This post is part of an interview series featuring the authors of Family Stories from the Attic, an anthology of essays, creative nonfiction, and poetry inspired by family letters, objects, and archives. Monday posts are featured on the Hidden Timber Books website, and Wednesday posts are featured here. Learn more about Family Stories from the Attic at the bottom of this post. Without further ado, let’s meet Carolou Nelsen, author of “I Had a Brother.”
Q: Did you write “I Had a Brother” with a particular person/reader in mind?
Carolou: The discovery of a letter written by my brother in 1945 during World War II brought back so many memories of our growing up years together. I decided to represent the letter in this piece, alternating his written voice with my thoughts
Q: How has the publication of your piece influenced the work you are writing today or your writing in general?
Carolou: This look into my past reminded me that my adult children and my grandchildren know little about my youth and the world I lived in eight decades ago. At my daughter’s request, I would now like to write about my experiences in times that they cannot imagine.
Q: What is a fun, interesting, or unusual fact to share with your readers?
Carolou: I fell into writing quite by accident when a friend asked me to illustrate a children’s book that she had written. I joined her writing group and became enchanted with my fellow senior friend’s written works. Now I try to work with both brush and pen.
Connect with Carolou
If you’d like to connect with Carolou, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way–face to face or snail mail, because as Carolou says, “I am not involved with social media nor do I intend to find the extra time to do so. Life is full as it is!”
Pictured above left, Carolou (17) and Bob (24) before he went overseas, and pictured above right, Carolou’s son, Robert, at Bob’s gravestone.
Family Stories from the Attic features nearly two dozen works of prose and poetry inspired by letters, diaries, photographs, and other family papers and artifacts. Editors Christi Craig and Lisa Rivero bring together both experienced and new writers who share their stories in ways that reflect universal themes of time, history, family, love, and change.