All the best
Carolyn McTighe (A proud member of The Novel Girls)


Jillian Cantor said...

What a great post to end the week, Carolyn!

And I was a big Little House on the Prairie fan myself!!

Tracy Madison said...

I got a little misty-eyed at your post, Carolyn! I LOVED Laura Ingalls Wilder, too. And I so love the Japanese Picture Bride idea, so I know I'll be picking up The Sakura Tree for a gift or two this holiday season.

Well, girls, we've had an excellent first week. Let's hope for many more!

Carolyn McTighe said...

Thanks, both of you. I wanted to be Laura in the worst way. My mother worked as a food service worker at a local hospital and she would bring home the cloth caps they had to wear when preparing the food. I would sleep in those hats, because Laura slept in a bed cap. It's funny what you do when you're a kid.

Lesley Livingston said...

Hey Carolyn!

Yet another lovely post - I am SO enjoying these, I've got to say.

I love the journalism-aspect of yoru career. I've always found that aspect of writing fascinating.

Also - the 'Laura hat' thing? - hilarious!

Carolyn McTighe said...

Hi Lesley,

Thanks. The hat thing is funny, but even funnier is the fact that my older brother was reduced to be called "Mary" every time I saw him. I wish this weren't true, but sadly it is.

Lisa Patton said...

Hi Carolyn,
Loved your post and especially learning more about you. It's great to be amongst you girls!

Maureen Lipinski said...

Great first post, Carolyn! What an amazing group of women we have here!