I originally planned to post Karole’s answers to the interview along with Kim and Temple, but she couldn’t answer the questions at that time. Huge thanks to Karole for trying to make it! She did–and now we have her for an interview!
Karole lives outside of Philadephia, PA with her loving husband, eternally exuberant little girl, and perpetually pleasant little boy. Hobbies include nursing a persistent Starbucks addition, eating way too much candy, emptying her wallet at Target, spending time with her family, decorating her home, and completing any other crafty project she can think of. Karole has degrees in School Psychology, women’s studies, and biology but has never taken a formal creative writing course, although she’d really like to one day.
What is your full name?
My first name is Karole; Cozzo, however, is a pseudonym, a tribute to my patriarchal surname.
When is your birthday?
How old are you?
Right now I’m listening to a lot of Sia
Favorite TV show?
Favorite place to read and/or write?
Rites of Spring (Break) by Diana Peterfreund
Who are you when you’re writing?
uber-focused speed typer b/c I don’t have a lot of time to write
Who are you when you’re not writing?
School Psychologist by day, wife and mommy by night
Which do you prefer more?
Wouldn’t feel complete if either part of me was missing!
What drives you to write more?
I simply love telling stories and imagining romantic happily-ever-afters.
How often do you experience writer’s block and what do you do to get out of it?
I don’t force the issue. I accept that it’s not a writing day and trust that I’ll be in a better place the next time I open the document.
Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your work?
No. It’s sort of impossible to be with writing, once you accept that there’s no pleasing everyone.
Do you like making outlines when you write, or do you prefer to start from scratch and work your way from there?
I’m lost without my outlines.
If you could do both at the same speed, which would you prefer: Writing on paper or typing your words? Why?
I’ve grown to like typing – I like to have a visual on as much of my story as possible – typing allows for more words/page.
What is the best writing advice that you could share with us?
Show don’t tell is an oldie but goodie. I’m also a big fan of “write what you know.”
Of all the things that you’ve ever written (poems, essays, short stories, novels, etc.), which one is the most special to you?
The first story I’d posted to Swoon, Broken, was very special to me because I believe it’s the most emotional story I ever wrote and I put a lot of feeling into that one.
ON HER BOOKS
What inspired the idea of your first book?
My work life and all the amazing families I’ve met.
What message would you like your readers to learn from that book?
Be brave with your words and your feelings!
What is the greatest challenge that you have encountered in the publishing world and how did you overcome it?
I’ve been writing manuscripts for almost a decade. Trying to gain attention from an agent as a first-time author is incredibly challenging. I loved the opportunity with Swoon to have direct access to feedback and industry professionals.
ON BOOK DISCRIMINATION
How would you define book discrimination?
Readers sticking to narrow preferences and not giving new books a chance because they don’t believe those books are for them.
How do you feel about it?
Ultimately, I believe it’s somewhat natural – we all have our preferences and a certain tendency to stick with these we know we like. However, it’s a shame when we get in the way of ourselves when it comes to new opportunities and the chance to fall in love with something completely different.
What do you think is the cause of book discrimination?
Money and time are a couple of things – people don’t want to spend their hard-earned money or precious time on something they don’t think they’ll like. Cover art – the old adage of judging a book by its cover can also have an impact. Also, if someone has read a really fantastic book, they might just look for something similar because they want to have that experience all over again, which isn’t the worst thing in the world!
What would you do against it?
Encourage readers to peruse samples or excerpts of material different from what they normally read – it’s a way to check new material out without too much of a commitment.
Again, thank you so much, Karole! I really appreciate that you did your best to answer these questions! 🙂