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Spotlight: Carrie Jones

Today let's talk a little about Carrie Jones.

headshotShe's a Class member, blogger extraordinaire, and all around good person. Did you know that Carrie likes Skinny Cow fudgicles and potatoes? She does not know how to spell fudgicles, but this has not prevented her from writing books--one is on the shelves, and another five are on their way! She lives with her cute family in Maine. She has a large, skinny white dog and a fat cat. Both like fudgicles. Only the cat likes potatoes. This may be a reason for the kitty’s weight problem (Shh… don’t tell). Carrie has always liked cowboy hats but has never owned one. This is a very wrong thing. She graduated from Vermont College’s MFA program for writing. She has edited newspapers and poetry journals and has recently won awards from the Maine Press Association and also been awarded the Martin Dibner Fellowship as well as a Maine Literary Award.

We asked Carrie some nosy questions a while back. This is one of my favorites:

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Now that you're under contract, does your family better appreciate your writing?

This is a hard question.

This is what my dad said, “Someone bought your book? That’s great. What’s it called?”

“Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend.”

My dad began laughing, “Ho boy. Ho… boy. Wait till I tell your Aunt Athelee that one. Tell me that again. .. Gay what?”

“Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend.”

My father then laughed some more. “Let me write that down. That’s really the title? Ho…boy.”

Then today, about six months later, I was talking to my dad on the phone while simultaneously trying to make vegan shepard’s pie and he said, “How many books have you sold?”

I told him.

“Three? Three! In less than a year?”

“Yep,” I said, dicing onions, which always makes me cry.

He was really quiet and then he said, “Your grandfather was a really literate man. He was a great reader, you know. And my mother…she loved poems.”

“I know that, Dad,” I said, wiping my eyes with a paper towel that smelled like onions and only made things worse.

Then he swallowed so loudly I could hear it and he said, “I’m dyslexic you know. I don’t read very well.”

“I know Dad. You’re super smart though,” I said this because sometimes my dad forgets that he is super smart.

The silence settled in and he finally said, “I’m just really proud of you. You know that, right? I’m really, really proud of you.”

So, even if no lovely people ever buy my books, at least I know that I did something that made my dad proud.

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When I sold my first book, my mother said, the way my mother always says, “Oh, sweetie. That’s so wonderful. I knew you could do it. I am so proud of you. My daughter the writer.”

To be fair to my sweet mother and to be honest, this is what my mother says about everything I do. Like the first time I made an angel food cake she said, “Oh, sweetie. That’s so wonderful. I knew you could do it. I am so proud of you. My daughter the angel food cake maker.”

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The rest of my family, I think, are appreciative of the fact that I sold a couple of books. It makes me more legit to them somehow. Which is strange but typical I guess. In our culture it often seems that the process of learning and creating is often only considered worthy if a tangible product comes from it and if that tangible product has market value.

But to me… the big value is that I made my dad think about his parents and think about books and think about me and made him proud.
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You can read more interview answers on her Class of 2k7 Interview Page, and find about more about her on her website, her MySpace page, and her blog.

Congratulations, Carrie! We are so proud of you.
The Class of 2k7

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
newport2newport
Dec. 13th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
I'd trade away a trailerful of Skinny Cow fudgsicles for the opportunity to share a cup of tea with Carrie. She's a phenomenal woman and amazing writer, and it's no wonder that her family members are proud of her.
carriejones
Dec. 13th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC)
You are so sweet. You make me blush. You can come over any time. Although, it is snowing right now and 15 degrees. You might want to wait until summer.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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