Each month a different IWG member is selected to answer 10 questions about writing. With our vast variety of IWG members, there is always another facet of writing to learn about and experiences to draw from.
Our first interview in this series, not ironically, is our very first IWG yahoo group member, Earl Carrender.
Earl’s primary genre is Literature Fiction and what follows is a great interview I hope you all will enjoy!
President of IWG
What is your favorite word?
At the moment it’s COFFEE!Question 2:What is your least favorite word?
Don’t (or Can’t).Question 3:
What types of writing have you experimented with? (examples: poetry, novels, short stories, freelance, screenplays, plays, children’s picture books, etc)
Short stories mostly. Christmas stories (I write one every year as a Christmas gift for family and friends). I write poetry and enjoy “prose poems” though that’s mostly for my own enjoyment. I tried writing one novel (which I facetiously refer to as “The Monster”) and I’m now working on a collection of interconnected short stories with recurring characters, tentatively titled, "Shameless." I’ve attempted children’s stories for a couple of contests but that was truly an “experiment;” not something I pursue with any diligence. Mostly I just like playing with words. I started out writing when I was a kid and liked making up my own songs and actually wanted to be a songwriter when I grew up. I liked playing around with words and sounds and I like their rhythm and flow. That’s still what I love.Question 4:
Who is your favorite author?
Jeanette Winterson. She can write a single sentence that just slaps you in the face. I admire that.Question 5:
What do you love most about writing?
When a story is finished. The process itself is grueling but the finished product is always a joy. I used to laugh when writers would refer to their work as their “child” or compare writing to giving birth. I’ve eaten my words (with a bottle of merlot) since then…Question 6:
What to you dislike most about writing?
The process of actually DOING it. But the moments of inspiration, the rare times that it just flows and doesn’t feel forced and the final result are all wonderful and make the hard grind of getting it done worth it.Question 7:
Describe your ideal writing spot.
Ideally it would be a house near the Mediterranean in the South of France!Question 8:
How many hours a week do you spend on your writing? (Note: submissions and promotions count too)
About a half an hour a day at least 5 days (hang on, let me get a calculator); that’s 2.5—round up to 3.
3 hours!Question 9:
What inspires your writing?
Many different things and its different for each story. Usually it’s something from my day-to-day life. Something someone did or said or something I read. A song I heard on the radio. A memory. I’ve found that the best stories and the ones that “flow” are the ones that are intentionally written as gifts… a Christmas gift, a birthday gift, Anniversary (I do that a lot).Question 10:
Writing wise, what is you biggest accomplishment?
Well, my biggest accomplish (so far!) is winning the Thoreau Award for an academic paper on Willa Cather’s novels Shadows on the Rock and Death Comes for the Archbishop. I was also Editor of The Fioretti the Literary journal of my school (Marian College). I helped resurrect it after a 7 year absence. And my story "Our Story Begins" appears in the current issue.