What goes on inside the writerly mind?
Let’s sit down with our Word Weaver Writing Contest 4th place winners, Adele Marie Park, Barbara Anne Helberg, and Anne Marie Andrus, and find out.
And, no, you don’t have to have Anne or Marie in your name to win.
I’m posting three profiles simultaneously, but in separate posts, so be sure to read all three.
Adele Marie Park
DAN: Did you write your story for the contest or was it part of a larger piece or something you had written before?
ADELE MARIE PARK: I wrote it for the contest. Although I’d read a lot of detective fiction, my mother loved Agatha Christie, I hadn’t written any myself.
Tell us about your writing process. What is the journey from idea to published piece /completed story?
A lot of my ideas come when I’m doing normal things like, washing the dishes, folding washing or watching television. For my birthday I received a mini dicta phone and it’s come in very handy. I speak the idea into it or write it down in an all purpose notebook. Then I do any research I need to do and start writing.
I am a notebook geek so I have a notebook for every novel. I write longhand then type it up.
– Adele Marie Park
When the novel or story is finished, I leave it alone for a few days, even though I’m dying to start editing. Then edit, edit, edit, send to beta readers, if novel, then edit, edit. When ready hit publish button then walk away and drink lots of coffee.
Where do you do your writing?
In the kitchen. The window looks out on to the garden and it’s also where the kettle is for coffee. I also find the noise of the washing machine helps my concentration until it goes on spin cycle. I can have the back door open and hear the birds and the sounds of the day. My favourite time is early morning when the noise of the traffic hasn’t started yet.
Do you have a writing goal you want to achieve?
Yes. I want to learn, learn, learn more about the craft of writing. I believe everyone is learning until the day they die, then they probably learn some more. So my writing goal is to be the best I can be.
What helps you the most when it comes to writing?
My YouTube playlists. I have a playlist for every piece I write. Music can really set the tone of the scene and create the perfect image in your head. I also have playlists for battle scenes, sad love songs and even sea shanties.
What does writing success look like?
I recently had a great experience which answers at least a part of this question.
My friend told me that someone had told them about this novel they wanted to read, having found it on amazon. It was my novel Wisp. My friend then said they knew the author and had a signed copy of Wisp on their bookshelves. Their friend then went “omg” can you get her to sign my copy?
That was such a bizarre feeling, but a very good one. The second part is to reach as many people as possible with my stories and to eventually make a decent living doing what I love. Writing.
What are you working on now?
I have just finished the third edit of Wisp 2 “The Spells of Sea Dragons.” Now I’m off to edit my novel “Wolfe Manor” which is about a fictional private school, Wolfe Manor, set in England. The heroine, finds out she is a guardian of a portal that stops supernatural beings, demons, from coming through into our world. She has to come to terms with this while at the same time find out about her parents and those she grew up with at Wolfe Manor. I had such fun writing this one. The characters are complex and what they go through makes them stronger. I’m very optimistic about this one.
There are a lot of writing contests out there. What drew you to this one?
Dan, I’ve followed your blog for a long time and was proud to enter and win a place in the very first Word Weaver contest.
How did you hear about our contest?
Directly from your blog.
Have you ever entered a writing contest before?
Yes. Quite a few of them. From magazine competitions to the Word Weaver ones. Last year I went through The Next Great Horror Writer contest, that was a sharp learning curve. I’m gathering quite a few anthologies on my amazon page, which I’m so proud of. Especially The Box Under The Bed.
Will we see you again in the next Word Weaver Writing Contest, if there is one?
Oh, yes. I’ll be here till the end, if there is an end.
Did you know the piece you submitted was special?
I had a lot of fun and sadness writing this story, but it was something that flowed. I genuinely didn’t think of it as special or good it was a story that had to be told.
What’s next for you?
The publishing of Wisp 2 “The Spells of Sea Dragons.” The editing of Wolfe Manor and many more short stories. I like to flex my writing muscles doing short stories, as I believe they push you forward more than novels do.
What was Dan’s critique process like?
Dan gets my writing style, he always has and his critique process is wonderful. He has really added to my learning the craft and I trust him with my work knowing that he will understand and give the critique I need to move forward.