WOW! Interview with Jeanne Golden-Burke, Fall 2014 Fiction Contest Runner-Up
She likes nothing better than sitting down with a good book. And enjoys a variety of topics ranging from history (especially prominent women in history) to a good gory zombie novel! When she’s not snuggled up with a good book, she loves to write and paint in her spare time.
A creative writing class in her undergrad years (and an active imagination) inspired her to put her stories to paper. And she’s been tapping away at the keyboard ever since. Jeanne placed in our top ten with the sad story of The Little Girl. Please take a moment to read her story, and then return here for a short interview.
WOW: Hi Jeanne, congratulations on placing in our top ten! I was just checking out some of the topics you enjoy reading and writing about. Hmmm, zombies, homeless and serial killers—what do you suppose is the common link that hooks you in these stories?
Jeanne: I enjoy suspense, all of the little details that lead up to an amazing finish. That and trying to solve a good mystery!
WOW: Yes, the allure of the puzzle! What prompted you to enter WOW’s contest?
Jeanne: This is the first writing contest I’ve ever entered, and I wanted to try it out and see what happens. I wasn’t even sure that I write well, this was an experiment.
WOW: I’d say your experiment worked! The Little Girl is a heart wrenching story; what was your inspiration?
Jeanne: People experience loss and hardship every day. To me a good book makes you feel, whether it’s happy or sad or scared. Writing about loss or hardship definitely evokes a strong feeling for the character.
WOW: What do you enjoy most about writing?
Jeanne: When I was little, I would tell stories to myself in my head. I suppose this is just an extension of that by putting it to paper. I LOVE to read, I spend 95% of my spare time pouring over books. Reading other people’s stories takes me to a different reality where I can explore someone else’s pain, pleasure, fear, triumph, etc. Writing, to me, is just an extension of that.
WOW: Which book has left the greatest impression on you?
Jeanne: I love all Jodi Picoult books, her novels inspire me to truly think about all the different characters’ points of view. You gain sympathy even for those you would think would be the worst villains. She also researches her topics and I find all of the information she imparts fascinating. Personal favorites of hers: Change of Heart and Nineteen Minutes.
I also enjoy reading true crime novels and biographies. I spend a lot of time reading about British History and famous or influential women from history (Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, Eleanor of Aquitaine, etc).
WOW: Well, I’d say The Little Girl could sit on the same shelf with your favorites, if you ever decide to flesh it out into a novel. Thank you for sharing your story with us; maybe we’ll see here again with another one!