20 questions and a selfie: A day in the life of Carol Bodensteiner, PR pro turned freelance writer and author

For this installment of “20 Questions and a Selfie,” we catch up with Carol Bodensteiner, a public relations professional turned freelance writer and author.

Prior to going out on her own, Carol spent 30 years working at PR and marketing agencies based in the Midwest. For 10 of those years she served as president at of CMF&Z Public Relations, one of the region’s largest business-to-business PR firms.

“Since leaving the 8 to 5 (or 6 to 8) agency world in 1999,” she says, “I’ve been an independent consultant and a writer.”

You can connect with Carol on Twitter @CABodensteiner and on her website, www.carolbodensteiner.com.

Our 20 questions with Carol start now:

1) What is your full name?

Carol Bodensteiner

2) What is your professional job title?


3) Describe your organization.

It’s just me – writing, making coffee, writing, doing laundry, writing, marketing, writing. My husband & writing friends encourage me.

4) Describe your surroundings right now.

I “file in piles” so my office is chaotic. Boxes of my novel ‘Go Away Home‘ & my memoir ‘Growing Up Country‘ are ready to mail to readers.

5) What was your first paid writing gig?

I was editorial assistant for Soybean Digest magazine. That’s where I learned I could write. I’ve been paid to write ever since.

6) What was the last thing you wrote?

A news release to announce that my WWI-era novel Go Away Home published in July has been acquired by Amazon Publishing. Happy Dance!

7) What is the next thing you plan to write?

A contemporary novel about a woman who is forced to decide whether she’ll give up everything she holds dear to help someone else.

8) Finish this sentence: The ideal way to start my day is …

a walk to greet the day, then a cup of coffee and the morning paper before I head into my office to write.

9) Besides your computer, what is sitting on your desk right now?

Books by historical fiction authors I admire: Sue Monk Kidd, M.K. Tod, Helen Bryan & Carol Erwin.

10) So-called writer’s block is no match for you! What is your antidote?

Butt glue. I buy it by the gallon.

11) Finish this sentence: I hate it when I read …

anything laden with adverbs and adjectives.

12) What are the most important tools, programs and systems you use for your work?

A regular writing schedule. Deadlines with my writing buddy. Did I mention Butt Glue?

13) First book that comes to mind? Go!

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

14) What are your favorite smartphone apps and why?

Evernote – It helps create order out of the chaos of millions of tidbits of info that litter my mind.

15) What have you always wanted to write?

There is no Moby Dick for me. I write whatever interests me at the moment.

16) What is your advice for aspiring professional writers?

Believe in yourself and stick to it. It may take a long time, but if you really want to do it, you can.

17) First famous writer who comes to mind? Go!

Stephen King – I admire his advice on writing and aspire to capture any scene descriptor the way he captures ominous skies.

18) Finish this sentence: My favorite thing about being a writer is …

Hearing from readers who tell me my stories resonated with them.

19) Pencil versus pen—who wins and why?

Both. Pencil because I’m always editing. Pen because the right one lets writing flow.

20) Finish this sentence: One word or phrase people will never read in my writing is …

Now that’s crazy. If I wrote it down, someone would be able to read it in my writing. Let’s say I’m not one for foul language.

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