Saturday, 4 May 2013

Carrie Bailey, author of Bungle of Oz

Bungle of Oz by Carrie Bailey is available for Kindle and the Kindle app from Amazon:
US: Bungle of Oz by Carrie Bailey
UK: Bungle of Oz by Carrie Bailey

Bungle of Oz by Carrie Bailey
Bungle of Oz by Carrie Bailey

The glass cat first appeared in the Patchwork Girl of Oz by Frank L. Baum. She's vain, prideful and her brains are made from the most elegant tourmaline pink marbles imaginable.

After living luxuriously in the Palace of Oz for quite some time, glass cat has been accidentally rendered breakable by her creator, the Crooked Magician. Along with Igi, Oz's tallest munchkin she travels across the country into Ev to discover a thriving industry in a land where magic is still legal.

Then, unexpectedly, on the miles wide castle grounds of the Wizard of Ev, the gravel men involve Igi in a senseless war that begins to answer questions about his clockwork arm, his amnesia and his origins. All would be resolved swiftly if the castle weren't constructed from red glass and Bungle weren't faced with the hardest choice she'd ever been given. Does she become a real cat? Or does she live forever with the chips and scratches she's endured?

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Author Quiz interviews Carrie Bailey...

Is there anything about you or your writing that makes you unique from other authors?
As arrogant as it sounds, I’ve got a medically certified IQ that opens doors into much nerdier places than Mensa. But that really isn’t too impressive if you consider that there are probably about 6 million certifiable geniuses in the US alone. Some of them are writers. There are, on the other hand, only 4 million people in Oregon where I am from. That makes me a little more unique, right? No, not quite buuuuuut… if you take into consideration that-thanks to my formerly-love-struck parents-I’m an uncommon mixture of both Ojibwe and Jewish, I can say unequivocally that I am quite unique and I have no chance of ever being paid for demographically based market research studies.

What came first, the idea for your first book or the decision to write a book?
I had to write a book. I committed myself by accident. When I was working as a librarian, I met this patron who had written a tantalizing story that impressed me. I wanted to infiltrate a community of writers to help pave her way into publication. So, I went around and told people that I was a writer, too. “Oh, what have you written?” they said.

In retrospect, I should have expected it.

Illustration from Bungle of Oz
If you were to write a story featuring a fictional character from another author’s novel, who would you choose and why?
The glass cat from the Wizard of Oz series. I have just finished a novella with Bungle, the glass cat, as the protagonist.

My mother used to read the Oz series to my sister and I when I was too young to pay attention to all the big words. The only character I honestly remembered was this haughty and beautiful talking crystal cat with pink marble brains that you could see work.

John R. Neill, the illustrator for the 1900s – 1910s Oz books was a major influence on my imagination. And the best part of writing my book, Bungle of Oz, was trying to incorporate bits of his art noveau magazine style illustrations into my own.

Are any of your characters based heavily on people you know or have met from real life and if so, would they regard it as a compliment or an insult to discover they were the inspiration for the character in question?
I have a long history of bad relationships with men and I tend to write the annoying habits of former boyfriends into my characters.

I’m pretty certain they would take what they would see as their literary immortalization as a compliment. And if I could understand why my writing unflattering things about them would be such a boost to their egos, I probably wouldn’t ex-boyfriends.

Are there any good book, blogs or websites you would recommend, both for discovering new books and authors, and also for promoting your own work?
Yes. Peevish It’s a multi-author blog by writers making the transition from freelance writers to career authors. They post author interviews, guest posts and do reviews of your publications for FREE.

Do you foresee more and more authors making a living from their writing?
Yes, my objective is not to become wealthier than the queen of England, but to write books until that day when my income from writing allows me to quit my daytime grunt work and just write. I’m not alone in that ambition and I won’t be alone when I achieve it.

The seismic activity that’s been shaking the publishing industry has been bringing down bookstores like Borders and closing Barnes and Noble outlets and forcing major publishers to merge. It’s driving self-published books up the charts and is far from finished reorganizing how we find what we read. Wait for it…there’s going to be some bumpy aftershocks for a while to come.

I predict there will be more small digital presses and resurgence in local bookshops springing up to fill the void left behind. Of course, most will fail, but at least they’ll give it a go. Committed authors have more options and their chances of being able to support themselves with their work will increase exponentially the longer they write.

Personally, I know the exact figure I need to move back to Chile where I can eat empanadas and drink café cortados in Vina del Mar while pounding the keys on my laptop. I may not have made it there yet, but I get closer every day. In fact, I now make somewhere between $50 to $500 per month writing. Some would call that shameful and say I’m not even a real author, but I’m truly proud of it.

Many authors have realized they’re running a business and they need to worry about location, branding, marketing and customer service. Whether you’re a small or large operation, doing something you love and getting paid for it is good business.

Are there any book blogs or websites which you would recommend for an author looking to find potential reviewers for their book?

Just had to say it again.

It’s a multi-author blog I contribute to and we do free reviews for self-published authors.

Can you remember the moment when you logged into your author account and discovered you had made your first sale?
I can’t, but I do remember when I started getting sales where I didn’t know who was buying copies of my eBook. On some level, it made me rethink my career, because until I got those few mystery sales, I didn’t truly believe it was going to happen. At that point, I knew I could take my work more seriously and even…write a business plan.

What other book would you regard it the biggest compliment to have your own work compared to and why?
A YA fantasy story I am still working on was compared to The Whipping Boy written by Sid Fleishman. I loved that book.

Hearing that unforgettable compliment marked another turning point in my creative endeavors. Of course, it was my sister who told me that I wrote like Sid Fleishman, but it meant the world to me at the time.

What target audience would you recommend your book, Bungle of Oz to?
Oz fans and young people who are coping with a new disability. While the first group should be as obvious as why you don’t pull a rhino’s tail, the second group is less so.

In Bungle of Oz, the glass cat’s paw gets chipped. She is proud and vain about her beauty, but is forced to deal with the permanent damage and does not like it.

I wrote this story while coping with hearing loss, but it’s not a story about being disabled. It’s a quest for a magical cure for Bungle’s damaged paw across a strange land filled with unpredictably odd inhabitants. Some of the characters happen to have clockwork arms or do magic from a wheel chair. And ironically, the disabled characters go about their lives normally, but the vanity of the cat is all consuming.

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Thanks for your comments, Carrie, and good luck with your writing.

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Discover more about Carrie Bailey and her writing at her website and blog:

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Follow Carrie Bailey on facebook and twitter:
Facebook: Carrie Bailey
Twitter: @PeevishPenman

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Bungle of Oz by Carrie Bailey is available for Kindle and the Kindle app from Amazon:
US: Bungle of Oz by Carrie Bailey
UK: Bungle of Oz by Carrie Bailey


  1. thanks for share....

  2. Carrie, is this book coming out in print? I'd love to purchase it, but I don't buy ebooks or kindle. I'm still a bit of a traditionalist who prefers to have a physical book in my hand.