Last week’s episode of Book Journeys Radio with Angela Lauria had as its guest, author Carrie Cariello who talked about her first book, What Color Is Monday? Carrie is a mother of five, and her second son, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, is the inspiration for the book. It is a memoir that tells their story as a family and their journey to discovering their son Jack’s condition and the impact that autism had in their day-to-day lives. When Carrie started writing the book, there was no clear direction as to the goal of her book. She just thought it would be good to put out her journal and start capturing small moments that she knew would get lost in the shuffle of everyday, and memorialize them. But towards the end, she came to realize that there really was a message to her story.
Carrie worked with a very small publisher in their hometown, and in fact Carrie’s book was the first one this publisher was putting out. He himself was a self-published author and enjoyed the process so much that he wanted to extend it to another writer. He believed that it was critical for Carrie to start a Facebook page and a blog even before the book was published, so while Carrie resisted the idea at first, she started blogging once a week and she realized that doing so contributed a lot to her writing style and to her being able to come up with her second book. It has been three years since she started her blog and she just recently released her new title, Someone I’m With Has Autism, which is a collection of the blogs with about 30% new material.
Being a mother of five, Carrie found that the only way she could finish the book was to carve out time for writing it. So she hired a babysitter for a whole summer and would go to the library every morning for two hours and just sit down and write. And it amazed her how the ideas just came to her and took shape before her eyes in a way she didn’t expect it to. While she couldn’t say it was easy, she admits it wasn’t hard. She said she gets her best ideas at consistent but random points during the day like when she’s in the shower, or driving in the car, or when cooking dinner.
Asked what made the difference that she actually got her book done, Carrie says that as a person she makes it a point to do what she says she would do, and writing the book was one of those things that she committed to. But more importantly, she believes that one should take a hold of the fact that they have something to say that will resonate with other people, and be confident about it. She also emphasized the need for writers to be willing to share themselves and be authentic if they want readers to be able to connect with them.
Watch out for Angela’s interview with another exciting author.