If you haven’t heard of our new project, the On Fire anthology, this interview series will showcase our authors and their writing lives beyond their ignited tales. In Jaclyn Adomeit’s “Red Curtain,” a young woman fights to survive in an apocalyptic America.
How long have you been writing?
I came to writing a bit late in the game. I was a voracious reader my whole life, but never had much interest in writing. I started writing short stories about three years ago and really took to it. It’s so cathartic to build a world out of nothing but words. I feel like I am always learning.
Who are your favorite authors and why?
This is an ever evolving thing for me. My favorite authors that I’ve read in the last year are Nathan Hill (Author of The Nix) and Claire Vaye Watkins (Battleborn and Gold Fame Citrus), but I try and read as widely as possible. I love genre authors that cross into literary styled prose (Tana French; Dublin Murder Squad Novels), but my all-time favorite book is The Last Unicorn. Peter S. Beagle taught me more about love and life with that book than I’m sure he ever intended to. In my opinion, Molly Grue is the most underappreciated character of all time.
How many stories have you written?
(checks computer folders) I just finished my 70th, but a good third of those are half baked creations.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Forcing myself to sit down and type something, anything. Preferably the next thing that happens in a story, but it can be a list of ideas, a list of what needs to be done, writing “I am shit, this is shit” nine times in a row. For me, it just takes forcing myself to type.
Roughly what percentage of your time is spent editing?
I want to say 75%, but it’s likely more. I’m a devotee to the editing process. What I can’t provide in talent I make up for in the sheer grit of doing something over and over until it’s half decent.
Do you use beta readers, and if so, roughly how many?
I’m really lucky in this regard. I’ve got a great network of writers in Calgary, lots of long-distance writing friends, and also a fantastic group of non-writer friends who are willing to read things and give feedback. Anything I write ends up getting read by five to ten people while I’m editing it. I’m so grateful to all of them for being honest with me about what’s working and what isn’t. Looking at my own work is like trying to read through a magnifying glass, I can’t see the big picture. I’d be lost without my beta readers.
What are you doing to market yourself?
Truly, not enough. When I think of something to post on my author Facebook page, or something witty to write on twitter, I just end up analyzing it to death.
Jaclyn Adomeit lives and writes in Calgary, Canada. In her spare time, she dances to old records in the kitchen, befriends stray cats, and attempts to rival her grandmother’s cooking skills. Her fiction has previously appeared in magazines and anthologies including Armchair/Shotgun and After the Happily Ever After. She is currently at work on her first novel.