Happy summer everyone! Have you melted just yet? With the temps getting to be 108 here in Texas I'm doing about as well as an ice cream cone would. But, with the heat, I also bring a new author interview! Avery Carter is joining us today from South Korea. They are a writer and a teacher. During my time getting to know Avery, one thing really stood out to be about them and that was how amazing they were to answer not only blog related questions but also questions about my own LGBTQIA+ daughter. Avery was gracious enough to recommend books and overall be very supportive. That alone touched me as my daughter has had a rough road finding acceptance and I know Avery's kind words really helped my daughter. On top of their kind heart, Avery also does burlesque dancing. How cool is that? I'm obsessed with burlesque, so I found speaking to a dancer about it all was fun and a whole new perspective for me! Trust me when I say you should give Avery and their books a chance! My kiddo and I have been reading The Ghost and The Real Girl. We've been loving it and I know all of you will too! Scroll to find out more about Avery and all their fantastic reads!
How did your writing journey begin?
I’ve been writing stories ever since I learned how to write. My earliest memory of a story is a cat that had to move because everyone in town was allergic to her. I wrote my first full-length novel at 14. It was horrible and will never see the light of day, but I learned a lot. After that, I started writing more often, and eventually found myself self-publishing.
How have you been able to juggle writing and everyday life?
I’m an ESL teacher, and part of my job is teaching my students how to write and craft paragraphs and essays. I usually have a policy of “if they’re writing, I’m writing”. It works fairly well!
If you could be a character from one of your books, which character would you choose?
Can I say none of them?? All of my characters have a little bit of me in them, but I put them through so much! I want to just have a soft life.
Do you have a favorite author?
Ooo, so many! Maggie Stiefvater is usually my go-to for favorite author, with Laini Taylor coming in at a close second.
Is there a book you would like to see turned into a movie/series someday?
Hot take: no. I know that a lot of authors would like to see their works onscreen, but I want to keep my works on the page. The Ghost and the Real Girl is probably the only one that would work well as a movie adaptation, but it would be difficult to get the ghostiness of Clem right.
What are some of your hobbies? How did you get into them?
I like to embroider. I call it my stabby art therapy. I’ve been sewing for a long time, and only recently got into hand-embroidery. Another, rarer hobby is burlesque! I’m a burlesque performer here in South Korea. I went to see one performance and was hooked. I’m currently on a performing hiatus because of a herniated disc, but hopefully I’ll be back at it soon!
Have you ever thought of turning one of your dogs into a book character/creature with alterations?
I honestly don’t know how I might capture their personalities! They’re such different animals. Grace is so smart she’s like a human, and Bobo has one brain cell that bounces around her head like a Window’s screensaver. When it hits a corner, she has a thought. I think they would be hard to put into a book.
What have been some of your most difficult personal challenges throughout your career?
I’m terrible at marketing. Just absolutely terrible. I’ve never mastered the elevator pitch. I pretty much wander around like the village witch that lives down the block, randomly gifting copies of my book to people. I also don’t have enough time to fully explore my writing as a career. It makes me sad.
Is there a genre you would like to explore later down the road or just stay amongst fantasy?
I have a few science fiction books planned for the future, but I have a lot of fantasy books to write between now and then. I do a lot of genre blending in my current books, with elements of romance and realism built in.
What is the best advice you were given as an author?
It’s from Patrick Rothfuss: Get your ass in the chair. Basically, it means to sit down and write, rather than just thinking about it. I think he could probably take his own advice though, considering how long it’s taking him to write The Doors of Stone…
What are you most proud of in your life?
Publishing books is definitely something I’m proud of… I also taught Grace to move by saying “excuse me”, so that’s also on the list.
Do you have any tips to aspiring authors?
Finish at least one draft of your book before setting the publishing date. It will keep you from tearing your hair out.
Avery Carter is an English teacher and walking art museum, covered in tattoos, ocean blue hair tied out of their face, and square, purple glasses. They proudly proclaim that they are the "coolest person you know" to their students, and spend each day trying to live up to that title. They are a nonbinary queer author living in South Korea with their wife and two dogs.
"There was never a good night to rob a grave, but the night of a full moon was certainly the worst..."
When Sera is hired to rob a 200 year old grave, the last thing she expects is the ghost of Lady Clementine de Quill rising up to scold her for it. Though her world is full of magical echoes from a not-so-distant past, a ghost is completely unheard of. What’s more, no one else can see or hear Clem. Sera tries everything to get rid of her– selling the items she took from her grave, bathing in saltwater, even putting herself through a religious smoke cleansing from the Church of the Wheel. Nothing works, and Sera finally resigns herself to having a ghost follow her around for the rest of her life.
Despite their differences, a partnership begins to bloom between the streetwise gravedigger and the cultured noblewoman. Just as they realize that maybe they aren’t so different after all, Clem starts to fade, flickering in and out for longer and longer stretches of time. Sera begins to realize that with each time Clem vanishes, there’s a chance that she won’t come back. There’s only one problem: she can’t imagine life without her anymore.
Bobo (Left) and Grace (Right)