As many of you would recall from our Winter Romance Contest
, there were two categories to win first place in. One being the enchanting poetry and the other being of inspiring prose.
If you've been living under a rock for the past week (and we mean no offense to you if you have), you've been missing out. Two wonderful writers each put forth gusto and talent into their work tenfold and we're going to honor their accomplishments with a little view into the dwellings of their minds.
Congratulations on winning in the Prose category of #RomanceforEveryone's contest! Why don't you tell us a little bit about what got you into writing?
The Prose Winner
First ImpressionsIt was on the second day of Miss Willard's stay at the house of her dear friend, the new Mrs. Fitzgerald, that Mrs. Fitzgerald began to feel ill. She did manage to fool Mr. Fitzgerald into believing she was just a little indisposed and send him off to work quite convinced that there was nothing to worry about, but she could not so easily persuade Miss Willard that no better medicine was required than a cup of hot tea and the company of a dear friend. Miss Willard, so meek and obedient at all times, would be meek and obedient no more at the thought of her friend's illness and, in spite of her excellent education, she indulged in the unprecedented insolence of disobeying her host's wishes, and the laws of decorum which required a young lady such as herself to never leave the house unaccompanied, and undertook the trip through the snow to the physician's house, several streets away. Dr. Chipweek, hearing of Mrs. Fitzgerald's symptoms, filled his bag with what jars and utensils he thoughtFirst Impressions
I confess that it was my terrible memory. I used to make up stories in my head to entertain myself, back when all the cartoons on Romanian television amounted to 5 minutes a week, and every now and then I came up with an interesting story, but when I wanted to enjoy that story again, I couldn't remember it in detail. So I started writing these stories down so I could enjoy them years later as well. Then I wanted to share them so others would enjoy them too.What inspired you to fabricate your winning deviation?
I looked at the prompts for the contest and I thought I'd start with the first one and if I couldn't find a good story for it I'd just move on to the next prompt. The first prompt was "perfect strangers" and I tried to imagine how a love story could blossom between two perfect strangers. Like Jane Austen, I believe that the best type of relationship is the marriage of true minds, so I tried to think of a way two perfect strangers could get to know each other enough to see that their personalities match. The first thing that came to mind was having two people meet in a bookshop, both of them reaching for the same book at the same time and their hands touching by accident. This would require them to talk to each other to apologize, and then they'd naturally say a few things about the book. They'd notice they like the same things, the same type of books and perhaps the same type of music as well, and things would evolve naturally from there. But when I thought about writing the story like that, it felt rather bland, so I changed the setting to make it more interesting. I don't know why I chose Jane Austen's England as the setting, it just came naturally, perhaps because I've been re-reading Northanger Abbey
on the subway (it's a small book and easy to carry around). When I changed the setting, the social rules governing the interactions between the characters and what would be considered proper or improper between them also changed, so that led to the story's final form.What advice would you offer a deviant wanting to compete in contests with an award-winning deviation?
I'm still not sure how to win a contest. I've won the monthly contest at Enchanted Conversation
a couple of times, but this is the first contest I've won on DeviantArt, so I'm not sure if I'm qualified to give advice. Still, I believe that one of the important elements for winning is knowing your judges and understanding what they like, though I shamefully admit I didn't do any research on that before I wrote my piece and it took me by surprise to find out afterward that one of the judges is a huge Jane Austen fan. Ultimately, if you're not sure what the judges might like, the best idea is to write not what you want to write, but what you'd want to read
. If you'd enjoy reading that story, if you'd think of commissioning a great writer to write that story for you because you really, really want to just curl up in bed or in an armchair with some chocolate-chip cookies and a cup of hot cocoa and a book with that story in it and just read it, then that's an award-winning story.Is there a writer who has inspired you (professional or not) to create your own masterpieces?
As you can see from my winning story, Jane Austen has had a great influence on me, and she was a direct inspiration for that story. Other writers who have inspired me to write are Arthur Conan Doyle (a story of mine inspired by his Lost World
was recently published in Mad Scientist Journal
) and Marie Brennan, whose stories I love so much that I find I keep wanting to fix things about them to make them perfect. As a fantasy writer, I hadn't really thought about using romance in my stories until I read her Doppelganger
novels and found that I wished there had been more romance in them. That's when I decided to learn how to write romance so I can insert it in my fantasy stories, and that's what brought me to #RomanceforEveryone
and made me enter the contest in the first place.What do you plan on working on in the near future?
I actually have a list about two pages long with titles of stories and novels I've started writing that I need to work on in the near future. I work on several of them simultaneously to avoid getting bored, or, rather, to avoid getting writer's block when I get bored of one of them. But for the immediate future, I foretell I'll finish writing some more contest entries for contests here on DeviantArt. And then I have an idea for a young adult fantasy novella with plenty of romance in it that I want to write so I can publish it as a stand alone book, either with a small publisher or self-published.Do you have any last words to share?
I'd like to thank #RomanceforEveryone
for hosting this contest and for offering me the opportunity to give my very first interview.
Congratulations on winning in the Poetry category of #RomanceforEveryone's contest! Why don't you tell us a little bit about what got you into writing?
Thanks very much, it's quite an honor.
I started writing at a young age. Playing Dungeons & Dragons was a huge inspiration for that.What inspired you to fabricate your winning deviation?
That one's pretty difficult for me to answer, as it's born of regret. The owner of my heart has always served as inspiration.What advice would you offer a deviant wanting to compete in contests with an award-winning deviation?
If you're interested, give it a try. You may surprise yourself with what you come up with. You'll never know unless you try. I've lost in a good number of contests...Is there a writer who has inspired you (professional or not) to create your own masterpieces?
Ha, well "masterpieces" is a pretty strong word, I think. When I write of love, it's just something from the heart. Inspiration can come to me from many sources, books, favorite movies, people, etc.What do you plan on working on in the near future?
I don't really have anything planned... I might enter a few contests that are ending very soon, so contest themes are another source of "forced" inspiration. As far as love poetry, that won't stop anytime soon. I just write it as it comes to me.Do you have any last words to share?
Don't give up on writing, we all improve with practice. Don't be afraid of contests, we've all lost in those. And if you ever doubt your love poetry, don't. If it's from the heart, that person will know. And it just may mean the whole world to that person.
I recommend everyone heads on ever to these deviant's pages and give them a big shout out for all of their hard work and dedication that earned them the celebratory and much deserved first place! Keep on rocking those pens ladies and gentlemen because we're still lovesick over your puppy dog romances.