A Conversation With Author, Carolyn Cody-Fuller
I met Cody when she attended our local writing workshop. Her fictionalized story, loosely based on her family, captured our imagination, and we enjoyed her participation in the group. She's quite modest in her answers below, but I can tell you that Cody brings a lot to the table as a writer and friend. She has a gentle spirit and a wonderful laugh.
I've edited several writers' works over the years, and I was honored when she chose me to edit Closing Circles, a story of family, beauty, and redemption. I'm excited to hear she is writing a sequel!
Carolyn Cody-Fuller, who responds to the name Cody, lives in Greenville, SC. She divides her time between writing, reading, and volunteering at her church, St. Philip’s Episcopal. Her novel is a reflection of growing up on a farm in a small town in Georgia. A retired Director of Children’s Services at a public library, she served on the 1998 Caldecott Committee that selected Paul O. Zelinsky’s Rapunzel as the Caldecott Medal winner. She’s a member of the South Carolina Writers Association and has attended the Wisconsin-Chicago Novel in Progress (NIP) Bookcamp for three consecutive years.
What are you working on?Currently I am working on the sequel to Closing Circles, my first book which came out at the end of last year. The sequel will tie up some loose ends with some of the characters: Lavender's relationship with Oleander, and the return of Ari, the estranged twin.
How does your book differ from others in its genre?Closing Circles might not be that different from other books in women's fiction, but I think I have a different writing style and subject matter. Also, my characters can be uncharacteristic. It is unlike any that I have read, so I can only compare my book to the ones I have read.
Why do you write what you do?I write about women, sisters, relationships, and rural settings because these are things I know about and can relate to.
How does your writing process work?I use an outline which follows this process:
- Begin with my characters and their personalities
- Treat my setting as a character, because the right setting is just as important as the individual characters
- Decide what the conflicts will be and how conflicts will be resolved at the end
- Do a chapter outline which helps keep me focused
This might not be the traditional way, but it's the Cody way.
Your book cover is gorgeous! I heard that you ran a contest for the design. What can you tell us about that process?
My Novel-In-Progress (NIP) Editor, Lisa Lickel, suggested several book design companies to me and after reviewing a few of the designers, I was impressed with Virtually Possible Designs (99 Designs). Before I chose Tracy, I looked at the work of about seven designers' work. It was not easy, I saw so many worthy designs, but I wanted to feel it when I saw it. That's what happened when I saw Tracy's work. Once I had chosen Tracy, she sent me fifty designs ( a lot huh) before I decided on the ONE that's my book cover.
Was the process expensive?
I wouldn't say it was expensive, $400. It was more than just the design, Tracy made sure the printing company got it right, she was with me throughout the entire design-book cover process. Very easy to work with.