Clara Bowman-Jahn [clarbojahn]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
As an immigrant I remember painfully learning to read the Dick and Jane series my school chose for early readers. The first year in America we changes schools six times and I was just learning the language. I really started reading everything and anything in the fourth grade where I sat in the back of the class and could do it with teacher approval.
The first time I wrote an essay or short story that made a teacher excited was in the eighth grade and I still have it somewhere. I was that proud. After that I regularly started writing down things and keeping a journal.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre for writing is children's picture books. My first published ms is "Annie's Special Day" a basic concept book about how Annie celebrates her birthday with a new adventure every hour. Right now my only web site is book promo at: http://bookpromo.weebly.com/clara-bowman-jahn.html. I am working on another more personal one, But this has all the contact information and blog info in it. It even tells of some flash fiction that got published in an anthology called Campaign Challenges 2011.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I usually think of an idea and go to pen and paper to write it down and begin writing about it. Then as it fleshes out I go to the computer. My most creative time is early in the morning when I am waking up.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
I haven't found it for picture books but for my journal memoirs and heavy novels make me write. Right now I am reading Johnson's "The Orphan Master's Son" and that has me writing down ethical and patriotic issues for myself.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Well every story needs a beginning, a middle, and an ending. And in-between there should be lots of conflict, drama, concepts and plot with engaging round characters and interesting scene.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I Like first person best because it draws one in right away.
What well known writers do you admire most?
For children's picture books it is the old favorite Dr Seuss and contemporary Tom Lictctenheld.Also Mo Willems is a big favorite.
For memoirs I greatly admire Jennifer Finney Boylan actually James Boylan who wrote about "She's not there- A Life in Two Genders" about how he changed genders from a male to female.
Other writer's I admire are Jodi Picoult, Scottoline, Wally Lamb, Steven King and many more too numerous to mention.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
A believable character is one taken from your own life or someone you know.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes, I belong to a SCBWI critique group and we all critique each others picture book manuscripts. We meet once a month and usually have time for each of our manuscripts.
I find sharing my work with others is key to making a final copy.
Leesburg, VA, USA