The Writer’s Corner..Interview with author Jo-Ann Mapson (part 3)

writers, authors, blogs, interviews, best selling authors    Part III ** Interview with Jo-Ann Mapson** This has been a terrific interview with Jo-Ann.  She has generously shared her writing world with us and she always inspires me to be a better writer.

Q. Have you? Or do you want to write in another genre`?

A. I write some nonfiction, essays, and have been tinkering with a kind of memoir for decades. Occasionally I am moved to write a poem, such as one for my agent, when her beloved dog died, but I’m not very good at it because I don’t practice the habit.

Something that I find compelling these days is the issue of writing and aging. I’m not sure if anyone has written about this yet. John Updike died, Philip Roth retired, Rosamund Pilcher died, Evan Connell died, and it becomes a kind of reckoning; your name will be on that list sooner rather than later. Somehow it makes the act of writing seem authors, writing, writers, interviewsmore important, to get things right, to write something of substance rather than fluff, or “phoning it in,” as they say nowadays. At the same time, I sense myself detaching from it a tiny bit, but it isn’t frightening, it feels natural. Like a part of aging. You cannot beat Father Time.

Here’s another thing: Every writer I know started out as a reader, and still reads. That’s what drew us to the habit in the first place. So when a new writer shows up on the scene and is so uncommonly great, why should there be jealousy or disgruntlement? It’s all being deposited in the great body of literature. This year I reread several books that I recall making me want to write, just to see if they held up. I was so thrilled to discover that they did! Mary Stewart, Rumer Godden, Henry James, even Danielle Steel’s first romance. I was delighted to discover that sense of timelessness that came with the reading.

I also read some new writers I really like: Tana French, who wrote Faithful Place and Broken Harbor, just plain WOW, that woman is brilliant, and I hope I live a long time so I can read all her books because she is just getting started. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, those are a few writers I am keeping my eye on.

I recently hired Carolyn Turgeon to teach in the MFA Program in Writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage where I am core fiction faculty. She is an unassuming genius who takes fairy tales and wrenches them into strange and wonderful parables of women’s issues. She reinvents the core stories, which is what writing is, taking the old and telling it new. I’m all for new writers succeeding, pushing the boundaries of the form, and pushing me eventually out of a job. I absolutely love to work with budding writers. It is so satisfying to watch them succeed. I am standing there teary on the sidelines saying, “You go, Girl!” What a joy to be even a sliver of a part of that.

interviews, authors, writers, bloggersI am so blessed. I have a wonderful writing life, but there was much gritty scrambling to arrive where I am, and I know there’s more ahead. And I think that is the way it ought to be, earned rather than given, never taken for granted, so that when success happens, you realize the importance of it and relish your hard work coming to fiction, authors, writers, interviews


Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. the NEW SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner” INTERVIEWS with other  best-selling AUTHORS!

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview once a month .  I have invited such luminaries as:  Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Robert McCammon, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Maya Angelou, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!

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