Star Trek: The Original Series, and Lord of the Rings
Born into a traditional Southern family and to this day a recovering Southern Baptist, Carol began pecking to break out of her shell long before she left home for college. Her years in journalism cemented her liberal bias and her impatience with a status quo that held women and people of color to less-than-equal. She considers herself more spiritual than religious, dabbling in practices (like meditation and Reiki – horrors!) that have the conservatives in her family clutching their collective pearls. Having experienced the less-than-noble side of western medicine, she is a vocal advocate for patients taking the reins of their own health, no matter what path they choose to take, no matter whose toes get stepped on (or rolled over – wheelchairs are dangerous). Now that she’s reached a “certain age”, the filters in her pre-frontal lobe are GONE, and she is less concerned about hurting some racist’s or misogynist’s delicate feelings when making her opinions heard (see above about toes). These days, she’s far less likely to hide behind a Melanie Hamilton smile and more easily gives vent to her inner Julia Sugarbaker.
Copy- and Developmental Editor.
“You not only have a right to be an individual. You have a responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
There’s no escaping the fact that contracting rheumatoid arthritis at the tender age of five altered the trajectory of Carol Goodman’s life. Diagnosed before she even reached Kindergarten, it simultaneously narrowed her choices and opened a wide range of possibilities, with an imagination fueled by books. Voracious, she checked out twenty at a time from the local library. When her illness required long absences from school, books were Carol’s closest companions.
Growing up during the ‘60s, adjacent to Kennedy’s quest to the moon, the subject would continue to intrigue her. Star Trek’s vision of the 23rd century captured her imagination with its take on a Utopian society exploring the depths of space. Carol and her small group of middle school friends spent many a sleepover writing their own ‘Trek scripts, where she gave new life to Chekov (her favorite character). Later, they added S.W.A.T., Emergency, and Star Wars to their list of fair-game fandoms. Episode IV joined TOS back then, cementing itself among her favorites. These passions led her to being reprimanded in her English classes for writing far too much.
When Carol’s parents tried to talk her into attending a small local college, the shy girl put her crooked little foot down and ran off (figuratively speaking) to Ohio State University. Her major in Natural Resources/Communications immersed her in classes that covered journalism, biology, botany, zoology, and ecology. During this time, she spent a summer working in Big Bend National Park in Texas. Newly married in ‘82, and graduating in ‘83, Carol’s first post-collegiate job was as a proofreader at an ad agency. Following that, she was a reporter and columnist for a small-town weekly newspaper in relentlessly rural Vinton County, Ohio. During a brutal winter, pregnant with her first child, snowed in and reduced to reading soup cans for entertainment, a neighbor gave her a box of romance novels. Holding her nose, Carol opened the first one – and a new obsession was born.
Despite her love of community journalism (having won a regional award), the merciless conflicting deadlines required of 27 newspapers wreaked havoc on her health. No, you didn’t misread that. Seeing an ad in one of her own newspapers for a technical writing position, she showed up at the interview and told them that while not the most tech savvy, that she could write a damn good paragraph. Poached by one of her own papers, she was hired on the spot, taking a leap of faith and switching careers. Carol’s freelance technical and copywriting career spanned two decades and encompassed a variety of industries. It was 1993 that Carol began her first novel, while she and her husband did the bulk of their international travel. They’d embarked on a quest to visit as many U.S. National Parks as possible, a challenge that continues to this day. It was shortly thereafter that Carol had her left hip replaced, which still sets off security alarms. Titanium tends to do that, but it was 1997, and she had to be fancy. Six months after “righty” followed suit in 2000, she hiked in the Grand Canyon.
By 2007, Carol had published four award-winning-and-nominated paranormal romances, blending her love of romance, history, ghost stories, and Celtic folklore. Leaving the Cleveland area for Toledo, a city with little to no demand for tech writers, Carol was open to a change. Walking down Bourbon street in New Orleans with her publisher, Carol overheard the editors lamenting that their biggest headache was developing compelling, catchy blurbs and taglines. Because inebriation is a fantastic interview tool, one thing led to another, and soon Carol was writing 90% of the group’s blurbs and taglines. This buccaneer impressment lasted right up until Samhain Publishing closed in 2016. This didn’t slow Carol down, and with another flying leap she went into freelance as The Blurb Wizard™. This hurricane (Carol, not her drink) has cranked out marketing-related copy for over 5,000 books, including some bestsellers. With more free time on her hands, she discovered anime and fan fiction, her “gateway drug” being Speed Racer. Yes, she’s a bit late to the party, given this rich subculture, but she’s working hard to catch up.With the addition of three grandchildren and her husband’s retirement in 2019, Carol spends more time these days wearing her “grandma” hat and a motorcycle helmet. Spare parts come with the territory- your results may vary. After all, she’d earned her motorcycle license when most folks are contemplating their first hip replacement. She’s had three. She jumped (What? Wolverine does…) at the chance to join the team of bright, young(er) minds launching The Unconventional, having met Savan Gupta and his merry band of cosplayers back at 2011’s Authors After Dark. She hasn’t asked, but she’s reasonably certain she’s old enough to be most everyone’s mom. Since said recruitment to SFS in 2017, Carol’s red pen has “graced” hundreds of manuscripts. She’s been privileged to have a front row seat into so many new worlds, with so much to learn and enjoy. Writers never really retire; they just end up looking for that missing Oxford comma around next bend.