I was a writer before I knew what a “writer” was. I would say I was born one, but that sounds way too esoteric and eyeroll-inducing. All I know is that when I was a kid, I’d ask for baby name books for my birthday because I was obsessed with finding the most appropriate names for my characters. I drew pictures of the houses they lived in and the schools they attended. I thought about the clothes they wore, the way they smiled, the friends they had, the hopes they harbored.Not much has changed since the days I wrote Dick-and-Jane type tales on that paper with the absurdly wide lines. Writing was, and still is, an opportunity to create a world, to give life to the “what ifs” that keep me up at night.What’s weird is that everything in my life is scheduled (my day planner can attest to this) except my writing. I believe that a story demands to be written, when the time is right, or when those proverbial stars align. I usually get a line in my head and it sticks there, taunting me, daring me almost, to ignore it. PEOPLE WHO KNEW ME started this way. Every story I’ve written starts this way.
Dana Chamblee Carpenter
Dana Chamblee Carpenter’s award-winning short fiction has appeared in The Arkansas Review, Jersey Devil Press, and Maypop. Her debut novel, Bohemian Gospel, won Killer Nashville’s 2014 Claymore Award and was be published by Pegasus Books in 2015.She teaches creative writing and American Literature at a private university in Nashville, TN, where she lives with her husband and two children.Read more about her personal story, her motivations for the novel, and winning the Claymore Award at killernashville.com.