with Jared Povanda:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Jared: I’m a lifelong reader. My mother would read to my brother and me every night before bed, and her love of stories was infectious. There are so many early chapter books I could point to, but I was around 9 or 10 when I first started choosing my own books to read. The Warriors series by Erin Hunter, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. These books were wonderful teachers, and I remember writing my own stories by hand in small notebooks to try to capture a little of their magic. I also grew up in fandom. I won’t tell you what I wrote fanfic for, but without fan fiction and fan communities, I wouldn’t be writing today.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Jared: Every book I read influences me to some regard, but the authors I currently hold above all others are Donna Tartt, Diana Gabaldon, Maggie Stiefvater, and Krista & Becca Ritchie.
Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Jared: I can’t think of any one flash-bang moment, but I do remember reading Twilight in the eighth grade and looking at Stephenie Meyer’s author photo, thinking, “I can do that.”
Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?
Jared: Oh, so many people. My parents, my teachers, the authors I read. My colleagues and peers now. My B.A. is in creative writing, so professors, friends, and classmates, too. It takes a village!
Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & have any travels away from home influence your work?
Jared: Upstate New York. I grew up in a log cabin in the woods, and I think my home is perfectly conducive to writing. Acres of land to play and explore. Animals at all times of the day. An unobstructed view of the moon and stars. There is nothing more peaceful than reading with the windows open and hearing the frogs droning down at the pond. My writing is lyric. Poetic. I’m incredibly tied to descriptions of the natural world, and I don’t do grit very well! I’m not an urbanite. Nature is all I’ve ever known.
Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Jared: My first book. I’ve written six, and even though none have been published, those hundreds of thousands of words have taught me so much about writing and myself. I was on a vacation with my family when I wrote “The End” at the bottom of my very first novel. I cried. That whole day was one big celebration!
Q7: Favorite activities to relax?
Jared: Reading, obviously, but I also love music. I can’t write without music. I don’t think I could exist without music. I love watching competition television (Big Brother, The Amazing Race, American Idol, etc), the Food Network, HGTV, The Game Show Network…I’m 86 trapped in a 26 year old body. I’m also big into anime. Into fandom, as I said. I get lost in Tumblr and Pinterest, and I have no shame admitting it.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
Jared: If I think too hard about this question, I’ll never answer it! The first line that came to mind is, “Where does the snow come from? Can you say my name?” from my story “Endless Cycles” published by Emerge Journal. This is a story about depression. Of loving within depression. Of being worthy of love and affection within depression. This story means a lot to me, and when I wrote that line to conclude the piece, I knew I wouldn’t have to edit it. It said all I wanted to say.
Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Jared: Recently, my story “We Wanted to Sing it from the Light” won Versification’s Fierce Flash contest, and my story, “Hot Blood, Cold Snow” was nominated for Best of the Net 2021 by Wrongdoing Magazine. Two huge accomplishments in my book!
At the time of writing this, I have an essay forthcoming at Emerge Journal (my nonfiction debut at that journal) and a poem about Legolas and Aragorn releasing soon from The Daily Drunk Mag’s Lord of the Rings anthology edited by Josh Sippie. Super excited for both of these! I can only hope these pieces find their readers.
If you want to find out more about me, my published work, or the freelance editing services I offer, please visit me at jaredpovandawriting.wordpress.com or @JaredPovanda on Twitter. Thank you so much!