Featured Writer of the Month

Our featured writer this month: Carla Sarett

We had the pleasure of getting acquainted with her work earlier this month. Now, let’s get to know the writer, herself.

Where do you live?
I live on the Main Line of Philadelphia, but my heart is in New York.

How long have you been writing? 
Fiction, not very long – but nonfiction, I published a lot of thought pieces and business articles.  In 2010, I tried to keep a journal to reflect on my mother death and what emerged was fiction.  In 2011, I started publishing my short stories in literary magazines, which was fun.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer? 

Combining humor with soul – when readers tell me they laugh but they feel other, deeper, things, I am so happy.  I think that a few of the stories in my first collection, Nine Romantic Stories, manage to accomplish this.

What are you currently working on?
A few things. I’m writing a short novel, based on the woebegone heroine whom I introduced in the stories Career Girl(now in the Love Hurts! anthology), Skinny Girl (in Red Fez), and Bonny Lass (in Nine Romantic Stories.)  I’m working on nonfiction pieces about my grand-parents, one of which will appear in Blue Lyra Review.  I’m editing my second short story collection as well.

Why do you write? 

It really doesn’t make any sense, does it?   I’d never harbored secret desires to write short stories, so I was shocked when I started.  Then again, I’m not an introspective person and I never dwell on my reasons for doing anything.  I’d wake up in the morning, and what I wanted to do was write a story—as simple as that. Writing’s a liberating experience on many levels – I get to bend reality any which way.

Tell us about your work in Crack the Spine.
The Library Girl.  It’s rather wistful piece of a woman and two men who are best friends in college—and the life that follows. I wanted to capture something of that youthful moment when everything’s an open question, a possibility.

What inspired this work? 
All of my stories have bits and pieces of true stuff and real people, thrown into the blender of the imagination. I was and am obsessed with the notion of fate versus free will, why some lives go astray and others don’t, and what glue holds us together—call it kindness, call it altruism, call it responsibility.  I like exploring “philosophical” themes in stories because that’s how my brain works.

What’s you favorite book?  
Bleak House by Charles Dickens—it’s a never-ending source of delight. 

Who is your favorite author? 
Oh, that is impossible!  Willa Cather for content, Muriel Spark for style, P.G. Wodehouse for vocabulary, and Dickens for everything.  But I’m a bookworm, so there are many other idols on my bookshelf.

If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be? 
Oh, Jeeves (from the P.G. Wodehouse novels), certainly, that would be great fun. 

What is your favorite word? 
Radar.  It’s a palindrome; and my dad was a radar specialist who collected palindromes.

Anything else to say?
It’s an odd moment for short fiction and women’s fiction in particular.  My introduction to many great short fiction writers was through magazines like Mademoiselle and Redbook. Those weren’t “literary” publications, but they helped me find Laurie Colwin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Sylvia Plath, to name a few.  Now, all of those markets are gone, and I hope that others emerge to fill the gap.  Because, let’s face it – without magazines and editors, readers fall back on reviewers to find writers.  That is a poor substitute for reading!

Check out Carla’s work in Issue 70 of Crack the Spine!


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