Yes, I was about 13 years old and I had just returned from a party; the people and the atmosphere of night kept dancing in my mind. I never wanted to forget that night so, I sat down and wrote, or attempted to write a short story, about a girl at her first high school party. And when I started to write that story I realized how difficult it was to tell a story. That is when I began to study other writers and how they approached writing; how they told stories.
What is your writing process?
Good question! A writing process is very important. I do not have a ritual. I tried for sometime to have a writing place, but I tend to just lie in my bed with the computer on my lap and write. I tend to free-write at first then once I become familiar with my characters I plan the story out. I also keep a list of characters, as I cannot remember people's names that well. When my story is complete I might record myself so I can hear how the words flow on the page.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes, It was called A Appointment with a Strange. It was not so much the first story I read, but the first story that really spoke to me and made me want to be a writer. It was the first book that, when I finished, I realized someone created the characters that seemed so real to me. I read the book when I was very young and had forgotten all about it until I started my master's degree in writing. The book had such an impact on me that I spent the entire first year of my master's searching for the book. I needed to remember why I wanted to be a writer. After a long and exhausting search I was speaking to one of my friends on the phone and I told her about my search and she said, "Oh, that book you loved. It is called, "An Appointment with a Stranger, by Jean Thesman."
What do you read for pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is Romance.
Describe your desk
Well I do have a desk and it is upstairs in my walk-up attic. It is an old desk my friend gave me. It looks out a window into the tree tops. And it is empty, because my current writing location is on my lap in my bed.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Seeing my children. I am a recreational runner and I enjoy clearing my mind on a long run. Also, I teach writing and I love my job. I enjoy teaching others how to write as it truly is an important skill.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I take care of my children. I run, I teach. I read of course!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. Black Water, by Joyce Carol Oates. *spoiler alert* to be able to write a flashback narrative story through the perspective of girl who is drowning is amazing. 2. The Raft, by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen. Writing a story with one character alone on a raft takes true talent. 3. Love in the Time of Global Warming, by Francesca Lia Block 4. Weetzie Bat, by Francesca Lia Block There are no words to explain why I love these books you just have to read them Amazing writer, Amazing stories. 5. Pride and Prejudice - it is not Darcy; it is Lady Catherine de Bourgh - what a strong "head strong" lady. Summary strong characters get me.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
What's the story behind your latest book?
It is very loosely based on my Great Grandfather's story.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Meeting my characters
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