G. Gomez is the fabulous winner of the Flip Contest. I sat down with her this week to talk about her writing and other randomness. Enjoy!
1. So…how does it feel to have won a Figment contest?
Winning a contest on Figment is very cool because I just discovered the website in March; it is superior to any other writing blog I’ve seen, mostly because of the awesome contest prompts. It feels great to have my writing recognized by a group of people beyond my close family and friends.
2.”Heartless,” the winner of the Flip contest, was a really interesting take on body-swaps. What inspired you to write about a swap taking place during heart surgery? Were there any challenges and/or perks in writing “Heartless”?>
I got the idea for Heartless because I have been working on a History Day project about organ transplantation. One Saturday I had been researching impoverished donor exploitation and other lovely topics for three hours, and been thinking about organs way to deeply and often for the past three months. I wanted to enter the flip contest and needed a break, so I wrote Heartless. At the moment it was more of a relieving outlet for all that organ creepiness, and I had no idea people would like it this much. I reread it yesterday and realized that it is rather good by my own standards; I guess creepy states of mind have their advantages.
3. In each of your works, there is a darkness and a sense of complete despair that your character must face, even if it ends in eventual death for two of them. How do you prepare for writing such characters and how do you handle creating a scenario in which there is no hope?
My Figment entries have been especially dark so far, even for me. I’m not sure if it’s just what the prompts have made me think of or if high school is to blame. For the record, Lace’s Luster and Heartless are my only stories where my main character dies at the end. This year I’ve challenged myself to focus on conveying plot and characters concisely, and these stories are my best examples of that so far. I try to add hope, like in Wollerman’s Retina. I didn’t consciously make the other two hopeless: Lace’s Luster was written late at night when hope was maybe the twentieth thing on my mind.
4. Do you have any method or ritual in preparing to write something?
I have a special notebook that I scribble in whenever I hear something funny or interesting or sometimes late at night. Almost all my stories come from there.
5. Do you listen to music when you write? If, so what kind of music, and does it influence the outcome or actions in your work?
Yes. I absolutely love music and am a sedatephobic, so writing in complete silent distracts me. Music that is exciting but doesn’t have words is best. I recommend Hans Zimmer soundtracks, especially Inception and Sherlock Holmes.
6. When writing, do you ever find your own voice taking over the character’s? Are there any points in your works where you intrude into your own text, especially in the disguise of your character?
I don’t have any characters who speak, act, look, or particularly resemble me. So much of my personality revolves around making up characters that it would have to be a story about a writer. Or scientist. That hasn’t happened yet.
7. If you could meet any literary character and spend the day with him/her, what would you do?
I think hanging out with Jay from Neil Gaiman’s Interworld would be pretty cool, if we didn’t get killed.