D. Ann Nadeau [danadeau]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I started reading at a very young age. I remember Carolyn Keene stories, but the most influential writer for me was John Steinbeck.
My teachers first read my stories and I started in 5th grade.
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?
Not yet. I am working on a website.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I get panicky before I write. I get very scared. I have to do a crossword puzzle or watch TV or meditate or pray before I can begin. Once I do, I'm usually okay.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Usually literary fiction, but anything that is a slice of life. Character driven.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Whatever makes a person feel or think. Conflict of course, but the truly good stories are the ones that take you on a ride. The 'voice' that you trust. The 'voice' that takes your hand and you don't want to let go.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
What well known writers do you admire most?
A lot of them. I was blown away by Follett's Pillars of the Earth. The depth and scope was phenomenal.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
A character has to be layered. The bad guy can't be all bad. There has to be a back story that makes him relateable.
I like characters that are flawed. They don't always choose the right thing even when they know what it is and what the conssequences of their choices are.
I like to create characters that tell the reader what they are thinking or feeling from little movements. A woman can show rage or sensuality just by the way she butters her toast.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Yes. Maybe better in some ways. It doesn't scare me so much. I have an acting/stand-up background, so oral story-telling comes naturally to me.
Also, when I was very young, I made up stories to calm my sister because we were frightened by our circumstances.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Probably me. The little girl that lives inside of me and was always too scared to tell anyone that I had a secret desire to be a writer.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Sometimes. Often, it is just about telling a story. Entertainment. But once in a while, I'll be in the middle of a scene and realize it is much more than that.
Does reader feed-back help you?
If the reader is someone whose writing I respect.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Yes. I have received a few. I am in the process right now of preparing a piece for a competition.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes. Like readers, it has to be someone whose writing I trust. Friends and/or family are biased. They aren't good critics.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
No. I am struggling with that right now.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I'm not very disciplined. I commit to three hours a day, but too often life gets in the way. Mostly, I get in the way.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I love classical music. I also have a collage with lots of photos from happy moments in my life - family, friends, pets. I like to be surrounded with my books and art work as well.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
Computer. Cut and paste.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
It depends on what I need. Most times, I just type in a phrase pertinent to the subject and search sites. I just found Personal History that is good for details about artifacts.
What has been your experience with publishers?
Some good. Some bad. I have more contact with agents and editors than publishers.
What are you working on now?
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Re-read them. Edit them. Put them in some sort of order, like a journal. Submit works to appropiate sources. If nothing happens, you still have a great journal to inspire your children/grandchildren.
D. Ann Nadeau
Irvine - USA