***The CRC Blog welcomes submissions from published and unpublished fiction genre writers for INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION. Contact CRC Blog via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or personal Facebook messaging at https://www.facebook.com/car.cooper.7
What is the date you began writing this piece of fiction and the date when you completely finished the piece of fiction? I began it when I was getting my MFA (10 years ago) and am just now finishing it. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of life interruptions. Where did you do most of your writing for this fiction work? And please describe in detail. And can you please include a photo? In the recliner in the TV room and in my office at my desk.
What were your writing habits while writing this work- did you drink something as you wrote, listen to music, write in pen and paper, directly on laptop; specific time of day? I usually drink water or tea while I’m writing. I write directly on the laptop. I used to work as a reporter, and the time restraints of a looming deadline taught me to cut out that middle step (writing on paper). Times vary. I write best in the morning, but I have a hard time settling in then (I also either have to go to work or am in the mindset of going to work). So often, I do my best writing in mid-afternoon or evening.
Other works you have published? I have short stories and poems published in various literary magazines. This will be my first book.
Anything you would like to add? It took awhile for me to realize what this book was about. I’d finished it, actually, the first time and then realized that what I thought it was about wasn’t what it was actually about. I trashed the entire final third and rewrote it. So for me, writing is absolutely discovery. Don’t hold the line, don’t come in with some scripted idea of what it is you’re going to write and then hold onto that unyieldingly. You’ll get finished sooner, sure—but your work will be predictable and formulaic, holding no surprises, and probably not a lot of deeper truths. It’s letting go that makes the magic.
I’m assistant professor of English at Pittsburg State University. I’ve had both poetry and fiction published in magazines like and others. I’ve taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Independence Community College, and Pittsburg State University. I’ve worked as a reader for both and . I’m poetry editor for and am currently finishing a novel set in pre-Civil War Missouri.