I came across Carolyn Steele on Indies Unlimited. She wrote an article that landed in my inbox at the very moment I needed some help to get my web page and blog presentable. As you can see, she did a fabulous job.
Carolyn also got the digital kinks out of an ebook. Mind you, I had already paid a substantial sum to a publishing service that promised my file would be perfection. It wasn’t. It took Carolyn less than a day to fix the glitches. She’s beta reading two other manuscripts for me and making corrections so that readers won’t be lifted out of a story because of my carelessness or a formatting mishap. So, let me introduce you…
If you were sitting across from Carolyn Steele at your kitchen table or hers in Kitchener, Ontario and sharing a cup of tea, you would be looking at an ordinary, attractive woman in her late fifties. Yet there is nothing ordinary about the woman. She’s a single mom. She once was married to man who strayed. They had a son, who was born sightless. She gave her husband the boot, but got her father-in-law in the divorce. The old man suffered a stroke and had nowhere else to go. Her son had eye surgery at aged three, which gave him some vision.
She writes books and articles, designs and tweaks webpages, proofs and beta reads for other authors, tats lace and drives eighteen-wheelers. One has the impression if Carolyn had her way, she would do every single one of these things at the same time. She loves every bit of it. Moreover, she is good at it. She’s funny. She smiles a lot. She volunteers on Project Gutenberg, proof reading very old and unclear texts for mistakes and “missing bits” before it can become an ebook.
A few short years ago Carolyn and her son were living in in Tottenham, U.K. Her work there was no less impressive. She was a psychologist (hated it) , an ambulance driver (loved it) and wedding cake designer (undecided).
She chucked it all and immigrated to Canada where she became a caregiver to an elderly woman, which became the focus of one of her books, A Year on Planet Alzheimer: and a little longer in Canada.
When the caregiver job petered out, Carolyn bought a Bed and Breakfast, “a sleepy little hospitality business,” which introduced her to prostitutes, drug dealers and murderers. Life got in the way of writing that tale, but Carolyn has put it at the top of her to-do list for 2014.
The bit of life that got in the way of Carolyn writing about the Bed and Breakfast mishap was a shortfall in her budget. To earn money she embarked on two-year adventure in learning to become a female long-haul truck driver. She kept a journal, blogged her experiences, and turned the blog posts into a book, Trucking in English. The book is ‘a must’ read. It’s funny, it’s warm, it’s inspirational.
Carolyn took up truck driving to build her self-confidence. Roll your eyes if you must, but Carolyn did have one miserable failure and it plagues her. She didn’t make it as a stand-up comic. Actually, she cratered.
During winter Carolyn lives in Ontario with her son, a cat and a guy. The guy owns a pest control business which helps pay the mortgage. Sounds straight forward and ordinary, right? Nope. The pests are in the U.K. So summer finds Carolyn back on her native island crawling into attics, hiking ladders and climbing trees to zap wasps, rehome bees and face down other critters not conducive to human habitation.
In this Cyber Chatter about Carolyn Steele I touched on the high bits, the low bits and left out the juicy bits—because Carolyn is a writer and those bits will find their way into her own books for your reading pleasure. Meanwhile, now you know who you’re talking to…
Read some of Carolyn’s Indies Unlimited articles here:
Only Your Mum Will Read It on why she writes memoirs
Find Your Voice on how to work out what sort of a writer you are.
To Inquire about Carolyn’s Word Press Web Design or maintenance of a WP site, visit her website friendlyseo.ca.
To Inquire about Beta Reading or Editing, contact her through her blog truckingtales.com.
To volunteer on the Gutenberg Project go to http://www.gutenberg.org.