Violet Nesdoly is a poet and writer whom I’ve had the privilege of working with through FellowScript. Her poetry column every issue never fails to amaze with her depth of knowledge and passion for the subject. She maintains several blogs: Line Upon Line for all things writerly, Promptings for pictures and ideas, and Bible Drive-Thru for kids’ devotions. She also contributes to Inscribe Writers Online and Canadian Authors Who Are Christian. In the middle of all that blogging, she still managed to find time to answer my questions!
How did you become a writer?
When I was a kid, The Western Producer came to our house every week. It had a club called Young Co-operators for young writers. You joined with a pen name, then sent in your poems, stories and articles. If the editor liked them they'd get published on the Young Co-operators pages.
I joined sometime in my early teens. After seeing a piece or two of mine in print, I was hooked. Although I didn't write for publication for many years between that time and when I lately returned to writing, the thought was always at the back of my mind.
What inspires you to write?
I get inspired to write when I read great writing of any genre -- fiction, essays, poetry. There's something inside me that wants to take up the challenge. Could I write something as beautiful, or moving, or real?
Writing how-to books inspire me too. Writers like Heather Sellers, Julia Cameron, Bonni Goldberg, Sol Stein and others encourage me and make me feel, yes, I can!
Finally, I get inspired when I fiercely disagree. I have written more than one heated blog post, letter to the editor or email to a radio call-in show when I'm hopping mad. Sometimes I think that's when I do my sharpest work.
What author(s) do you most admire and why?
(Sorry, I added that 's'. I can't limit myself to just one)
Alice Munro - She has an amazing ability to capture the details of setting, character and dialogue in her Canadia0n short stories, and to spotlight the moments of truth.
Marilynne Robinson - Her story Gilead is moving and profound yet simple and humble. I love writing like that.
Rosamund Pilcher - I adore her British characters and her settings -- often in Scotland or Devon, England. Though I don't approve of some of her characters' morals and lifestyles, there is something about her craftsmanship that I would try to emulate if I ever attempt adult fiction.
Billy Collins - Accessible, often self-deprecating poems that are funny too. Love it!
Oswald Chambers - writer of My Utmost for His Highest. I prefer the old edition (not the revised one that updates Chambers' word choice). Did you know he was only 43 when he died? How did he become so wise?