ღ(¯`v´¯)ღ About Carrie Cotten ღ(¯`v´¯)ღ¸
Carrie is a recent transplant to the Appalachian mountains where she and her family are trying their hands at homesteading in the tranquil community of Grassy Creek, North Carolina. By day she is a homeschooling mom of four and by night, a writer of intense, emotional and intriguing Christian fiction.
While she has been writing her whole life, Dreamwalker is her first complete and published novel and she is excited to add Dark of Night – the second in the series – to her repertoire.
Her ultimate goal is to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ through her words. Her characters, though dealing with unbelievable situations, experience real, raw, and believable faith.
You can learn more about Carrie by visiting her website www.carriecotten.com or following her on Instagram and Facebook @authorcarriecotten.
Hello Carrie, Tell us a little about yourself and how you were raised.
I was born and raised in Louisiana, out in the county! I have great memories of riding horses and watching my grandpa work the garden next to our house. It was a childhood full of climbing trees, church softball teams, youth group parties and lots and lots of family. I’m sure there were some lousy days, but the good memories far outweigh those.
I attended college in Texas and met my husband there. We moved to Alaska after college where he served in the military for about three years before we returned to Texas.
Four kids and nearly sixteen years later, we sold the house, quit our jobs, packed up and moved to North Carolina following this Abraham-like call to serve in the ministry. It was a wild ride, but we ended up in the most adorable county in the Appalachian Mountains and God has blessed us so much with a cute farm and family close by.
What age did you realize you loved books and when did you start writing?
I started writing as soon as I could pick up a pencil. In fact, my first work was a moving work called Amanda Freezlefroozle and I was about seven years old. After that, I moved onto a non-fiction collection of very scientific dinosaur facts with a few of my third grade classmates. My career was put on hold for a while after that and didn’t pick back up again until college where I won an award for a poem and had a few pieces published in an anthology. I’ve loved books and reading for as long as I can remember. It has always been one of my favorite past-times to get lost in a story or make up a world of my own. It’s been a dream come true to actually complete one of those stories and turn it into an actual book!
Do you normally use an outline for the books you write, or do you just start with a few ideas?
I don’t have a ton of books under my belt, but so far, I definitely seem to fall on the side of flying by the seat of my pants. I tend to write the extreme chapters first – you know the ones that punch you right in the gut – and then go back to fill in the story around them. I have learned, however, that a little bit of planning can save many hours of rewrites, so I think I’ll probably move more towards that direction with future works.
What project are you working on now?
With books one and two of the Dreamwalker series completed, I am now so excited to bring the final book of the trilogy to life. Awaken is the conclusion of Andy’s story and (hopefully) the most thrilling part of her journey. I’m actually a little sad to see her and Will’s story to an end, but if you know anything about Andy’s lineage – you know there are definite possibilities for endless prequels.
How do you feel writing has affected your relationship with God?
I truly feel like writing has brought me much closer to God. I’ve had to get down to the nitty-gritty of what I truly believe about faith, about God’s grace. I’ve had to get real with my own failures and weaknesses – in other words, allow God to get all up in my business. Writing – even though I’m writing fictional characters – is a way to work out my own issues, seek forgiveness and continually be sanctified.
Even the publishing part has been a great time of spiritual growth. There have been so many times where things are out of my control and I truly have to surrender the outcome to the Lord. I continually remind myself that if I truly believe this to be God’s project, I have to be obedient in my writing and also relinquish the results to Him. Of course, I work hard and put forth my best effort, but truly – the rest belongs to Him.
What’s one thing you wish readers would take away from this book?
I hope that through my words, my readers fully understand the love that God has for them and the lengths He has gone through to make a way for our salvation. I hope that through these fantastical stories, readers see real faith through my characters. I hope they see flawed individuals making mistakes, asking forgiveness, giving and receiving grace and growing closer to a loving Savior. Above all, I hope that the gospel is presented clearly to anyone who is lost and needs to be found.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing?
The most challenging part of writing for me is staying focused. As a wife of a youth pastor and homeschooling mom of four, there are no shortages of items on my to-do list. Honestly, it’s not just writing I struggle with, I really have a hard time focusing on any task these days! This is why most of my writing sprints take place between midnight and 3-4am when it’s quiet.
Can you share with us a book you have read recently, are currently reading?
I am currently reading Eugene Peterson’s, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, and just started Ronie Kendig’s Brand of Light. It’s a little embarrassing how my reading list dwindled over the past decade – but as mom’s we often talk about seasons. The last ten years have been a season heavy with child-rearing, home-making, and public school teaching so my literary choices were somewhat limited to children’s books and educational manuals. Now that I’m homeschooling and my children are a little older, it’s nice to dive back into books I choose for my own personal growth and enjoyment.
Where do we find your books?
The first two books of the Dreamwalker series can be found on Amazon in both paperback and ebook versions.