VRWG Life of a Writer Series (#06) Nemma Woolenfang

Name: Nemma Wollenfang
What genres do you write in?
I dabble in many fields. Mainly speculative – Science fiction, Fantasy, Horror. If it’s novel length it has to have a romantic twist.
Have you ever had any work published? If so, what and where?
Yes. As I’m sure many of you know. 😉  So far only short stories and a few poems – I’m working my way up to trying to publish something novel length. I’ve had a number of small press and pro-sales, as well as shortlistings or wins in competitions. A friend set up a website for me to collate my work if anyone is interested: www.nemmawollenfang.co.uk But I’ll list the more significant traditional publications below.

Ø  ‘You Think You Are Safe’ contemporary horror in Flame Tree Publishing’s ‘Footsteps in the Dark’ (due June 2020).

Ø  ‘A Study of Mesozoic Schistosoma of the Late Cretaceous Period and their Abundance in Large Theropods’ humorous SF in Cossmass Infinites Issue 2 (due May 2020).

Ø  ‘Lot No. #024: Intergalactic Death Ray’ humorous SF flash in Abyss & Apex Magazine Issue 73 (Jan 2020). Free to read on website.

Ø  ‘Weave Us A Way’ reprint fantasy in Flame Tree’s ‘Epic Fantasy’ (Nov 2019).

Ø  ‘Imperatrix’ Space Opera in Beyond the Stars: Rocking Space (Aug 2019).

Ø  ‘The Hollow Tree’ contemporary horror in Flame Tree’s ‘American Gothic’ (May 2019).

Ø  ‘Solved’ in Chicken Soup for the Soul’s ‘The Wonder of Christmas’ (Oct 2018).

Ø  ‘GOD is in the Rain’ reprint SF in Flame Tree’s ‘Robots & AI’ (Sept 18).

Ø  ‘Echo the Damned’ in Flame Tree’s ‘Pirates & Ghosts’ (Nov 17).

Ø  ‘Fragments of Me’ in Flame Tree’s ‘Murder Mayhem’ (Aug 16).

Ø  ‘Clockwork Evangeline’ steampunk reprint in Flame Tree’s ‘Science Fiction Short Stories’ (Sept 15).

(Some of these places have continuous open calls for various themes if anyone is interested in trying themselves – they were all great venues to work with).

Do you have a preferred place in which to write?
Definitely. In a medieval château with soaring arches and dusty tapestries, sequestered in the fathomless depths of its library working by candlelight. In true Shakespearean style I use quill and ink. The quill is a fancy peacock feather.

Or perhaps not…

To certain people’s dismay it’s the floor of my room, with my doddering laptop propped up on a stool. I like it, it works for me. And contrary to certain concerns, so far my back is fine. It has to be quiet too. Night is best for me – no outside traffic or harried daytime noises, or I can’t focus for anything more than to check email.

I’ve never been able to write properly outside my ‘zone’. I envy other writers who can.

Let’s talk about your muse. What/who inspires you to write?
*crickets chirping*

Alright… This is a difficult question. Not because I have no answer but because it’s so expansive. To be honest, I’m often inspired by many other people’s work. It’s hard to pin a select few. Not just big names but those who run in the quieter circuits. There’s a lot of beautiful work out there. And it’s been a privilege to hear/read some it from VRWG members too. Many of the professional short story magazines – several online and free to read – house a lot of exquisite work. Some of my favourite places to search are: Lightspeed Magazine (SF/F), Nightmare Magazine (H), Clarkesworld (SF/F), Interzone (SF/F), Daily Science Fiction (SF/F), Flame Tree’s Gothic Fantasy range… to name a few. I feel that reading from these frequently has definitely helped to improve my own work.

Tell us about your writing ambitions
I very much want to get one of my novels published… when I can eventually convince myself that any of them are ‘ready’ to venture out into the world. I find it harder to build up the nerve to send those out than I do for short stories. The rejections sting more keenly.
Who are your favourite writers?
Haha! *Rubs hands together* Now’s the time to make many of you cringe. I was a big Twilight fan when the books came out, so Stephanie Meyer (I can hear the groans). I also grew up in the Harry Potter era, so J.K. Rowling. I’m sticking by those. They did good jobs in their genres and they prompted me to read more when I wasn’t reading much at all.

But really, I’m happy to try most speculative writers. I’m currently working my way through a lot of the older classics, like H.P. Lovecraft and H.G. Wells, and enjoying all the flourish-y prose – something which seems to be sadly lacking (out of fashion?) in current works. Although, admittedly, a lot of this reading is for specific research purposes.

My most recent favorite would be Josh Malerman – for his ‘Birdbox’ novel. Some of you may have seen the film adaption with Sandra Bullock. Plus, we’re Facebook friends, which after years still has a certain ‘wow’ factor to it (He replied to my comment, eee! Be cool, be cool). An older favorite is Laini Taylor for her ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ series.

What’s your ideal writer’s life? Go on, let your imagination run wild!
Where every story goes according to plan with limited edits…

Wild? No, no. I have simple dreams. 😉

Outside of writing, is there something else we should know about you?
… There are things outside of writing?

… Are you sure?

Well, considering the current lockdown, I’m not doing all that much that’s interesting. However, I seem to have developed a menagerie of wildlife in the back garden which is expanding daily. It’s like a miniature zoo! Birds, squirrels, hedgehogs, ducks, bats, etc… We have something of a ‘soup kitchen’ set up going on with more dishes being added each day. I’m not sure if that’s because it’s spring or because people aren’t managing to feed them as much as usual. It’s taking more time to get around them all now, morning and evening, as well as to offer/change bedding and clean their baths etc. But it’s fun and they all seem happy, and with less traffic moving about at night I’m less worried about the hedgehogs when they go out roaming (we currently have 2-3 lodging with us).

Well, this has been fun. Take care and stay safe, everyone. ❤