Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Writer ~ Connie Wolfe

Writers Mirror welcomes Connie Wolfe as our Wednesday Writer.  Connie is a member of ANWA, American Night Writers Association. She has been writing for many years.  Though yet to be putlished, she is an excellent writer and will someday soon be out there.   

CRW:  Welcome Connie, what inspires you to write?

Connie:  I sometimes notice little things that trigger a scene for me. For instance, the other day in the grocery store there was a man with his little boy (about 5). The little boy looked up at his Daddy with an expression of pure hero worship and his father returned with a look I can only describe as gentle love. In my mind I imagined them as a divorced father who missed his time with his boy and took full advantage of his visitation rights. Since I am divorced and do not see a good relationship between my sons and their father, this really struck me as sweet and noteworthy. I’d love to write something that would inspire father’s everywhere to appreciate their children and to live so that their children could always look up to them with that same worshipful expression.

CRW:  Do you set time or word goals daily for your writing?

Connie:  I don’t do very well at setting a daily word goal. I tend to write by scenes, not words. When I have a scene fixed in my mind, I like to sit down, close my eyes, and just let it pour out my fingertips onto the keyboard. It isn’t unusual to come to the end of the scene and realize that I have tears running down my cheeks.

CRW:  I beleive that if the writer cries as she writes it, then the emotions are so honest that the reader will too.  What gets in your way of writing?

Connie:  It would almost be easier to say what doesn’t get in my way of writing. Life happens. I can always find something else that needs done before I sit to write and before you know it, my day is gone. Perhaps my biggest stumbling block is emotional energy. Especially if I am working on an intense scene, it tends to drain me emotionally. If I am under a great deal of stress for the day, I find it very difficult to find the energy to write.
          Recently, I find that I resist being scheduled. As of three months ago, for the first time in my life, there is no one calling the shots for me; no parents, child, husband or boss. I have been wallowing in that luxurious feeling like a pig in the mud. My time is my own to do with as I choose and it has been a heady feeling. I got a little unrealistic with it for a while, but am getting things back into perspective now.

CRW:  Tell us a little more about how you are coming to terms with making time for writing?

Connie:  It took a while to identify some of the problems, but I am doing my best to negate them. While there is always something that needs doing in the housework department, I have identified the things that drive me crazy if undone. Since my best writing time is early in the day, I am making it a policy not go to bed at night until those things are done so they don’t take control of the next day and my wrighting time. I also try to schedule other responsibilities and appointments for later in the day so it keeps my mornings more free to write. I limit myself in the time I spend with e-mails, blogs, etc. Reading was a distraction for me. Once I start a book, I hate to put it down. So, since I like to read as I eat, for breakfast I limit my reading to an Ensign article or a Relief Society lesson. To read for fun is becoming a reward for writing.

CRW:  Novel idea. (Pun intended.) I run crazy in the morning doing everthing.  Once I get writing, I tend to leave this world, and time means nothing.  I'm afraid I won't get even the most necessary of tasks done if I don't do them first. What makes you CRAZY about writing?

Connie:  I am awful at editing as I write. If I come up with something new in my story line, it is so compelling to go back and build it in to what has already been written. It’s almost like I can’t think straight until I have set all the clues and foreshadows before I can go on. I am trying to deal with that by setting aside some time each couple of days to do the editing rather than doing it at the moment.

CRW:  Where is the strangest place you have worked on a story?

Connie:  A few years ago I attended a writer’s conference on a cruise ship. The ship stopped off Catalina Island and they had small boats that ferried passengers to land. Since I was still using a cane as a result of breaking my foot, I decided not to risk climbing on and off those bouncing boats, so went up on the promenade deck and wrote instead of sightseeing.

CRW:  Sounds wonderful!  Do you have a timeline in mind to completing one of your projects?

Connie:  I’ve set a goal to have the rough draft completed by the end of the year and the editing and polishing done by the end of March.

CRW:  You mentioned about the scene with the father and son in the grocery store. Where else do you get your ideas?

Connie:  I love to play the ‘what if’ game. I see an unusual person, or a person doing something unusual, overhear a snatch of conversation, and I can ‘what if’ it into some really fun things. The fun thing about being a writer is that it is only limited by your own imagination.

CRW:  Where do you come up with your character names?

Connie:  Sometimes the names just come to me. Occasionally a character reminds me of someone I have known and I use that name. Of course, sometimes those names change as the character develops more fully.

CRW:  Do you have a favorite writing food?

Connie:  Chocolate and ice cream. Unfortunately, in my effort to reduce weight and get more fit and healthy, those are now off limits. In this not as perfect world of weight loss, I have resorted to almonds and lemon drops.

CRW:  Why are you a writer?

Connie:  I have had a love affair with books from the time I was big enough to hold one. In grade school, most of my recesses were spent on the front steps of the school with a book. By the time I could read well, I had a younger brother and sister that loved to have me read aloud to them. That added a whole new dimension to reading pleasure. It was a very small step from loving to read to wanting to write.

CRW:  Good point.  Who do you hope reads your work?

Connie:  I tend to write in different genres. I have too many works in process—mystery, historical fiction, fantasy, and romance. These tend to be geared to young adult or women.

CRW:  What would be the best compliment about your writing that you could receive?

Connie:  That I am the best writer they have every read. (Just kidding.) To have a reader identify with a character and to receive strength and hope for their own lives through what they learned from that character would be like reaching out and sharing a piece of my heart and soul with the reader. To have them understand and appreciate what I shared would be overwhelmingly gratifying.

CRW:  Tell us about your current work in progress.

Connie:  I am working on a story based in the early 1900’s. Young Daisy (Demaris Anne Parker) is leaving the family farm to enjoy a social season with her aunt and cousins in Detroit. She meets Henry Malcolm, a young attorney who is gaining a reputation for defending the underdog. Henry’s sense of justice and responsibility coupled with Daisy’s optimism and zest for life create some interesting growth experiences for both of them.

CRW:  Sounds like you have a great story coming.  Connie, I really appreciate you letting us have some insight on you as a writer. How fun that you did this interview with Writers Mirror before you books come out.  It's like we get a sneak peak into whats to come.


  1. As an unpublished writer I am very interested in the what, how and why of other nearly there authors. You have done a great job interviewing Connie and I appreciate her trials. In my mind it is impossible to not compare her to me.
    Lessons are to be learned by this interview, one in particular, write what is going on in your head. Don't let the stories go with the wind - they may produce that winning novel.
    Barbara B

  2. I've heard Connie read a scene from a mystery and wonder when I get to read the rest of the story. She's a wonderful writer!

  3. Excellent interview Cindy!
    I love Connie!

  4. I, too, have a difficult time not editing while I write that first draft. I guess it's the perfectionist in me. I enjoyed the interview in any case, and particularly identified with the part about getting so caught up in my own story that, at times, it affects me emotionally.



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