This week's Writer Wednesday features Joe Novara, author of the My First Horse Series, City Food/Country Food, Quiet Game, Patchooky, and Help for the Humor deprived. Besides the Story Shares library, Joe has been published in a number of other venues, all of which you can find by visiting his blog, Writing for Homeschooled Boys
. Be sure to check it out, and also read on below as Joe talks about the writing craft and how creative inspiration finds him!
Why do you write?
It’s a way to be mindful, to notice the world around me and integrate memories and re-shape the thousands of daily impressions I receive into meaningful patterns. Said a little more poetically: Writing is my excuse to rumble in the rag-bag of memory for the pieces of a quilt that will give meaning to my life and hopefully warmth and insight to others. While I can produce technical manuals and close-reasoned essays, I’m finding that I much prefer the challenge of entwining meaning in creative fiction.
What compelled you to create stories for the Story Shares library?
I was introduced to your program through a contest. It didn’t take long to realize you represented a way to reach an audience I had targeted for a number of years through traditional and ePublishing. I like your mission. And since any writing needs as many readers to complete it as possible, I offered my YA series and other stories to you. Thanks for giving them a targeted outlet.
What have you written?
I have written all my life but got serious about it over the last twenty years or so. Not Steven King serious. More like once a week writer’s group serious and occasional publication to validate and impel further effort. I paid bills with technical, training materials, industrial video scripts and newsletters. But underneath and during all that, I found excitement and stimulation in creative writing. First in Young Adult fiction. Then in send-up humor for magazines; sometimes plays, poems, a memoir and most recently an adult novel, Come Saturday…Come Sunday by Cawing Crow Press. But I keep the word mill slowly turning with short stories, sketches…whatever, for our Monday morning critique group sessions.
Where do you source your inspiration from?
Sometimes an idea just hits me…but you have to be looking for it. Like when you’re looking to move, you always have part of your peripheral vision on the alert for FOR SALE signs. One of my YA novels began at junior high assembly when the principal spoke on the subject of bullying. Lately, I stop and ask myself what I’ve been ruminating about lately…attending a class reunion, the burdens of the sandwich generation, privacy in marriage. Other times I directly ask for a direction as when I asked a family counselor for a common issue she encounters in her practice with young adults. She mentioned the situation where one sibling has a chronic condition and the other is then torn between feeling neglected and guilty for not having more empathy for the sib. In that case, not wanting to write a Lifetime movie script, I thought a story about parental focus on an ill pet might be more interesting. A trip to a local vet sent me off to a local horse farm where the owner had rescued a winter born foal by raising it in her kitchen. So was born my YA novel, A Horse in My Kitchen. To my silent gratification and validation, the horse farmer found that my fictional account wasn’t how it really happened.