Today's interview is with Rissa Watkins, whose story "Fly" appears in the upcoming anthology, Elements of the Soul.
Jennifer Walker: Tell me about the work you have in Elements of the Soul. What is it about, and what inspired it?
Rissa Watkins: My contribution to Elements of the Soul is a short story titled "Fly". It is about a man and his wife having to deal with an aging mom who no longer can care for herself. It was inspired by experiences we had with my father. It gave me the chance to writing the ending I wish was possible in real life.
Jennifer Walker: Did you have any misgivings about entering the contest? How did you get over them?
Rissa Watkins: Entering this story was my way of getting over my misgivings of not winning the previous one. I made it to the semi-finals but didn't place. So the same night results were announced, I sent in my entry fee for the next Accentuate Writers Anthology contest and won.
Jennifer Walker: Have you entered any more contests since the one that got you into the book? Do you plan to enter any more?
Rissa Watkins: I have entered contests both for the Accentuate Services Anthology contests and other places. I plan to keep entering them as long as my imagination and fingers hold out.
Jennifer Walker: How have the Accentuate Writers Anthology contests helped you grow as a writer?
Rissa Watkins: The nurturing environment offered at Accentuate Writers Forum helped me to be brave enough to submit my stories to complete strangers to be judged. The positive responses I have received have helped build my confidence in my writing immensely.
Jennifer Walker: Tell me about other writing projects you have going, unrelated to the contests.
Rissa Watkins: Like most writers, I am working on a book, have a few more started and even more queuing up impatiently in my head.
Jennifer Walker: Is writing your full time job, or do you have a "day job"?
Rissa Watkins: Writing is my full time job now. Winning the Accentuate Services Anthology contest helped push me over the edge from part time writer to full time starving artist. Hopefully everyone reading this will buy several copies of Elements of the Soul to contribute much needed funds to my dwindling bank account.
Jennifer Walker: To what do you attribute your success as a writer so far?
Rissa Watkins: Overwhelming support from other writers of the Accentuate Writers Forum who are like family, mentors to look up to such as Michelle Devon who runs the forum and is always ready for advice or a butt kicking and you, Jennifer Walker for being brave enough to lead the way and offering help and inspiration when I need it. I have been blessed with amazing friends such as Susan Sosbe, a fellow writer and dear friend who is always there for whatever crisis, writing or otherwise, anytime I need her. [Note from Jennifer: aw, you're making me blush!]
Jennifer Walker: Tell me about your family. Are they supportive of your writing?
Rissa Watkins: My amazing husband has supported me without question in my writing career. My family rallied behind me when I decided to quit my job in this really bad economy to write full time.
Jennifer Walker: What was the last movie you saw?
Rissa Watkins: Transformers 2. I wrote a review about it so I could deduct the ticket cost. Who says you can't mix business and pleasure?
Jennifer Walker: Tell me one thing about yourself that you think most people don't know.
Rissa Watkins: I am almost embarrassed to tell people I am a writer. I feel like a kid playing dress up in mom's clothes because I don't think I have earned the title yet.
Thank you to Rissa for stopping by! Congratulations on your win, and here's to much success in the future!