PWN: Hi and welcome to the Project Write Now family! Since we are all writers here, can you tell us something about you as a writer in order for us to get to know you better?
ALYSON: I love being a part of a community. Having a group of people to talk about writing with and to share writing with is really important to me. When you’re enthusiastic about a piece of work, whether it’s your own work or someone else’s, it’s important to have someone to share that enthusiasm with.
PWN: We are so excited to have you teaching Exploring Fiction. What is your experience with this genre?
ALYSON: Though I’ve written in lots of genres, I consider myself first and foremost a fiction writer. I’m a sucker for a good story! I like nothing better than dissecting something wonderfully written to try to figure out what makes it tick.
PWN: You’ve said that “discovering a novel or a piece of short fiction that you can’t stop thinking about is pure magic.” Can you elaborate on what you mean by that?
ALYSON: For me, the power of fiction is in its resonance, its ability to make a reader feel seen, or an experience feel familiar, even if it’s an experience that you’ve never had before. There’s a quote I think about all the time. It’s from Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nobel prize speech: “But in the end, stories are about one person saying to another: This is the way it feels to me. Can you understand what I’m saying? Does it also feel this way to you?” Isn’t that such a great quote? It gives me goosebumps!
PWN: What can a student expect from your class?
ALYSON: A lot of enthusiasm and support! A welcoming atmosphere. Nothing too stuffy. I feel really passionate about reading, as well as writing. And I think good readers make for good writers, so we are going to try to focus on learning to read like writers. And, of course, we are going to write! I have exercises, prompts, and reflections planned for every class. My goal is for everyone to leave this course having discovered some new stories/books they admire and for everyone to have plenty of new material drafted during class time.
PWN: Have you read any good novels lately?
ALYSON: I keep a list of every book that I’ve read since middle school, so it’s always fun for me to break out my notebook when I get asked that question. Since I mentioned Ishiguro before, I feel like I should give a shout-out to the amazing Klara and the Sun, which I finished recently.
Well, thank you, Alyson, for taking the time to talk to us. We will see you around the Zoom studio.
Alyson’s fiction class runs for six weeks. Register now!