Margaret Karmazin lives by a lake in northeast Pennsylvania surrounded by woods, bears, deer, racoons, snakes and other critters. She is okay with them all except for bears and spiders. She is fortunate to have a delightful husband and moody black cat, both of them very cuddly. At this point, 235 of her literary, contemporary, magic realism and SF stories have appeared in magazines in the US, UK, Australia, India, Canada, Romania and Germany.
Margaret's work appeared in Pond 76
Why do you write?
I began writing up as a creative emotional release in the ‘80s when my first husband and I broke up. I went on to write three more novels, one of which I self-published and the second which was accepted by a small publisher. I realized then that short stories were more my forte and began to get those accepted for publication in 1998. Science fiction is my favorite genre since I can let my imagination run free and create worlds and beings. Writing for me is like breathing – it has to be done and I can’t imagine life without it.
What other creative activities are you involved in?
I am also an artist and do large-ish acrylic paintings. I have an art education degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was an elementary and middle school art teacher for a few years and later a substitute high school teacher. My artwork has appeared in several literary magazines and online. If you google my name and art, some will come up.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Somerset Maugham for much of my grownup life. I read every one of his short stories that I could find and loved how he took me around the Far East and into the intimate lives of adventurers, sailors, planters and desperate wives. I think he is one of the greatest writers in the world. No fancy prose, just straight and ingenious story telling. My current favorite writer is Jonathan Franzen and I also love Anne Tyler and numerous 20th century British writers.
Tell us about the mechanics of how you write.
It is just something I do every day as a matter of course. I turn on the computer in the morning and between working out and morning chores, I open Microsoft Word, mess around on Facebook, play a few games like Wordle and Connections, do my Duolingo Spanish lesson and then write. Off and on all day until about two PM, I work on my current story. When writing a story, I feel like it is alive – the people are real, I am them and they are me. I think about them in the night and when I get up. When finished with the first draft, I read it to my husband and I can tell if it’s a good one or not if I don’t have to keep asking, “Are you still awake?"
Finally, what do you think about Carp, the fish, not our website?
Well, I think they are beautiful, at least the ornamental ones. I have never eaten one and probably never will. We don’t have any carp in our lake here, so I never get to meet any, kind of like giraffes – I don’t get meet any of those either.