Welcome to Author Services Australia, Carrie Riseley, and welcome to our author interviews! If you could start by introducing yourself to everyone, let them know where you’re from and some of your interests and hobbies.
Hi, my name is Carrie, and I’m from Hobart, Tasmania. I grew up there, then spent my youth living in Victoria (Bendigo and Melbourne), Japan, and England, and doing an awful lot of traveling. Then I moved back to Hobart because home is where the heart is. I now live with my baby son Ned, who is a thousand percent adorable. So he’s my biggest interest at the moment, but I also really love folk dancing and bushwalking. I’m going to introduce Ned to both of those things soon. And, of course, I love traveling! I’ve been to 47 countries so far.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. When I was 18 and about to go to Japan for the first time, some dear cousins gave me a notebook to record my experiences in. I filled it in only three weeks and then bought a lot more notebooks! I now have a whole box of travel journal notebooks and several digital ones too. I like to write down special experiences so I don’t forget them, but I also enjoy the process of constructing a narrative.
What is your preferred genre to write in?
My favourite genre is non-fiction. So far, I’ve only published travel books, but I have also been known to write the odd fan fiction once in a while. You can’t publish those because the characters belong to someone else, but I wouldn’t rule out writing my own fiction one day.
What is your writing process?
I write every spare moment I get while traveling. On trains, in cafes, at bus stops, in hostel dining rooms, in a beautiful place, I found at the end of the day… If I’m writing in a beautiful place, I’ll sometimes put a picture in the journal. The best spots so far have been:
– In a cliff-top village on Santorini high above the Aegean Sea, watching the sunset with a dog.
– On a roof near the Li River in China, with small bobbly mountains all around me. (That’s the famous river from the scroll paintings).
– By a canal in Amsterdam.
– And, of course, my author profile picture, which is a selfie taken while I was writing atop a mountain above a Mongolian steppe, the sounds of sheep floating up to me on the breeze.
What is one thing you wish you knew now that you didn’t know when you started writing?
In my early journals, there are some boring entries that go into too much detail about things like museums. I wrote that way because I was young and didn’t want to forget anything, but now the older me has to spend a lot of time weeding out the boring bits before publishing. And the repeated bits. Sometimes when I see something amazing, I get excited and repeat my exclamations a few times. But I didn’t intend to publish the journals when I started writing them, so that’s why they’re like that.
What was the hardest part of self-publishing?
Nowadays, with online self-publishing sites, publishing is easy. But all it does is get your book on a website with hundreds of thousands of other books. Getting your book found by readers is really, really hard. I spend hours and hours on social media for almost no reward; I spend money on promos and don’t make it back; I read sites about how to get known as an author but don’t have time to do the things they recommend; I spend hours organising new book launches, updating information and inputting my details onto more sites – it goes on and on, and it is nowhere near as enjoyable as writing! It can be really demoralising, too, when you put all that work in and get so little response. I’m gearing up to launch a new book at the moment, so I’ve been putting lots of posts on social media about it. I thought it would be a good idea to offer a few ebooks for free ahead of time, both to encourage readers and reviewers and to try to get the social media algorithms to show my posts to more people. Across three social media platforms and two posts, I got one competition entry. One! And yet the posts had got several likes. It seems people on social media are just looking at my images and not my text. As a writer, people not seeing my words is a big problem!
Oh gosh. Would it be really lame if I said Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? I can read it over and over and find it just as gripping as I did the first time. It’s popular for a reason!
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I’d have to break them into groups because I’ve read different kinds of books at different stages of my life. As a child and teenager, it was Roald Dahl, Morris Gleitzman, and John Marsden. As a young adult, it was JK Rowling and Dan Brown (page-turners, lol!). Now I’m quite into my fellow non-fiction memoir authors: Jacqueline Lambert, Bill Bryson, Jamie Maslin, and Wendy Scott-Hawkins.
What are you working on right now?
I’m now doing the final read-through of my third book, “Smiles and Spices: journeys and Encounters in East Asia.” It’ll be released on 14th May 🙂
What’s next for you as an author?
My next book will be about my travels (and sometimes living in) the UK, Europe, and Iceland. I would also, at some point, like to release a book about my funniest toilet experiences in different countries. Some of them are rather surprising!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’ve just had a baby, so in five years, I will be living Mum Life with hopefully two healthy kids by then. Hopefully, selling a few books too! And I’ll also still be working part-time at my day job (I’m a realist!).
If you could choose one superpower, what would it be and why?
Hmm. Is time travel a superpower? I love to travel, obviously, and traveling in time would be fantastic!
Being able to fly would be incredible too. I tried paragliding once, and it was so incredible to be floating in the air without the sound of an engine…
Thanks so much for taking the time to do an author interview, Carrie Riseley! Please take a minute and check author Carrie Riseley out on the links below! If you would like to do an author interview, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Author Name: Carrie Riseley
Genre/s: Travel Memoirs
Author Website: https://linkin.bio/carriestravelbooks