24 February, 2015

#Interview with Carol Sue Shride, #Author of Lucy Dakota : Rocky Mountain Beginnings

Author, speaker, educator, explorer, and guide Carol Sue Shride grew up in the western suburbs of Denver at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. For nearly thirty years as an outdoor educator, adventure guide, climber and business owner, Ms. Shride pursued two of her lifelong passions: travel and leadership. After selling her business, she returned to school to earn a Masters degree in education. She found tremendous joy and satisfaction teaching in both public and private schools, where the inspiration to write the Lucy Dakota series arose in a 4th grade creative writing class. In addition to writing, Ms. Shride mentored teenagers through Colorado Youth at Risk, and teaches adults leadership and public speaking skills through Toastmasters International. She is a full time recruiter for
Girl Scouts of Colorado and is raising a teenaged daughter. In addition to the Lucy Dakota series, Ms. Shride has been published in several of the Gratitude Project books as well as in numerous magazines and online publications.

Find her at : http://csshride.com/

Interview with the Author

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I didn’t! I have always enjoyed writing and the inspiration to write a novel came when I was teaching 4th graders how to write and I got the idea to go beyond the journaling and copy writing I had been doing.

What inspires you to write? 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story? 
As my daughter approached her teen years I wanted to be able to share some of my life lessons, stories and adventures with her in a way that wasn’t lecturing or boring. My own experiences served as the platform and once Lucy got started, she developed a life of her own.

Is there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
I have ideas for stories all the time (at least story titles). There is one floating around in my head now that I am opening a math learning center, called “Confessions of a Finger Counter”

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Quirks? I don’t have any quirks : ) - if I did, Lucy inherited them all!

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
Currently I am deep into my own self discovery (again) and am reading a lot of spiritual books - Ramtha, Gary Renard, Luiz Andre and others. When I read for fun, I love fantasy and adventure novels (especially series). I’ve read the Game of Thrones a couple of times along with The Wheel of Time series and The Sword of Truth. I also like romantic adventure so I am a fan of Diana Gabaldon.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Write daily - a piece of advice I have not been following lately as I start a new business.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Do it - if it terrifies you, all the more reason to do it (there is some healthy grow and self discovery to be had whether your book becomes a best seller or not) AND if you want to become successful you absolutely MUST treat book writing as a business because it is (otherwise it is just a hobby and that is OK but it won’t pay the bills).

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
Free Time? What’s that?! I love to read so I always have a book and I love to travel so I am always going somewhere but I consider all of my time to be free time because if I don’t like doing it - I won’t do it for long.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
I don’t really have a bucket list because I usually do it once I have thought of it. In my near future are a trek around Mt Blanc in Europe and a winter visit to someplace north of the Arctic Circle to see the northern lights (and I am toying with a visit to Antarctica).

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
I climbed Kangchuntse (a spur peak on Makalu in Nepal) when I was 24 (this adventure is featured in my second book, Journey to Nepal); I have spent more than 16 weeks in the Amazon rainforests; although I was good at math (because of a quirk aptitude) and I love higher math, I was a finger counter until recently and when I am stressed about a math problem I still want to resort to finger counting (thus the title of the book mentioned above).

What do you have in store next for your readers?
Journey to Nepal takes Lucy into her early 20’s (where she will be frozen in time for the next several books) and follows her to the Himalaya. Romance is rampant in the book - her relationship with Mack deepens and yet she has a couple of affairs of the heart in the wilderness of Colorado and in Nepal. She is definitely soul-searching in this book.

Lucy Dakota is a typical teenage girl: confused yet intelligent, unhappy with her lot in life yet full of vitality and enthusiasm. Troubled by rocky relationships with friends and boyfriends, she finds it hard to fit in at school until she's invited to join an adventure scouting club and starts exploring the natural world. Her first adventures take place in the backcountry of her home state, Colorado, where she discovers her more daring side, as well as the young woman she is becoming. Join Lucy as she transforms from a timid, chubby tween who hides from school bullies in her teacher's office to a brave, spirited, globe-trotting leader on the hiking trail and beyond. This exciting new adventure series for young adults is sure to encourage readers to discover their strengths and take on the world, whether at school, home-or, like Lucy, skipping across the continents.

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