Exclusive Interview with

Conor H. Carton

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When did you start writing?

I have been a reader since I can remember. I have been dreaming stories for as long. I started to write some of them when I was in my teens, they were fablously terrible. I always had a sort of desire to be a writer, it did not really develop until about twenty years ago.

Conor H. Carton
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What makes writing your passion?

I love to fall into a story, to be utterly engaged in it. I was thinking about a story that I would like to read that I was not finding. I decided that I was going to have to write it myself and as I did so I found that I was really enjoying the process of writing.

Conor H. Carton
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How long have you been writing?

I was laid off from a job about twenty years ago and decided to use the down time to write a story that I had been brewing for a while. I did so and sent it to a publisher who promptly returned it me me without a comment. Life took some turns and required a lot of active attention after that, I still had the story nagging at me. Finally six years ago I solved the stiry knot that had been blocking me and I started writing seriously.

Conor H. Carton
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

Amazement, gratitute and deep pleasure. I had decided that I was going to try and get Botle Born Blues published, I have no interest in sekf publishing. I submitted to publishers and agents, and got the routine non anserws or declines. By an extraordinary stroke of luck I was introduced to Next Chapter who have published the bok. It was amazing to see something I had only in my head or computer for so long be out in public. BTW- The second part of Spoils of War, The Thousand Year Fall is due out soon.

Conor H. Carton
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

I want my readers to be engaged. I believe to do that there has to be a deep connection between the cast and the context. The characters have to have a problem so solve, the problem has to be serious enough to be engaging for the reader, something significant should be at stake.

Conor H. Carton
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

Nothing really. I like the process and consider myself very lucky that I can do this work. I have moved from dreaming to doing anf drom doing to delivering, it has been a long road with nothing pushing me except myself. The satisfaction is enormous.

Conor H. Carton
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

I frequently encounter a story knot that stops me from progressing. I am not a planning writer, I start and continue, the story unfolds in the weriting. I usually have a start and an end and need to move from one to the other. When I get to a point where the writing sems false, it just does not follow then I stop, erease everything up to the point where it stopped working and start again. When this fails I sit and stare at the story and thry to imagine my way forward. Mostly I then have ideas for the otherside of the blockade which are nice but not useful. Finally I walk. This is my best engine for getting ideas. I will get an idea that is great in motion and dies on the page. More walking follows and then finally I will find a line that frees up the story and I continue.

Conor H. Carton
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

I write for myself. I want to create these stories and I want to share them. It is a huge ego that I think other people will be interested in them, I still do. The pleasure of unfolding a story, having it emerge is never ending. For any new writer, and I am at the vert start of what I plan to be a career , is to be honest with yourself about what success means. If you are writing for money then there is a massive chance that you will never be successful. Write for yourself, if you are lucky there are others who will be engaged as well. Everything else is a bonus.

Conor H. Carton
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

I have often thought about this. I look back at the choices I made and have no idea how I came to make them. Most of the time I was responding not planning. I am not sure how I could cut through the confusion to get myself to think differently. I really would like to tell my teenage self that I would become happy.

Conor H. Carton
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

I do read reviews, I am always hoping to see something that I did not think of. Each reader brings themselves to a story and they will see a different story from everyone else. Getting a glimse of that different stiry is very exciting. It opens up possibilities that I had not seen before, other paths that could be taken. A bad review is never a critical one, I have read a lot of stories I did not connect with and a few I actively disliked. A bad review is one that does not express an honest response to the story. I regret those as a missed opportunity.

Conor H. Carton
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

I am delighted. A good review means I have mae a connection with a reader, done what I hope to do, engaged them and gave them value in return for thieeiincredibly valuable time and attention.

Conor H. Carton
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

I constantly translate parts of my life into my stories, I never incorporate them directly. A wonderful thing about fiction is that I get to shape and edit, have the response right at the moment and not much later when I thought of it. A reader deserves the best version.

Conor H. Carton
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

Shakbout, the narrator of the Sopils of War series, sometimes fells a bit like me. This is partly a result of first person narration, I am writing as Shakbout and that means that we are very close to each other. In writing Shakbout emerged and eveolved into a wholly seperate being, he has found his own voice and independance.

Conor H. Carton
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

The story is always the most important part, readers are buying the story. A cover is a vital part of the delicate process of someone buying and reading the story. When I browse I am initally attracted by titles and covers, they make me pause long enough to give some attention to the story.

Conor H. Carton
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?