The Writing Process: Ana Maria Spagna

University of Washington Press Blog

reclaimers coverAna Maria Spagna is busy at work on her forthcoming book, Reclaimers, which the University of Washington Press will publish in Fall 2015. Spagna recently participated in a Writing Process Blog Tour and shared insights about her current project, work habits, writing influences, and more. We hope Spagna’s responses provide an opportunity to reflect on your own creative process and get you as excited about her forthcoming book as we are!

What are you working on?

AMS: I am working on a big sprawling book called Reclaimers that tells stories of people reclaiming things that have, in some way, been lost or stolen or damaged. Like sacred lands, wild rivers, and endangered species. Like culture and identity. The project dips into environmental history and cultural history, and includes a series of profiles: of three elders, two of them California Indians, of bureaucrats, activists, and fish biologists.

In this book…

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The life of an unsuccessful writer: an Interview with myself

Martin van Houwelingen

As I was watching old George Carlin interviews, I love George Carlin as I believe in his thought process and the answers he derived from them, I fell back onto an old hang-up of mine, which is dealing with disgruntled people commenting me on my semicare-free life-style. As I know I can get these depressive thoughts late at night, as I write this it is o.48 AM, so I shut the laptop off and decided to go to bed.

But something held me back and just for once wanted to tell my side of the story. I have done interviews before, but for some reason they were either to lax and general in their questions to really matter or so hard to the core to prove a point that I was not able to get in a word edgewise, which both are pretty useless as interviews go.

And so I…

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29. Why I’m a Poet.


This is about that moment when you read a poem and something within it resonates deep within you. It’s a lot like falling in love, only with words. It’s about the fate of humanity, to be so much the same and yet to seem so different. It is in honour of the old poets who left a piece of their humanity behind so that we wouldn’t feel so alone in ours.

Why I’m a Poet.

I love that the edges of our souls overlap.
I love that if you’re careful you can shine a light
Onto that exact spot where they do.
I love that if you’re watching closely enough
A few words can light up whole corners of your soul
And dark things bathed in light have no power to frighten.
I love that words have this power of connection.
This power to make us feel seen,
Sometimes in…

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Author Interview: Erik Hofstatter

Karen Runge

Erik Hofstatter is a UK-based author who first wowed us with Moribund Tales, a collection of short stories that went on to become one of Amazon’s Top-10 bestselling anthologies in the UK, USA, and Canada. He and I met on the internet (how unusual!), and a while ago he asked me to read and review his latest novella The Pariahs. I have no idea how I made it onto his hit-list, but I’m glad I did! The Pariahs is a fantastic, clawing, fighting scream of a story that whirls you through its 79 pages so fast you don’t even remember turning them. You can read my full review of it here.

While I had him in one place, I pinned him down for a quick author interview. Why not?

erik hofstatter2What was the inspiration behind your fantastic new novella, The Pariahs?

Due to a secluded childhood, I…

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The next wave (part 4): WA women writers to look out for

looking up/looking down


The next wave is a four-part series featuring exciting Western Australian women writers with manuscripts ready for submission or nearly there. I hope you’ll remember their names and watch out for their published work.

My final two guests are Michelle Michau-Crawford and Louise Allan.

MichelleLR-2Michelle Michau-Crawford

Michelle and I share a love of short stories—and Paris. Michelle recently spent a month there, collects French literature and is currently attempting to learn French so she can read her collection. ‘Despite it being the so-called City of Love,’ she says, ‘it is my favourite place to visit alone.’ Her love affair with the city began by accident on a trip in 2008. Having been a huge Leonard Cohen fan all her life, she discovered he was performing in Lyon two weeks after a conference she was attending in Dublin. ‘I extended my trip, bought a scalped ticket and went to Lyon…

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W.O.W. – Writer Odyssey Wednesday with Gina Ciocca



Inevitably when an author talks about their writing journey we always hear about querying and “the call”, but one of the things I always ask  about in interviews, and feel is incredibly important, is the critique process.

As today’s featured writer, Gina Ciocca points out, critique partners and beta readers are critical to the process of writing, “You get to a point where you’re just too close to the manuscript to see where it needs improvement, and that’s when your CP’s and betas can breathe new life into it.”

While many of us don’t worry about critiques when we first start writing, we learn very early on that having people review our work is a critical step in getting our stories to bookshelves one day.

Many thanks to Gina for sharing her thoughts on the critique process and for giving us a peek into her writing odyssey…

Amy: When did you first begin seriously writing with the intent of wanting to be published?


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Author Interview: Christopher Allan Poe


Dirty Little Bookers

Dirtly Little Booker witches are happy to learn that Christopher is cool enough as it is. We can stop obsessing that he’s ACTUALLY RELATED TO EDGAR ALLAN POE, and get down to the nitty gritty.

Or, kind of. We’re still pretty obsessed.

DLB: How long have you been writing?

CAP:First, let me thank you for taking the time to do this interview. We authors appreciate all you do at Dirty Little Bookers.

 I’ve been writing seriously for a little over a decade now. I always knew that I wanted to write, even as a young fan of Stephen King and Anne Rice, but I wasn’t really ready until I decided to quit playing music.

DLB: Now that you’ve quit playing music, what’s your day job?

CAP: Writing is my day job primarily. Most authors these days supplement their income with other work. When sales lag a bit or…

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Writer Interview with Jan Davies

Julaina Kleist-Corwin

jan daviesJan Davies has a short story, “Saving Sheena”, and a memoir essay, “A February Christmas” in my anthology, Written Across the Genres (available on Amazon).

Jan is an independent business lady, President of the WiMe Group, Inc., who has always loved to write; poetry, journals, short and long stories and memoir.  Her passions are family, writing, reading, taking photographs of special moments, eating delectable foods, sipping distinct, flavorful wines, and laughing with friends. She travels to new, enchanted places with laptop and iPhone in hand.

Here is the interview with Jan Davies.

Julaina: How did you get the idea for your story?

Jan: With “Shaving Sheena”, I wanted to write a piece about a mature woman, her experiences as a widow, dating, and her grown children’s reactions.

Julaina: What is a writing day like for you?

Jan: I steal precious moments either before the sun rises or way after…

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