-Author of “What We Knew”
What was the inspiration for What We Knew?
My dad has an unusual hobby: fireworks. But he is not the only one. A few years ago, he became a card-carrying member of Pyrotechnics Guild International and then convinced my mom and me to attend a couple of their conventions with him. At these conventions, the fireworks were amazing, but the people were incredible, too. Their delightful passion for all things “pryo” were the beginnings of “What We Knew.”
The point of view came next. I’m a small-town Midwesterner, which makes it hard to get away from the effects—both good and bad—of community. I am fascinated by a town’s group mentality, the way it’s alliances shift and develop. In “What We Knew,” I used the focal point of fireworks to play with that social dynamic.
What made you decide to become an author?
When I started my undergraduate program at Kent State, I knew that I loved words and that I wanted to be a teacher. Then I took Joey Nicoletti’s Intro to Creative Writing course. He opened up to me the idea that I could not only teach others to love and use words but that I could also use them myself. He showed me that being a writer was a possibility. After his class, I still loved words and I still wanted to be a teacher, but I also wanted to be a writer. I took every writing class I could at Kent and then pursued my MFA at Lesley University.
Do you have any other pieces you’re intending to release soon or are working on?
I had another short story—“Grounded”—published in Bird’s Thumb this February. I currently have a few short stories in the submission process and am beginning to look for an agent for my first novel.