Angela Doll Carlson

Angela Doll Carlson is a poet and essayist best known for her work as Mrs Metaphor found on her blog at She connects the dots of daily life in an attempt to humbly reach the deep "a-ha" we all seek. Angela began to write as Mrs Metaphor in 2006 and has maintained a modest but dedicated following ever since.

Her work has appeared most recently in Burnside Writer's Collective, St. Katherine Review, Rock and Sling, "Good Letters," Ruminate Magazine Blog and Art House America. Her first book, Nearly Orthodox: On Being a Modern Woman in an Ancient Tradition is due out from Ancient Faith Press in July 2014.

Angela currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband, David and her 4 outrageously spirited yet remarkably likable children.


1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m originally from Cincinnati, Ohio but moved to Chicago in my early 20’s. My mom was not happy that I was transferring from my college in Dayton, Ohio to try and “make it big” with my neo punk synth band, Vertigo in Children so she insisted I finish my degree at Columbia College. That degree in Creative Writing and Filmmaking led me away from music and into film production, where I met my husband a few years later. I worked in film for a number of years and after leaving the film business to raise and homeschool our four children I found my way back to the writing life. I began working on the craft again by reading quite a lot, taking workshops, writing every day and finally putting work out there. I’ve been doing that for about 15 years now.

2. Describe your book Nearly Orthodox: on being a modern woman in an ancient tradition in 30 words or less. 
My conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy inspired my memoir but my inner punk rocker insists it is more about growing up Catholic and why I’m so neurotic.

3. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Much of my book required me to work through old, buried memories. Some of that work was painful emotionally for me and my family. It led to great discussions and healing, however, and I’m grateful for that. 

4. What books have had the greatest influence on you?
I discovered the classics in middle school and those were profoundly influential to me at that time. I was not only reading about Pip and Mrs Haversham in Great Expectations, I climbed inside of those characters and saw life through them. I pined for Heathcliff and Mr Darcy. I sat up straighter when I imagined myself as Elizabeth Bennett or Jo March. Those books and the introduction to the work of the great poets guided me through the awkward teen years. As an adult, though, it’s been the work of non fiction writers such as Kathleen Norris and Anne Lamott and poets like Luci Shaw, Gregory Orr and Mary Oliver that keep me running on all cylinders. 

5. Briefly share with us what you do to market your book?
Marketing is my least favorite thing to do where my work is concerned. Writing, for me, is cathartic and healing, having to then convince other people to buy and read the work is a different set of skills. I find I’m often lacking there. I will say that I do have a deep and abiding love of social media, not so much as a “marketing tool” but rather as a means to communicate with people. I am something of an introvert so the advent of social media has been life altering. For me, social media is about discovery and over time I’ve built some strong relationships there. That’s been where much of the support of the book has been and I’m incredibly thankful for those relationships. 

6. How do you spend your time when you are not writing?
For the last 17 years I’ve been very focused on parenting so much of my time has been spent with all things “kid" related. As they’ve grown, though and because they’re all in school now and thanks to streaming video I find I have more time for binge watching Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a sickness but I just can’t quit that Gordon Ramsey.
That being said, I am still an avid reader favoring non-fiction and poetry for the most part but I try to read about one novel a month to keep things interesting. I’m a certified personal trainer as well so I do spend time working with people to help them reach their wellness goals.

7. What are you working on next?
I’ve just begun work on my next book, “Garden in the East: The spiritual life of the body” which is a collection of essays meant to illustrate the connections between mind, body and spirit told with a down to earth, humorous and hopefully inspiring perspective. 

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