Sunday, July 10, 2011

Author Insides ~ Corinne Wasilewski

Corinne Wasilewski's short story, "Walking on Water," appears in the Spring 2011 issue of The Battered Suitcase. Corinne was born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada and presently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and teen-aged son. Writing has been her compulsion for several years now. She might not tell everyone this, but, she finds fiction more real than life. Her short stories have appeared in Front&Centre and The Windsor Review. She has a story forthcoming in The Nashwaak Review.

Corinne, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have diary that proves I wanted to be a writer as early as ten, but, I think the desire was there as early as seven or eight. I was always a reader – would read a Nancy Drew book in a single sitting in grade three – so it was my love of reading that was the impetus for writing.


Why do you write?
In the beginning I wrote because I thought I had something important to say. Now I write to amuse myself and because I enjoy spending time with the characters.

Is being a writer anything like you imagined it would be?
No. I didn’t realize how little control the writer has in the whole process – how it’s more a matter of letting the characters take control. I also didn’t realize what little financial compensation there is for writers.

What do you think makes a good story?
To me, a good story is all about the characters. I want to be able to get into a character’s head and understand what makes them tick. I want to see them grow and develop.

What's your favorite genre to read?
Literary fiction -- short stories and gargantuan novels.

Who is your favorite author or poet?
I don’t have a favourite author, just favourite books.

What books or stories have most influenced you the most as a writer?
The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis, Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, A Recipe for Bees by Gail Anderson-Dargatz, and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. These books gave me permission to be as quirky and unorthodox in my writing as I want.

What books or stories have most influenced you as a person?
Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards, The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton, The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy, Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life by Trevor Cole and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte because they give you the insight that allows you to have compassion for the most unlikely characters and compassion is something I’m short on sometimes.

Where/how do you find the most inspiration?
I tend to shut out the emotional side of life so any situation that causes me emotional turmoil is good fodder for a story.

What does your family think of your writing?
They tolerate it, but, I think they feel neglected at times.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I write every day – even at Christmas. I don’t see it as work. It’s just something I like to do. I have a full-time job that is totally removed from writing, so, I’m doing good if I get in an hour of writing a day.

Do you have any writing quirks or rituals?
I write best in the morning. I like to roll out of bed, make a cup of coffee and head straight to the computer.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Endings! I hate writing endings.

What are your current projects?
I’ve been working on a novel for several years now – I’m probably three quarters done at this point.

What are you planning for future projects?
No specific plans, but, I’ll be writing something.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read and write. Write every day. Write even when you don’t feel like it.

Where can we find your work?
In my hard drive at home. No, seriously, in 2010 I had short stories appear in two Canadian publications: “Front&Center” and “The Windsor Review” and I have another pending in “The Nashwaak Review” in 2011.