Friday, November 7, 2014

Interview w/ Emily Ruth Verona

What inspired you to become a writer? 

I started reading really young and the bookstore my family went to was pretty small. By eight or so I'd run out of things I wanted to read and decided if I couldn't find a book I was looking for, I would simply write my own. At the time it seemed to make perfect sense. And then I just fell in love with it. Everything about story just fascinates me, from the characters to the conflict to the sentence structure. I've never loved anything the way I love a well-told story.

On your website you have quite along list of writing awards. Which one was the one that impacted your career the most? 

I'm not sure really, because I am just so thankful for them. I think perhaps the Pinch Award in Fiction. I went for a really long receiving nothing but rejections for my short fiction and to suddenly go from a big stack of no's to first place was really something to me. It was also for a story I really enjoyed writing, which is always a plus. And it's in a magazine that has published Robert Penn Warren, which is also awesome. All the King's Men is one of my favorite novels. The writing is beautiful and the character study unparalleled.  

What inspires your writing the most? 

Movies. I know that's a bit strange. Most people like books or movies a lot, but usually not both. Personally, I couldn't understand one without the other. The forms may be different, but in the end both aim to tell a story. I think my style has drawn a lot of inspiration from classic authors like Jane Austen and Alexandre Dumas, but my subject matter and way of approaching character are very much influenced by dark, gritty films that FIGHT CLUB and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Yes I realize both of these are based on books. They are still wonderful films though and I've learned a lot from them.  

Can you tell us about your award winning stories? 

"Forgotten Things", which was a finalist for the Jane Austen Short Story Award, is about a man on a bridge and the woman he meets. I wrote it in about a day and edited it in three. The Pinch Award winner "Care" took much longer. I wrote it in a few weeks and then spent months and months adding and revising. It was my first male first-person, present tense story and because I am so visually inclined from movies I struggled with the idea of creating an unstable narrator through his own words. I wanted what he was saying to contrast with the reality of the situation seen by the audience, but that wasn't going to happen. And so I edited. And edited. And edited. In the end I was really happy with it though. Describing the content of the story is a bit difficult to do without giving the whole thing a way, but let's just say there is a man in a room. He's sitting there quietly and, well, things get interesting.  

How do you come up with your ideas for your stories? 

Usually a line jumps out at my, or a moment and I frame a story around that. "Care" was sort of a light bulb moment, which sounds hundred percent fake but is one hundred percent true. I was going away for the weekend with my mother and sister and was packing in my head, making a list of things to bring. I wasn't sure if I should bring my laptop to write or not, since it would only be a few days. That got me thinking about hotel rooms and suddenly I had an idea for this story. The entire story just unfolded in my head. And it was fascinating. And I wanted to sit down and right it immediately. 

What are your goals with your writing career? 

I've always written novels and I would like to do that as a career. I have this idealized image in my head of sitting out in the countryside writing full time, which I know won't happen. Nonetheless, I still want to write novels that people read and perhaps moved or disturbed or changed by. It would be amazing if I could impact someone the way books impacted me when I was a kid. Of course, my books aren't for kids. Don't let your kids read them. It would be irresponsible.  

As a writer one of the most important things to have is free time. How do you find time for yourself along with writing? 

I am awake all the time. Literally. I write early in the morning and late into the night. With my current schedule I can sometimes get done with my professional writing early on and then spend the remainder of the afternoon or evening writing. I usually write pretty quickly, then spend a ton of time editing. That part's strange calming actually. 

Conversations: A Collection of Short Stories, is your present project. Can you tell us a bit about your book and what we should expect? 

This collection is inspired by the thesis I did my senior year at SUNY Purchase. I majored in Creative Writing and Cinema Studies and so the project had to include elements from both mediums. I decided to write my paper on single-setting films, which I labeled "conversation" films, where conversation served as action. I then began writing short stories based on the same concept, almost like "real-time" fiction. Some of the stories in this collection were originally from the thesis, while others are completely new. All of them follow the same idea though of being in a single place with one or a handful of people having some sort of life-altering discussion. 

You have chosen an unique publishing process for Conversations: A Collection of Short Stories. Can you explain this process for us? 

Inkshares is based on the idea of crowd-funded material. A writer sets up his or her project on the Inkshares site with a funding goal and deadline. It is then on the writer to promote the work, whether it be an essay, novella, poetry, short fiction collection, or novel. The writer builds awareness and interested readers came either donate to the project or preorder the book itself, which also serves as a donation. If the funding goal is reached, the readers get their books. Inkshares will then also step in as a formal publisher, editing, designing, marketing, and distributing the work to bookstores. If it is not reached, then the money is all refunded. Inkshares aims to let the reader decide what gets published, which is really giving readers a fascinating power and involves them with the process.  

Where can our readers find your work? 

Anyone interested in donating or preordering a copy of CONVERSAATIONS: A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES may do so at:

Links to all of my other articles and short fiction can be found on my website:

Interview Provided by: Kathryn Jenkins

Coversaitions: A Collection of Short Stories

Coversations: A Collection of Short Stories is a contemporary work of fiction composed of conversations, each of which stands as a separate story. These conversations take many forms, and often lead to very different results, but all of them explore the distinguishing marks of human nature.

Check out Emily's book trailer teaser:

About Emily:

Emily Ruth Verona received her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Cinema Studies from The State University of New York at Purchase. She is the recipient of the 2014 Pinch Literary Award in Fiction and a 2014 Jane Austen Short Story Award Finalist. Previous publication credits include work featured in Read. Learn. Write., Fifty Word Stories, The Toast, Popmatters, Bibliosmiles, and Enstars. She lives in New Jersey with a rather small dog.

Where to find Emily:

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