Author Interview: Hannah Carter

As part of the week-long blog party in celebration of the upcoming release of The Depths of Atlantis, I had the privilege of interviewing the author, Hannah Carter!

Residing in Kentucky, Hannah is an award-winning author. Her flash fiction piece, “A Home for Nova,” won not only Havok’s Prismatic Editor’s Choice award, but also a 2022 Realm Award! She also won the 2022 Writer Games with her flash fiction piece, “Asheward’s Curse,” and her short story, “Lara” won a Reedsy writing contest.

Some fun facts about Hannah:

  • She is a full-time cat mom to Yelena and Lucy.
  • She also occasionally cares for a wild cat named Hamilton (whenever he deems her cool enough to hang out with).
  • She has been to both Hong Kong and Mexico.
  • She wants to one day visit Japan as well as several different European countries.

Continue reading below for our full interview!

Hannah Carter

Q) We are counting down the days for the release of The Depths of Atlantis! For readers who are just joining in, why should they pick-up a copy?

A) Firstly, because it took me 10+ years to work on this, and I thrive on validation that I didn’t waste all my time. 😉 Just kidding! Readers should pick up my books if they love characters that are real, flawed, and struggling. If they like fantasy where the world is both whimsical and dark (is “darkly whimsical” a genre yet?). If they want characters who are Christians, but not everything can be solved with a prayer and God is sometimes hard to see. If they enjoy sarcasm, banter, secret pop culture references, and lots and lots of twists and turns—have I got a series for them! 

I strive to write books that are like “full course dinners.” Books that leave you with that “I’m stuffed, couldn’t read another thing” book hangovers. Ones that open up questions in your mind, leave a lasting impression on you somehow. I want to make them laugh, cry, think—maybe even hate me a little because “did that HAVE to happen?!” 

But I also want to leave them with hope. With feelings of community, of faith, of love. I want them to feel accepted, welcome, and most importantly, like THEY are important and wanted. That they have some place to belong. And if that appeals to them, hey. Maybe they should give my novel a try. 🙂

Q) What song would be the title track for your life?

A) Oh, this is such a hard one for me! Mostly because I have songs for periods of my life, or days, or such. It’s so hard for me to find one that just encapsulates everything! But I have to say, if someone were to write a title track for my life…I’d want it to be something like “Non-Stop” from the musical Hamilton. It’s such an inspiring piece that always makes me want to get out and WRITE! (And I hope one day that I can claim as many writing victories as Alexander Hamilton did…although, maybe without the whole extramarital affair drama.)

Q) If you were turned into a mermaid for 24 hours, how would you spend your day?

A) I love this question so much! I would definitely spend a good chunk of it squealing and singing all the Little Mermaid songs. But I think I’d try and explore the Mariana Trench, because I couldn’t do that as a human. And who knows what might be down there… I would just want to make sure I was back up top by the time my 24 hours expired! 

Q) What is your favorite quote from The Depths of Atlantis?

A) I’ll choose a more serious one, because there are a bunch of bits of banter that I love. But one that has stuck out in my head ever since I wrote it comes from an exchange between Gregory and Reanna, when they’re mourning together over some bad things that have just happened. 

“Some things…can’t be fixed. Sometimes, you have to admit that life takes turns you don’t want, and you have to face it without slithering out of the bad moments.” -Greg

“This is a bad moment. … And the war. Also a bad moment. Lots of bad moments happening right now.” -Reanna

“Yeah. Lots of bad moments happening right now.” -Greg

I just really love the honesty of this exchange. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I have a bad moment, I’m very tempted to slither out of it, to escape into a dream world of my creation and engage in escapism. But sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you just have to sit with the bad feelings, in the bad moments, and just accept the quiet reality of: this is a bad moment. But the good thing about bad moments? 

They always pass, and good moments come, too. 

Q) What is your favorite book trope and why?

A) I am an eternal sucker for “sunshine x grumpy-grump.” I can’t help it—I love it when those sunshine guys or gals finally get their stoic companion to crack and smile. I love the idea of the grumpy-grumps being completely dedicated to their sunshines. I love the idea of the grumpy-grumps only showing their more playful side with the sunshines on rare, very rare, occasions. 

I also love sarcasm and witty banter. If you’ve got all of these—listen, I’ll just eat it up. This is why I love the My Hero Academia ship of Ms. Joke and Aizawa so much, and why Sophie and Howl will forever be one of my favorite book couples, and why I think Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have the best celebrity marriage. 

Q) What do you hope readers take away from the book? 

A) Oh, so much! I want there to be a message that speaks to just them. But I want them to have deep thoughts about forgiveness, faith, right and wrong, self-love…all of these themes are touched upon in one way or another in this book. These characters are going through a difficult, turbulent time, and they each bring in their own baggage that affects how they see the world and themselves. So I hope that readers also learn to see various sides of things, and that, no matter what they have been through, there is always hope on the other side.  

Q) Describe yourself in 3 words. 

A) Socially awkward, nerd, goofy. I’m sure there are other words one could use to describe me, but probably not all of them would be flattering, LOL. But “don’t mind her, she’s just a socially awkward, goofy nerd” would probably be something someone would say about me on the daily! 😉

Q) Can you share any sneak peeks about what readers can expect with the rest of the series?

A) *zips lips so I don’t spoil anything TOO much* The return of a lot of characters from Depths, as well as a few new characters. I get to introduce Laile’s best friend Aimee, as well as Aimee’s little sister, Bria. You’ll get to see some of Reanna’s royal family members, too—and not all of them have her best interests at heart. More of the world—in Twisted Trident, you’ll get to see more of the continent of Solis and the regions around it. 

Lots of secrets and backstories will be exposed. A few tragedies will strike along the way… and maybe I might throw in one or two kisses for the shippers. I won’t say who, though—or if they’re endgame at the end, or why they have to kiss! 😉

Q) What advice do you have for other authors?

A) Honestly, I feel like a broken record, but don’t give up. This is a labor of love that takes years. And as much as it stinks, it is not a fast process. Writing takes patience. Editing takes patience. Pitching takes patience. Waiting takes patience. But sometimes, when the stars align and all the doors just open, you’ll see what God was doing all along. 

And as someone who isn’t good at patience, this was something that I had to struggle with a lot. It felt like every delay in my dreams was God slamming the door in my face and telling me He didn’t love me as much as everyone else. That there was something wrong with me that everyone else had figured out because He was answering their prayers. But that’s a dangerous—not to mention heretical—game to play. God’s love isn’t dependent on anything. And we don’t have to “learn that lesson” or get “everything right” before He blesses us. I still haven’t fixed all my problems or learned that lesson 100%—but I’m still working on that, and my dreams.

So don’t give up. 

And as a final thought: grow a thick skin. Yes, we can be a sensitive lot. But at the end of the day, if you don’t learn to be able to take criticism and setbacks, then you might spend a lot more time giving up and defeating yourself than if you took it in stride. And I say this as a gal who’s been called “sensitive” quite a few times in my life. 🙂 It’s not EASY, but boy, does it help when those obstacles do come. 

Q) Can you tell us about your other work that is available to readers?

A) Sure! First, if you want “first-editions” of Seashells, Seashells: A Christmas Tail, and Amir and the Moon, you might want to pick them up soon. But if you wait, they’re all undergoing lots of edits and are going to be re-published here soon! (*cue fangirling*) 

Some other things you can find my work in:

Go Havok—many of my flash fiction pieces can be found here. With a membership, you can read them all, including “A Home for Nova,” the 2022 Realm Award flash fiction winner! (And “Potts & Pumpkins,” a 2022 Realm Award semi-finalist!)

Anthologies: Fool’s Honor, Sharper than Thorns, The Never Tales: Volume 1, Havok’s Prismatic, Havok’s Casting Call, Havok’s Animal Kingdom, Aphotic Love, Whispers From Before, Calla Press, Finding God in Anime Volumes 1 & 2, Ganbatte!: The Ties That Bind Us, The Depths We’ll Go To, The Heights We’ll Fly To, Willow Tree Swing, Masquerade.

And due out soon—Equinox & Solstice (Dec 2022), The Never Tales: Volume 2 (May 2023), Quill & Flame Mermaid Anthology (May 2023), Twenty Hill’s Valentine’s Anthology (2023)

Novels due out soon: The Twisted Trident (Depths sequel, summer 2023), #ProjectNightmareHunter (Oct 2023). 

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

A) Just that I am so thankful to you for inviting me to celebrate the release of Depths with you—and to the readers who give me a chance to entertain or touch them!

Remember to follow Hannah to stay connected! The Depths of Atlantis releases in two days! *cue confetti*

Be sure to follow the blog and look-out for tomorrow’s post with the book’s playlist!

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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