It’s kind of a weird story, but when I was a junior in high school (an undisclosed number of years ago, heehee), I actually had a dream-within-a-dream of the accident scene. In the dream, I was Annie, the main character, and I knew everything that had happened before in her life, and I knew her friends, just like I’d have known them if they were my friends.
I usually don’t remember much about my dreams after I wake, but this one stayed with me very vividly. All I had to do was write up what I knew about Annie and her friends before the accident, and then write out the way I imagined their lives would have gone on afterwards. It told a very powerful, inspiring story.
After I had a first draft, I edited for years before hiring a cover artist and a copy-editor and taking the plunge into independent publishing.
Which character in The Lincoln most interested you while you wrote? Why?
J.D. is the most interesting character in the LHP, because he’s been through so much, and somehow, with Grace, he finds a way to heal.
I relate with him, because I was abused as a little girl, and I spent so many years after that being afraid of everything and feeling like life was a constant fight where I was always losing ground.
What started you on your writing journey?
I have always loved story in all forms. I have been a voracious reader since I could read, and I would play make-believe for hours. Even as a child, I could critique plots in books and TV shows and catch holes and inconsistencies in them. I wrote my first short novel at the age of seven!
Story is such a powerful thing! When I make new friends, I listen closely to the stories they tell, because one can learn about people so much faster and more honestly from a story than just facts. Also because stories are often easier to remember than exposition, they are an unmatchable teaching tool, especially for abstract concepts. Jesus understood this well, which was why he spoke in parables so often. I often look at my writing as modern parable-telling, a way to inspiring people to stronger faith and better lives, without boring them in the process
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
LOL! I am one of the quirkiest people you’ll ever meet! I don’t think I could even pick a Quirky Moment Top Five!
What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
I am one of the happiest people I know, and I love to laugh, so I will find any good excuse to smile or LOL! I laugh at the antics of my dog and turtle, the goofiness of those I love, and the ironies of life’s everyday frustrations. What doesn’t make me laugh, however, is any joke made at the expense of another person.
What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I grew up on a farm, and I loved the fresh fruit, the trees to climb, and the space to play safely.
I currently live in small town, and I like that I can walk everywhere and that my neighbors paint their houses pink or purple like that’s a done thing everywhere.
What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
When we had watermelon in the summer, my mom would have us sit on the back porch to eat it, so we wouldn’t make a mess in the dining room. We would spit the seeds out into the grass, and one year, we accidentally grew the cutest little garden patch at the base of our back porch, with little, round, super-sweet watermelons in it.
Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
Usually just my room, but I’m getting more and more so I will find Him anywhere and just pull Him aside for some time alone. He amazes me at least a hundred times a day, and I always want to tell Him so. I can get lost in the gratitude sometimes, and establishing that habit is what has made me such a happy person.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I’ve got several novels in editing stages right now! I don’t have any publication dates set yet, but you can find out more about my up-coming work (and link to FREE samples) here: http://www.raeleemaycarpenter.com/works-1.html
Thanks for sharing with us today!
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Raylee May Carpenter is giving away a copy of The Lincoln High Project. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.