After graduating at the top of her class from an all black high school in Prichard, Alabama where she currently resides, Carla S. Pennington went on to further her education at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama where she received her Bachelors of Arts Degree with a concentration in Journalism in 2002. Upon receiving her degree, it didn’t take long to realize that her heart was set on writing fiction novels. Therefore, she quickly began pursuing that dream.
In 1996, Carla was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a neurological disease that has no known cure but possesses many treatments to slow down the progression. She refuses to let the disease interfere with her life and keeps at her dream of becoming a best selling author and continues to be an active mom.
In 2005, Carla published her first novel, ‘FLING’ and in March 2008, one of her short stories CRUSIN was be featured in an anthology of erotica called ‘Mocha Chocolate’. Her novels ‘The Available Wife (20011), The Available Wife Part 2 (2012) and ‘My Counterfeit Husband (2013)’, was published through Life Changing Books. She is currently working on the sequel.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
You are more than welcome and I thank you for this opportunity. I knew writing was my calling at an early age because everyone told me so. LOL! Seriously, when I was younger, I had a fascination with words and reading. I also had/have a very vivid imagination. I started out writing poetry but eventually, my poetry grew a little lengthy. Thus, short stories, novellas and novels were born. I love that writing is very therapeutic for me. If I’m having a bad day or dealing with something stressful, writing helps deal with these things. In addition to it being therapeutic, being an author has introduced me to many different people. I love interacting with my readers. Some of them have even become friends.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Of course. All of them, The Available Wife 1 and 2, My Counterfeit Husband, Fling, The Escort 1 and 2, Forever His Fool 1 and 2 can be found on Amazon. The Available Wife 1 and 2 and My Counterfeit Husband are also available in book stores as well as www.lifechangingbooks.net. My books are filled with drama, sex, lies, deceit, death, etc.; the ingredients for serious page tuners. Readers can find me on Facebook and Twitter: CarlaPennington and Instagram: CarlaPenns
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
Life, friends, family, television, music and imagination. I also people watch when I’m out. I’ll make up stories about them as I sit and secretly observe and slightly eavesdrop. LOL! Sometimes, I will even use stories I hear. People tend to talk too much while standing in the grocery store line. I use their stories to my advantage.
4) I know that you have recently had one of your books turned into a movie. How does it feel knowing that your work is going to soon be on the big screen for the whole world to see? How different was the process of doing the screenplay for the movie from writing the actual novel? Is there a release date that’s been set for the movie?
I am still numb about the movie. The seriousness of this has not hit me yet. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely happy but it hasn’t hit me like I think it should have. My publisher, Tressa “Azarel”Smallwood, handled the screenplay. I offered my input as needed. One thing, I quickly learned is that screenplays and novels are totally different. Things had to be compressed during the screenwriting process. For example, an entire written chapter in the book dwindled down to one single page or less with the screenplay. 2020 is when the movie is scheduled to drop but there has been a little buzz going around that it may be sooner. Either way, I’ll be red carpet ready.
5) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
I have no schedule when I write. If it hits, it hits and when it hits, I have to answer. If I’m not “feeling it,” I don’t write because I’m not giving it my all. I will most likely end up trashing what I’ve written. There have been times that I’ve awakened during the middle of the night to jump on my laptop. Sometimes, ideas come to me while I sleep. NO to the outlines. I despise them. I have to write as it comes to me. An outline is a waste of my time and energy. I’m currently working on a novel, Consensual Regrets. If I stop procrastinating, I can finish it.
6) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
I think Judy Blume’s books were the first to tug at my emotions but my favorite is Just As Long As We’re Together. You know the teen years are the most vulnerable ones. My favorite author to read right now is B. M. Hardin. Her pen is pure fire. I’m currently reading Let Me Love You (McCain Brothers Book 1) by Alexandria House.
7) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Thus far, as an author, I think my most significant achievement has been having one of my books go from print to film.
8) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing in terms of traditional and self-publishing?
I’ve experienced a few rejections in this industry. I used to let that get me down but eventually learned that everything isn’t for everyone. I toughened my skin and found my lane. Although self-publishing is on the rise, I still feel that traditional publishing will keep its feet wading in the pool. Many self publishing authors don’t have the marketing and promoting strategies of traditional publishing. Social media marketing and promoting is cool and has worked well for many self publishing authors but many are left behind because they lack the energy to get out there and grind.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself?
Yes. I enjoy reading my own work months or even years after I written them. I like to see how much I’ve grown.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
It’s never too late to become successful in the literary industry. Things are always changing. The world is always changing. People are always changing.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I put myself into my art. With anything I write, there are some truths about me that are evident; my secret journal, diary.