We had the good fortune of connecting with Carter Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carter, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It’s a bit precious to say I didn’t choose a career as a novelist, it chose me (yuck). Still, I never pursued writing until my early thirties, when, while at a continuing-education class for a real-estate license, I started writing a story out of boredom. Three months later, that story was a 400-page manuscript, which was good enough to land me an agent but not good enough to sell. So I wrote another book that didn’t sell, and one after that. Several years later, my fourth book did sell, and since then I’ve been fortunate enough to become a USA Today bestselling author of seven published novels. But I don’t think someone becomes a novelist as a rational career choice (and I assure you, that’s not a rational decision). I believe they are driven by a need to tell a story, and would tell that story whether it makes them money or not. I don’t outline, so for me I have a compulsion to sit down with my laptop every day to find out what happens next. The stories I write are always for myself before they are for anyone else, and I think that’s the most important piece of it all. You have to find a way to make yourself happy first. If you can do that, the happiness of everyone around you will follow.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
A lesson I’ve learned along the way is that writing is not nearly the individual effort most people think. Sure, what I write is my own, but I get feedback from my critique group and my agent, and then when the book sells it goes through five rounds of editing with my editor and copywriter. Then the production and sales team take over to get the book on the shelves, and the PR team schedule in-person and virtual events to get as much exposure as possible. Publishing is a business, of which the writer is just one part, and everything is a collaboration that requires as much interpersonal skills as any other commercial venture.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a hotel snob, so I love to eat and stay at some of the great downtown hotels. The Crawford, The Maven, and the Kimpton Born are some of my favorites.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My partner, Jessica, who is always the first person to read my completed manuscripts and gives me endless love and support.
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