About M J Carlton

M J Carlton resides in the valley of Los Angeles. A mom of three, a wife, and the proud owner of a well-mannered tuxedo cat named Ella. Her recent graduation from UCLA, summa cum laude, with a degree in English and a minor in Film has ignited her dream of dedicating every waking moment to writing. For M J, writing is a cathartic experience.  Just like her characters, she hopes to overcome the challenges of growing up with an alcoholic father and a mentally ill mother. Through her stories, she explores the power of forgiveness and acceptance, while also embracing the wild, untamed spirit within herself and the generations of women in her bloodline. These women have been her guiding lights, teaching her through their actions what it means to follow one’s truth.


Fairytales and Broken Souls

At four, I memorized fairy tales. Three Little Pigs because I loved how the last pig tricked the wolf. Cinderella because I loved mice becoming footmen and a pumpkin becoming a carriage, and a glass slipper only fitting one foot, and a fairy godmother who made everything better. Snow White because the huntsman disobeyed the queen. Goldilocks and The Three Bears because she was a mischievous little girl. Rumpelstiltskin because she didn’t lose her first born. Little Red Riding Hood because she wasn’t fooled by the wolf. Hansel and Gretel because Gretel saved her brother. Jack and The Beanstalk because I wanted a goose that laid a golden egg and a beanstalk as tall as the clouds.

 Fairy tales do not tell children dragons exist. Children already know dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed. —G.K. Chesterton.

Judy Blume books helped me feel normal in fifth and sixth grade. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret made me realize everything I felt, other girls felt too.  I read Shel Silverstein. I read V.C. Andrews. I read Agatha Christie. I read Lady Chatterley’s Lover. I read Anne Rice and wished vampires existed. I read family sagas, tales of abuse, tales of Satanic worship where some children tortured a babysitter. I didn’t babysit often. I never trusted children after that book. Then, I read Lord of the Flies and wish I hadn’t because I never could get Piggy out of my mind.  I read tales of fantasy and other worlds, tales of future worlds. On the night of junior prom, I read a book of Einstein quotes I found on a coffee table at a friend’s house. I read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying when I was twenty. I read The Prophet because it was my mother’s favorite book other than the Bible. I read Poe because my dad lovedAnnabel Lee” and recited it often when drunk. I read Stephen King and found it impossible to sleep after Bag of Bones. I read Ayn Rand and detested mediocrity as much as Howard Roark. I read Camus. I read Joyce. I read Nabokov. I read Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind and entered the dark mind of a serial killer. I never smelled the same again.

For people could close their eyes to greatness, to horrors, to beauty, and their ears to melodies or deceiving words. But they couldn’t escape scent. For scent was a brother of breath. Together with breath it entered human beings, who couldn’t defend themselves against it, not if they wanted to live. And scent entered into their very core, went directly to their hearts, and decided for good and all between affection and contempt, disgust and lust, love and hate. He who ruled scent ruled the hearts of men. —Excerpt from Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

Through the books I’ve read and characters I’ve known, I’ve lived many lives and traveled many places. I survived my childhood. I survived high school. I  survived family, friends, first love, and first heartbreak.Reading helps me remember we all have broken hearts.

I write for the anticipation, for the elation, for the exhilaration, for the shock, for the hidden morsels, for the magic. Writing gives me courage.