Jane W. Wolfinbarger is the author of “There Goes the Neighborhood”, available now in Kindle and paperback. I wanted to talk to her about “Neighborhood” – a collection of fantasy short stories – and to get to know a little about the creator behind these excellent forays off the beaten path.
SC: Jane, tell me a little about your writing philosophy.
JW: Well, now, that’s an anything goes sort of question. I tell stories. I write things that I think are fun, and I hope others will enjoy reading them.
SC: Your characters really leap out to the reader; they’re very real, very much like people we see (or could be ourselves) every day. How do you go about creating your characters?
JW: My characters are just – there. They are the ones who will fit into the story I am writing. While they certainly grow, I don’t create characters first, usually. I have a story idea and then the characters who are needed start ringing the doorbell and letting me know they want me to use them.
SC: Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
JW: My main inspiration varies from story to story. Sometimes it will be a picture, sometimes a piece of music, an odd occurrence, sometimes just a bit of a daydream that grows. But if an idea seems lacking, I’ll file it away for later, to see if I can change it around or spice it up a bit.
SC: Do you feel your characters embody some sort of ideal or example? – that your work has a theme or message?
JW: Themes and messages – well, I guess my stories have a traditional moral outlook, however you define that. And things tend to happen that we wish would happen; the bad guy gets what is coming to him, usually, and people generally get saved in the end. Not always, but then life itself is neither predictable nor fair. And I like to keep my readers guessing.
SC: Are you working on anything new right now?
JW: I am working on several things right now. First, a second collection of short stories that, once again, are modern urban fantasy. Second, I am working on a collaboration with my husband, expanding on the main character in one of the stories in my first book – Nicholas Northing from “Plumbing and the Modern Necromancer”. [My husband] Pat is doing some fun historical interlude stories, and I am supplying the stories set in modern times. It’s a lot of fun. Pat has an incredible imagination and sense of humor (he is the pun king), and bouncing ideas off each other for this collaboration is just great.
SC: What projects are you envisioning for the future?
JW: The future. Ah, that chameleon creature! I have more stories – I love writing short stories – and have several novels, some of which have been percolating through my brain for years. They include fantasy, steam punk, and just plain young adult offerings.
SC: Do you have advice for other new writers?
JW: Other new writers – do what I did. Gather your courage and just do it. Keep on writing and take advantage of some of the wonderful opportunities for e-publishing and print-on-demand publishing out there. And after you’ve proofed your manuscript, proof it again, ten or so times. Then get someone else, or several others, to proof your copy, too – typos are sneaky little creatures.
SC: Jane, thanks for sharing with me today. Hopefully we’ll get to hear from you again soon as future projects get off the ground!