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Interview with Carla Malden, author of ‘Afterimage’




Carla Malden grew up in Los Angeles, California. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from U.C.L.A. with a Bachelor of Arts in English and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society for her academic achievement. She worked extensively in the film business, both in production and development.

With her husband, filmmaker Laurence Starkman, she wrote twelve feature screenplays; they also served as rewrite guns-for-hire. The team of Malden & Starkman wrote and produced the short romantic comedy Whit & Charm, which screened at eight major film festivals, including The Hamptons, and won several awards. They also wrote and created a series of Cine Golden Eagle Award-winning Art History films produced in association with The Detroit Institute of Art and The National Gallery.

Along with her father, Academy Award-winning actor Karl Malden, Carla co-authored his critically acclaimed memoir, When Do I Start?, published by Simon & Schuster.

AfterImage:  A Brokenhearted Memoir of a Charmed Life delivers a fiercely personal account of her battling the before and surviving the after of losing her husband to cancer. It offers an alert for an entire generation:  this is not your mother’s widowhood.

Carla Malden lives in Brentwood, California where she is currently completing her first novel as well as a children’s book illustrated by her daughter, Cami Starkman.

Visit her website at

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Carla.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

This is my second book.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

My first book was my father’s autobiography entitled When Do I Start? It was published by Simon & Schuster.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

It was a relatively short turnaround time with the first book – well under a year as I recall.  This time it has been approximately one year.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I was thrilled, of course, particularly because the project was so special to me.  I knew that I would be always be grateful for the experience of writing it with my father. I don’t recall any special celebration, but we were both very excited.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

My father did the promotion for that book.  I joined him at some lecture events and signings, but he did the bulk of the media.  He was an actor; that was his territory.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I’ve become more confident and sure of my own voice.  I’ve become more trusting in the process.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The current trend toward on-line everything: self-publishing, marketing, etc. seems to be subsuming conventional publishing.  I feel like a bit of a dinosaur regarding all that.  I like to hold a book in my hands.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Holding the book in my hands.  In the case of my current book, AfterImage, it is also rewarding to have lived through the experience I write about and have, I hope, transformed it into something that might be meaningful to other people.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Enjoy the process.  If you don’t love the writing itself, find something else to do .


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