VAH: Your response to the “why I write” prompt echoed in my mind when I was reading the submissions for the Emerging Writer Prize. That will post on the site later. But if you had only a few words, how would you respond to the question, Why do you write?
KFC: Honestly, I write because it feels good. It’s by no means easy, but it feels pretty magical to create people and places and have them come together to mean something and hopefully touch someone or at least make someone see the world in a new way.
VAH: Why did you become a writer and when did that seem true for you?
KFC: I think I’ve always been a writer. I was the kid with lots of imaginary friends, and I grew into an adult who spends a good percentage of my time inside my head. I have been writing on and off for years, but it wasn’t until 2012 when I attended my first writer’s conference – the Ocean State Summer Writing Conference at my alma mater – and joined a writer’s group that I started feeling like a real writer. I began writing daily in August of 2013 and have been going strong ever since.
VAH: Is there anything or anyone that you’d say influenced your development as a writer?
KFC: My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Swann encouraged me to write my first novel, Why Me? by teaching my best friend (also the book’s illustrator) and me the art of book binding. My high school English teacher Mrs. Sweeney, paid me a compliment on an essay I wrote comparing The Great Gatsby, Death of a Salesman and The Glass Menagerie. I had worked so hard on it, and I remember thinking it was so great that she recognized that.
VAH: Our early teachers so often have such far reaching impact upon us. Mine was my third grade teacher, Mrs. Worthy. What do you remember about your first story or poem?
KFC: My earliest writing memory is of a short story called “The Easter Celebration,” which I wrote after rereading Charlotte’s Web for the umpteenth time. All I can remember is that it involved talking barnyard animals and it received an honorable mention in a short story contest sponsored by the 4H Club. I was maybe nine or ten. I believe I illustrated it as well, though I can’t draw at all.
VAH: And what would you say is your favorite piece that you’ve written so far?
KFC: I’m proud of a flash fiction piece I wrote called “Importance,” which was recently included in The FlashDogs Anthology.
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“ You always stop writing eventually,” my inner voice said. “Wouldn’t you rather make cheese…I’m going to make some coffee now. It’s very early, and I’ve got lots to say before I leave for work.”
Kristen Falso-Capaldi is a writer, musician and public high school teacher. The latter position has led her to believe she could run a small country if given the opportunity. She is the singer and lyricist for a folk/acoustic duo Kristen & J, she has finished a novel and has co-written a screenplay, Teachers: The Movie, which was an official selection for the 2014 Houston Comedy Film Festival. Kristen’s short story, “Of Man and Mouse” was published in the December 2013 issue of Underground Voices magazine, and several of her micro-fiction pieces have received accolades in various contests. Kristen lives in a small town in northern Rhode Island with her husband and cat.