Why did you want to participate in the Community Novel Project?
Lissa seemed a little desperate, and I’ve never let anyone read my writing before, so it seemed like a safe way to start.
What do you like about the premise and characters of this year’s Community Novel Project Speak Easy? What challenges you about them?
I thought it was a fun idea and it had several directions it could go. It was my first attempt at writing contemporary fiction.
What is your favorite and least favorite addition that you contributed to this novel in your chapter?
I liked questioning whether or not Julia was telling the truth. It seemed like she was revealing too much to complete strangers and I questioned just why, exactly, would she be willing to do that. I was hoping to have Ronni and Julia talking by the end of the chapter, but it took too long to get there and I left it for the next author.
What do you hope happens or doesn’t happen in the chapters that come after yours?
I want to see Julia be an actual character and not a plot device. She needs to be interviewed not constantly written out of the story.
How did you write your chapter – in a burst of inspiration or carefully outlined?
I began by outlining what had happened in the story and where it was going, but an inconsistency bothered me so much that I spent two weeks struggling with it before I wrote the entire chapter in one sitting.
Any memorable stories to share about your writing experience?
Besides taking two weeks to write three paragraphs only to churn out an entire new chapter in one evening? I was so close to the wire that I sent it off without any editing.
What have you learned about writing fiction from participating in this project?
I need to be more confident in my writing and more willing to share it with other people for feedback. I also need to stop editing my work to death and allow it to just be.
What is your writing background? What do you usually write? How was this project different?
I usually write historical fiction and this was my first attempt at contemporary. It was also mainly dialogue which is something I usually struggle with.
Stacy Spilker has been making up stories since she was old enough to talk. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a published author, but became discouraged as a teenager. In college, she discovered she preferred editing as it appealed to her perfectionist nature. She earned an Associate degree in English, and joined NaNoWriMo in an attempt to fully understand the writing process (and to finally finish something) and fell back in love with telling stories. This is the first time she has allowed her fiction to be read by anyone else.