Masticadores Interview


I recently did an interview with Masticadores that you can also read here. Big thank you to Masticadores and Manuela Timofte for their kindness and interest.

M. Since when do you write? What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

When I was five, I received a bright red hardcover diary with a gold lock on the front accompanied by two miniature keys. At the same time, I was experiencing recurring nightmares about four letters. Every night they’d stand still, towering over me. Their presence and the style of font frightened me so badly I would experience sleep paralysis or sometimes feel myself being pulled toward the letters like a magnet. Luckily, this is where my diary helped calm me (I was a weird kid).

Inside, I sketched the same things: numbers, trees, sky, sun, a home, and the alphabet, including the four letters that visited every night to fight the nightmare. The lock made what I wrote feel like secrets. A private, peaceful playground no one could enter and gave me confidence. I even wrote rough drafts of entries on scratch paper so they would look neater when I wrote in my diary. Quickly, an obsession with letters developed. They intrigued me with their varying looks and each one had a unique personality whom I considered friends. E was intelligent and quiet, K was my boyfriend because we shared the same initial, S was sneaky, but I would imagine him as my knight against the four letters. From early on, writing became a fun and calming activity to indulge in.

At eight, I received a typewriter instead of a computer since those were super pricey. Regardless, the love was instant. The powerful sound the keys produced only to see it appear on the paper was magic. Then one afternoon, I started imagining moments, scenes. Dialogue came next, sentences formed. Across the paper they looked like paths. Paths I had characters walk. Characters I made walk. It felt powerful, that zoned in creative control, getaways with a beginning, middle and end. Shortly after, my recurring four-letter nightmares ended. The last one I had, I remember realizing inside the dream that I was asleep in real life and just needed to wake myself up. Once I did, the letters faded. There was nothing to fear anymore. I got the idea after watching A Nightmare on Elm Street. Can you believe Freddy Krueger helped an eight-year-old girl’s nightmares end?

It was official. I fell in love with writing and gained twenty-six soulmates who would take me anywhere…

M. Do you consider yourself a compass or a map writer?

I’ll start writing with an idea in mind and go with the flow. Open the windows or write outside, turn music on, let my imagination and/or mood take over. It feels like I go into a trance where I become invisible, walking a path beside the characters I’m writing about, inside their head, following their footsteps, observing reactions, recording dialogue. Just floating along a flowing path.

M. In your workday, how much time do you spend writing?

I feel like I’m always writing. Even when I’m not in the mood there are scenes, dialogue and plots popping in my mind.

Anything I feel a connection to, I’ll type it into my notes app on my phone and start turning it into a poem or story. Music can influence me, a poet’s piece I admired, the way the sunlight shines on a leaf after rainfall, scents, a person’s eyes, their vibe. Those doses of inspiration are like gifted seeds waiting to blossom into anything.

To give my eyes a rest from the phone and laptop, I’ll occasionally write in a notebook, which is special because it has the calming effect I felt when writing as a child. Plus, it feels great to unplug and clear my head.

M. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I did once to hide my writing from an employer but felt like an imposter. The charade lasted a week before I changed to my real name. I had mastered ‘invisibility with pay’ at work anyway, so I figured no one would care to look me up. 

M. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to be original but sometimes doubt sneaks around the keyboard and makes me press backspace, which is something I’m working on not doing as much. Although, I’m no stranger to the occasional explicit scene, if in a courageous mood. They’re fun to write.

M. Tell us about your latest project. Are you working on a new one now?

I’m excited to announce my poetry, Hopes and Dreams is published in Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology (2023) which is available on Amazon and features amazing work from incredible writers across the world.

My short stories and poetry can be found on my fiction blog, Ghost Human Bones.

M. What would you say is your hallmark as a writer?

Hmm. It’s difficult to say when I feel like such a novice. Let’s parking lot this question. Ask me in five more years.

M. Do you think that accessing the reader who reads on a tablet, computer, or mobile phone, in different spaces, (train, bus, metro) can help you be more read?

The last thing someone wants is to stare at others while on public transportation. It’s easy to turn to a device as a distraction. A variety of reads, both short and long form, can keep readers preoccupied for the duration of their trip.

M. Do you think Masticadores’s bet in the search for that digital reader is correct? What’s your opinion about it?

The prevalence of devices around us for hours on end day after day makes it easier for people to indulge in their interests—like reading. Blogs that are mobile friendly prompt readers to return, especially if they like the content.

M. What has your participation as a writer in Masticadores given you?

Participation in Masticadores has provided me with more exposure within the WordPress community, as well as insight into other writers and experiencing their amazing pieces. I’ve come across interesting words and kind, intriguing souls. It’s an absolute honour to have my work showcased here among so much talent.

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