Saturday, May 12, 2012

World of Writing interview

-- World of Writing --

We are thrilled to present yet another World of Writing interview here on our blog with our featured guest: Karen Pierce Gonzalez - an award winning fiction and nonfiction writer and author of Black Pepper Visions:  Original Folktales & Stories You Can Eat, Family Folktales: What Are Yours,  and Family Folktales: Write Your Own Family Stories. She has been interested in folktales and folklore for more than two decades and has facilitated writing classes and workshops for more than fifteen years. Her writing credits include nomination for the Pushcart Prize and awards from Farmhouse Magazine, National League of American Pen Women, California Writers Association, and others.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

A: I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I used to devour books and then try to rewrite them with my own slant. There was something wonderful – and very satisfying - about filling up the lines of binder paper with copy I had created. It took years for me to understand the value of my writing and to realize that not everyone understands what it means to write, let alone write with heart and soul. In early adulthood, when I published short stories and poems I would stuff them and related awards into a drawer. Acceptance and appreciation of this talent has come slowly.
Q: What makes a good story?

A: So much depends upon the purpose and the point of the story. Some stories are intended to be a reflection or portrayal and others are bound to incite, excite, or encourage. Over all a good story is one in which the characters are real and the action compelling and heart felt (true). Characters who reflect decision making at its best and at its worst provide the greatest insight into our collective humanity. They show us and they tell us what we may not know about ourselves: who we are in relation to ourselves, others, and our environment (cultural as well as physical).

Q: What makes you write in certain genres?

A: I primarily write literary short stories that are character driven. There is an ease for me in this writing style because I am NOT bound by plot or reader expectations. The work can be as prosaic as is necessary or as lean as is required. As a journalist, however, I’ve learned to glean the essentials that must be conveyed and to ‘state the facts’ or make a point as simply as possible. The bonus: I can’t  have ‘writer’s block’ when on deadline!

Q: Do you insert your own characteristics in your writing? (character development in fiction writing)

A: Sometimes, I do. Over time, I have found that many of my characters have also been shadowed/influenced by their pasts or have had to interact with others who have been wounded in way or other.
I have also discovered characters who juxtaposed what it is I believe in and, as a writer, have had to let their stories unfold naturally (without my per-determining the outcome). Occasionally, too, characters have had the same color of hair that I do!

Q: What are your favorite publicity activities?

A: Radio interviews because the “talking heads” format allows for both spontaneous (unscripted) conversation about a topic and provides for in-depth commentary that, I find, helps to create a larger context for writing/writing topics.

Q: Who are your favorite authors or poets?

A: My top 6: John Steinbeck, Alice Hoffman, Joyce Carol Oates, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda, Lee cummings.

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