Corey Carter graduated from East Carolina University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. After years of keeping the majority of her short stories and poetry private, she decided that it was time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. Her first romantic thriller novel, Shadows of Deception, was published in December 2014.
When Corey isn’t writing, she enjoys hanging out with her family and friends by the bonfire or out on the beach. She is a proud wife and mother to a very spirited toddler, residing in Eastern North Carolina.
What inspires you to write short stories?
I draw inspiration from my own life experiences, dreams, and my overactive imagination. I have frequent dreams and nightmares, and I record them in a journal that I’ve had for years. The journal alone provides me with plenty of material. I’ve always enjoyed reading short stories, so I decided to write a few of my own between novels. Short stories are also much easier for me to concentrate on during this period of my life.
Do you work daily or do you wait for inspiration to knock on your door?
I try to write daily, but my free time is limited right now. I spend the majority of each day reading, dancing, singing and creating art projects with my toddler. This restricts my writing time to a few hours each evening. I keep a pen and paper on hand wherever I go, and I jot down my ideas and return to them when I am able to write again. My desk is littered with story ideas just waiting to be told. I’ve even torn a page out of a coloring book and recorded my idea with a crayon. I’m dedicated!
When writing a short story do you usually work on a certain theme, or do you introduce characters that have something to say?
The theme is the first thing I consider before I sit down to write. I prefer to develop the characters as I tell the story and allow them to drive the plot and reveal the theme as the story unfolds. In The Black Shadow, the protagonist has a powerful story to share, but I contemplated the theme beforehand.
When writing short stories, have you decided before you begin how they will be developed, or do you decide as you go along?
I begin with a general idea for a story, and then I just let the words flow out naturally. I love to sit down in front of my computer and make stuff up as I go. It’s liberating! I’ve never written out a formal outline. I know myself well enough to know that I would change eighty percent of the outline by the end of the story. I changed the ending to Nobody’s Home twice before publishing, and originally the protagonist was supposed to be the antagonist.
Of all the short stories you have written, do you have a favorite?
My favorite published short story is Nobody’s Home. It’s a cautionary tale that carries an important message, and I had a blast writing it. The Black Shadow, which is equal in quality, forced me to recount frightening childhood memories and it gave me nightmares.
Thank you for your time, Corey!