Jess called me tonight for my interview. She said her essay is supposed to be about a New Rivers Press emerging author—me! We chatted a bit before we started the interview. I found out that she works at a hardware store while attending college full-time as an English major. She works at being a novelist, too, writing fanciful tales about woodland elves. Sounds like a very busy lady!
During the interview, Jess asked me many thought-provoking questions. One of them was, “What advice would you give another writer?” After thinking for a moment, I recounted to her what an FUMFA commencement speaker had said: Write every damn day. And then I told her advice I’d read in a craft book: Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft. My final piece of advice was something an FUMFA faculty member told me once: Write your novel all the way to the end before you go back to start the editing process, because it is not until you reach the end of the narrative, that you’ll know what the story is about and what’s important to the telling of that story.
All total, Jess and I talked for well over an hour. I really enjoyed our conversation; she seems like a kind and interesting woman and I’m looking forward to reading her essay.