A secret writer from a pragmatic blue-collar neighborhood, Marie White Small brings her skills as a florist, waitress, antiquarian bookseller, bookbinder, cook, and pie baker to the page. She studied at the Center for the Book Arts in NYC and has serves as the founder and moderator of a community literary critique group, North Gotham Writers, for a dozen years. Ms. Small was also the writer-in-residence at a Vermont mountain-top writer’s retreat. She has published short fiction in the anthology, Southshire Pepper-Pot (Lion’s Mark Press, 2007). Stony Kill (SelectBooks, 2015) is her debut novel.
She and her husband live in Bennington, Vermont.
Excerpts form a Recent Q&A from Lenk’a List. Read more of this interview with Marie White Small on Lenka’s List. White you’re there check out many more authors.
What inspired you to write?
Reading books and listening to song lyrics from a young age inspired me, and like all writers, I write on the backs of every author I have ever read, of every song that tells a story. Part of becoming an author has been taking in stories, styles, points of view that have transformed me, and hopefully that process is translated to the page.
Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
I began writing as a kid, playing with words and their combinations, writing slice of life vignettes. I grew into fiction when I figured out what I wanted to say and what my passions were—the keys to writing, in my humble opinion. I began crafting short fiction pieces and eventually my novel, Stony Kill, and now with another in the works.
How did you tell your story? In other words, did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I am a panster, as in writing just what comes by the seat of my pants—no outline, and in fact, no idea of where I am headed. My stories begin as random paragraphs that somehow come together. I then develop characters and fuss with their names, and then have them do things that define their characters. They tell the story that unfolds.
Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
Absolutely! My family is always there for me, believing in me even when I feel lost and hardly worthy.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
Rewriting, editing, and combing out words that serve no purpose, honing this to the elemental, and creating vivid prose that paints a picture.
Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
Well, it was startling in many ways: It gave me confidence and wobbled my knees simultaneously. It was magical.