September 13, 2012

interview with indie author Paul Carroll

Today, I welcome Paul Carroll back to the blog for an interview. Enjoy!

How did you get started as a writer?
I was twelve-ish when I first started writing what would become my first book. I think I fell into writing because we'd only just gotten a new computer, and I had three parts of a series of one-page stories that I knew I could turn into a book. There was a certain love for the story I was telling. I had problems in school with bullies, later, and writing was my way of coping. There was nothing especially malicious about what I wrote, but it served the role of getting me through the ordeal emotionally, and I've stuck with it ever since.

What was your first complete story (published or otherwise), and what inspired you to write it?
If I'm thinking in terms of books... the first book I wrote was called What Lurks Through the Mirror. It was a YA Fantasy, expressing in less-than-subtle ways my views of destiny, while opening up a number of magical worlds. It could do with a major rewrite before I ever show it the light of day!

As an indie author, what are some of the struggles you face between writing and publication?
For me, the struggle was in getting the book ready for sale. I wrote it in a week, with little difficulty in that respect, and designing the cover proved to be easier for me when I aimed for simplicity. It didn't take much, though, to get everything done the way I wanted to, and so the struggles were minimal.

Why did you decide to self-publish your work?
With my first book for sale, Balor Reborn, it came down to the length of the book, and the process of writing it. It's only a novella, not exactly industry-standard for publishing. On top of that, I aimed to write, edit and publish it in a week. Aside from wanting to do it all alone, there was the conceived notion that no publisher would be willing to take on a book to publish in such a short time-scale like that, without getting much of a chance to actually read and market the book first.

What is your favorite part about writing?
I love first drafts. I have tons of them. Something about the raw excitement of putting the ideas to words gets me every time. On the opposite side of the scale, there's editing. I don't mind it so much, but it's much less enjoyable.

What inspires your writing?
That depends on which writing you're talking about. Some of my most recent work has been directly inspired by old Irish myth and folklore. Other times, I just get an idea, or re-imagine someone else's idea (such as teleportation). I could be talking to someone and get an idea out of something that came up in conversation, or get a weird vibe from something happening and want to write a story about it.

What is your favorite genre to write? to read?
I tend to write in the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres more than anything. Usually my writing is aimed at the adult market, but I do have ideas for the Young Adult market. They're the three genres I tend to read more than anything when I get a chance.

Do you have any advice for writers planning to self-publish?
Plan in advance. I don't just mean the book, I mean everything. What you want the cover to look like, your marketing strategy, pricing, how you're going to spread the word. Anything you can think of that others have done, plan it all in advance and make sure you follow through.

When you aren't writing, what do you do?
I'm still in college, so unfortunately that's what takes up most of my time. Don't get me wrong, I love college, it's just so exhausting and creates a lot more work for me. In saying that, it does also allow me to take part in the Drama Soc. Other than that, I work weekends at a bookshop and go to the cinema once a week, so I'm never stuck for exposure to stories.

What is one random or strange fact about you?
I have a twin. I don't share that fact with people unless there's an actual conversation about it online, but there you go. Two of me. We're identical, too, so we get asked all the stupid questions people love asking twins without realising a dozen people have asked them already.

What is one question that you've never been asked, but you've always wanted to answer?
"How'd you get to be so cool?" People don't ask me that, though I wish they would for the ego boost. I would, of course, respond by pretending I'm too good to answer that question, then immediately laugh because really, really, I don't think I am. (Unless, of course, nerdy things really are cool now.)

Any books or projects you want to plug?
My recently released novella, Balor Reborn. It's a fun read, I've told, with lots of excitement, some magic, some drunk fairies and a six and a half foot Leprechaun. There are, of course, some deeper moments in the book than that, but the gags are just part of the fun. It's the first book in a series, with some dark tales being spun already. I'm also backing it all up with a bunch of flash fiction stories set in the same fictional world. More info on the book, including where to buy it, can be found at


Paul Carroll is a writer from Dublin. He is studying to be a teacher of Religion and English at second level, while working in a bookshop at weekends. His 'free time' is divided among assignments, fiction, poetry, articles and blog posts, as well as college Drama and almost weekly trips to the local cinema. 

He has been writing since the age of twelve, with a love of words going back further than he can remember. When he isn't reading or writing, he likes to make use of social media, bake, and talk to friends. Often, he'll watch a horror film alone in the dark for the sheer joy of it. 

He can be found online at

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