Saturday, January 1, 2011

Saturday Stories, Erin McNew

Today's guest for Saturday Stories is fellow writer Erin McNew. 

Q--Would you please send me a picture and the link to your website?

A--Hrmmm... I don't actually currently have a website. :)  I've got one in the works, but so far, there's no content. It will be at, though. As far as pictures, does it need to be of me? :) I generally prefer to be the one behind the camera, rather than in front of it. Looking through my computer, I have no recent pictures of myself. :)

I'm the same way Erin. My husband always gets mad at me because when we go somewhere the camera rarely manages to capture a picture of me. It's all by design!

Q--Please share some background with us. Some fun facts about your family, childhood, etc.

A--I was born and raised near Seattle, Washington, and ended up finding my way to BYU for a degree in  Computer Science. At a meeting of a rather geeky computer club, I met my husband. We were married immediately following his graduation, and both ended up writing software for I left Amazon after my daughter's birth a year ago. While I enjoyed writing while I was in high school, I never had time to do any writing in college or while working. My little princess is fascinated with chewing on zippers, buttons and buckles, and with shredding and eating paper. She keeps me pretty busy
these days :)

Q--Please share any awards you've won, and anything you've published.

A--The only thing I've "published" is an article on food-storage at

Q--What have you done to help improve your writing talent? Any advice?

A--I'm here looking for advice, actually. I write because I enjoy it, and I want to get better.  I guess the only advice I have is to find a book that you love to read, which makes you think "I can do this too."

Q--Computer or Notebook?

A--My favorite way to write is on a notebook with a fountain pen. However, if I want to do anything with the writing, I end up writing on my computer instead, since the things I write on paper rarely ever get typed up.

Q--What is the strangest thing, person, place, or event that has inspired your writing?

A--I can't think of anything particularly strange, yet. I would eventually like to do a story about something in computer security, but I haven't found anything yet that I believe can be done believably without making it boring. :)

Most of my inspiration comes from reading. I have an idea kicking around that's from a NY Times article I read a couple weeks ago, but usually at my current stage, I write things similar to books I've enjoyed.

Q--Please share a story about writing with us.

A--The only one I can think of is a funny story from back in high school. My school gave out a ton of homework (often around 6 hours / night), so I often got to our weekly writing assignments pretty late the night before they were due. One week, our assignment was to do a story of "experimental fiction".  I started it around 1:30 am the night before it was due, just wanting to get it done so I could get a couple hours sleep before seminary. I started writing, but I really don't remember finishing. I honestly think I fell asleep in the middle of the story, but when I got up in the morning, I glanced at the last paragraph, and
it seemed like it made an okay ending, so I printed it off.  My teacher apparently thought my story was a good example of experimental writing! :)  So, the moral of this story is... uh... You can figure that out yourself. :)

Q--At what point did you begin considering yourself a bona-fide writer?

A--I don't yet. :) Right now, I write because it's a fun stress relief. I think I'll consider myself a writer once I actually take a story all the way to the end and still care about it.

Q--Do you have a certain process you go through when you write or do you just wait for the "muse" to come out of hiding?

A--It seems like I usually have to just wait for the muse, right now. Word wars seem to help me significantly, though, since they prevent the inherent distractions.

Q--How do you balance your writing and your family?

A--Looking at my kitchen right now, I'd say "not very well." :) Mostly, I write after my daughter's asleep. Occasionally, I can get a bit down during naps, but that's usually when I try to get some of the house tasks done, or just veg in front of the computer. :) This is one area I'm still struggling quite a bit.

Q--What is your favorite genre to write?

A--Recently, I've been writing primarily YA fantasy.  I'd like to eventually write some  historical fiction, but I'm hesitant because of the amount of research required.

Q--What is the best book you've read in the last six months?

A--Overton Window by Glenn Beck is pretty good. It's similar to another book I like, Little Brother (profanity and small inappropriate scene warning), in that both are 1984-esque stories, set in the current time. I also re-read the Twilight books often :)

Thanks Erin!

I'm still looking for volunteers for Saturday Stories! Make sure to drop a comment and let me know if you're interested.


  1. Naps or early in the morning! That's when all writing moms seem to write. (provided we can get past the guilt of not cleaning)
    Thanks! It's good to know I'm not the only one out there. Go YA mommy writers!!

  2. Glad to learn more about you, Erin. You are also a great support buddy to have during Nanowrimo!!

  3. What a great interview, Erin! It's great to see you in another venue, lol. Good luck with the balance...I'm still searching for it myself. :)

  4. Thanks Erin! That was fun! I like your definition of a "writer" - when you finish a project. Happy.

  5. Thanks everyone (and especially Lisa!). I'm enjoying getting to meet people here, and trying to figure out what I'm doing with my writing.

    I appreciated the support everyone gave during Nano. This group is so great!



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