Growing up, “when TLC and Salt-n-Peppa ruled the radio stations,” Carrie Mattern Shay ruled the softball diamonds and classrooms; she was a sensational pitcher and a stellar student. Astoundingly, her academic accomplishments rivaled her impressive athletic dominance in the softball circle. So masterful she was, in fact, she received a scholarship for both.
After graduating from high school with honors, she accepted the athletic and academic scholarships from Saginaw Valley State University. As Mattern enrolled, she still ignored the fact that she was destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps as an educator.
“I saw (my mom) come home with so much work, and I didn’t want that burden,” the former SVSU pitching ace reflected about witnessing her mother’s teaching profession. “I also saw how hard she worked with little recognition; I felt she deserved more. Little did I know, less than ten years after vowing it wasn’t the job for me, I’d be teaching teenagers in a small town called Brown City, located in the thumb of Michigan.”
As a youngster, though, Mattern wrote, but had no plan of becoming a teacher. Instead, it was Hollywood that swept her into an ideal career. When she first saw Indiana Jones, the Michigan-lifer dreamed of becoming, you guessed it, an archaeologist; there was no other option. The Hollywood marquees were going to read, Indiana Jones and Carrie Shay. Ultimately, though, she grew out of that phase and vowed to become a marine biologist.
Then, she realized how much schooling that would entail, not to mention the fact that she noticed “how far I’d have to move from my parents.” Quickly, Mattern aborted that plan, also. As her career options changed, she just knew there was still that one profession that she would never pursue–Mom’s job.
Fast forward through her collegiate career, and after graduating with a strong athletic and academic resume, Carrie began teaching at Brown City High School. Then, she met Paul; three beautiful children later, they’ve been married for eight years.
As far as the high school English teacher’s writing career goes, she has her parents and her aunt to thank for the push. In all, it’s been a life-long journey.
“I’ve always written. My Aunt Candice used to buy me a new journal every year for Christmas when I was little,” the writer of children’s books, young adult fiction, adult fiction, and non-fiction said. “In sixth grade I published my first story, ‘Jenny has to Move’; it wasn’t a best-seller, but I remember feeling so special. Then, my parents surprised me by publishing Papa, Why Does the Wind Blow after I gave it to my dad for Father’s Day, years ago; it was a delightful surprise! That is when I considered myself a full-fledged author.”
To date, Mattern has three children’s stories and two young adult novellas available. In addition to her first works, she is working on an anthology, a children’s follow-up to Papa. Also, the Ace pitcher has a book of “humiliation essays” in the works.
Slowly but surely, Mattern is gaining more and more recognition as an author. In fact, just recently she received, what she calls, her biggest compliment, yet.
“My husband was getting our oil changed the other day and after he paid, the girl asked him if he was married to the author, Carrie Mattern,” she proudly said. “She was reading my YA book at Mott Community College; super-cool author moment.”
The woman who profoundly says “readers are saving books and reviews are saving authors,” spends more time writing than one would think, considering she works a stress-filled, full-time job teaching high school students.
The English teacher spends a couple of hours each day on emails, lesson plans, grading papers, writing comments, and evaluations. Then, for “funsies,” she writes another hour each day. Surprisingly, she may do her best writing, not on paper.
“I tend to write the complete book in my head and then type it out in a few sittings,” the music lover of too-many-artists-to-list said. “This works well when you have a full time job and three children under ten.”
Mattern has the following books available:
Papa Why Does the Wind Blow
Welcome Little Leo
All About Jane (www.marketingnewauthors.com)
Never (Spring 2014)
The Magician’s Daughter (printing now)
Furthermore, the writing darling of Burton, Michigan, is easily accessible.
Facebook: LIKE https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carrie-Mattern/245934223119
Though she’s in the midst of an ever-expanding writing career, Mattern already knows how she wants her works to be remembered. Simply put, she sees her work being labeled as timeless.
“I want my writing to speak volumes to people at any age and at any point in time, without any clarification or validation on my end. I want them to take their own experience with my words, have their unique interpretation, and be satisfied.”
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