3Ws – Linda Stasi

 

What do you create?

Every day as a newspaper columnist, I get to create an alternate spin on a news story that’s real and often unbelievable—the who, the what, the-what-the-hell of it. Some true stories though, are so inexplicable that if I wrote them as fiction, I’d be drummed out of the business.

Ah, but then in my other life, the novelist one, I get to create stories about a newspaper columnist based on the mystical research I’ve done. Hopefully, I create compelling and believable stories—not ones that will make readers ask, “What the hell?”

When I’m not typing, I’m taking pictures. My photos are reflective of what I do in life…except my photos ask a question without answering it.

 

Why do you create?

Because I have no choice. If I couldn’t write, I couldn’t breathe. I began tooling around with writing fiction when I was going through a very bad period and was out of work. I’ve always worked as a writer, and when I didn’t have a job I literally felt that I couldn’t catch my breath. So I started writing fiction to try to find myself again. I was shocked to discover that writing fiction is the opposite of reporting. Tabloid journalism means you have to compact the most information into the fewest words. Writing novels meant I had to learn to luxuriate in taking two whole sentences instead of two measly words to describe something. Without noticing it, I started to breathe again. Then I got a job.

 

What do you consume?

At the risk of sounding like a fool, I consume adventures like other people consume coffee. For my first novel, I drove through five countries by myself, (consuming too much gas), took a road trip with an exorcist priest of the Vatican, (again more gas), hiked a mountain twice (no gas) and consumed too much of food and wine along the way. For my new novel, I traveled to the Middle East, went into a 3,000 year old burial tomb discovered under a distant relative’s home in the desert of Israel, consumed everything in sight, and consumed way too much wine. My husband and I just got back from climbing Machu Pichu and seeing all the stuff in Bolivia that couldn’t have been created by humans. There isn’t much air to breathe at 14,500 feet above sea level so I consumed coca leaves like a native, and consumed oxygen from a can like a sissy tourist.

 

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