Joanne Walton, whose short story ‘Saving Wonder’ is published in the second issue of Lucent Dreaming, lives and works in Birmingham. She enjoys writing stories that blend fantastic happenings with realistic feelings and emotions, and is a big fan of happy endings. Her work has previously appeared in student anthologies at the University of Birmingham, where she studied English with Creative Writing. She is currently working on her first novel with assistance from local writing group The Writeryjig Clubamabob. This publication in Lucent Dreaming is her literary debut.
What inspired your piece, ‘Saving Wonder’ and how did it find its way to Lucent Dreaming?
This version of Fate and Chance were originally inspired by a Harry Potter fanfic my friend was planning to write, and the pseudonyms they use in the story are a reference to this. Over the years (and with permission!) the characters changed and developed, and though I wanted desperately to write about them I could never find the right story to put them in. When I saw the Lucent Dreaming summer short story competition and the prompt ‘Wonder’ everything fell into place. Unfortunately it was only a few days before the deadline so I had to work quickly, but I would love to develop it into a longer piece one day.
What does writing mean to you?
Writing means I can keep playing pretend, even if I have to be a grown-up! It gives me space to explore ideas and concepts that there’s no room for in real life.
What writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently focusing on my novel, Song Day. It’s a story about a member of an alien race trying to fund his way through a fancy university by allowing a TV company to make a reality show of his life. It’s also about gender, identity and family; but mostly it’s just about having fun and a surprising amount of queuing.
What are you most excited about right now and for the future?
In my personal life, I’m really excited to be getting married next year! In writing terms, I’m happy to be coming towards the climax of my novel draft and I’m looking forward to seeing people’s reactions, though I am less excited about the inevitable editing to follow…
How and where do you find inspiration to write?
I am notoriously bad for this and constantly need encouragement! My fiance tells me ‘just put one word after another’, and he’s right. In the end the only way your story is going to exist is if you write it.
What advice would you give those who want to do what you do?
Get as much advice and feedback on your work as you can. Writing is a skill like any other, it can be honed with practice and you can learn with experience. Be discerning about what advice you take, but be prepared for constructive criticism and don’t be too precious about your work. If you can manage it, I benefited enormously from studying Creative Writing at university, and the writing group I’ve joined since has been invaluable not only in improving my writing but also in keeping me focused. It’s much easier to stay motivated if someone is waiting to read the next instalment.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
Lucent Dreaming was my publishing debut, so the only answer I can give to this question is somewhere, soon, I hope!
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.