Archives for August 2016

3Ws – Christina Hoag

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What do you create?

I create stories wherein characters have to make hard choices when confronted with extraordinary events, in short – drama. My aim is to create well written stories that have intricate plots but also intricate characters. My problem with most of detective/mystery fiction, which I like in general, is that it tends to be formulaic in plot and character, whereas a lot of literary fiction is too slow-paced to sustain interest. I’m striving to hit the balance between the two. I also gravitate toward foreign settings, probably because I’ve lived in several countries and travelled around the world (travel is another passion of mine), and setting stories amid current events. That’s probably the journalist in me since I’m a news junkie.

 

 

Why do you create?

When I was six years old, I won a prize for “writing interesting stories.” I have no recollection of what I wrote, but obviously it can’t have been too much in first grade! In later report cards, teachers mentioned my vivid imagination, and my ability to read enabled me to skip second grade altogether. But it was a couple decades later, when I unearthed that first little certificate in piles of old stuff, I realized that the urge to write stories was something I’d been born with. It was just there. In high school, I chose journalism as my career because it would pay me to write, and it was a great choice. I loved being a reporter. But these days, having accomplished what I set out to do in journalism (namely being a foreign correspondent), I have rediscovered that writing fiction is my true passion. I actually feel a sense of joy when I write. It engages me like no other activity. When I’ve been immersed in writing and take a break, I almost feel stunned when I get up from my desk, like I’ve been away and I’m re-entering the world. It’s an odd sensation. I truly feel blessed in some way to have this gift.

 

 

What do you consume?

In the literary arena, I’m an eclectic reader but I love upmarket women’s fiction, gritty standalone crime novels and most anything set in foreign locations. Graham Greene is one of my favorite authors. These days I also consume television. I’ve never been a big TV watcher, and I confess that I’ve never watched many hit shows that have become part of the popular American zeitgeist because they simply didn’t interest me. But now there’s a surfeit of really good TV, largely because U.S. producers have finally discovered what the British have been doing for decades – serialized drama, which allows for deeper character and plot exploration. I find these shows far more satisfying, maybe because they’re more like televised novels.

 

Links

 

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3Ws – Anne Korkeakivi

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What do you create?

As a novelist, as well as an occasional nonfictionist of essays and articles, I strive to create conversations–between myself and my readers, my readers and each other, myself and the world. I construct journeys also, both metaphorically and geographically. I’m an expat writer and inveterate traveler, and my work tends to follow suit: my first novel, An Unexpected Guest, was set in Paris, also Dublin and Boston; my new novel, Shining Sea, opens in Southern California and travels to the remote Hebrides islands off the western coast of Scotland and back, with many stops in between.

You could say that, as a writer of literary fiction, I create worlds also. Certainly, that’s how they feel to me. My characters become very real to me; I launch them into existence and then they take over.

 

 

Why do you create?

Honestly? Compulsion. I can’t imagine living in any other way. Even as the tiniest girl I was making up stories—continuing ones too, like little novels in my head. I’d lie in my bed at night while the rest of the house was asleep, letting them flit through my head like shadows across the ceiling.

 

 

What do you consume?

The New York Times daily, Le Nouvel Observateur weekly, also The Guardian, Literary Hub, and Electric Literature. My Twitter feed. Literary fiction, especially from the US, UK, Ireland, France, and anywhere in Africa. Nonfiction about armed or societal conflict. Poetry, currently by some wonderful women poets—for example, Warsan Shire, Erin Hollowell, Claudia Rankine, and Maggie Smith–but also unfailingly Yeats. Ancient Greek myths, which I know backwards and forwards but of which I can never get enough. A lot of visual art, particularly modern and contemporary. Music. Foreign landscapes, people, and cultures. Nature, in large, desperate gulps. And pomegranate. I might just be addicted to pomegranate seeds.

 

Links

 

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3Ws – Louise Miller

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What do you create?

By day, I create desserts, and by night I create novels that I hope are funny and true.
 

Why do you create?

I have always turned to writing to figure the world (and myself) out. As a kid my diary was my lifeline—I didn’t understand how I was feeling unless I wrote it down. As an adult, I find writing fiction to be a wonderful way to explore questions I have without having to upend my life. The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living was inspired in part by my wrestling with the question would I be happy living in the country? I have always had a longing to live someplace rural, to have goats and sheep and a dozen dogs, to have some land and to know it well. At the same time I live a very happy city life, full of theater and art and food and people from all over the world. I am perfectly divided. Writing The City Baker, which is set in northern Vermont, gave me the chance to dream about making that move, and to consider the ups and downs of it. But the simplest answer to the question why do I write is that I like to make people laugh. Which is pretty similar to why do I bake. I like making people happy. Sweets and a good story are some things that make people happy, and I get to provide that happiness. Satisfying work all around.
 

What do you consume?

Stories in every form. Novels, of course. But I am also a movie junkie. I love to be in a darkened theater with a bucket of popcorn. I believe movies should be seen on a big screen whenever possible. I’m lucky to live near a wonderful independent movie theater that shows smaller-budget movies, foreign films and old-time classics. Plus they have real butter. And then there are plays! My partner and I subscribe to two theaters in Boston, and we travel to New York frequently to see plays and to eat. And I can’t forget television—there is so much good storytelling happening on TV right now. Add several podcasts to the mix, and you can see that I’m a little story-obsessed.

 

Links

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