Meet the Members: Douglas Carlyle

“My motto is, ‘Writing Fiction and Saving Lives . . . All in a Day’s Work.'”
–Douglas Carlyle

A Writers’ League of Texas member since 2009, Douglas Carlyle lives near San Antonio.
me-croppedScribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
I write in multiple fiction genres:  Family Drama, Romantic Fantasy, Medical Thriller, and Crime Mystery.
Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?
Douglas Carlyle: I would like to share absinthe and champagne with Ernest Hemingway. My question to him would be, “If you could narrow it down to one thing, what event had the greatest impact upon your career?”
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
DC: On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
DC: Two things immediately come to mind. First, I learned that there are many excellent independent authors around the world who, like me, choose not to pursue traditional publishing. WLT helped me achieve that personal goal. Secondly, writing is acquired talent that takes a substantial amount of effort before one should consider him or herself proficient at the task. Even then, one can never stop refining one’s skillset. WLT offers the ongoing workshops and networking to assist in this matter.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
DC: I’ve published four novels. A fifth novel is half complete. I hope to complete it upon my retirement next year and to continue writing as a way to maintain my mental acuity and to meet other talented authors.
Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?
DC: News of the World by Paulette Jiles.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
DC: I’ve rejected agency representation and traditional publishing because I’m certain the quality of my work would suffer from the prescriptive business practices I associate with going that route. I write what I want to write. Because I touch on subjects that have deeply affected me, it shows in the passion of my words.
There is a strong moral lesson in each of my novels. In my debut award-winning novel, In Search of the Fuller Brush Man, that lesson is “True love is never-ending.” That is a lesson I learned from my mother and my high school girlfriend, both of whom are now deceased, yet left indelible marks on my life.
In my second novel, Vinegarone, the lesson is “Greatness comes from the most unexpected people and places.” It alludes to the insensitivity with which we treat the homeless and the mentally ill.
My third novel, Boundaries, teaches us to “Beware of our misuse of technology.” It shows how greed and bureaucracy can destroy that which should give us great hope.
Finally, my most recent and second award-winning novel, Death by Times New Roman, plays on the cliché, “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.” It leaves you wondering who you can trust. This novel is the first in my Cat Kavanagh Mystery Series featuring a heroine who is tough, smart, sassy, all the while struggling with her PTSD.
I live on our Domarja Mesa Ranch about 75 miles west of San Antonio between the “thriving” wide spots in the road Tarpley and Utopia. We refer to it as being “centrally isolated.” I am an electrical engineer by degree. I worked in the semiconductor industry in Texas for twenty-six years beginning in Austin in 1977. Travel around the world has given me great inspiration as has raising three daughters and leading the life of a gentleman rancher.
Since leaving the world of electronics in 2003, I have been able to focus my energy full time as both a paramedic and firefighter–my dream job I began over three decades ago. While discharging my duty and medical ministry, I encounter people most of us would likely not have the opportunity–perhaps not the desire–to meet. These people are colorful. They span the spectrum of human existence. They often are experiencing the most tragic, intense, painful, emotional, humbling, moment of their life. They confide in me. They tell me their story. Fragments of these incredible people who cross my path maybe just once, maybe many times, become bits and pieces of my characters. If the individuals in my novels appear genuine, that’s because they are.
My motto is, “Writing Fiction and Saving Lives . . . All in a Day’s Work.”

Thanks, Douglas!
If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

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