An Alternative Author Interview:
TCL’s Countdown Questions.
This week I’m featuring author
I cannot resist a good biographical, historical, fiction novel, especially ones about unknown women of the past. When I happened on Carrie’s debut novel “A Light of her Own” I was truly in my element. I had almost forgotten about Carrie when suddenly NetGalley told me I could get the ARC of her second book, “Salt the Snow,” which once again, ticked all my boxes. I enjoyed it so much, I had to ask Carrie to take part in my little meme! Let’s see how she answered my five, fast, and fun questions.
- If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
The club formerly known as Restaurant No. 9 in Moscow. This small, formerly Georgian-owned restaurant where Milly Bennett ate and danced still exists, and I’d love to sit in the same underground space as her.
Extremadura in Spain. I adore Spain and have visited many parts of the country, but never this westernmost area. It’s supposed to be a place of harsh beauty.
India. That’s actually like a bazillion places, but I’ll lump them all in here. I’m vegetarian and Indian food is simply the best, so I’d love to go on an eating tour of the country. Plus the culture and politics are complex and fascinating in the world’s largest democracy.
The jungles of Guyana. I’ve read some accounts of 19th century European explorers in that area, and their stories are harrowing. I don’t want that experience, but I’d love to see the many large animals and untouched wilderness of the area.
Estonia. I read a historical novel set in a fictionalized Estonia, and the mystique captured me. Rain and old churches and clock towers and musty libraries… Yes please!
- Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.
Tea! I drink tea, especially green tea, constantly, and at work everyone knows me and my travel mug are a pair – and they worry if they see one without the other.
Apples, especially locally grown apples, are one of my favorite foods. Last year for my birthday my family took me to an apple orchard and cidery, and I was in heaven.
Dried figs are my favorite post dinner sweetener, and I have one every day.
Homemade bread is the most comforting food there is, especially when combined with bright olive oil for dipping.
- There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?
I study the past, so I know how terrifying it was – poor medicine, constant war, terrible conditions for marginalized people, and so on. I’ve also seen how difficult it is for people to adapt to change in the future, and being dropped into a future drastically different from my present would be shocking. So, as many warts as our present has, I’m sticking here.
- Best and/or worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.
Two best moments are easy, and they’re both for the same reasons. My wedding to my fantastic husband and the launch of my first novel. In both moments I was surrounded by people who loved me, and I felt lifted up by that love. And, a cool thing was happening. 🙂
- Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.
I don’t usually experience literary jealousy, because I think everyone brings a unique story that no one else can duplicate. But there are many books I’ve loved and admired. HAPPINESS by Aminatta Forna comes to mind: it’s a sensitive, unblinking, loving look at humans dealing with pain and trying to find joy. Also, there are foxes.
Thanks Carrie! (So… you want to visit Estonia, do you? Well, one branch of my family is from there, and I’ve been to visit! That photo is one I took myself.)
Carrie Callaghan is the author of the historical novels A Light of Her Own (2018) and Salt the Snow (2020). Her short stories have been published in multiple literary journals around the country, and she is a senior editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She lives in Maryland with her family and two ridiculous cats. She loves seasons of all kinds, history, and tea.