Name: Rinn Ziegler
Where are you from: I was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
A little about yourself: (ie: Your education, Family life, etc.)
I believe I’ve learned more on my own than I did in all my years of public and private education. Indeed, my continuing education is virtually free.
As for family, I have quite a large one, though I am neither married, nor have any children of my own. At the moment, the only creature that holds dominion over me is an evil cat.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Rinn: Well, the major news is that my novel, Orenda, is in the trustworthy hands of several readers for feedback before I tackle the final edit. While I wait, I have been hard at work on my next book, a collection of interconnected short stories, Family Myths and Butterflies. In addition to this, I continue to write poetry, and have instated a daily drabble (100 word story) project for the holiday season.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Rinn: Rumor has it I began writing at the age of 3. Why is still a mystery.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Rinn: I think I began to consider myself a writer when I started taking my writing seriously.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Rinn: I’m sure there are many an author who came to writing the way in which I did. I’d only written fiction a few times through my life; the bulk of my work had been academic. But I’d read a novel so terrible, so horribly written, I thought, “Even I can do better than this.” So I did.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Rinn: I try to experiment with writing styles, so we shall see how successful the venture is when readers get a hold of numerous works for comparison.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Rinn: I can’t recall how I came about the title for Orenda, to be honest with you. It is vital to the story, but the novel’s important bits seemed to spring from research for other things.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Rinn: A good portion of the novel has been researched as it takes place in reality. A number of names in Orenda are of Native American mythological origin. Locations and media are also true to the time.
Fiona: What books have influenced your life most?
Rinn: Hmm…the books that have had the most influence in my life would be the ones I read in my formative years. So, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, My Antonia, by Willa Cather, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, our home encyclopedia set, dual dictionaries, and the gift of a full-length Roget’s International Thesaurus when I was eight years old.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Rinn: As of this interview, I am reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World by Haruki Marakami
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Rinn: One very talented new author whose writing I enjoy is Shana Hammaker. Her series of 12 Terrifying Tales for 2012 is shudder-inducing, quirky, humorous, and unique. Everything a reader could want in a writer—a distinct voice.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Rinn: As I mentioned earlier, my current full-length project is Family Myths and Butterflies. It is a collection of short stories with a thread drawn through it. The characters are consistent through the book, with the point-of-view changing with each character’s block of stories. One of the stories, Butterflies, is already available to read on my website.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Rinn: Fellow writer, and best friend, Anna Murphy, has been an incredible support for me since we met over ten years ago. I can only hope that I support her as much as she does me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Rinn: Absolutely. If there is something you invest 10 hours a day, 7 days a week into (in various projects) and you don’t regard it as a career, it is time to rethink your definition of the word.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Rinn: Of course. This is the first few paragraphs from chapter 1 of Orenda:
Summer vacation was in a fresh grave. The reality of a new school year had not yet penetrated the sun-saturated minds of teenagers who fruitlessly fought the violent transformation into students. Passively aiding this useless student revolution, Dita’s head hovered above the desk, cushioned atop her forearms. She was aware of her arms as one is when in this indeterminate state between worlds, like the appendeges are foreign, detached from the body. She was on the edge of sleep.
As she slipped further into that space so intimate, she replayed a scene familiar to her—creaking of docks, the sound of the waves splashing against the pilings. Samuel was waiting for her at the end, seated with his feet dangled out into the air. He was always there. Always waiting. A vague foggy outline. He was here.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Rinn: I don’t find anything particularly challenging in my writing, since I wrote it. But from an outside reader’s perspective, I believe that, especially in Orenda, the sense of what is real and what isn’t may be a bit troublesome.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Rinn: There are far too many writers whose work I admire for various reasons to choose a favorite.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Rinn: The hardest part of writing Orenda was keeping the language in veils, yet at the same time, being clear enough for the story arc to take place. It came down to using style markers points to delineate whom was speaking, or what level of consciousness the characters were in.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
ñ Keep writing.
ñ If you have written something you don’t like, hold it aside; that particular telling of the story might not have been viable, but it might come to you in a different way some time down the line.
ñ Always carry something with which to take notes.
ñ Read as much, if not more, than you write.
ñ Research is your friend.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Rinn: I would encourage my readers, any readers, to not be intimidated by reading challenging material. Try reading a genre you never thought you would enjoy. If you still don’t enjoy it, at least you gave it a shot.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Rinn: Art Historian
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it?
Rinn: I do have a website. The address is http://www.quillshiv.wordpress.com. I always welcome followers, comments, suggestions, etc. I can also be found on my Facebook author page here: https://www.facebook.com/PinionLance.
Thank you for having me, Fiona.