This month’s spotlight is on Isabel Nee, author of poetry and fantastical prose.
Five Key Words that Define You as a Writer
Where are you from and What is your educational/professional background?
I’m a born and raised country girl from Kansas who now lives in the tropical Florida countryside. I attended a preparatory high school which allowed me to graduate with a year of college credits already finished. I then took a gap year (er, four years) after graduating to work on my writing, but in the event I do go back to college, I’ll most likely pursue a degree in genetics.
Who and What inspires you as a writer?
I have so many favorite authors and books that have inspired me (Rachel Hartman, Isabel Sterling, Phil Stamper, Richard Peck), but I think the author who’s most inspired me is Sarah Prineas. She’s a MG and YA fantasy writer of moderate fame, which is honestly my dream. I’d love to make a career out of writing, but I’m too much an introvert to enjoy the limelight of mega fame. I’d actually rather not be the next Suzanne Collins or Brandon Sanderson.
However, most of my inspiration doesn’t come so much from specific people as events, places, and things like that. Nature, especially the prairie I grew up in, inspires many of the settings in my works. The complex worlds of mythology and genetics inspire many of the events and characters in my stories. I also find inspiration for my characters in the mire of personalities, identities, and traits I’ve subconsciously collected from people both real and fictional. Maybe that’s why my characters always seem to have a mind of their own, which can be quite annoying at times.
What is your goal as a writer for this year? How do you intend to accomplish it?
I guess my main goal is to finish the book I’ve been working on for seven years now and start querying agents with it. Assuming I can finally conquer that goal, I’ll probably start work on book two of this series, which hopefully won’t take quite as long to write as the first one! I’d also like to get back into writing short stories and poetry, as they can be a nice alternative to novels when I get stuck. I’m hoping to finish edits on book one during the April session of Camp NaNo, then spend May researching and submitting to agents. By the July Camp session, I should be ready to get back into writing, either on book two or on some short stories–or both!
When do you feel you are you most creative?
This is a hard one! My creative brain tends to be most active at night, but my language brain is usually starting to fall asleep then. My best writing times are generally between afternoon and late evening, although I did get some awesome work done around 1am during NaNoWriMo last November. I think it depends more on how much I’ve been using my creative brain; if it’s full of ideas and ready to go, or if it’s lost the muses and needs time to recover.
Why did you start writing? How long have you been writing?
My writing more or less came out of a bargain I made in elementary school. Or middle school? (I don’t really know the delineations of the public school system.) I was home/virtual schooled so my mother had to administer all the homework and grade my tests when I was younger. I absolutely hated school writing though, and fought viciously against writing those most heinous of things, essays. After a while my mother got tired of fighting with me, and offered me a deal; as long as I wrote something–diary, journal, short stories, whatever–she would claim I’d written the assigned essays. At first I tried writing a diary, but I was sporadic with it, and always tried to write way more than time would allow, so I quickly gave up on the practice. Instead, I decided that I would write down all these tales I had in my head, and while I’m still not a well disciplined write-every-day writer, I guess I stuck with the practice pretty well. My first two attempts petered out and have landed in the proverbial trunk, but I haven’t truly stopped writing since the first day thirteen year old me set out to write a book. So that’s going on ten years now I guess? (Have I really been writing for half my current lifespan?)
Links to your website/social media?
I have a website at www.isabelnee.wordpress.com where I post publication news (infrequently) and book reviews (supposedly every week, but I’ve failed that for the last few months. oops). I’m also on Facebook and Instagram @INKPoetryandProse, and Twitter @INKPoetry_Prose