Author Interview: Hannah Carter

Last year, I interviewed author Hannah Carter, but since she is currently my co-judge for the flash fiction contest, I thought it would be fun to re-interview her! Hannah is currently a pharmacy technician in Kentucky. In her free time she enjoys writing, reading, dancing, singing, being bullied by her cats, playing Nintendo games, and watching movies, TV shows, or random “Fascinating Horror” and “Behind the Attractions” videos on YouTube. A fun fact about Hannah is that she has been to Mexico and Hong Kong through mission work! Read our full interview below to learn more about this awesome human!

Photo submitted by Hannah Carter.

Q. How long have you been writing?

A.  I’ve been writing for as long as I remember—I know that’s always what people say, but it’s really true! My first diaries aren’t filled with much about my days, but with what could loosely be called “weird 7-year-old fanfiction starring Scooby-Doo and the Wiggles (and also mermaids and princesses).” My first original “story” was a historical fiction, which included excruciating details of how long it took the heroine to complete her morning routine (including 5 minutes allotted for hair brushing). However, when I read Donita K. Paul’s DragonKeeper series, I suddenly knew fantasy was going to be my one true love.

Q. Why do you write? 

A. I write for many reasons: I have to, for one reason! My brain is always daydreaming, and I have such a deep urge to bring all these fictional creatures running about my brain to life. I enjoy it so much that it’s always been my dream job. But, most importantly, I write because I love to share the Gospel through my writings. I think that everything we write should bring glory to God, whether we live in Middle Earth or “real” Earth. Even if not all my books are “explicitly” Christian, I believe that writing clean, fun, books for people is part of my calling. And I am a firm believer that the Gospel can be shared through any medium—even if that wasn’t the author’s intent! My faith is so important to me that I would love to think that it is pervasive throughout everything, and that people will somehow be drawn closer to God through my writings and life.

Q. What are your top three favorite books to read and why?

A. Okay, you know how hard this question is for me! 😉 I have so many! So, I’ll just say that these aren’t in order, and I won’t be picking any favorite children! Hehe. 

  1. My current read: The Blackthorn Key Series. I picked this one as my favorite because I’m currently reading it, and every time I re-enter this world, I never want to leave! I love the ciphers, the mysteries, the adventure—and I love how it blends historical fiction with mild fantasy. “Is this magical? Or is it just science?” AH, it’s so good! Plus, I love that there’s no overwhelming love scene. I have a favorite ship, but it’s definitely a slow-burn (they’re only 14, after all), but they’re such cute babies that I love them. 
  2. My favorite comfort series: Howl’s Moving Castle Trilogy. AHHHH, what can I say about Diana Wynne Jones’ masterpiece except… this is every aesthetic that I can ever dream about. *chef’s kiss* And…HOWL! Oh, I love him. He is mine, and I am Sophie. I love the whimsy worldbuilding, I love the characters, I love their interactions, I love how quotable it is. I love reading this series and the Studio Ghibli movie annually.
  3. My forever obsession: Beaumont and Beasley Series. I. Am. OBSESSED. If you love Disney, if you love fantasy, if you love hilarious characters, emotional scenes that rip your heart out, AMAZING ships, scenes between those ships that give you ALL THE FEELS, good writing, and sarcastic dragons, then PLEASE check out this series. I cannot recommend it enough!

    There are definitely more, but I’ll limit myself to these… though I’ll throw honorable mention to Narnia, DragonKeeper, and the Serafina series because I would feel bad not to mention them! 😉 

Q. Describe yourself in three words.

A. Oh, dear… Quirky. Whimsy. Dreamer. (Indecisive is definitely fourth. ;))

Q. What song would be your life’s theme song? 

A. Oh, no! I have too many genres, too many phases of my life… I can’t pick just one! 😉 So, I let a Buzzfeed quiz pick (because who else should I go to for advice?) and I got “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. Which, considering how often I scream-sing these lyrics in the car is… pretty accurate.

Q. Who is someone that inspires you?

A. Again, I have way too many people that inspire me, and I feel like if I leave someone out, then they might get their feelings hurt, lol. SO— to avoid any hurt feelings, I’m deliberately not singling out someone that I know personally. That being said: C.S. Lewis. I adore his friendship with Tolkein and they’re pretty much best friend goals, I love his wisdom and his words. I love how he could easily switch from being both whimsical to deep. I love how profound his works are, almost deceptively so. And I love how hilarious he is! He and Tolkein once dressed up as polar bears and went to a party… which was not a costume party. I love them so much!

Q. Can you tell us what stories/books you currently have available? 

  1. Amir & the Moon— a novella on Amazon.
  2. Seashells— a novella on Amazon.
  3. Finding God in Anime— I have 3 devotions in this devotional; I love collaborating with all the other amazing writers! You can buy this on Amazon as well.
  4. Whispers From Before— my story, “Of Underwoods and Underworlds,” is included in this mythology anthology with SR Press. I’ve had so much fun working with these wonderful ladies, and I can’t wait for you all to read them! Pre-orders are live now on SR Press’ website!
  5. The Depths We’ll Go—my flash fiction piece, “What the Ocean Stole,” is included in this anthology. Keep a lookout for how to purchase! 
  6. Go Havok flash fiction pieces— if you have a subscription to Go Havok, you’ll have unlimited access to all of my flash fiction stories that I’ve written!
  7. Prismatic— and don’t forget that you can check out two of my stories: “Potts & Pumpkins” and “A Home for Nova,” in Havok’s upcoming anthology, Prismatic! 
Photo provided by Hannah Carter.

Q. Can you tell us about your stories that will be in upcoming anthologies?

A. I’d love to! So, in “Whispers From Before,” I have “Of Underwoods and Underworlds.” This story is about a one-woman magical disaster, Haddie Underwood, who accidentally sends the head prefect of her school into the Underworld and is tasked with rescuing him. Without spoiling too much, I promise that there will be adventure, mayhem, chaos, and (hopefully) a little sarcastic humor along the way! OUaU is a gender-bent retelling of the story of Hades and Persephone, which was fun to work with as well. 

The Depths We’ll Go To, I have “What the Ocean Stole.” This is a darker flash fiction, about someone struggling to regain their memories after a horrific accident… or is there something far more sinister at play here? 

In Prismatic, I have “A Home for Nova” and “Potts & Pumpkins.” In AHfN, it’s about an orphaned girl who has been tossed out of society because of some peculiar traits. It’s a fantasy as well, but I don’t want to reveal the twist too early! In P&P, Coppelia Potts, Nightmare Hunter, is tasked with solving a mystery about dancing pumpkins. But is the culprit mischievous…or magical? 

Q. Can you tell readers about any of your current writing projects?

A. Sure! Right now, I’m working on a trickster short story to submit to another anthology. It’s rough going so far, but I’m hopeful that I can make something out of the one or two starts I have! I also am working on a book about spirit walkers, a concept where someone can willingly let their spirit wander away from their body. It’s also got some ties to Asian mythology, about soul mates being connected by invisible strings.

Q. Can you tell us about your experience with flash fiction?

A. Sure! So, before December 2020, I had never read or heard of flash fiction. Then, through Instagram, I heard of Go Havok and was intrigued. I checked it out and decided that I would try and submit to their “green” theme. My first piece was “Fae Blood,” which I wrote in a van on a mission trip to Mexico. It was so nerve-wracking to submit it (still is, honestly!), but it was all worth it when I heard a few weeks later that it had been accepted! Now, I’ve written a handful of pieces for Havok, which include the Potts siblings and their shenanigans, as well as my moon elf saga. I also wrote a piece of flash fiction under 200 words for one of Cassandra Hamm’s prompts and won that! That one was about forbidden spy love.

I think my favorite thing about flash fiction is how succinct you have to be. The word limit somehow invigorates me and helps me to be more concise and creative. There can’t be any wasted words. I love the challenge!

Q. What are you most excited about being a co-judge for the Unicorn Writer’s first flash fiction contest?

A. Seeing all the fabulous pieces! I’ve never judged something before, and I love the idea of seeing submissions from authors all over pour in. I can’t wait to work with Kayla and put our heads together to find our favorites!

Q. What goals do you have for writing?

A. A big one I have is to get a novel published. I’ve mostly done novellas and flash fiction thus far; I’d love to get one of the novels I’ve already finished or a future one published one day. I’d love to make this a viable career for me as well. I’d love to one day have a little writing cottage, where I can immerse myself and do nothing but write, read, and sip tea while my cats maul me out of love. 

Q. Can you tell us how your faith intersects with your writing?

A. Of course! I like to think that my faith permeates every bit of my writing. It definitely influenced what I write—how I always seek to honor God and create clean, fun fiction. My faith outwardly inspires my devotions, but even in my fiction, it’s there. It’s so important to me that you can find little bits of the Gospel anywhere. Sometimes, my characters will be Christians or will discuss faith-based things. Other times, it’s just me exemplifying Christ-like behavior. In everything, I try to let my faith be at the forefront without being preachy or condescending.

Q. Will you tell us a little bit about your own faith journey?

A. Sure! I was raised in church, so it’s hard for me to think of a time where I didn’t know faith or had no idea who God or Jesus were. I officially got saved at 8 and was baptized. But since then, I’ve definitely tried to make my faith my own. I’ve grappled with hard questions, wrestled with God, experienced times when I wondered if He was even real or if He even loved me. I think we need to normalize doubting and searching instead of shaming people—it’s a natural part of faith and growing up, and I truly believe it leads to stronger faith in the long run. I’ve found that, no matter what walk of life you are in or how strong or weak your faith feels at the moment, God will always chase you and woo You back to Him.

Q. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

A. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” —‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬

I really love this verse because it always reminds me that there’s nothing that we can’t do that will separate us from God. If we take the Bible at its word, that means that every doubt, every fear, every anxiety, every thought, everything—God still loves us throughout it. That’s always been so reassuring to me, especially in times of hardship. There’s nothing that I could humanly do that could stop the love of God! 

Q. What advice would you offer aspiring authors?

A. I know that you probably get this advice a lot (it might even be the same advice I gave last time!), but it’s true: write! It doesn’t matter how long it is. It doesn’t matter if you think it stinks. You’ve got to write, or you’ll never have anything. My second piece of advice is this: find yourself a writing group! A group of people to surround yourself with, that give feedback and bring different things to the table. You’ll be surprised how much it can help to have a support group to fall back on.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add? 

A. Just that I’m so excited to be working together, and I really can’t wait to read all the wonderful submissions! ♥

Photo provide by Hannah Carter.

Remember, the flash fiction contest is open now. The deadline has been EXTENDED. Entries are now due WEDNESDAY 12/1 at 11:59pm! Please see the original blog post for the entry link. The winner will announced in next week’s blog post!

Be sure to follow Hannah Carter to stay up to date with her and her writing!

Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

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