What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?
Before I was a writer, I was first a storyteller. I wasn't much of a reader as a kid because I liked making up things and to be able to see the reactions of my "audience" (i.e., siblings, cousins, friends), and adjust my story to their emotional reactions. I didn't start actual writing down of stories until my early teens.
If, however, you meant what real-life job(s) I had to support my love of storytelling-writing, it was varied through the years, but mostly, I was a school teacher. Did teaching influence my writing? (Ooh, the true stories I could tell, but dare not.) Did those other dozen part-time jobs influence my writing? (Can you sense my head nodding a vigorous yes?) The fact of continually working with and alongside of people certainly influences my writing, no matter what the actual job, especially for plot and character.
2. Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above.
It's funny how I've always wanted to focus on writing for kids from the get-go, but it's my adult NF or humor articles, especially pre-blogging days, which were readily published. I've since published several historical fiction books for kids (reader ages 8-12), and now have been focusing on sharing my love of fantasy (reader age 10-14, through adult). Oh. And then there's that memoir I've been working on, which didn't at all start out as a memoir but seems to have developed into just that.
Short answer: General
Little longer short answer (by the hours spent and stories plotted): Fantasy for older kids
3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?
I didn't really start reading like crazy (i.e., for pleasure) until I was an adult. My all-time favorite authors are C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. Their fantasy-adventure tales and well-developed characters have definitely influenced me, but so has a zillion hours spent outdoors, gardening, hiking, encountering many an animal in the wild, and then reading about them later.
4. What's your latest release?
War Unicorn: The Ring was published October, 2017 by Books We Love Publishing
5. What are you working on now?
I'm doing a series following War Unicorn. I'm now on my third book in the series. There are other stories sitting in pots on the back burners of my large cast iron writing stove, which sometimes get things tossed in (ideas, characters, plots) and then turned up to simmer...or not. There is also that memoirs thing.
6. Where can we find you?
You can find my social media links and more at www.sandycarlson.com
Yes, the S in S. L. Carlson stands for Sandy.