Interview with JAWD

What do you read for pleasure?
Sometimes I'll read poetry, uhm, especially Emily Dickinson, oh, I love her. But mostly I read literature. Very seldom will I read teen fiction (aka young adult fiction) but there have been a few instances over the years where the book's just been so enticing, and I had to read it (case in point: how i live now by Meg Rosoff).
Describe your desk
My desk? My desk. The desk that I use or the desk where I write? The desk that I use is very old, but it's in mint condition. It was actually my mother's grandmother's, so my great-grandmother's, I think? But because I've got carpet under that desk, I don't use it too often so I sit in my bed and write.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I can't actually afford an actual e-reader, like a kindle or a kobo or anything like that so when I do my e-reading it's usually on iBooks or on my motog phone, so Google Play.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I was... Like seven years old. I'd write little tiny stories in my absolutely ghastly seven-year-old printing about the Disney fairies. I went off of writing for a bit because I didn't have any inspiration and because I thought I'd never get published, like ever, but I'm back now, forever! To infinity and beyond! Wheeeeee!!!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The motivation to become an indie author came from the desperate need to be published, somehow, somewhere, and the realisation that I kind of hate the whole notion of sending a manuscript off to a publisher, waiting a million years to hear anything back, and then being rejected and being told something like, 'I don't like this. It will not sell. Change it.' Which actually happened to me almost every time I ever sent anything to a publishing house. And my work will probably be available to a much wider audience online and on e-readers than in print, although I do relish the scent of an old, old book from the 1800s with the spine faded and ink blots in some spots.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me... Well, I think I've got two:
1. Being able to get whatever's on my mind off my mind without having to listen to what somebody else thinks about it and having to respond to whatever they say without hurting their feelings.
2. Helping someone, in any way, but especially helping someone know that they aren't alone and that they shouldn't have to go through whatever they're going through alone.
What are you working on next?
I'm not sure what I'm working on next. I might start to compile a book of my poetry, or try writing the sequel to an old novel I wrote a few years back. I really don't know. I might do a longer novel or something. Very unsure at this point, but I am sure that I will be working on something.
Who are your favorite authors?
-Kate Atkinson
-Emily Dickinson
-Roddy Doyle
-Kit Pearson
-Michelle Moran
-Audrey Niffenegger
-Funke
That's pretty much it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
The first one of course is reading. Second one is thinking, you know, contemplating. And third is probably watching television, which I am ashamed to say.
If you could say anything to the people who read your work, what would you say?
I would say, 'Follow your dreams, because you never know what a dream is going to morph into. You could be dreaming about a giant cake made out of baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and your dog eats all of it one minute and the next minute, you could be dreaming about a town made out of candy floss. It's the same in real life. You start out somewhere, you end up somewhere totally different, but just as great.'
Who, in writing of any kind, do you look up to, and why?
Emily Dickinson. She was in a family with specific ties to the community, and she became a damn recluse, and that, when she barely came out of her house, was when she did her best work. If I could, then I would totally be a recluse. Not going anywhere other than the post box at the end of the drive and not talking to anyone but myself and my characters and the words on the page? Count me in.
Out of all the stories you've ever written so far, which one has been the most fun and the least fun (or the hardest) to write and why?
The most fun would have to be a short story I wrote recently that will be included in an anthology of some of my short stories. It's the one about Ash and Moana. That one was really fun to write I think because it was so intricate and yet simple at the same time. Usually, I don't plan my stories, unless I have no choice whatsoever, so I never really know where the story's going to end up unless I've already got an ending in mind. A couple of the stories in the anthology end (at their simplest) the same way, but the actual outcome of the story is different in both.
The hardest one to write will also be in my anthology; that one was the hardest to write because of how I set it up at the very beginning: very dry, yet fire-breathing through the mysteries weaved into the very beginning, and I knew that I was going to have to liven it up if I wanted to publish it anywhere, so I moulded it into what it became, which I'm kind of pleased with and kind of not so pleased with. I would tell why I'm pleased and not so pleased, but it'd give too much away.
Published 2016-04-05.
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