Interview and Amazing Facts about Teacher and Author, Carol Baldwin

Carol Federlin Baldwin

“Interview and Amazing Facts about Teacher and Author, Carol Baldwin” by Joan Y. Edwards
Hello, Carol. Thank you for being a guest on my blog.
Thanks, Joan, for inviting me. Your questions are just like your blog—thorough to the max! I’ll endeavor to answer them in such a way that your readers and I will learn more about writing. To be honest, that’s how I learn best—through writing.
How sweet of you to say that about my blog! Let’s get started. Everyone’s been waiting to hear all about you.

Question #1: How did you do in English as a kid? Some of my best memories from elementary school were completing the SRA reading comprehension packets. Raise your hand if you can remember wanting to get to the end color? Was it turquoise? I don’t remember which color it was—but I do remember loving reading and doing well on these tests.
My parents encouraged both reading and writing. One of my first published articles was entitled “My Father’s Voice” (ByLine, April, 1994) which paid homage to my father sitting on the sofa with my brother and sister and I, reading fairy tales and Winnie the Pooh. From an early age my mother told me I had a “way with words.” Both of them blessed me with their belief in my abilities.
Grammar, on the other hand, was another matter. My German immigrant mother had better grammar than I did. That is why I was delighted to find this online grammar checker, called Grammarly. When my manuscript is ready—I’ll spin it through this tool and find my mistakes before sending it to an agent.

Question 2 How do you know when your manuscript is ready for submission? This is an important question. I’ve already gone through two major revisions of my work-in-progress and received feedback from fellow authors who I admire and trust. I have loved aspects of each draft and thought it was “the one” until one of my writing friends pointed out weak spots.
I’m fortunate to have author Rebecca Petruck in my corner. I connected with her two years ago at the regional SCBWI conference right after an editor recommended that I tell my story from two points of view. I was overwhelmed with the editor’s advice. Rebecca patted me on the back and said, “You can do it, Carol.”
Since then Rebecca has been invaluable as a sounding board and critiquer on both the big picture (“What really belongs in your plot?”) and little picture (“Is that how Lillie would talk to her employer?”)
I strongly encourage all new novelists to be in a critique group that gives honest feedback as well as enlist the help of a professional such as Rebecca. I wouldn’t be as far along in the process if I hadn’t had her help nudging me in the right direction.
When my close writing buddies, critique groups, and Rebecca, have no more issues with my manuscript—then I know I’ll be ready to submit.  And not a moment earlier.

Question 3 When did you decide to become an author? I never made a conscious decision to be an author. But after I read Cynthia Voigt’s book, Dicey’s Song thirty years ago, I knew I wanted to write a book that could hopefully also deeply touch a young person.

Question 4 What are two of your favorite books? Cynthia Voigt’s book, Dicey’s Song and A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.

Question 5 Do you do a lot of research?  I research a lot (particularly because my WIP is historical fiction).

Question 6 Do you outline or do you write free style?  I outline a lot because I’m a plotter. I also enjoy discovering new aspects of my characters and plot by just writing–within the context of the outline, of course!

Question 7 Have you ever cried when you were writing a book?  I cried while writing Half-Truths, but some of those tear-jerking scenes have been deleted.

Question 8 What are you writing now? The best way to answer this question is to go to my blog and click on Half-Truths. That includes my pitch (which will change as soon as I figure out a better one) and my journey, including the multi-racial books I have read and reviewed.

Questions 9 Is there a question I haven’t asked that you’d like to answer? As my unasked question, I’d like to answer is: What do you when you’re not writing a manuscript?
My favorite 3 G’s are grandchildren, gardening, and golf.
I enjoy reading and listening to books.
Besides that, I co-publish a newsletter, Talking Story with Joyce Hostetter who I respect deeply; it is fun to collaborate with her
I also love teaching writing. Sometimes that means teaching a group of homeschool teens; I also taught several classes at Central Piedmont Community College.

Thank you for hosting me, Joan! I enjoyed musing about the writing life.
You’re very welcome, Carol. Thanks for doing a giveaway: Free First 250 word Critique – Details are below:

Bio: Carol Baldwin is a freelance writer in Charlotte, NC.  Her book Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8 (Maupin House, 2008 – Capstone in 2019)  is in its second edition. She has coordinated the local critique group for the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators for over twenty years and is writing a young adult novel, which takes place in Charlotte in 1950. Besides speaking at library, writing, and reading conferences, she also gives a wide variety of writing workshops for both teens and adults. She also loves all things chocolate.

Giveaway is over. Winner was selected on January 9, 2014.

28 thoughts on “Interview and Amazing Facts about Teacher and Author, Carol Baldwin”

  1. Good morning!
    Another great interview. I love to hear writers’ stories. Sounds like you’re a busy author and teacher, Carol. Thanks for taking time out for a visit and a chance to win a critique.
    Thank you too, Joan, for being such an encouraging blogger.

  2. Thanks, Joan, for another wonderful interview! Carol is a fascinating woman and a great author and teacher of the written word! Dicey’s Song is a great example of how a book (and an entire series ) can touch the heart of the young (and older) reader.

    1. Dear Ann,
      Thanks for writing. You’re welcome for the interview. I’m glad you enjoyed reading about Carol. She is indeed a fascinating woman. Celebrate you and all your undertakings as an author.

  3. Wonderful interview as usual, Joan and a great gal to spotlight.
    I loved learning more about you, Carol. I’m going to check out Grammarly. It sounds like a great resource for all writers. You taught us something through your interview, well, me, at least.
    How fortunate you are to have grown up with loving support for your writing. We all come to the table from different places; some because of and some in-spite of.
    Wishing you continued writing success.

  4. Love working together, Carol.Great to read this interview. I share 2 of your favorite G’s. Haven’t tried golfing.
    Joan, you don’t need to enter me in the contest. I’m likely to swap a critique with Carol, anyway. Someone else should get the chance!

    1. Dear Joyce,
      Thanks for writing. It’s great that you and Carol have an outstanding partnership/friendship in writing the newsletter, Talking Story.
      I won’t enter you in the contest, per your request. Celebrate you and all you do to help others improve their writing.

  5. Carol,
    I am so impressed by the blog posts you put up to help fellow writers. They provide tips, reviews of outstanding books, examples of step-by-step plotting process, etc. You go the extra mile. Your writing students are very fortunate to have you as an instructor. I’m really looking forward to the day your MG novel is available for purchase. I want to read it already!

  6. Joan –
    You’ve done it again, another great interview that provides fascinating information. Your sharing continues to help us grow as writers. You are such a giving person, and I so appreciate you!
    Carol –
    Enjoyed and appreciated your Grammarly and other tips, and agree with comment above as to how fortunate your students are to have you. Hmmm – sounds like you are as giving as Joan – you two gals make a good team. Thank you so much for participating in the interview.

    1. Dear Claire,
      Thanks for reading my interview with Carol and for leaving your sweet compliment. I’m glad that it gave you fascinating information. That was my goal. Celebrate you.

  7. Joan, you do an outstanding job of blogging and lifting others up with so many positive thoughts. And Carol, what can I say? I thought I knew you inside and out but I didn’t know the impact of Dicey’s Song on you. It happens to be one of my favorites, too.

    1. Dear Linda Phillips,
      Thank you for writing. I am very glad I lift you and others up with my blog. Positive thoughts can change your emotions and your attitude.Many times I need to put a few more in my mind, that’s when I write a blog. Celebrate you and your writing skills!
      It’s amazing how much we have in common with others that we don’t even know, like how much you and Carol were touched by “Dicey’s Song.” It’s fun to find out things like that that make our friendship bonds even closer.
      Have a fun day!
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

  8. Dear Commenters:
    8 people left a comment. However, Joyce Hostetter didn’t want her name included in the drawing. Therefore, that left 7.
    1. Mona Pease
    2. Ann Eisenstein
    3. Sandra Warren
    4. Linda Martin Andersen
    5. Claire Iannini
    6. Linda Vigen Phillips
    7. Donna Welch Earnhardt chose number 7, therefore, Donna Earnhardt you won a free 250 word critique from Carol Baldwin. Hip Hip Hooray for you. Send me the 250 words of your manuscript you wish critiqued to my email address in the left-hand column. I’ll forward it to Carol Baldwin. She will then critique it and send it back to you. Congratulations, I am excited for you.
    I hope all of you who commented will visit my blog again. I am having more contests so you have a chance to win a free critique.
    I’ll put this information in a new blogpost. You can respond there.
    Celebrate you.
    Joan Y. Edwards

    1. Dear Kim,
      Thanks for writing.Thank you for reading Carol’s interview. You are right. Carol is a gem. Grammarly is intriguing. Have a fun day! Celebrate you and your writing.
      Never Give Up

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