Edmund Stone – Audrey’s Discovery
Q. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I love fishing almost as much as I do writing. I feel like Ernest Hemingway catching marlins and giant tunas in the Caribbean. Now, back to the question. I remember when I was about five years old, I pronounced a large word. It was transcontinental. I read it from over my mom’s shoulder and she was ecstatic. My mom has always been an avid reader and encouraged me to read at a young age. After this encounter, I knew words carried weight and I would choose my words carefully so they would have the biggest impact. I wasn’t the best speaker so writing became a way for me to express those words. It became my language of expression to the world. Thanks for the opportunity.
Sarah Gribble – Careful What You Wish For.
Q. In a nut shell, how did your story of discovery show it self to you?
This story was a fun one for me. For weeks I ruminated on the theme and honestly had no idea what I wanted to write for it. Then I picked up a new book, read about three paragraphs, and the opening lines for my story just popped into my head. I always have a notebook nearby, so I jotted the lines down and went back to reading. I wasn’t sure where I was going with the story yet. But I couldn’t concentrate on reading; the story kept popping in my head with new lines. About an hour and a half later, I’d scribbled the entire thing in one mad frenzy of writing. I could barely move my hand afterward, but I didn’t care. I love it when stories take over me like that! It happens rarely, but when it does it makes all the hard days of writing worth it.
Theresa Jacobs – Josie and the Muse.
Q. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
This is the hardest question for me to answer because though I’m a voracious reader, I’ve never been a socializer. Those two things go hand in hand- don’t you think? Until I began writing, only five short years ago, I did not connect with people about books or writing. Therefore, other then the most obvious famous books, I have no inkling as to what might be an underappreciated book. I will tell you one of my all time favorite books is: Dreams Of Leaving by Rupert Thomson. So if you’ve never heard of it grab a copy and we’ll talk.
Cathy Ryan – A Gentle Sort of Love.
Q. What about story telling and writing is the most important for you?
I do think fiction stories must entertain first, but then, when that entertainment contract, that promise made by the writer to the reader is filled so that there is a degree of trust, there is an opportunity for the writer to inspire or to challenge the reader to look at the world differently, perhaps to understand another more deeply, perhaps to endure more patiently in hope of a better tomorrow, perhaps to love more honestly, perhaps to risk more, to change or to affirm something within themselves. (That’s a terribly long sentence, isn’t it?) So in addition to entertainment, it’s important to me that my stories resonate with readers and inspire them in a positive way.
I’ve noticed a growing societal disdain for men so that women seem to feel emboldened to treat them with contempt and rudeness, even those they profess to love. It’s not cute or clever and I don’t want my sons treated that way. A particularly egregious demonstration of this behavior (and a litter of stray puppies in the road one day) came together in the story ‘A Gentle Sort of Love.’
J. H. O’Rourke – Urban Legend.
Q. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Oh my, just one? Haha. Okay. The ONE thing holding me back from becoming a better writer more than any other is Perfectionism. I re-read and edit as I go, checking for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and typos. I spend nearly as much time seeking a ‘better’ verb or adjective on an online thesaurus as I do actually writing my stories. I feel strongly that procrastination is part of my own ‘special’ type of perfectionism. For me, they are one and the same: checking, re-checking, scolding myself, second-guessing my word choices, and changing sentence structure as I write. When I force myself to ‘just write’ whatever is in my head without reviewing what I’ve written, I feel as if I’m doing something wrong or forgetting something important or even vital to my story. This is something I have to work on. Logically I know this is what drafts are all about, but tell that to my writer’s brain!
Matthew Hart – Grace at the Intermission
Q. What inspired my story for the theme of discovery?
My story Grace at the intermission is actually an amalgamation of two stories I had started.Well, actually one was more just the diner scene and interactions. I pictured that particular one as a mystery in which the protagonist i.e. Kevin was searching for his sister. The discovery aspect was in finding romance/attraction with Genevieve. The other story was a supernatural angel and demon battle. The difference between the original version and the finished version the protagonist was truly a demon who had been supplanted by the other demon. The angle was an ally of necessity. As I was searching through my notes and unfinished work trying to find something to work on and submit it struck me as a good fit if the two were combined. The reader would discover that the people in the diner were not human and Galadriel and Genevieve would discover they were pair bonded from times inception.