How long have you been a member of NOWW? About a decade and a half ago I was one of NOWW’s youngest members for several years. It was such a diverse and supportive community, one where I felt comfortable sharing my work. Returning seriously to writing in the last year prompted me to return to NOWW. No surprise, NOWW is as supportive and welcoming as it used to be!
What do you normally write?
When I participated in readings as a teenager, I brought mostly novel excerpts and poetry to the table. My focus has broadened to include nonfiction, and I am a regular contributor to The Walleye. I have also written for Lake Superior News and Nature Conservancy of Canada’s blog, Land Lines. I love having the opportunity to interview people and learn more about interesting topics.
My novel—one that has been in my head and in the works for years— is the kind of writing I take absolute pleasure in, a form that feels familiar. While I am still putting together the building blocks of writing nonfiction and magazine articles, my fictional work has a flow to it that I love.
Do you have a favourite book or author?
I enjoyed reading Joseph Boyden’s books for their visceral quality and intimate reflection of Canadian history and culture, although I have to admit that I’ve become a bit more skeptical of his authenticity given recent news. I thoroughly enjoy Jennifer Egan’s novels. She’s a skillful novelist and I’m especially attracted to how she conveys the thought processes and inner struggles of her characters.
Let’s get to know you a bit better. Tell us a bit about yourself and your inspirations.
I’m a lifelong outdoors enthusiast, and I take pride in rattling off a long list of outdoor sports that I engage in as much as possible. I am convinced that I wouldn’t be writing without the influence of the natural world. Some of my best ideas emerge while running or hiking on bush trails or country roads.
Tell us about your writing style.
My novel began as a series of scenes, in no particular order, that I gradually put together into a 333-page first draft. This process was like building a brick wall or sewing a quilt: I linked those scenes together, adding transitions the way someone else might smooth over mortar or sew pieces of fabric. I didn’t actually create a plot outline until I was about a third of the way into the book.
I pride myself in creating complex characters and writing with attention to sensory detail. I love the feeling of being completely immersed in a scene, and I want to convey this to a reader as best I can.
Can we see you at any upcoming NOWW events?
My favourite NOWW events are workshops. I really appreciate having the opportunity to learn from others who have more skill and expertise than I do.
Where can we learn more about you and your writing?
I can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/emchristensenwriter and on Wordpress at https://emmachristensenwriter.wordpress.com. I use social media to update others on where to find my published work, and to post travel blogs and slice of life pieces.
And to end things off, tell us something surprising about yourself!
My favourite random fact about myself is that I refuse to own a car that doesn’t have a standard transmission. I’m a self-admitted control freak and it appeals to me to be able to decide when to shift gears.