Friday, March 22, 2013

World of Writing, interview

-- Brummet's In the Media -- 

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-- World Of Writing Interview -- 

Nicole Wolverton is a freelance writer from Philadelphia, PA whose debut novel, The Trajectory of Dreams, was just released by Bitingduck Press. Her short fiction has appeared in Black Heart Magazine, Penduline, and The Molotov Cocktail, among others. Interestingly Nicole is a former non-profit fundraising director and founder/editor-in-chief of Farm to Philly - a website devoted to eating locally and sustainable living in the tri-state region of the US.  Find Nicole @:

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

A: I wanted to be Shaun Cassidy’s girlfriend, which dates me quite a bit. My mother bought me his album, and I played it over and over and over again on my little blue turntable. It seems kind of silly, but it seemed like a job to me at the time—I would professionally be the girlfriend of Shaun Cassidy. Luckily, that phase didn’t last all that long, and I set my aim a little higher when I decided in junior high school that my adulthood would best be spent being the next Dr. Ruth. It’s for the best that I became a writer, which was always the other thing I wanted to be when I grew up.

Q: What makes a good story?

A: Characters that are so well developed I can hear their voices, picture them clearly, and even guess how they might react in a situation are what make a story for me. When I think of my favorite books — A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, for instance—they are full of characters that stick with me for long after I’ve finished reading (in the case of Owen Meany, I read it 20 years ago, and Owen’s voice is still in my head). In so many ways, characters make the difference. Plot matters, of course, but a stunning, complex plot with weak characters you can’t bring yourself to feel strongly about (whether it’s love or hate) makes for a weak story.

Q: What makes you write in certain genres?

A: I primarily write thrillers, suspense, and horror for adults and young adults (my reading list, however, is all over the place). Part of the reason why is because the world has always seemed like a very strange place to me, and my imagination is vivid and overactive. That’s true, to some extent, for all writers, I think—you can’t be a good writer without having a good imagination. For me, that creativity comes into play in that I worry a lot. I worry that something is living under the basement stairs and might grab my ankle through the slats, or that the shadow on the wall at night is a stalker, or that the nice neighbor lady is secretly plotting to kill me. It’s not that I’m seriously paranoid, and maybe I keep that at bay because I do have the outlet of writing.

Q: Do you insert your own characteristics in your writing?

A: My characteristics, my husband’s characteristics, the characteristics of the twitchy woman I see every morning on the train… they all make it into my writing. In Lela White, the main character of my novel The Trajectory of Dreams, you can see my interest in literature, but that’s about it—she’s a mentally ill sleep lab technician who enjoys stalking and science, and I’m not any of that. Neither, for the record, is my husband, yet Lela pushes her glasses up her nose in the exact manner as my husband does. A writer who cares about character development is, by nature, an observer. We notice small things and mannerisms and squirrel them away for future use. An invasion of privacy? Maybe. It does make you a bit self-conscious about who might be watching.

Q: What are your favorite publicity activities?

A: Engaging with readers is a ridiculous amount of fun—whether that’s via Twitter or other social media, or in person. It’s always interesting to get someone else’s take about what I’m writing because perception is so fascinating. Plus, I just like talking to people and hearing their stories.

Q: Who are your favorite authors/poets?

A: After working on The Trajectory of Dreams, my new favorite poets are Ilya Kutik and Anna Akhmatova! Both feature heavily in the novel. Some of my favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, Kathe Koja, and Emily St. John Mandel. The writers I love, as I spoke about before, create vivid characters that stay with me long after I’ve finished reading.

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1 comment:

  1. "My characteristics, my husband’s characteristics, the characteristics of the twitchy woman I see every morning on the train… they all make it into my writing." -- Oh, isn't that so true? There's so little that's sacrosanct in a writer's life. We may change the identifying details (or not) but it's all grist for the mill, isn't it?

    (And great job weaving Shaun Cassidy into the mix!)


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