I had the opportunity to take part in an interview following the publication of one of my latest stories through Jazz House Publications, entitled, Traditions. It’s actually the . . . third interview I’ve done for a press, and they’re kind of fun.
I never considered being asked to do interviews for short story publications until it happened. It’s been a new experience, but like most aspects of the writing world, it’s another opportunity to explore the world of stories.
I love talking about writing. And dissecting it. For my own self, I’ve never completely understood how I come up with stories, how I’m able to flesh them out on pages, create characters, etc.
There’s a mystical quality to it, like I’m connecting into a world and following people as they get thrown in and out of adventures. I think it’s why I’m always eager to talk about the process–to try to learn more about it and why it works the way it does. And more importantly, to dig into why I write the stories I do, and figure out the mystery of why I’m even able to do it.
Concerning interviewing–never turn down an opportunity if you’re asked. It seems intimidating at first: someone you don’t know grills you about how you managed to whip up this story out of your head, and they want to dig into the guts of it.
Look at it as a chance to let your readers get to know you a little better. It’s also your opportunity to give your take on this whole crazy writing world. As a reader, I like knowing something about my favorite authors, and I enjoy reading interviews about them. It’s another way to give something back to the people who get into your stuff.
Jump in with both feet and be honest about what makes you tick. Inspiration is an intangible, and sometimes talking to someone not connected with you gives you insights into your own processes.
For Traditions, I knew I wanted to write a story with Alaska as the setting. I read a lot of fringe and paranormal, and Alaska has more than its share. I also wanted to write a story about a family running into something nasty. However, I wanted the family to be resourceful and intelligent. I’ve gotten ticked at several horror movies where parents seem oblivious to everything thing their kids are doing. I wanted to create a story where the parents weren’t self absorbed, and did care enough about their kids to keep track of them.
Interviewing also presents an opportunity to encourage other writers. Writing is a weird world. You can take courses in writing, but it’s like a mechanic showing you the outside of the car, turning on the engine so you can hear how it should sound, but they never lift the hood to show you the actual engine.
Not on purpose, but because it’s a creative endeavor, no one really knows exactly what makes writing tick–no one understands exactly how to lift the hood and show you how the engine really runs. And it seems to be different for each author. So writers have to feel their way through the process, and sometimes for a long time before they get their engine running smoothly.
In the end, have fun. It’s not often people want your opinion, so when someone asks, give them your two cents worth.
I’m thankful to Alexa and Jazz House Publications. You can check out Jazz House Publications and my interview here:
Thanks for chatting,