Interview With A Young Aspiring Writer

3 May


My niece Shawney Wallace is a young aspiring writer who lives in a small town in Wisconsin. She is a highly imaginative and talented writer. This interview was done casually while we messaged each other back and forth on Facebook. All we did was just talk about something we both love, writing. This is the very first time I have interviewed anyone so bear with me.
Also, after reading an excerpt from her WIP we were trying to figure out what author we could compare her writing style/story type to. Honestly, we are unsure. However her writing style could possibly be compared to Eragon author Christopher Paolini as Shawney writes in third person and is highly descriptive of the environment/scenery.

Have you published anything yet?

Shawney: No not quite. I’m trying to it’s hard to find motivation sometimes.

When do you plan on finishing your current WIP (work in progress)? 

Shawney:  My goal is to get it finished by summer but as it’s looking I’ve got a long way to go….No, I mean I’ve “technically” have it done, but I have to edit it greatly. I finished it when I was in 8th grade but as I’ve grown as a writer I’ve noticed many obvious mistakes that I need to fix. So it is a work in progress.

About how long is your WIP?

Shawney: I’m shooting for 40 chapters if it’s less that’s okay too. Right now I’m on chapter 20 as far as editing goes and I counted up the words in Microsoft Word and I got about 68,000. Again that’s because I’ve already written this stuff way back when and I’m editing plus my books are going to have a bunch of stuff going on. Maybe it might be too big…

Me: No, that isn’t long at all. 68,000 words is the average length of young adult novels.

What genre is your work in progress and what age range is it geared towards? And what do you enjoy writing about?

Shawney: It is a fantasy type of novel geared towards all ages but young adults may relate to it due to my main character being 14 years old. For your second question I love fantasy and sci-fi. I think I enjoy the fact that you can come up with literally ANYTHING and it can’t be wrong. There’s no guidelines to the realm we as humans have created or seen. That’s the best part. Creating worlds and creatures is one of my favorite things because they are my creations coming to life as I read about them.

Me: I completely agree, I absolutely love writing fantasy stories, there are no rules and we can conjure up anything that our imagination allows us to.

Do you plan on writing any more books in the future? If so, have you started on any of them? In other words, do you have more than one WIP’s?

Shawney: I have a plan to write a series of books that coincide with the one I am working on now. There will be a total of 8 in the series. And for the books later in the series I’ve started on the second one and have written excerpts from later in the story. It helps me visualize when I do it that way. I do plan to write more books, I have a couple in progress.

Do you plan on making writing be your career?

Shawney: I would love to make writing my career I feel like this is my true calling. I could sit down and write all day long and never be bored.

What was your inspiration to start writing? And how old were you?

Shawney: Well that’s a tough one but what I can remember me begin my writing was back in middle school. I don’t remember much of MS ( middle school ) only because I had no friends and the ones who posed as my friend were cruel. Only one of them has matured and is really nice we’re still friends. Literally I’ve blocked everything out between seventh and eighth grade. One day, I sat down and I was reading one of my books when I suddenly thought why couldn’t I escape this world and go on quests, to have an adventure and see the world. My friend, the only one I made outside of my cruel friends, had told me a story idea she had with dragons. I told her I had one too because I didn’t want to seem stupid and so I made it up on the spot. But the idea of going on a journey came to me shortly after this occurred. I began to write in a journal, just the beginning of my idea of what I would do if I were this person. After a while I could see the entire story unfold in my head faster than I could write it. When I finished, I sat back and realized that I could do something with this (in ninth grade too!) and continued to build the world. Ever since I’ve gotten ideas for stories and wrote them down, building up on them, and reversing back to what I previously wrote. Now I just like to write. A lot.

Me: In a way the awful events that occurred were a blessing in disguise. It could be possible that if none of that happened you may not have developed a strong passion for writing.

How did you cope with being bullied by those “cruel friends”?
Shawney: I found a way to cope which was my writings and finding ways to avoid all that. I think people who are afraid of uniqueness and different things are the ones that lash out. Different is not bad, but they want to fit in and anything that doesn’t fit with their opinions or likes/dislikes are automatically a threat.

How often do you write?

Shawney: I used to write about eight to ten pages a day back in high school. Some days I could do twenty. Nowadays, I’m lucky to get two pages written. The internet is an addiction, one I despise because it’s right there and it kills my motivation. But lately I’ve cut ties with these games, only playing for an hour or two at the most and attempting to get some stuff written. Even if it’s just a page.

What do you like the most about writing?

Shawney: I guess I enjoy writing because it allows me to be lost within the words and picture something that I’m creating. When I reread what I had written it becomes even more realistic. It’s almost like I have a hard time believing that I just wrote that.

Do you have to have quiet when you write? Or do you write in a certain area of your house?

Shawney: No I can write anywhere. I mean I can write with the TV on in the room, or people talking in the same room as me. I don’t mind, but it’s nicer when it’s just me. I think any day I can work on my writing. I mean when I was home during summer vacation I’d sit on the computer from the moment I woke up to about dinner time just typing away. I guess to me it doesn’t matter too much, because as long as I have my laptop I can take it with me if I need to go somewhere specific to get inspiration. For example, if I need a certain type of scenery I would go there to really look at them and describe what I see on paper.

What kind of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Shawney: Any idea whether wacky or plain you have as a writer is a good one. Write it down, let the words flow, and you’ll be amazed at what you can come up with.

Me: Yes! Very good advice! That is also how I write my first drafts. I just write and let the words just flow.


5 Responses to “Interview With A Young Aspiring Writer”

  1. Easter Ellen May 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Great interview.. this is something that I have planned to do as well 🙂 (but not with writers)
    I love how she says “I enjoy writing because it allows me to be lost within the words and picture something that I’m creating. When I reread what I had written it becomes even more realistic. It’s almost like I have a hard time believing that I just wrote that.”

    Great article!

    • Kristy J. W. May 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      Thanks :). That was a part of the interview I also liked. Shawney will be happy to hear you loved that part.
      Doing interviews is a lot of fun, I enjoy getting to know people. I’m hoping to do many more.

      • Easter Ellen May 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

        I think that you will have a lot of fun at it and show that you have a creative side to your interviewing. Start with your comfort zone.


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