Whimsical author Wanda Snow Porter is in the spotlight! You may recognize her wonderful young adult westerns Spurs for Jose and Remedy. If you haven’t checked these great reads out yet, you’re missing out. Why not stop by the website and give them a look-over?
We interviewed Wanda to find out a little more about her and her creative process. 🙂
WP: Wanda, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and why?
W: I never planned to be a writer. It wasn’t even on my radar screen. I started writing because I was teaching horseback riding and wanted to put together a list of safety rules for my young students. Instead of a list, I decided a story would be more fun for them to read and would make it more likely they’d remember to be cautious around horses. The short story I wrote, Riding on Grammy’s Farm, ended up in an anthology titled Along the Way: Our Unique Relationship With Horses. Published for the benefit of young dressage riders, the payment for my story was one copy of the book. When it arrived in the mail, I opened the package. What a thrill. My story was included with those of famous authors like Jane Smiley and famous dressage experts like Charles De Kunffy. I was hooked.
WP: If you could live in any time period, which would you choose and why?
W: As a docent for the almost two-hundred-year-old Dana Adobe, I’ve learned to appreciate modern convinces like electricity and indoor plumbing too much to ever want to live in the past. Traveling in time for a short visit into the future or past to research or experience an important historic event would be interesting. Otherwise, I’d rather stay in 2014.
WP: What makes a story “good” to you? What are pet peeves that make it not so good?
W: I love character driven novels. Interesting characters makes me care what happens and pulls me into the story. It is annoying if some unrealistic event or too much description interrupts the story’s flow.
WP: What is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?
W: Becoming a published author has been crazy. Something I never expected.
WP: Have you ever been on a really amazing vacation? Where?
W: Washington D.C. was fabulous. My husband and I visited there three or four times and never got to see everything. It was so amazing to visit our nation’s capital. The interior of the White House and the Library of Congress is absolutely beautiful, much better than I anticipated.
WP: What animal do you identify with the most?
W: A horse, of course. When I was a kid, I pretended to be a horse, and galloped all over our little farm. That ability to make believe has served me well as a writer.
WP: Is there any genre you refuse to write? Why?
W: I’ll never write erotica. It is against my Christian beliefs, and degrades both men and women.
WP: What are some pros and cons of being a writer?
W: Writing is emotionally satisfying. Research and reading, which I love, are a big part of being a writer. I even find enjoyment in striving to polish my grammar and writing skills. My critique group is great, and I like talking to readers. Promoting my books is the hardest, but the challenge can be motivating.
WP: What are you passionate about?
W: At the top of my passions list is my relationship with Jesus Christ, my family, and friends. History and archeology are fascinating, and I enjoy working as a docent at the Dana Adobe. I’m also getting into bird watching.
WP: Describe the best date you’ve ever been on. (Or the worst!)
W: The date I’ll most remember and cherish is the last date I had dancing with my husband at the Cowboy Poetry Night.
WP: What job would you have if you weren’t a writer?
W: I’d have more time to review books.
WP: What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
W: I still have that worst job, cleaning my horse’s corral. Second on that list is housekeeping and staying ahead of my mess.
WP: What are some things on your bucket list?
W: I’d like to visit Boston and see Plymouth, and traveling to Egypt and the Holy Land would be amazing. It would be fun to trail ride along the John Muir Trail.
WP: What is your creative process like?
W: I’m a seat-of-my-pants writer. My characters reveal themselves to me as the story unfolds. That’s the fun of storytelling–getting to know my story people. Sometimes, I even sketch them. When their voices grow quiet, or they begin to repeat themselves, I know their story is finished.
WP: If time and money were no issue, what would you do?
W: I’m lucky. I’d do pretty much what I’m doing, except faster.
WP: What is your favorite movie of all time? Book?
W: One of my favorite movies is The African Queen. The acting and character development is fabulous. I love old movies. As a kid, one of my favorite books was 1001 Arabian Nights. The book is still published, the stories are timeless, and the illustrations are wonderful. Because I write for young people, I read a lot of middle grade and young adult books. Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins, and Richard Peck’s A Year Down Yonder are wonderful reads. My goal is to read all the books awarded the Newberry. A few novels from a long list of self-published or published by small press books I’ve recently read and enjoyed: Normalish, Synapse, Life on Hold, Wild Justice, Brand Loyalty, and Ice.
WP: Describe a perfect day for you.
W: With a cup of my favorite Starbucks coffee, and my feet propped in front of a crackling fire, I watch the sun rise over green Nipomo mountains, and the radio announcer proclaims the world is at peace.
Thank you, Wanda, for sharing with us a little more about you today!