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Writer and Friend: Charlotte
1.When and why did you begin writing?
Answer: I began making up stories long before I could write. This made documentation difficult because I had to weasel every letter from my busy parents. I began truly recording and broadcasting my stories for the first time in kindergarten, which also answers question 4 because I used it as an escape from an verbally abusive teacher I really didn't tell anyone about until I was 16. I told the other kids stories to help them escape as well, and suddenly the thing I loved the most had a purpose for other people outside of myself.
2. What about writing do you love the most?
Answer: There is a tremendous freedom to be found in disappearing into a world of perfectly uncharted territory where you are the only being who actually exists––the rest are all pieces of you and your memory, no matter how much of it you think you fabricated.
3. Do you believe that insanity can bring on more creativity?
Answer: I come from a long line of professional Sicilian artists, so yes, of course I believe that insanity and creativity go hand-in-hand. I'm a little mad myself, but it doesn't worry me, because for the past two decades, I've always been able to land on my feet.
4. Is it good to have a great imagination to which you can escape if you need to get away or does that make living in the “real” world harder.
Answer: That is a very interesting question. And indeed, sometimes, I do feel disappointment beginning to close in upon me when I've realized that my world is just a bunch of glyphs and images representative of the cerebral impulses we call imagination. However, a vivid imagination is mostly a joy because I can sweep away all despair, even despair rooted in my own imagining, into the void of my own multi-faceted consciousness.
5. "Irksome" used to be my favorite word. Now I am seeking another favorite. In the meantime, what is your favorite word?
Answer: Eclectic. When I thirteen, my friend's mother said I was “an eclectic.” I knew what the word meant, but had never heard it used in that way before. It sounds beautiful to me.
6. When you're used to great and it goes away you have to settle for okay. How good are you at settling?
Answer: My settling skills, and I think that this might be a universal affliction, are dependent upon two foundations: inspiration and passion. If I'm passionate but I lack inspiration, that's writer's block, and that could go on forever! But if I have inspiration with no real passion to back it up, the idea seems novel for about a day or two and then it dies. When endowed with both passion and inspiration, I feel that I can do whatever feat to which those great gifts are to be applied. I find both passion and inspiration in my novels. To gain inspiration, I need to have new experiences and perspectives. If I'm deep in writer's block, I rearrange my furniture. I get an unbelievable amount of work done (and I think it is important to remember that I write novels) when I'm on a trip or vacation. You have to find your passions by exposing yourself to as much life as possible. Sometimes a life-altering experience can foster a new one in you. For instance, I used to be passionate about women's issues, but I only started helping women in Darfur gain protection after some of my best female friends were assaulted. Long story short, if you're passionate and inspired, you'll never settle, but if you lack either and you can't wait to be done, you'll settle as soon as you can.
7. Are you drawn to the unique, rare, and atypical or do you prefer comforting and dependable?
Answer: My stories tend to deal with people finding themselves in the face of great adversity. Comfortable and dependable stories don't change things. Stories that stand out and scream about a certain issue have the power to change people. And that's what I'd like to do.
8.I fear loss of memory. Memories document who I am. What do you fear for yourself? (If anything.)
Answer: I'm afraid of losing the people I love. When I was younger, all of that fear was placed in just one person whom I lost. That changed me. It was a long process coming back from that, but I learned a lot about love. What do we miss about people we've lost? We miss being able to communicate with someone whose input once enriched our lives so greatly that we can hardly imagine life without it. Writing is important because in writing, we are made immortal, in a sense. And there are certainly hundreds of Charlottes immortalized in my writing because of all the times I've had to grow and change and mutate and reinvent myself. 13-year-old Charlotte wrote a lot of graphic fanfics. 14-year-old Charlotte returned to her own characters but took a very naïve perspective. There is the 15-year-old Charlotte (one of my favorites) who was so worried about losing the person she loved the most that she totally blocked the possibility out, just living in every magic moment that she could get. 18-year-old me is considerably more stable, and 19-year-old me expresses a lot of hope. 19 comes back with an honest vengeance. My favorite thing about writing is definitely how it grows with us into eternity.