Interview with Nancy Wade: Spring 2015 Flash Fiction Contest Runner Up
Nancy Wade is a recently retired Pediatrician and Public Health Physician. She continues to serve as a medical writer and editor. She has had many years of interest in writing but only recently set aside the time to write full time. She is an MFA candidate at Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine where she expects to receive her MFA in creative writing in December 2015.
In addition to medical writing, she is working on her first novel, an anthology of short stories about resilient women. She has published short stories for children and many gardening articles. In addition to her writing, Nancy volunteers as a master gardener and raises golden retrievers. She lives in upstate New York with her physician husband.
Read Nancy's winning entry, Fragile, and come back for an interview with Nancy that will inspire you to get back to your own writing projects!
WOW: Nancy, congratulations on placing in the Top 10 of the contest! I love how you blended you medical background into the heart of a touching flash fiction piece. What types of medical writing do you do? Is it hard separating medical writing and editing from your creative writing style?
Nancy: I work on medical editing and writing clinical protocols that are used to help physicians taking are of patients. I think medical writing falls into another compartment in my brain! The more writing I do though in any area, the better my writing becomes. The skill is transferable.
WOW: You are scheduled to complete your MFA in creative writing in just a few months. In your opinion, what are some of the benefits of the work required to receive this type of degree?
Nancy: As a writer who primarily studied science and highly technical material even in college, my MFA has given me the time to read so many wonderful novels, to study my craft, and to interact with so many talented mentors and other students. Most importantly, the MFA program has given me the discipline to sit at my desk and write for hours at a time (something I love doing). The MFA is a little like jump-starting your car instead jump-starting your writing. I feel like I've gained an enormous volume of information that feeds my writing and helps me grow.
WOW: Have you entered other writing competitions before? How did you hear about this particular contest?
Nancy: I frequently look at the WOW! website because of the useful information on the site and the courses offered. I do enter contests periodically. They are a challenge, fun, and sometimes I win!
WOW: Well, we won't argue with that! In regards to all the reading you do, who are some of your favorite authors?
Nancy: This is a tough question because to make a list slights so many others. I love Toni Morrison, Anne Patchett, Tim O'Brien, Sebastian Barry, Junot Diaz, Elizabeth Gilbert--but that is only the tip of the iceberg!
WOW: You are interested in a variety of writing genres. As a retired physician, how many hours a day do you devote to your writing? What is an average day like for you now?
Nancy: I write at least 4-6 hours every day. Sometimes, other parts of life interfere, but that is my plan each day. I get up as if I were going to work--shower, have coffee, walk the dogs, go to my desk and get at it. Usually around 2 PM, I get sleepy and run errands, hang out with my husband, do housework, chores, prepare dinner, whatever, take another walk or a short nap. After dinner is another productive time, so I often work for a few hours in the evening, often until quite late when I am on a roll. Morning and evening are my most productive writing times, and I fit the rest of my life in around that time.
WOW: We should all be so dedicated! Thanks again for a great interview, Nancy. We wish you continued success and many more contest wins!