Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Carol Piner's EVIDENCE OF INSANITY a funny, gut-wrenching memoir

Welcome to Carol Piner, whom I met through Books Go Social. Here's what she has to say about herself: I am an energetic, happy female living in her hometown in southeastern North Carolina. I live on a small island that I adore. Bored at 63, I wrote a book called Evidence of Insanity about growing up with explosive parents. I am a story-teller, and it is written in that fashion. I have managed to sell over 2,800 autographed copies all by myself. Not to people I knew either. They are who are in the book.

I also painted for eighteen months, which resulted in 40 canvasses as large as 24x30. Many of them have been sold. The rest are shown all over my local area for 2 months at a time thanks to Adopt an Artist. Among other varied interests I grew over 250 orchids at one time. I have loved them for over 25 years. 
Hilarious New Book, Evidence of Insanity, Introduces Us to "Chaos Magnet" Little Callie Eventually the publishing world will run out of new characters, but not yet. Carol Piner's Little Callie is a tiny force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, you have to do it while you are laughing.

What brings your writing into focus—the characters, the stories, or the love of words? As for what brought my writing into focus, there were three major issues I had to overcome. 1) Like most writers I had to find the time and decide how to make it funny. Finally, with the slowdown in the economy, in 2008 my work and my trigeminal neuralgia converged to give me a lot of time to myself. It was already in my mind. 2) To be candid, I had to wait for some people to move along because they weren't going to like what I said. After a lifetime of waiting, these were the people who made fun of me who I intended to make fun of right back.

My book is not to be considered "high literature." It is to be lived with me and hopefully the reader will become my friend through the experience.

What do you think readers will like about your book? I wrote my book in stream of consciousness style. I am a Southern story-teller. My stories are written like my readers are walking with me through this journey and I am speaking directly to them. They will experience every high and low I knew, and perhaps enjoy the  hilarity, the poignancy, the tragedy and my own personal style.

How much fact is in your fiction? I tell people openly that my book is not a pure memoir or an autobiography. I freely embellished for both humor and impact. Nonetheless, only about 10-15% is not the truth.

What's the highest compliment someone could make about your writing? This said it all for me. This came from Professor Emeritus at NC State University and book review contributor to The News and Observer in Raleigh NC.   "A remarkable achievement...honest and direct...funny and gut wrenching...poignant. A book a first time author should be proud of."

What movie star would be perfect for (your main character) and why? I like Ashley Judd because she has the same kind of irreverence I have and shows empathy and pain very well. Her laughter is marvelous. She also wrote a "tell-all" of her own about her mother and sister, The Judds.

Oh, if I could choose my favorite sound track for my movie, it would be "Shall We Dance" with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. Dancing is throughout my book.

EVIDENCE OF INSANITY: There are so many unbelievable segments to the life of Little Callie, that, unlike most books, they rattle around in the brain, afterward. A "chaos magnet" is how the lead character is described and it is so very accurate.

After being bashed about after Callie's Mama rammed the Daddy's Cadillac, Callie's birth is a classic example of how to be funny. The book is so fast paced that the classic moments follow one right after another. There isn't even time to catch a breath.

But then again, very few things in life are funnier than Callie's wedding day. Not wanting to be married in the first place, Callie hilariously snarls through the rehearsal, ceremony and reception. Her “wedding gown” was a hand-made bag that was cut from left-over material. It was clearly not the best of times in reality, but it sure was funny.

Carol Piner is a gifted story-teller, it's true. But, more than that, the gift of Evidence of Insanity to the publishing world is how to stare adversity in the face and defeat it, with plenty of hearty laughs to sprinkle around.

Piner clearly has a robust following already. Five-star postings hail the book's effect on the readers. Several readers seem to think the author is a stand up-comic. One reader wants to see her on Oprah; another thinks a movie should be made with only Piner playing Little Callie. I doubt the author wants to go through this hilarious mayhem another time.


  1. Excellent interview Carol!! If you haven't read her book people, DO!!

  2. This sounds really interesting! I love how she took a difficult situation and turned it into an inspiring, humorous story to share with others.

  3. Wonderful interview, Ms Piner.. I'm really looking forward to reading your book. How can I get it?