|Julie A. Serroul|
A: I have been writing since I was a young teen, mostly poetry and personal essays then, or observations about life too long to fit in my diary. It was my adult years before I tried my hand at crafting a short story, although some of what I had played with before could be considered the bones of a story. My favorite type of story to write is one that has a contemporary setting but contains fantasy or supernatural elements.
Q: What sparked the idea for your story in Unearthed? Can you remember?
A: The story came about from a series of questions that I asked myself. What if human evolution had required us to burrow underground to survive? We are very adaptive and resourceful creatures. How would we adapt, what animals, plant life, or resources would we harness to enhance our lives? What if that branch of evolution co-existed with our own?
Q: What's the title of your story in Unearthed? In general, do you get the title first, or do you write the story first? Do you remember what prompted this particular title?
A: My story is called "Uprooted", which is, in several ways, applicable to my main character as well as the theme. I am terrible at titles. Only rarely do they come easily to me, and never before the story itself.
Q: Please tell us: one book you've read recently, one book you're reading now, and one book on your to-read list.
A: I am re-reading the series starting with Game of Thrones. I plan to read the series starting with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo after that.
Q: What's the best/worst writing advice you've ever been given?
A: The trick with writing advice is to learn to adapt the suggestions that will fit your writing style, if you feel they will help and if they are from a source you respect, and ignore the rest. The advice that I hate the most is any that starts with the phrase, "You must do this," or "You must never do that". For example, the entire debate about whether to outline or not before starting your story. To me, stories will evolve as they will, and it will be different for each person. It may even be different from story to story for an individual writer. Just grab onto any wonderful ideas, characters, settings, etc., in any form. And then use whatever method necessary to get it from your head and onto the paper. If it doesn't coalesce into a full form in your mind, then you may need to outline some or all of it to pull it together. Whatever gets the job done.
Q: What are you working on now, or what's your next planned writing project?
A: I'm currently polishing a short story entitled "Scorpions" and preparing it for submission to a market.
Q: Have you ever read something and thought, “I wish I'd written that!”? What was it?
A: I'm frequently envious of another writer's talent. Dean Koontz, Bob Salvatore, Nancy Kress - these and many others evoke that in me. But it doesn't discourage me, it fires me up to reach for that lofty level of literary accomplishment. Whew, say that five times fast.