Uniqueness of Vision: An Interview with Carol Rifka Brunt

Carol Rifka Brunt

Carol Rifka Brunt

What is the best advice you have been given to prepare for the road to publication?
Because I’ve been a bit of an outsider–not part of the MFA culture–I don’t think I received much advice at all. Maybe ‘be patient.’ That includes not sending out prematurely, make sure you’ve edited and re-edited and then let the work sit for as long as you need to. The patience thing extends to the waiting period once you’ve submitted. And even once the book has sold there’s that 18-month wait.
What are you working on now?

I’m working on a lot of e-interviews and articles! When I’m not doing that I’m working on several short stories, an essay and the first draft of a novel. The new novel is very much in the playful, exploratory phase.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Write the story only you can write. The only commodity an artist or writer has to offer is their uniqueness of vision. It’s also the thing readers seem to respond to most strongly. And give yourself time. There’s no rush. Some of the best things in Tell the Wolves came to me three years into the process. The subconscious is mysterious. It’s always working, but will only give up its secrets if you give it enough time.

Is there something you didn’t expect during this entire process?

Success! Every day I’m astounded at the amount of love I’ve had for this novel. I remember saying early on, “I doubt it will sell. I think editors might like it but say that it’s not sellable.” To see people buying the book and connecting with the characters that I came to love so much is so unexpected and touching.

Carol Rifka Brunt:

Her writing has been published in literary journals like The North American Review and The Sun. I’ve also published articles in places like Family Fun and Valley Kids. In 2006, I was one of three fiction writers selected for the New Writing Partnership’s New Writing Ventures award. In 2007, I was awarded a generous Arts Council grant to write my first novel. That novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, was published by Dial Press (US) and Macmillan (UK) in June 2012. I’m currently working on short stories, essays and the beginnings of a new novel.


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