On Friday, March 20, 2015 come out and join us for a pre-conference author event from 5:30pm to 8:00 pm. Our keynote speaker for the evening is the very talented short story writer and novelist, Jill McCorkle. She is the author of six novels (Life After Life, July 7th, The Cheer Leader, Tending Virginia, Ferris Beach and Carolina Moon) and three collections of short stories (Crash Diet, Final Vinyl Days and Creatures of Habit). Ms. McCorkle started writing as a child, and in her Sophomore year of college began to take her writing career seriously. It has been said that,“McCorkle’s sense of language and natural representation of conversations among characters reveal her ties to the oral tradition of southern literary figures such as Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston, and Joel Chandler Harris,” (Salem Press, Inc.).
Here is our interview:
Short Story Writer and Novelist
Q. I was truly touched by your latest novel, Life After Life. Was it inspired by the loss of a loved one who spent time in a hospice or nursing home?
A. I grew up with a lot of elderly relatives and so I feel there has always been someone I was visiting in such a facility. But the central idea for this novel came when my dad was dying over twenty years ago. I wanted to write about the moment of death. (there is a piece online that I wrote about this called “Writing Life After Life” http://jillmccorkle.com/life-after-life that is a PDF download. I likely will talk a little about it in my talk as well)
Q. Is there another novel in progress? Can you talk about it?
A. I do have a new novel going and once again it is set in eastern NC and several points of view. Once again I have a child and I have someone elderly- might talk a little more in person- I’m pretty superstitious!
Q. In your writing process, do you begin with a complete outline or do you begin with a sketchy idea and allow it to develop as you write? If you have done both, which do you think was more successful?
A. My writing is completely organic- bits and pieces of ideas that I hold and sit on until I begin to see how they might fit together. I have a general idea of direction or what I hope to write but so much changes along the way.
Q. Have you ever had unexpected characters show up that become important?
A. Unexpected characters show up often and sometimes they steal the show! I learned a long time ago to let them. Likewise there are characters you think will be much more important than they prove to be.
Q. Have you ever experienced writers block? If so, how did you conquer it?
A. I personally think that writer’s block is something that must grow out of the luxury of an abundance of time. I have never gotten to the bottom of the very big pile of all I want to write because as soon as I work on one thing, I think of several others. I tell my students if you keep your eyes and ears open in this world, you can’t possibly live long enough to write all the stories you encounter. I never sit down empty-handed- if I don’t have a direction in mind, I just sit down and start typing up my notes and before I know it, something happens and I’m in the middle of a scene.
Q. If there is anything you want to say that might tantalize writers and readers about your keynote address, please feel free to get our interest peaked.
A. I plan to talk a little about the above- where I look for stories, how I find them, how they surprise me– I think we all have our sources we return to again and again– in talking about voice I hope to discuss how we use what is most familiar to us and channel it onto the page.
Looking forward to being there! Thanks again- jill
by Doris Schneider
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With only three (3) days left before Pamlico Writers Conference & Competition Third Annual conference begins there isn’t much time left to register on-line. But don’t dispair, you may also register at the door for both Friday, March 20, 2015’s events and Saturday, March 21, 2015’s conference.
Visit our website for a complete list of planned events for both days, events and workshops: www.pamlicowritersconference.org
Hurry, don’t miss it.