Welcome to the site, Carrie! For readers unfamiliar with your work, tell us a little about yourself! What genre do you write? What’s your most recent novel?
I grew up devouring Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume books one after another, moving on to Sweet Valley High books as soon as I could check them out at the library. Reading was my escape and as a kid growing up in a shaky family, I wanted to escape from a lot. Sneaking cigarette butts from my grandma’s ashtray, I would go out on her back patio and smoke and read. It was the 80s and nobody paid that much attention. As long as you went to school and came in around dinner, you were golden to do whatever you wanted, and I did. I think I was in sixth grade when I decided I was going to start writing my own books. You can imagine I had no idea what I was doing, nor did Google exist to research it. The internet wasn’t even really a thing at the time. I would take several pieces of paper and cut them in half about ten times making myself a book while stapling the pages together to create a spine. Using my library books to reference how to punctuate dialogue or learn when a chapter should end, I thought I was going to be an author for sure. I would write books about girls my age and the kind of drama that we had going on, even though I was only in sixth grade, I thought I had a lot to say—I still do. I write Young Adult Contemporary, but fun fact my books are also considered historical fiction because they are set in the 80s. My most recent book published by Evernight Teen is called SIGNS WE DON’T SEE.
What inspired you to writeSIGNS WE DON’T SEE?
My most recent novel SIGNS WE DON’T SEE is about the struggles of mental health in a very quirky way. I work in a high school counseling office and teens are struggling. I want readers to know that you shouldn’t feel ashamed of fear. Fear is not something you asked for nor does it mean you are weak. Fear is something that we all battle and shouldn’t be swept under the rug. I want teens, and even adults, to get the help they need to get to deal with any emotional issue holding them in a bad or scary place in their lives. My first novel KEEP WHAT REMAINS is a coming of age story set in the 80s.
What is your writing routine?
I don’t really have a writing routine. Working full time and having kids, I write when I can fit it in. I’m one of those people that can write anywhere, and I do. I won’t force it though. If I’m not feeling creative, I don’t write.
What are your top 3 favorite books?
This is a tough one! I would say 3 books I will always recommend are:
THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett
WHERE THE HEART IS by Billie Letts
ARTHUR TRUELOVE by Elizabeth Berg
I have to add that I recently read RAZORBLADE TEARS by S.A Cosby and I loved it!
What writers inspire you?
Angie Thomas because she writes her truth, Elizabeth Berg because I want to hug every book she writes when I’m done with it, and Colleen Hoover and Taylor Jenkins Reid for nailing that heartache we all feel when we’re in relationships that aren’t quit perfect.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished MARY JANE by Jessica Anya Blau and it was fantastic!
Do you use any life experiences to inspire your writing?
All my writing is based off life experience so far. My characters are all based off people I know or knew at some point with added flare. So look out of you know me really well, you will end up in my books!
How did you get into writing? Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I have always, always wanted to be a writer!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice is to always be reading and always have a beta reader that is not your friend or family. Friends and family won’t tell you the truth LOL!
What’s your experience marketing your book? What did you like/dislike? Any tips?
Marketing is brutal! My books are published by a smallish publisher (Evernight Teen) and so most of the marketing is up to me. There are hundreds of books being churned out daily and so trying to make your book stand out is the difficult part. What I’ve learned is that you must create real relationships and connections with people in order for them to want to read your writing. I
don’t think simply asking just anyone if they will read and review your book, unless that’s what
they do, is going to get you anywhere. I will say social media is a game-changer for authors and I can’t imagine marketing my book before social media existed.
What’s next for you? Do you have any other books in the works right now?
I am currently writing a Young Adult Speculative fiction novel and it has been a fun one to dig into!
What’s a fact about you that might surprise your readers?
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology and I actually hate computers! I suppose you have to have a day job to pay those bills while you’re writing and trying to live out your dream of becoming an author full time.
Carrie Beamer grew up in Kansas City, Missouri where the sports and barbecue make the humidity in the summer and the frigid temps in the winter worth it. She fell in love with reading as a young girl when she picked up her first Beverly Cleary book and was pulled into the world of Ramona Quimby.
Her passion for writing young adult comes from a love of the mischief we all explored as teens. She believes no matter where you grew up or what era, you walked a fine line of keeping it all together or completely falling apart while navigating the ups and downs of school. Teen angst is a rite of passage that we all recover from at some point, and she loves to write about it.
She’s a high school registrar who fills her nights with writing and reading into the wee hours. Her weekends are spent hanging out with her two sons and trying to tame a couple of obnoxious rescued dogs, and life couldn’t be better.
She has published two YA novels with Evernight Teen titled KEEP WHAT REMAINS and SIGNS WE DON’T SEE.