Interview with T.N. Carpenter, Author of "Along the Way to Happily-Ever-After"

Reading and Writing Addiction was able to catch up with T.N. Carpenter, Author of “Along the Way to Happily-Ever-After . . .: A Humorous Guide to Weathering the Newlywed Years and Creating a Happy and Lasting Marriage” for an interview. We are excited to share this interesting interview today with our readers.

Author T.N. Carpenter

RAWA: When did you first discover that you were a writer?

TC: During  my  pre-teen  years,  I  began  writing  short stories, and I believed that one day, I would
“grow up” and become a writer. However, once I  grew  up,  I  foolishly believed that it was unrealistic to think that I ever  could  be  a  writer  and publish a book. It was not until my husband encouraged  me  to  “just write” that I began to believe again that I could write.  And,  ironically,  recently, one of the best pieces of advice about writing  I  have  ever  heard  came from  another  writer, Jeff Goins, who discussed  on  his blog that essentially, you are a writer when you say you are  a  writer,  and  you  just have  to  write.  So coming full circle, I discovered  I  was  a  writer when I was a pre-teen, but I probably did not believe I was a writer until now.

RAWA: What is your favorite part of writing?

TC: I  love  it when the ideas start flowing. Whether I am walking,  in a meeting, or at the grocery store, when an idea pops in my head, I am trying hard  to  hold the ideas in my head until I can grab a notepad or a napkin, just  something to start scribbling. Putting those ideas into words, typing it  on paper,  creating  a  sentence, and then maybe a paragraph, and then maybe a chapter is my favorite part.

RAWA: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of writing?

TC: I  have  two  equally  challenging  aspects.   It  is  hard for me to overcome  what  I call “The Perfectionist’s Syndrome” where there are times during the  writing process, where I just cannot let go of the words I have on  paper  and  move on. I can’t stop editing, trying to perfect every word and sentence.  The other equally challenging aspect for me is finding free time  to  write  despite  all the other responsibilities I have in my life.  Having  little  time  to  write,  coupled  with  the  “The Perfectionist’s Syndrome,” can unnecessarily delay the whole writing process.

RAWA: Tell us about your latest release.

TC: My  latest  book,  Along  the  Way  to Happily-Ever-After. . .,  is a seriocomic  book  that  is  a collection of mostly humorous personal short stories,  tall  tales,  and  advice  about  surviving  the newlywed years, overcoming  marital challenges, and staying committed to marriage even when happily-ever-after isn’t everything one thought it would be.

RAWA: How did you come up with the title of your book?

TC: Initially,  I  had  another  completely different title for the book.  However,  after  reading  one of my  final drafts, I thought about how my Prologue begins with what one’s idea of happily-ever-after is at the moment they   are   married,   and   my   final  chapter  concludes  with  how  my happily-ever-after wasn’t what I initially thought it would be when I first got  married,  but  it  is everything I needed it to be (and so much more).  And,  of course, between the Prologue and my final chapter, there are short stories,  tall  tales,  and  advice about married life. So, I realized  the book is really about all the things that can occur— good, bad, and funny— “ Along  the  Way to Happily-Ever-After.” And, that is how I came up with the title.

RAWA: Who are some of your favorite authors?

TC: Judy  Blume.  Beginning with reading my first Judy Blume book,  Tales of  a  Fourth  Grade  Nothing,   I  grew up reading all her books from that moment all the way to reading Summer Sisters and Wifey as an adult.  I have lots  of  favorite  authors  from  so  many  genres from Judy Blume to John Grisham to Justin Cronin to Jane Austen and so many in between.

RAWA: What do you think has influenced your writing style the most?

TC: My  family  has always interjected humor even into the most difficult times  as  a way to cope and keep on moving through life. So, I think in my writing,  I  try  to  use  that light-heartedness and humor to keep readers entertained and to help them find a way to cope with difficult situations.

RAWA: As a writer what is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

TC:  As  of  right  now, I am most proud of finishing and publishing Along the  Way  to  Happily-Ever-After.  It  took  three  years,  and  there were challenges  and  periods  of time where I had to put it down, stop writing, leave  it  alone, and forget about it for a while. But, I stayed committed, and little  by  little, I was able to finish the book. However, if my book helps just one married couple, that will make me the proudest.

RAWA: How did you get published?

TC: I  self-published  my  book  through  CreateSpace  because I love the flexibility with that option. I had the freedom to decide who I worked with on  creating the book. I found great people who edited the book, and others who  did  a  wonderful  job creating  a  beautiful full-color interior and bringing my  words  to life. By using CreateSpace,  I was able to have the final  word  on  the book design and all the other decisions throughout the process.

RAWA: Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?

TC: Stay  committed to your writing. Believe in yourself, believe in your writing  ability,  and believe  in  your  books.  If  you  want to try the traditional  publishing  route,  and  you  face rejection,  don’t  let  it discourage  you.  There  are so many great and beautiful books out there by excellent  writers  who  did not use the traditional publishing route. And, the  important  thing  is  that one  way  or  the  other,  whether it is a traditional  publisher or self-publishing, just get your book out there for readers to read your story.

Along the Way to Happily-Ever-After . . .: A Humorous Guide to Weathering the Newlywed Years and Creating a Happy and Lasting Marriage by Author T.N. Carpenter is available at