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Eleven Questions with Sandra Carter

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

1). How did your writing journey begin?

As a child I used to write poetry, then it moved onto lyrical construction, then stories to plays and production. I used to borrow my brother’s comics when I was young and create my own stories. This was mainly because of my dyslexia, I could not read all the words so I made up my own adventures to the illustrations. This led me to create my own comics which were based on dread locked sci-fi smurfs laugh out loud. My late parents who were griots in their own right, always told me about the Anansi the spider stories and ghostly Jamaican tales which played with my imagination and creativity.

2). Who are your writing inspirations? I would say JRR Tolkien, the lord of the rings was the first book that really got me hooked of fantasy, after childhood tales like the brother grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. Tolkien’s style of writing and how he created different languages really inspired me, especially in my own writing. Later on in my life Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison and Alice walker. It was not only because of their writing styles and captivating stories that resonated in my own life. But knowing they were all talented black female authors was so inspirational for me growing up. . I am currently reading two other female black authors. British Author Charlotte Murphy and her trilogy the Antonides legacy and Tomi Adeyemi Children of blood and bone. I get great pleasure in supporting other authors, just seeing them out there is so inspiring too.

3). Are you an outliner or a panster?

I would say both, I write and let the story just flow let the characters guide. And for example I created a family tree to break down the connections between the family members’. It was a positive guide which create deeper backgrounds to each character.

4). what are your favorite books?

Once again it would be the Lord of the rings as it opened me up into fantasy, and I would say the Bible. The Bible you may say, but yes, the 66 books also added to my creative eye. In some parts for example the construction of the tabernacle, it is pretty much sci-fi to me how its immense power was used to guide many. Plus I take a lot of life knowledge from it too, as my book also has spiritual under tones

5). Describe your writing process.

My current book Kettorah and the Autom scrolls of light part 1 the separation, the entire ending came to first then I worked backwards. I see the horizon to stories first, then work the beginning to meet the end. I do character profiles, family trees, mind maps and just write and let the story lead me. I enjoy illustrating, so I will sometimes create comic strips that inspire me and generate a fresh spin on a character. It sounds a bit different but it really works for me.

6). Why did you choose to write speculative fiction?

I am a huge fan of fiction and sci-fi, I write it because it comes natural to me. I enjoy the freedom it brings of creating new worlds, sciences, the human condition, powers and species. I can make some one that looks like me become a shero, and have floors and beauty in her make up while not being stereotyped. And the fact that I can be totally be free in my Imagination, in a way that is not the day to day normal.

7). Tell us a bit about your story.

My story is based on a planet called Kemi, from the solar system of Vielen. Two un-known frequency’s hit the planet, which changes the DNA of the land and its people. Over centuries it was told that the frequencies coding was embedded into some scrolls by elders. And only through the hands of pure child or children could unlock its true meaning and powers. Many heard of this tale and sort to take possession of the scrolls and control Vielen and beyond, but nothing is what it seems…..

8). What inspired you to write this story?

The story came from a freestyle into 80’s, I was in a Mc crew called AnA and every Friday night we would meet up and freestyle all night to let go of the week’s troubles and just get together and have fun. I am a huge animi fan and manga, I often complained about not seeing any black characters in them. Even though I knew it was a Japanese art, it was the same thing I saw over and over again in my child hood, poor representation. Well one night we were free styling and the story of Kettorah started flowing from my mouth. As I rhymed I saw images of the characters and quickly drew them after I finished. I still have the recorded tapes, which served well when I started to write the book.

9). Will there be more stories about this character? I am currently working on book two in the series which will be out late 2020 or early 2021. I have a third book that will finish this trilogy series, but there is a possibility to write a prequel to complete the collection. There is also room for spin offs, as each tribes backgrounds can be explored further.

10). How do we keep up with all things Sandra E Carter?

I have a website, with links to all my social media platforms, and there is an email address, if people are interested for further information.

11). What advice would you give to new writers?

Just write, if you have an idea in order for it to live you must start writing. If there is research to do, do that, do character profiles, mind maps to help to support your meat of the story and characters. Don’t listen to people, that have not written before get advice from the right people. Some people join writing groups, so find a system that works for you and most of all enjoy the journey for its worth it.

Our thanks to Sandra E Carter for stopping by and answering Eleven Questions. Be sure to visit her website or Amazon to pick up her book, Kettorah.

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