Rayona Lovely Wilson Author Interview

Today, author Rayona Lovely Wilson takes over my page. Her short story, “The Sammy Clause,” was just published in the anthology “A Contract of Words,” which includes 28 authors from all over the world. Here is what she had to say about life, writing, and her story:

1. Besides writing, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Do my kids count? Now that I’m a mom I can’t see myself without them.

2. What was your inspiration for your story?
My inspiration for the story was trying to keep the message going that not only women are abused. A lot of people don’t think it can happen to men, but it really can.

3. If a genie could grant you 3 wishes, what would you wish for
1. That no child ever had to go through any kind of abuse
2. That my writing is seen by millions of people and it will change their lives
3. That I continue to be the best mother I can be

4. Has reading influenced your decision to be a writer? What book(s) made you want to write
The first book I read that made me want to write was ‘A Child Called It’. That changed everything for me. It broke my heart but made me want to write words too.

5. Would you describe your writing process? For example, do you write in a specific place, have music playing or is that a no-no, lean toward outlining specifics, or are you a pantser?
My writing process is to sit down and write. I listen to the chaos of my children and I also have music playing as well. I can’t outline to save my life, so I guess that makes me a pantser.

6. When faced with the dreaded “writers block”, how do you push through and find inspiration? Is there a ritual or process you have to get yourself back on track?
I’ve had bad writers block once, and I mean so bad it took 3 years to get over it. I decided to let the break happen and wait it out. Boy was it hard. Kinda depressing too because I couldn’t do the thing I loved.

7. Did you know how your story would end when you started writing it? If not, did plans change while writing or did you improvise when you arrived?
I didn’t know how it would end right away until I started writing. I just went for it and it happened. I let my characters take me on the ride.

8. If a movie were to be made of your story and you were in charge of casting, who would play your characters? Who would direct?
That’s a tough one. I’d probably pick Sonny Moore when he was in From First to Last to play Dean. He’s so cute and small. I’d cast Emma Roberts to play Samantha, I mean, she kinda fits perfectly.

9. How close did your story end up being to the original concept you had in your mind? What were the biggest changes? Why did you make them?
It ended the way I wanted it to end for a short story. The only changes I made was Samantha turning it into blaming Dean for why she did what she did to him. Boy is she a jerk.

10. What book were you reading when you thought, this stuff sells??? Oh, hell, I can do that…
I can’t remember the title, but I was reading a lot of  books about child abuse because that’s the area I write in but somehow, I wanted to try to focus on the aftermath and how it could possibly conflict with present relationships of my characters’ lives and relationships.

11. Did you have to do any odd research for your story? How did you conduct that research, and then how was it used in your story?
Yes, I did. Google helped a lot. One of the strange ones was being choked and how one would feel while the action was happening.

12. If you could pick one place to sit and write, where would it be?
If I knew 100% that I’d survive, I’d sit on a cloud and write for hours.

13. How closely do you relate to/identify with your characters? What inspired them? Did they take over your story or did you direct them?
I try not to put myself into my characters, especially this one because people keep asking if this based on my real-life relationship. Haha. This story for ACOW was based on my book and I was able to direct them to what I needed them to do. I promise I do not abuse my husband.

14. What do you consider your all-time favorite novel? One that you would read again and again.
If I say Fifty Shades of Grey will you all laugh at me? I mean, I really can read those books again and again. I dig the overall story.

15. How much of your writing is outlined from the beginning and how much of it is ‘pantsed’ or written on the fly?
None of what I write is outlined. I don’t even know how to outline stuff. I turn on the music and start writing.

16. What are your favorite snack-as-you-write or eat-as-you write foods? How do they help your creative flow or process?
For the most part, whenever I write I’m eating a bowl of cereal. Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, Crunch Berries…I love cereal.

17. How is your ACOW story typical or atypical of your writing in general?
It’s pretty typical. I like to write about guys who are in situations that people normally only think women are in. Anybody can be abused, raped, assaulted. I want to get that message out there.

You can order on Amazon (worldwide), Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, or get a FREE companion soundtrack CD if you order through Scout Media’s online store here: http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/of-words-series/

About Laurie Gardiner

Laurie has loved writing as long as she can remember. Her first published work, “'Til Death Do Us Part,” placed first in the 1997 Cambridge Writers’ Collective short story contest. Her latest works include short stories, “Retribution" and "Thief," appearing respectively in Scout Media's 2016 and 2017 anthologies, A Journey of Words and A Haunting of Words. Over the years, her poetry has also been published in various anthologies. Her debut novel, Tranquility, published in 2015, by Escargot Books and Music, was inspired by her work as a personal support worker specializing in dementia care. In 2015, she graduated with honors from Conestoga College’s Creative Writing program. She’s a Canadian, an avid reader, a yogi, and a Gemini. She grew up on a farm in remote northern Ontario, and now lives in Cambridge, Ontario with her husband and cat.
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