Interview with Vera Constantineau, Spring 2015 Runner Up
Today we welcome Vera Constantineau, a talented writer, and runner up in our Spring 2015 Flash Fiction Contest.
Vera lives in Copper Cliff, Ontario, Canada. Primarily she writes short fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in newspapers, anthologies, magazines and e-zines. In addition, Vera has read her work on Canada’s public broadcaster, the CBC. She is past President of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild, a member of the Writers Community of Durham Region, and a Charter Member of the Manitoulin Writer’s Circle.
We’ll be asking Vera more about her radio stardom! First, please enjoy her winning entry, Smoke and Mirrors. Be sure to come back for an interview with Vera Constantineau!
WOW: Hello Vera, congratulations on your placement in WOW’s Spring 2015 contest! When did you first fall in love with writing?
Vera: I fell in love with writing/storytelling when I was very young. Listening as my mother told stories to my sister and me about her younger life inspires me to continue her tradition.
WOW: How wonderful to have that experience connecting you to your mother! You mentioned reading your work on a local radio station; there must be a story behind that!
Vera: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, with its many stations across Canada, really is the voice of Canadians. It regularly offers time to listeners to tell stories they believe will be of interest to others. In my case, I wrote and read the tale of a housefly playing in our ceiling fan, flying in an out many times, until its fateful miscalculation when the fan blade killed the fly. I have written about adoption, illegitimacy and my favorite hand held device (the telephone). I have read some of my seasonal poetry as well. Hearing my own work on the radio is always fun and a great experience.
WOW: Tell us about your experience writing Smoke and Mirrors--what was your inspiration, and which came first, the story or the characters?
Vera: Character definitely came first with Smoke and Mirrors. Judy is a compilation of many women I have met who smoke most of them began because they thought smoking glamorous, or cool. I feel Smoke and Mirrors is something of a cautionary tale, but I doubt anyone will stop smoking because I took the time to write the smoking process down in full but it would be rewarding if they did.
WOW: I particularly enjoyed your lead-in as you show the younger girl so enamored. Many writers have difficulty with the opening paragraph; what tips can you offer?
Vera: The arc of a short story: killer opening sentence, rising action, climax, reducing action, and killer ending sentence. I try to bring killer to the table every time.
WOW: What are you working on now?
Vera: I am working on a short story that asks writers to use the phoenix as their prompt and inspiration.
WOW: That’s a great prompt...so many places to go with that! Thank you for visiting with us, Vera. We hope to see you back again.