We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Copper Rose, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of October 2018.
What does it mean to be selected as Author of The Month?
First, to Spillwords, for providing the stage – a chance to put a story out there, as though it’s auditioning in front of a diverse and appreciative audience. And to the audience, thank you for voting for Special of the Day. This event is historical along the timeline of my writing career, to be accepted by and connected to other authors. It is one of those dreams I barely believed could come true. This is my “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
How have your friends and/or family influenced your writing?
My family has never been interested in literature so I turn to friends for support when it comes to writing down words. My family, on the other hand, is very good with bricks and shovels. Hammers and nails. Sacks of feed and splitting wood. They are very animated so I glean a lot of stories from the things they do.
What inspires you to write?
A drop of water, a broken fence, the way he says no, how the light slants through a cloud, from behind a door, through the leaves in the trees. How she raises her eyebrows and pauses to sip her coffee before answering. Any memory I can grab and pull to the forefront. Anything with teeth.
What was your writing catalyst?
An unsolved murder that took place in my neighborhood when I was young. To date, it has never been solved. Alcoholism and mental illness in my family. Trying to make sense of things. My family was good at breaking rules so it was interesting to see how their choices worked out for them. I could never resist taking notes.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process?
I write when the spirit moves me. And when it moves me, that is all I do. It seems like that is all I can do. I love writing with glitter pens. Very smooth, feels good on the page. I doodle a lot. I draw pictures in the margins.
What would you say is most fulfilling about writing?
The kindest thing anyone has ever done for me in regard to my writing is read my own words back to me. It’s like listening to a story someone else wrote when you hear it in another person’s voice. I’ll be like, “Did I really write that?” especially if it will evoke a certain emotion in me. If it evokes an emotion in me, maybe it will evoke an emotion in someone else. Tapping into an emotion. That’s what it’s all about. That’s fulfilling.
Does the addition of imagery help to tell your story?
My stories are all about images. I steal stories from images all the time. A broken tooth. A chair tipped over. A flat tire. A stain on a tablecloth. There are images in my head that play out like movies. My job is to record what the characters say and describe the scene they are in. That is the only way I know how to write a story.
What is your favorite reading genre?
Anything that is funny or sarcastic. I love satire, stories that bite. The genre doesn’t matter, as long as the story has teeth. I love stories that make me go, “Hah! Didn’t see that coming!”
What human being has inspired you the most?
I may only get one chance to mention important people so I have to mention at least three. My mother, who taught me hard stuff builds character. To my marriage counselor, Ruth Coleman, who taught me how to leave with honor and integrity so that I could move forward. And Andrew Schaefer, my professor, who taught me how to feel with my heart and see with my hands. Of course, the list is long, of those who have made a difference in my life, but the list would be too long to mention here.
What message would you have for the Spillwords Press community that voted for you?
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart to the tip of my pen, for voting for the words I was able to string together into a story. This is an amazing platform and I am in awe of all who have submitted stories or poems. It is a brave thing to do. It is an honor to be included in a community filled with talented writers.
What would you like your legacy as a writer to be?
To have readers get excited about my stories, to talk about them with their friends, to love a story enough to read it again so they can feel that level of excitement a second time, because the story made such an impact.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Don’t ever think your story isn’t good enough. Instead, find the place where your story fits. It feels good to fit in, to connect. Your words have a place where they belong. Keep looking until you find that place.
I would also add, when it comes to stories, revision is just as important as the first draft. The first draft captures the idea, the essence. Revision makes a story shine. People notice shiny things. Sending out a well-written story is like sending a message using a piece of glass to reflect the sun. Keep moving it around and when you hit it just right, they’ll notice your story.
And if Doubt raises his ugly head trying to convince you your story isn’t worth sharing, show him to the door. If he hesitates, apply extra pressure.
OCTOBER 2018 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords.com
Julie Eger writes under the names Julie Eger, A.J. Lawdring and Copper Rose, perforates the edges of the page while writing, believes anything is possible for those who believe anything is possible, and lives in Wisconsin with her husband and a black Golden Doodle, has raised two sons and has been accused of playing well with others. Credits include nine anthologies at Clarendon House Publications and numerous online journals and other anthologies. She also understands there really is something about pie. You can connect with her on WordPress site - Julie C. Eger.