Having read “Transforming Pandora” and “Squaring Circles”, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to learn a bit more about author Carolyn Mathews and her writing journey with this interview.
Thank you Carolyn for sharing your story with us!
What first motivated you to write?
I started by writing material for English Language learners. When I left teaching, I took up writing fiction because I missed the creative ‘buzz’ I got from producing a piece of writing. You could say I’m feeding an addiction!
What is your latest book about?
My latest book, ‘Pandora’s Gift’, is the third in the Pandora series and comes out on 11 December 2015. We first meet Pandora in ‘Transforming Pandora’. She’s a woman of a certain age who is still alive to romance. Her life is also influenced by a growing interest in the invisible world, so she’s torn between what she sees as a choice between following the Light and following her heart.
If you want to discover what she does next, you should read ‘Squaring Circles’, where she attempts to solve a mystery connected to a healing circle.
I can’t say too much about ‘Pandora’s Gift’ because I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but to quote the blurb on the back cover: ‘It wouldn’t be a Pandora story without romance, transformation, suspense and a touch of the fantastic. True to form, this final book of the series provides all these elements and more.’
Describe your writing schedule.
I very often write in the evening and if I’m ‘in the zone’, will sometimes continue till the early hours. I find the daytime is very often taken up with regular activities like: a yoga class, a writing group, a monthly book discussion based on spiritual titles, not to mention the daily domestic duties of everyday life. I also have a lovely six-year-old grandson who often pops round to get his sugar rush!
When did you realise that readers were taking you seriously?
I’ve been getting emails asking me when the next book (‘Pandora’s Gift’) is coming out. It’s good to know they want to hear the end of the story.
Do you write first and edit later, or do you perfect your writing as you go along?
I try to do it as I go along. The challenge of writing a 100,000-word novel is trying to keep everything consistent. Readers will always spot a change from grey eyes to blue or a plot discrepancy. That’s where beta readers come in. These are the angels who agree to read the final draft and give their overall impression of it. If there’s anything glaringly ‘off’, they usually pick it up, God bless ‘em.
What has been the best achievement in your writing career?
‘Transforming Pandora’ was showcased by The People’s Book Prize in 2014.
What do you want people to learn from reading your work?
In ‘Transforming Pandora’ the message is that simply by keeping one’s own energy pure and light, a person can heal and uplift others.
In ‘Squaring Circles’ the message is that, in practice, this is much harder than Pandora thought it was going to be.
In ‘Pandora’s Gift’, to quote Anthony de Mello, ‘Enlightenment is absolute cooperation with the inevitable.’ In layman’s terms: ‘Let go and let God.’
This concept is very much linked to the Tao philosophy of going with the flow. I’m trying to practise it in my own life and am finding it to be a much more comfortable state of being than wishing too hard for things. The object is to let the Universe work through you, rather than trying to manipulate events. Think of yourself as an instrument of God/Source/or whichever term you feel comfortable with. Wish everyone well – like the Buddhist practice of Metta – then trust the Universe and go with the flow. After all, we are human beings, with the emphasis on ‘be’ rather than ‘do’.
What’s next for Carolyn Mathews?
Another novel, certainly, but I’m not sure what it’ll be about. I’ll have to sit down with a pen and paper, as Pandora does in ‘Transforming Pandora’, write down some questions, and see if I get any answers!
Carolyn Mathews’ website: http://carolynmathews.co.uk/