Carla Kay


In 2009, Ms. Kay decided to begin work on taking the crisis out of her mid-life. She dusted off two old goals: turning her daily free writing into novels, and completing her bachelor’s degree. In December, 2012, she graduated from ASU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. She was then able to turn all her attention to finishing her first novel Falling Gently; which she self-published in the Fall of 2013.

Ms. Kay is originally from Chicago and is a former flight attendant who has touched ground in all 50 states and in three other continents. She currently lives in the Phoenix area.

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
For years, all I did was free-write. I thought I wanted to write non-fiction and when I changed my mind, I had no true direction. I just knew I should write daily, so I would; sometimes writing 10,000 words or more in one day. The 50,000 challenge helped me get on track as far as directing my words into stories. To draft the book, I do soft writing for a month or two, getting to know the characters, watching them interact, deciding on themes I'll have them explore, etc. I'm doing that now for book two of my Beginning Again series, deepening existing characters and getting to know new ones. New Year's Day 2014 I will start a 5,000 words/day stretch until the first draft is done. It should take about 20-25 days thanks to the rule that you can't edit. I find that rule keeps me moving forward. After that I'll fine tune, researching anything specific my characters are into, re-writing, editing, re-writing, editing... at least six days a week for at least 2-4 hours each day until the job is done. I find that as a writer you're never really not working on your books.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on the southwest side of Chicago. I think Chicago has the largest Black community in terms of square miles. Most of the time south side means Black (or African American for those who prefer; I grew up Black, some others grew up Negro, etc.). The first 16 years of my life I had very little personal contact with Whites. Once I started working, the mingling began and slowly I found that proximity didn't always support the fears I was raised to have. The negative experiences we were raised to expect weren't completely unfounded, but I found some positive experiences too. It opened my mind. Familiarity is comforting, but familiarity also breeds contempt. I traveled all over the world as a flight attendant and after I arrived back on the ground after 15 years of doing that, the bottom line of what I learned was that people are people. You can just as easily be hurt by someone who is like you as you can be by someone who's different. I'm a middle child and I notice that I tend to not take sides. I hang out in the middle and hear everyone out. So I mixed my characters up and let them have some minor (in comparison) conflicts based on their differences. In the end, love is what matters; nothing else. If someone loves me and treats me well, I could care less where they came from.
Read more of this interview.


This member has not published any books.

Smashwords book reviews by Carla Kay

  • Smashwords Style Guide on Nov. 16, 2013

    This guide is amazing; especially if you read it. Before I published I made the mistake of thinking I'd read enough and ignored the hidden bookmarks section and the TOC linking section, thinking the TOC I used for Amazon would do just fine. My book came back with errors about three times and each time, the answers/solutions were found in the guide. If you follow its directions you will be successful in getting into the premium catalog because all the answers are there. Thanks Mark. It's always great to find things that deliver what they promise.