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An Interview with Author Carol Holland March

Carol Holland March is a writing instructor and coach, a visionary fiction author of novels and short stories, and a nonfiction writer whose work focuses on finding the inner path to hope and healing. Her newest nonfiction releases are When Spirit Whispers: A Journey of Awakening (a 2022 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award Winner) and its companion workbook, When Spirit Whispers: A self-guided journal for accessing your intuitive wisdom. You’ll find Carol on her website at and on her Amazon author page.

Who did you write the books for, and what do you hope readers will take away from them?
I wrote When Spirit Whispers and the accompanying workbook to talk about healing from trauma. About how looking inward and writing helped me overcome the effects of the early childhood trauma that had so affected my life. This inner focus helped me overcome the “people pleasing” syndrome and fear that my creative work was not good enough. I had blamed myself for being a writer who did not write and a person who did not live up to her potential, but focusing inward led me to the resources I needed to pull myself out of anxiety, depression, and a deep-rooted lack of confidence.

To those who are creative but can’t produce their work, and to those who know something is missing, but aren’t sure what, my book shows how I asked for help from my creative center and received it! I hope my nonfiction books will help others realize how addiction, lack of confidence, and many of the so-called “neurotic” disorders are coping mechanisms developed to overcome the effects of trauma. I want to tell everyone who suffers this way THAT IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT. Change is possible. Healing is possible. And creative work will build the bridge to a new way of living.

Tell us how the books came together.
In 2017, after my second cancer diagnosis, I put away the novel I was working on to devote my time to telling my story. I thought it would help others to understand the healing journey of a creative person who was so blocked by resistance that she could not offer her work to the public for most of her life. I began work on the nonfiction book after my cancer treatment was complete in 2018. I had plenty of ideas and tons of material, but encountered huge resistance in producing a coherent narrative. I started and stopped, re-organized, changed perspective—the same time-wasting things I did with my first novel. My decades-long practice of journaling saved me from despair. Gradually, I worked through the blocks, which were largely based on a deep belief that whatever I said or did would be wrong. That’s not true, but it was the message I had internalized from my programming.

My novels (The Dreamwalkers of Larreta trilogy) had come out in 2016-2017, and I continued to write and publish short stories, but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that I took all those ideas for nonfiction and shaped them into a book. After I clarified my intention to finish Whispers, the writing took about a year. I had collected quotes and prompts without a particular purpose in mind, and halfway through Whispers I added a workbook of questions, prompts, and suggestions for anyone to use journaling as a healing tool. Since I teach Writing for Healing, and how to open to the creative impulse, it seemed a natural addition. After doing my own edits, I went through another two rounds of editing and proofing and published the books at the end of 2021.

What makes these books unique in the self-help/spiritual healing market?
Whispers is my recounting of a personal journey. It offers the hints and clues I followed as I searched for answers to the universal questions: who am I, and what in the world am I doing? I don’t offer a program, recommend any system of thought or healing practice. I believe we all can tap into our inner wisdom and learn what is appropriate for us. My first meditation teachers offered no ideology, only techniques designed to help students develop clear communication with their own highest knowledge. It worked for me, and I appreciated being taught to learn for myself rather than accepting external rules and traditions. In the book, I use my experiences with people, animals, and places to illustrate how spirit, always whispering, led me back to myself.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
When Spirit Whispers is a memoir of sorts. I wrote about my early experiences with my Wise Inner Guide and how that led me to the teachers and systems of thought that were right for me. The book does not cover all my experiences—that would take volumes—but I hoped to choose events that would point the way to anyone interested in the healing journey. I tell of what I’ve learned and of the places where I found spiritual guidance. What was most difficult about the writing was choosing the incidents and subjects from among a lifetime of experiences. Honing it down, finding what I hoped were the most significant elements. And using language that would resonate with others.

Do you have a favorite quote from When Spirit Whispers you’d like to share?
“In that land of red rocks and crashing silence, my connection to the earth flared into life. I sensed the web of energy connecting people and rocks and sand, cactus and juniper and mountain lions. We all breathed air. We all needed water. I was not so different from the ancient people who had walked this way. I was still connected to them, to the rocky cliffs and to the big-horned sheep who danced along their edges. This desert seemed more real to me than any city.”

What was the most rewarding aspect of putting this project together?
As with all my books, the most rewarding aspect is finishing! Writing through the tough parts, overcoming resistance, and making the book as good as I could manage. I have received some wonderful feedback from readers that it was useful to them, which is the best result I could hope for.

When you tackle a nonfiction project, do you think of it as storytelling?
I believe everything is a story, including the way we see our culture and the decisions we make in our lives. One of the great benefits of writing was to change my story from that of a woman victimized by circumstance, to one who has agency, takes responsibility, and does not blame others for the events of her life.

Besides nonfiction, you write novels and short stories you call “visionary fiction.” What do you mean by that term?
I read fantasy and magical realism, and when I looked for a term for what I write, visionary fiction fit best. I am interested in characters who are influenced by unseen forces, the world “behind the veil.” My characters strive to discover who they are in the larger sense. I write about life on other planets, interpenetrating planes of existence, and an earth that is imbued with magic. My characters live more than one lifetime. Often, they remember the world from which they came. Since childhood, I have perceived more than meets the eye, so it’s natural to me to write about it.

What writing projects are you working on now?
I am still writing short stories. One is coming out this year in New Myths magazine, and JMS Press will publish one of my novelette length stories in March. I am almost finished with the first draft of another nonfiction book with a working title of Open the Door to Your Creative Self. When that’s finished, I plan to write a novel that’s been haunting me for years. I have the characters and an outline, and I’m itching to have more time for it.

KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kat has a speculative fiction blog at and writes about memoir at

2022 New Releases for SWW Authors #1

Lynn Barker, Robert D. Kidera, Carol H. March, Karen Meadows, and Lynne Sturtevant represent the diverse membership of SouthWest Writers (SWW) with books published in a variety of genres in 2022. Their new releases couldn’t fit in this year’s interview schedule, but look for 2023 interviews or updates for many of these authors.

A list of interviewed SWW authors with 2022 releases is included at the end of this post.

Futurus Rex (July 2022) by Lynn Barker. In this dark future, the denizens of outposts along primitive trading routes struggle to survive and grow under medieval conditions and the harsh rule of Techno-wizards. One popular young songsayer, Aliena, is encouraged to lead a band of misfits against the oppressors but she feels far from qualified. She needs a strong battle leader and the man awakened in a cave is destined to be that person for he is Arthur, the once and future king. As legend has it, he, along with his faithful knights who rest beside him, will come forth to save his kingdom in its hour of greatest need. Unfortunately, the only one of his beloved knights to survive the long sleep is…the traitorous Modred. Co-written with Star Trek icon Dorothy (D.C.) Fontana.

You’ll find Lynn on and Amazon.

Robert D. Kidera, Tony Hillerman Award Winner and author of the Gabe McKenna Mystery series, brings readers a new thriller in 2022: CHANDLER IS DEAD. An unbalanced killer-for-hire stops during a driving rain to pick up a naked, drugged-out teenage girl hitchhiking on a desolate two-lane highway outside a Colorado ghost town at 3:27 a.m. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? If you’re a fan of Richard Stark/Donald Westlake’s Parker novels, you’ll love this one.

Visit Bob on his Black Range Publishing website, listen to his Black Range Pub podcast, and look for all of his releases on his Amazon author page.

When Spirit Whispers: A Journey of Awakening (January 2022) by Carol H. March is a 2022 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award Winner. Do you struggle with important decisions? Feel depressed or anxious? Get overwhelmed, with no time to create the life you want? To recover, heal, and thrive, say hello to the one who knows you best. Your Wise Inner Guide can lead you to your natural, creative self. It knows your fears, challenges, and your heart’s desire. It can show you how to create a life of meaning and purpose at any age. When Spirit Whispers: A self-guided journal for accessing your intuitive wisdom — the companion workbook — is also available. Inspirational quotes, questions for reflection, and writing prompts invite you to develop an active relationship with your Wise Inner Guide who will lead you to your inner Creative Self.

Find When Spirit Whispers and the self-guided journal on Amazon.

It’s a Tango, Not a War: Dancing with Type 1 Diabetes (May 2022) by Karen Meadows. Are you dancing with your diabetes? Most of us are not. We have been told to go to war with diabetes! But It’s a Tango, Not a War is a book about partnering with T1D (or any kind of diabetes). Do you know what to do to stay well? Do you think you can do it? Do you want to? This book offers humor, empathy and practical recommendations for finding your own way with diabetes and living more easily, even joyfully. Discover current medical guidelines embedded in inspiring stories of how others have met diabetes challenges and triumphed. Think about new routines for living well with what some consider a curse.

You’ll find Karen on Look for It’s a Tango, Not a War on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Ghost of Walker’s Gap (The Off-Kilter Chronicles Book 2) (April 2022) by Lynne Sturtevant. Visiting homemaker Ginger Stewart doesn’t believe in ghosts — until the spirit of a dead artist materializes in her backseat. New to Walker’s Gap, the most haunted town in West Virginia, Ginger soon discovers ghosts aren’t the only ones disturbing the peace. A mining company wants to strip the surrounding hills of their riches. But they’re searching for treasure in the wrong place. Something much more valuable than coal is hidden beneath the historic town’s brick streets. Ginger teams up with Birdy, an elderly woman with Appalachian magic running through her veins, and Ronnie, an expert in mountain legends and folklore. Can they discover the secret of Walker’s Gap and put its troubled spirits to rest before greed consumes them all?

Visit Lynne on her website For all of her books, go to her Amazon author page.

SWW Author Interviews: 2022 Releases

E. Joe Brown
A Cowboy’s Destiny (Artemesia Publishing, August 2022)

Ed Lehner
Grandpa’s Horse and Other Tales (AIA Publishing, March 2022)

Chuck Greaves
The Chimera Club (Tallow Lane Books, May 2022)

Melody Groves
Trail to Tin Town (Five Star Publishing, June 2022)
Before Billy the Kid: The Boy Behind the Legendary Outlaw (Two Dot Publishing, August 2022)

Joyce Hertzoff
Winds of Change (August 2022)

Cassie Sanchez
Embracing the Darkness (October 2022)

Avraham “Avi” Shama
Cyberwars — David Knight Goes To Moscow (3rd Coast Books, May 2022)

KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kat posts to a speculative fiction blog at and writes about memoir at

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