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Opportunities and Stardom! > February Interviews

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message 1: by Cheyenne, Impressive, Star Fox (new)

Cheyenne (cheylaraine) | 1882 comments Mod
Our Interviews with the Shocker Contest Winners

message 2: by Cheyenne, Impressive, Star Fox (new)

Cheyenne (cheylaraine) | 1882 comments Mod
Me:I understand this piece is inspired by the song 'Samson' by Regina Spektor. What gave you the inspiration to make it into a short story?

Kenzie:Every year my school puts on a kind of singing contest, like American Idol, but just for our school, and one of my friends was going to sing Samson for her song, and I just remember how much I liked it and stuff, and I was all, "Y'know, this is a really sad song." Regina actually wrote it about someone named Samson, and he had cancer, and he actually died. When I saw the contest thingy, I was just, "Okay, I'm gonna do this. And I don't know how it's going to end." So I guess it's my friend's fault.

Me:What parts of your story are symbolic?

Kenzie:His name, for one. Samson Oliver Riella. Riella means "God is my strength", and so that's just another allusion to Samson of old. I was going to change it to something else, but then I decided, "Why not keep it the same? See if anyone notices?" And obviously they did. And the girl's name is Larkin, and he calls her Lark for short. I don't know that I included it in the final draft, but in the rough draft she was a singer, and it kind of hints at it through her love of music, through Ed Sheeran's song, Florence Welch's song, and the Coldplay song. And I know this isn't really a symbol, but Nutella. I just really like Nutella, okay? I had never ever ever had Nutella until the day I finished the final draft, and in the rough draft it was Vegemite, because it's supposed to be weird, but I changed it because it's Nutella, right? That probably didn't make any sense, but there's a glimpse into my mind.

Me:Which of the entries really stood out to you, and why?

Kenzie:I loved all of the entries, like, really, I'm not kidding, but the one that stuck with me was The Damned. I don't know why. It just freaked me out because the writing was so...full of imagery. It didn't really say what she was doing, but just the way it was described. I actually had a dream the night I read it that there was a lady outside my bedroom with scissors. Also, I didn't use scissors for a week after that.

Me:What genres do you normally write in?

Kenzie:It depends. I don't really have a set genre, but I'm currently writing a novel with my friend, and it's a sci-fi type novel. I don't get to write recreationally very much, because I have so many essays in APUSH that have to be written, and literature analysis of books we're reading in AP English, and I also have a thesis in Psychology 1010 that's due on Thursday, but I probably won't touch it until Wednesday night. :)

Me:Was writing in a biblical theme out of the ordinary in any way for you?

Kenzie:I hadn't really written anything with a biblical theme before, but it wasn't out of the ordinary, probably because I'm just so used to the stories. I don't want to get too religious-y, but I have a seminary class that I've been taking since my freshman year, and it's every day, so I'm really just used to it all. Plus, where I'm from religion is a big deal and we talk about it a lot.

Me:Aside from writing, have any other special talents?

Kenzie:Haha, I just did a questionnaire on Tumblr that asked me this very question. My answer was that I can stretch my fingers out so that my thumb and pinky align in a perfect straight line. If you don't believe me I might take a picture to show you. But other than that, I speak Mandarin Chinese, I play the piano, I play the violin, I can ballroom dance (yep, and I got 2nd place in my chacha competition, and that's only because for style points I did Gangnam Style on the chase with my partner, and apparently that isn't very becoming of chacha). When I was four I took ballet, and I still have some of the same ballerina skills, like I can place my heels together and turn my feel all the way out in a straight line. I'll take a picture of that, too, if you don't believe me. I also have the ability to crazy.

Me:Are you planning for a future in writing, or is it just a pastime?

Kenzie:I get asked this a lot, but I'm actually not really sure. I'm currently taking some college classes for the medical field, because that's something that I'd really like to do, but sometimes I also really just want to be famous, like, an actor or singer or something just because I want people to make gifsets of me and post them on Tumblr with the caption, "OMG what even" and then everyone will die from laughter, and I'm really not even trying to be funny, it's the way I actually am. Or I'd like to be a time traveller. That's something I've always wanted to be. When I was younger I would watch Doctor Who (still do), and Back to the Future, and stuff. And the Time Warp Trio! And then 2005 came and Doctor Who came back on air, and that only reinforced my need to travel through time. And then we come to writing. My English teacher last year told me that I had to take creative writing or else, because for one of my essays in her class, I chose to do a Multi-Genre Research Paper on Anorexia, and I guess she really liked it? I guess my final answer will be: a time-travelling nurse who sometimes acts and writes novels.

Me:As far as shocking love goes, what's the most surprising love story you've ever read?

Kenzie:Memoirs of a Geisha. I just- It wasn't even a love story until the end, and it was kind of creepy throughout the book how obsessed Sayuri was over this man. I mean, he bought her a treat when she was a kid, and she falls desperately in love with him? And the end...Just...It was a good book, but kind of weird.

Me:Has anyone in particular inspired your writing?

Kenzie:When I was in elementary school I met KL Fogg, (author of Serpent Tide, The Widow's Revenge, and Diamondback Cave) and she signed my book copies and I just remember she told me that if I wanted to write I had to work at it. And then I met Obert Skye (author of the Pillagy and Leven Thumps) and he signed my t-shirt after he dropped a fake cockroach on me, and he was just like, "Keep writing, okay? Don't give up." And he even read over this writing piece that helped me win this contest to meet him. And then I met Brandon Mull (author of Fablehaven and Candy Shop Wars) and I don't remember much about him except that he likes pudding. One of my neighbours is an author, Daniel Coleman, and he wrote some novella based on Alice in Wonderland minus Alice, and a book called Gifts and Consequences, which I recommend for people everywhere. I guess I could say that Steven Moffat influenced me, too, even though he's a horrible person and he stays up at night hoping that he can terrify children. And my 9th grade Earth Sciences teacher. I was super fed up with his class, and we were supposed to write a paper on water usage, and I really didn't want to, so I just BSed a whole paper on how I thought it was the dumbest thing to write about. We had to do a peer edit, and everyone in the class ended up reading my paper, and they all loved it, and when my teacher read it, he felt he needed to talk to me about my sarcasm and cynicism and how it kept him up at night, and I just thought, "Woah. One essay I wrote can keep one person up at night...imagine if I wrote this mind-blowing knock yo pants off novel, and it keeps everyone awake at night?" So you can blame this weird science teacher named Mr. MacMurder Mr. MacMurdo for my writing today.

Me:Currently, what's your favorite story on Goodreads?

Kenzie:heheh, I can't choose from them, because honestly, I don't read through them. I've had some experience in reading a few of them, and the chapters are like, "And then we got stuck inside the grocery store. Chapter Three: I looked around desperately and couldn't find Stacy, until all of the sudden I heard a scream. Chapter Four: I ran through the aisles..." It's just stuff like that, and then I just find the weirdest stufff......Out of the good ones that I have read, I can't choose a favourite, because they're just all so refreshing after the super weird ones that I've read.

message 3: by the sound of Autumn, Oh dear. (new)

the sound of Autumn | 3132 comments Mod
Me: Hey there my good pal! I'm not sure if you are already aware, but you and Kenzie both were voted the winners of the February Writing Contest by your fellow Poseurs! Pretty exciting, huh? Well, I was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me, for the winner's-interview?

Melanie: Well that's exciting! I thought that the poll ended on the 13th. Silly me. :) Yeah, I can do the interview. Bring on da questions!

Me: Awesome! Well, first and foremost, how does it feel to be a winner of the Poseur's February Writing Contest?

Melanie: I feel great, especially because members of the group chose the winner of the contest. It's one thing to win over one person, but when several people connect with your work, that feels better than anything.

Me: I can imagine! So, was there any specific thing that inspired your story?

Melanie: Well, in English class I was learning about stories where the narrator is biased, so they skew the story to fit their motive. Stories with unreliable narrators fascinated me for a while. When the contest came out, I had just finished reading The Cask of Amontillado. For the short story, I really wanted to mimic Edgar Allen Poe's writing style, so I created a depressed, homicidal character with an extreme passion.

Me: Ohh, I remember that story! Very creepy! Was it difficult for you to put yourself in the mindset of such a narrator?

Melanie: Like many writers, I feel that the bad guys are easier to write than the good guys. My mind can easily tap into a darker part of me when it needs to. I think that it's unhealthy for me to stay in creepy-land for too long. :) I blame all the creepy crime shows I like to watch like Criminal Minds and Fringe for putting those ideas in my brain.

Me: So is it better for you to write something up slowly, or just all at once? And do you edit even a small story after it's done, or do you just leave it as it originally is?

Melanie: I usually have write something down all at once or I will never complete the project. I am the laziest person on this great blue planet, so putting things off is a decision that always ends in doom for me. My process isn't the best: I write everything down at once, then edit EVERYTHING directly afterward. It's called binge writing, I'm told, and it makes you go insane for however long you're in the trance. Editing is something that I go crazy over. I hate to submit things with typos (unless I'm writing on my iPod, then all bets are off). It's embarrassing to me if I have a tense mistake or if I use the wrong word.

It took me about a half hour to write my Romance short story, and two and a half hours to edit it.

Me: Haha, well I think we can all relate to that. Tell me though, was there a specific message you were trying to send through your story? Something that may not have been obvious to readers right away?

Melanie: Sometimes when people get into a relationship or desire a relationship, that longing becomes an obsession. A person forget about the rest of the aspects of his/her life. That person ignores their friends, neglects their duties and forgets about what used to make them happy. Then, when it's all said and done and the story is at its most critical point, the person only ends up inflicting harm upon themselves because that relationship was not enough to support them.

Me: Well, thank you very much, and congratulations once again on your big victory! I hope to see more of your writing soon!

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