Carole McDonnell is another of my sisters in Broad Universe, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.
Carole is a writer of Christian, supernatural, and ethnic stories. She writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and reviews. Her story collections are Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction and Turn Back O Time and other stories of the fae of Malku. She has several stand-alone novels: Wind Follower, My Life as an Onion, The Constant Tower, Who Gave Sleep and Who Has Taken It Away? She’s also writing several series: The Brothers Worth, The Nephilim Dystopia, and Novels of the Malku Universe.
Carole stopped by to tell me about her book, My Life as an Onion:
Did something in the real world inspire My Life as an Onion?
So, so many things happened. I wanted to write a book that contained all the strange things that had happened to me. I’ve had folks ask me if the book was “true.” My only answer is, “The weird stuff happened. The non-weird stuff is all made up.”
What is your favorite scene in the book?
The scene where the angel appears. There are scenes of demons, spirit-sight, generational family curses, but the angel scene is my favorite. Not much happens when the main character sees the angel, but by then her life is in such shambles that the sight of the angel gives her some hope.
What was your writing process like as you wrote the book?
I wanted to be free, totally free. I wanted it to be a Christian book, but I knew that would turn off a few people. I wanted it to be honest about the sexuality of new adults. I wanted to get everything off my chest. In addition, I’ve often disliked Christian fiction books that showed a normal mainstream kind of story, so I wanted to show the natural supernatural events that happens to people as they go about life: magical realism in a normal, casual way. I love Korean, Japanese, and Chinese dramas, so I wanted to do a reverse harem story based on Korean drama tropes. I also wanted to write a book where all these hot guys were in various states of crushes on a dark-skinned Black girl. I felt baring my soul in a book was something young Christian Black girls needed, but it took so much courage. One reviewer said he liked the book but he felt the love story was wish-fulfillment. I had feared that. Other readers loved it and I reminded myself that my book wasn’t made for certain male readers. I’m glad I was brave.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?
Someone emailed to tell me the book really touched him. That made my day.
What do you have planned next?
My wheelhouse is tribal fantasy — Wind Follower and The Constant Tower, but I figured I should try writing a paranormal romance. So My Life as an Onion is my only contemporary Christian book so far.
I’ve returned to my wheelhouse. Right now I’m working on two fantasies that are part of two trilogies. The book I’m working on is SeaWalker and it will follow the already published The Charcoal Bride, which is the first of a trilogy about an evil curse that goes through the bloodline of the Malku kings. Malku is a universe where humans, faes, and merfolk live in a pretty diverse society.
The other book I’m working on is The Chimeran Queen. This will be the second installment of the Nephilim Dystopian trilogy, a world where standard humans, chimeric humans, demonic princes, and clones all live in utter disharmony. The first published installment is The Daughters of Men. Folks liked those two books, so I feel I should just get my act together and write the next books in both series.
You can pick up a copy of My Life as an Onion from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Pxh9im.
Check out all of Carole’s books on her Amazon page: https://amzn.to/2PvGbhU.
Follow her new works on her blog: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/.
“My Life as an Onion” sounds fascinating! Good interview.