Carole Townsend: Witty, Wise, Wonderful
When (I’m writing) the story and it’s flowing well, I’m actually in the story. I’m there and I love it. To me, it’s nothing short of magical.”
Carole Townsend transitioned from a successfull marketing career to a full-time writer at the age of 40.
She is a columnist and correspondent for the Gwinnett Citizen newspaper in Georgia, where she writes a weekly (Not So) Common Sense column, and reports on the the good news that happens in a diverse county with nearly 1 million residents.
Before she began writing for the Gwinnett Citizen, she was a staff correspondent and blogger for the Gwinnett Daily Post for more than 12 years.
Carole has published four books, with two more on the way in 2020.
In this interview, Carole talks about her mid-career transition, her books, her work as an advocate for women, and how dogs wagging their tails can affect your story-telling ability.
Here’s the question index:
0:45 You had a career switch at 40, from marketing to writing. Could you walk us through that transition?
3:29 Had you received feedback about your writing when you were in marketing, perhaps unsolicited feedback wehere somebody would offer some thoughts, some opinions on your writing?
4:48 It sounds like that transition at 40 allowed you to step into that more deeply then you had up until that time?
6:09 You eventually went into full-time writing and then you got into writing some books. Your first book is called Southern Fried White Trash.
9:28 Is it hard work for you to find humor in everyday situations?
10:25 You followed up your first book with a book called Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear. How autobiographical is that book?
13:32 It sounds persional and relatable, all at the same time.
14:16 Then, you took a hard right turn into the world of Nascar. What got you into Nascar, and your third book Magnolias, Sweet Tea, and Exhaust?
19:05 Does the book read like the story of your journey that year? Is there a thread of a story that goes through that? How would you describe it?
20:10 After that book, you went into a very serious story in your book Blood in the Soil, that talks about the shooting of Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine. What was your biggest challenge writing that one?
26:39 Sounds like a very challenging book to put together just because of the subject matter.
29:29 You work as an advocate for women and children. How do you go about doing that, and what motivates you in that direction?
33:14 As you think about other authors, whose book has had the most effect on you and why?
34:19 Have you read that story (Stephen Kings’ The Stand) more then one time?
34:50 As far as authors, any influences, or anyone that you look at and admire their work?
36:40 What kind of processes do you have in place for writing?
41:26 In our pre-interview communication you said that, at some point, before your husband put the white boards on the walls, you had them propped up against the walls on the floor. Would you want to share that story related to your brush with disaster?
43:00 What challenges do you see as a christian creative? Please feel free to take that as general or as specific as you’d like.
46:36 That’s extremly helpful feedback, just to hear your thoughts on that. It’s a real challenge to make judgement calls on this, and have the wisdom for it. But I think, just the way your described it, there’s a real value and benefit to the challenge itself, to the wrestling itself. Among other things it makes you think deeper and pray.
47:55 I understand you a have a couple books coming out this year. I’d love to hear about them.
52:15 What encouragement would you give to creatives, especially to writers?
53:42 How can we learn more about you?