Archive for January 15th, 2010
I’m having a lot of fun with this interview. Hope all of you are, too. Here’s Part Three.
Peg: What do you as a writer get from conferences? Workshops? Contact with other writers? Critique groups? Do you belong to one?
Nina: Peg, I belong to several critique and writer’s groups. I found very quickly that unlike other industries that I have worked in, the writing community is a giving and helpful group of people. I belong to SCBWI and participate at 2 different locations. Both groups of people bring different skills and lots of input to the meetings.
Peg: For those that are not writers, SCBWI stands for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Nina: Looking forward to possibly writing some romance stories, I also joined RWA and have been involved with the Windy City Chapter. Those ladies have been amazing and are the original group of writers who welcomed me into the writing community. It was from their encouragement that I moved forward and began to feel that I could be a writer.
The conferences and workshops that I have been lucky enough to participate in have given me the instruction and help that I needed to get on the right path. As I mentioned before I really did not know that I wanted to be a writer. Jumping right in and developing the friendships that I have, has helped my confidence level. Everyone is so encouraging and the energy is tremendous.
Peg: Oh, I so agree about writers being encouraging. If you had to give a new writer one piece of advice, what would you tell them?
Nina: Don’t hesitate to start. The writing community is the most helpful group of people you will ever meet. But one thing to be aware of is, that they are helping you and that should not keep you from being true to yourself and your writing. So go for it and use what you find out there, whether that is a conference, workshop, critique group or other writers. It will help you on the path to writing.
Peg: As a devoted wife, mother, grandmother how do you find the time to write?
Nina: I’m so easily distracted with all that stuff that I often find the best time for writing is in the middle of the night. I sure wish I could get on a good schedule. I so admire the writers that I know who write daily. I’m working on it and I am getting better as time goes by. I does have to be a concentrated effort though because I really do enjoy being wife, mother and grandmother too.
Peg: The experts say write what you know. What life experiences have you had that has made you the writer you are?
Nina: Coming from a family of 6 girls I have plenty of stories to tell on my sisters. My Father was English and American Indian about which I have lots of stories. My Mother was Italian. Her parents came to this country and had many stories about that experience. I also have 6 kids and 12 grandkids. Wow when I put it all down, I really do have a lot to draw from!
Peg: How important is the support of your spouse and family?
Nina: At first I really was hesitant to tell my family. My husband was so completely in my corner and proud of the journey I was starting that he could not keep it to himself. Of course when everyone saw me sitting in the closet at my desk it was also hard to hide. I was so surprised and pleased at the support I got from everyone. I guess at first I did not have the confidence and did not want to disappoint anyone. Now I’m just happy to be working at writing.
Peg: Do you have any published work or a website that you would like to share?
Nina: I’m putting up a website but no I am not published yet. Soon I hope. I have submitted so I’m waiting to hear.
Peg: What other roles do you play in your life? Outside of writing what hobbies do you have?
Nina: I love to cook. In fact one of the first books that I wrote and is now submitted is “Diet for Dinosaurs and the Children Who Love Them” (A Cookbook). Another thing that I enjoy is hunting for fossils and my husband and I hike on volcanoes which makes the hiking more interesting.
Of course there is also being the female head of the family and that involves setting up family experiences like strawberry picking each year (our record was 96 pounds of strawberries!) and trips to Drury Lane and lots of get togethers.
Peg: Thanks so much Nina for joining me for this interview. Can I say I knew you when?
Nina: I hope that time will come and yes absolutely.
Thanks so much for having me. I would like to encourage anyone thinking of writing to start. Start big, start small, start hidden, start not so hidden but just start!