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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

 

Interview with Runner-Up Contest Winner, Jacinda Little

Please meet Jacinda Little, a talented writer and ghostwriter whose story "Love in a Snow Globe" truly was one of the best stories we have received. The tangible emotions and carefully placed details make for a haunting tale that will stay with you long after the reading.

Jacinda is a resident of South Central Pennsylvania with a penchant for organic vegetable gardening, music and dancing, rumpus good times, and of course, the written word. By day, she works as a professional non-fiction ghostwriter, but after the sun sets, she’s off to meet her imagination in a dimly lit corner for a little fun with fiction.

Jacinda owes her success to her dear husband, Jeff, who politely smiled and chewed his pork chop when she told him that all she wanted for her thirtieth birthday was his blessing to quit her office manager job so that she could pursue her dream. The pork chop was swallowed and since then, her short works of fiction have been published in The Painted Door and G.W. Thomas’ Flashshot. She’s guest-blogged about silk flowers, labor pains, and romantic love. She’s ghostwritten hundreds of articles and media pieces. Currently, she’s working as staff writer for http://www.all-famous-quotes.com/; has just completed The Body Language of Dating, a book by body language expert Tonya Reiman that’s due out in 2012 and written specifically for women; and has just undertaken a new creative non-fiction book project for an oh-so-clandestine personality.

Jacinda is currently working as a contractor for hire, and may be reached at JacindaLittle[at]comcast[dot]net or through her site The Creative Ghostwriter Soul, Spirit, and Story. Please take a moment to read “Love in a Snow Globe,” and then come back for our interview.

WOW: Hello Jacinda, congratulations on placing in the WOW! Spring 2011 Flash Fiction Contest! I’ve read some of your writing and love your playful way with words; I’m excited for the rest of our wonderful WOW! audience to get to know you.

We hear from many women who leave the nine-to-five (or the six-thirty-to-eight) with the intent to finally pursue their writing ambitions. Tell us about your own career transition.

Jacinda: I’ve always had a voracious appetite for reading. I love the smell of a book, the way that the pages sound when they brush against each other, the places my mind goes…and at a very young age, I realized that I could score a similar thrill with the creation of my own scenes.

Some very well-meaning people encouraged me to get a “real job” after school, so I chalked up writing as a folly of youth. Then I turned 30. I knew that I had to give it a shot before any more time slipped away.

Two weeks after I made that decision, I was pounding away on a used laptop at my dining room table. It would be three years before I made a penny. However, I wouldn’t trade the rejections and the criticisms that I received in those three years for any dollar amount. I learned from every one of them.

WOW: Tell us a little about ghostwriting; how did you come to choose that niche?

Jacinda: I discovered pretty early on that the real thrill, for me, comes from the process of writing, not the product. Seeing my name on something really doesn’t flip my lid. However, coming up with a sentence that has a pulse does. That meant that I had to find a niche that would give me the opportunity to stay busy doing what I love – writing, as opposed to the promotion of that writing.

Additionally, I love working with people. When I can help someone by putting their thoughts into words, and when I can hear the smile in their voice, I know that I’m living my purpose.

There’s definitely some controversy that surrounds ghostwriting. I’ve heard it all (“it’s thievery, it’s a misrepresentation, it’s just not fair for them to take the credit”), but I don’t agree. If someone paints your house, are you going to erect a permanent sign in the front yard crediting them? Of course not. You weren’t born a painter but you have the right to live in a beautiful home. Likewise, many people weren’t born with a gift for the written word; however, they have a right to be heard.

I should make a distinction, though. I will only ghostwrite non-fiction, not fiction. A doctor who works an eighty-hour week probably doesn’t have the desire or the time to write his next self-help book. However, a “novelist” has no excuse.

WOW: What is your writing routine?

Jacinda: I have found that two hours of well-rested writing is more productive than a ten-hour caffeinated race back to the starting line. For that reason, I usually write in two or three hour sessions, maybe twice a day. For me, the real preparation happens in the car, while preparing meals, or while gardening. I give myself time to become what I’m planning to write, to mentally organize all my arrows so they’re pointing in the same direction – then all that’s left is grammar.

WOW: What made you decide to enter the WOW! Spring Flash Fiction Contest?

Jacinda: When I’m between big projects, I surf for places for my fiction to land. A simple web search or a visit to Duotrope’s Digest is most always the avenue. In the case of this contest, I had just finished writing “Love in a Snow Globe,” I felt that it would appeal to women…I just thought it might be a good fit.

WOW: What was your inspiration for "Love in a Snow Globe"?

Jacinda: My twelve-year-old son is very interested in the current state of the world, in artillery, and in the armed forces in general. I found myself looking to the future and imagining both the pride and the profound grief that I might feel should I lose him. I cannot claim to understand the anguish that comes with the loss of a child, but my humble speculation led to this story.

WOW: Did the story come all at once or did you find yourself going back to it several times?

Jacinda: It took an hour to write. But that was after the story was formed. It had lived in my mind and heart for about a month. It had to come out.

WOW: What is your dream project?

Jacinda: For now, non-fiction ghostwriting fits my lifestyle and my need to put words in circulation. I could say my dream project just happened. I recently completed Tonya Reiman’s newest book, The Body Language of Dating, in which she addresses single women and the evolutionary evidence that points toward how we should be making opposite-sex connections. However, I expect that when my children are more independent, novel writing will be difficult to resist.

WOW: That will be a novel I won’t want to miss!

Thank you, Jacinda, this interview has been too short; I’d love to sit and chat for awhile longer.

Interview by Robyn Chausse

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