Lorraine Carey’s love of books becomes glaringly apparent when you read her resume: she is an experienced children’s reading specialist, a teacher, and an award-winning author of several paranormal and mystery books. Carey has taught in Ohio, Arizona, New Mexico, California, and her current home, Grand Cayman, where she continues to write and work with children.
A love of ghost stories and scary movies at a young age inspired Carey to pursue the paranormal genre as a writer. Her stories are often founded on personal experiences with the paranormal and strange historical facts, which she heightens with a twist of magic and gripping mystery. Because of her teaching experience, most of Carey’s work is geared toward a middle grade or young adult audience. Years of reading with children showed her what kids want in a story, and inspired her to write for young readers.
Carey’s first published book, 2011’s Losing Ground, is a short memoir, but the work that follows is a series of successful and highly rated paranormal novels, including Mysteries of the Red Coyote Inn, Out of the Ashes, Jonathan’s Locket, The Last Vestal Virgin, and Beloved Sacrifice, all published between 2014 and 2015. Her most recent release, The Good Teacher, published in April of this year, is a supernatural thriller and the first in a series called Women of the Willow Wood.
In addition to her fiction pieces, Carey creates resources for parents and educators. She has published free comprehension worksheets for teachers that accompany her novels, as well as a 2015 non-fiction book called A Rock Star Reader by Kindergarten, a guide that teaches parents how to help preschool-age children become successful readers.
What was your upbringing like, and how did it shape who you are today?
I was raised in a very loving home in a small town in Ohio. My grandparents were immigrants hailing from Italy and Croatia. I had the best of both worlds, being immersed with the food, language and values from these cultures.
How did you initially become interested in the paranormal genre?
I always had a love for the paranormal since childhood. My mother was a very strong intuitive and was open to psychics and the paranormal herself. It was not uncommon for her to join my friends and me in a séance at our house.
Over the course of your life, who have been your biggest creative influences?
I would have to say that would be author V.C. Andrews, Tolkien and Amanda Hocking.
What aspects of the writing process did you struggle with the most when you were first starting out, and how did you overcome those struggles?
I had struggled with a sense of support and contacts when I first began. Even though I live on small island we have an amazing writer’s group here called CayWriters. I joined and received support as well as group sessions once a month where authors shared their work and issues. I also reached out to some online and Facebook author groups for new authors, not only making great friends but had a good list of resources for editing, beta readers, reviewers and the like.
Several of your novels are based on real events. How much research do you typically do when writing?
Many of my novels are based on real events. Even though they are mostly fiction there is a fraction of truth as the core. I have had many paranormal experiences in my lifetime that I have brought to life with each story.
What inspired the story of The Good Teacher and the Women of the Willow Wood series?
The Good Teacher is truly one of my favorites mainly due to a real life experience I had while teaching in New Mexico with a student. I also love the enchantment and folklore of the area and wanted to bring it to life. This is book one of a series. It is a true dedication to those who will risk their lives to help others who are suffering or abused.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work as a children’s reading specialist and a teacher?
The most rewarding aspect of being a reading teacher is the joy in seeing a non-reader become a reader. To see a child earn that skill is priceless.
How did you end up on Grand Cayman? What do you like most about living there?
My husband and I were living in southern California in 2009 when we both lost our jobs. It was also a year that we lost five family members. It was as if we went down into a huge black hole together. My husband had sent his resume out into cyberspace and a headhunter directed him down here. We arrived on the Fourth of July and are still here.
Is there anything you regret not doing when you were younger? If so, what?
That would be continuing with my dancing lessons that I was taking through high school and becoming a professional dancer. I have always loved to dance and have always regretted this big time. I used to dream of being in a Broadway production.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on book two of Women of the Willow Wood. This next book is a bit more racy and the magic is ramped up to full power. I hope to have this done by late fall of 2016.