Donna Piazza, Runner Up!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

WOW! had the priviledge of chatting with another of our top ten winners. Grab a cool drink, pull up a comfy chair and join us.

WOW: Donna, congratulations for placing in the top ten! What motivated you to write "Fate’s Hand"?

Donna: “Fate’s Hand” was motivated mainly by my desire to be a wholly inspired writer and by my longtime desire to visit Greece. I combined the two desires and the story evolved from there.

WOW: What a wonderful combination! With such big inspiration, did you find yourself making big changes to your story to stay inside the word limit?

Donna: Making big changes is an immense understatement, especially because I tend to be a very wordy writer. This story initially contained nearly 2000 words, so you see what I mean. One of my greatest motives for writing flash fiction is that it teaches me to tighten my writing; to choose every word for the truest meaning and impact and cut the waste.

WOW: Well, you did a fabulous job with editing, and you’ve shown that you can certainly tighten your writing! You obviously have some experience here, and in your bio you mention that you’ve published poetry in various eZines and websites, as well as an essay. How would you compare those experiences to writing your fiction story?

Donna: The experience is the same with each contest, or any submission: focus to the exclusion of all else, hard work, excitement, anticipation, and LOTS of anxiety awaiting the results. Every time I have seen my name posted or published along with something I have written it has been a significant point in my budding writing career. In the case of this contest, my first short story to be published, it has left me with a glorious, life long memory that will never diminish.

WOW: Yes, focus is the key to so many things in life! I wonder if you’ve found direction from any books? That is, have you read any helpful books you’d recommend for our audience of aspiring writers?

Donna: "The Elements Of Style" by Strunk and White, "On Writing" by Stephen King, "A Room of One’s Own" by Virginia Woolf, are all books that have imparted untold amounts of wisdom and inspiration to me. Websites like "Women on Writing" and "Funds For Writers", are also sources that I have found excellent information, truth, and community that keeps me going when times get rough, or when I am filled with self-doubt.

WOW: I’d agree with all of the above! They certainly help in all areas of writing. What do you find the most beneficial in the process of writing for contests?

Donna: What I have learned, mainly through not placing multiple times, then reading the winning entries, is to keep things simple, concise, and on point when writing for any contest. Reading guidelines carefully and early submission are also important factors to consider when submitting to a contest.

WOW: Yes, reading guidelines is a critical factor, along with patience and perseverance! Speaking of perseverance, you also mention in your bio that you’ve been married for twenty-three years and you have five children. I’d say that’s quite an accomplishment right there! Has your family sparked any story ideas or poetry?

Donna: Thank you, my family is my greatest accomplishment and they are at the center of all of my writing. They are in the spirit of the characters, in the essence of the meaning behind the words, and in the motivation behind everything I write.

WOW: That’s lovely and truly inspirational! Tell us, do you have long-term goals for your writing?

Donna: In the long term my goals are: to actually make a living with my writing, to complete my novel, to compile my poetry, and to have them both published. My greatest dream is to one day be deemed an author, and to know that I have made a mark, even a small one, in the literary world. Aside from that, I hope to put my love for words to good use amid the youth of my community.

WOW: You know what you want, and you’re well on your way! What final wisdom would you like to leave with our readers today?

Donna: Wow, it feels strange to be asked to offer wisdom while I am still a fledgling writer relying on the sage words of others to guide me. But what I would tell anyone that loves words and writing as I do, is to keep learning, to keep growing, to keep reading, and no matter what life throws at you...NEVER stop writing.

WOW: Yes, we can offer wisdom at any stage in life to our peers, and yours is sage advice right there! Thanks for your time and thoughtful answers!

Donna: Thank you, again, for your time and interest.


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