Interview with the Winner of the Voices of Now Competitionby Sara Frederiksen, Saturday May 26, 2012
We have asked the author of the amazing According to Irma a few questions
TWe were curious to learn how Moomin98 came up with the idea for her protagonist Irma - and when she started writing to be able to write something like this at such an early age.
About the story
Irma is like any other teenager. She has no special power, she does not battle evil on a day to day basis, get sucked into time vortexes or fall in love with erratic vampires. Instead, she fights with her four other siblings, battles with her science teacher, rages an anti-starbucks reveloution with the help of her best friend and more than anything, shows the pains and gains of growing up. (click on the image to read the rest)
Q: Where did you get the idea for the story? And for your main character Irma?
Moomin98: Irma, the main character, is kind of like Frankenstein's creation. No, she is not a 6 ft grotesquely misunderstood monster. I mean that she is a medley of many different things. Let's start with Lizzie Bennet, the protagonist from Pride and Prejudice. Lizzie lives contently in controlled chaos with her five other sisters, much like Irma. I wanted Irma to be a spectator in a world of madness (but beautiful madness). Things such as the secret diary of Adrian Mole also provided some inspiration, especially for the description aspects. The humourus aspects came from comedies such as Blackadder and Modern Family, but the plots came from a mixture of the life that I observe around me and my own!
Q: Do you keep a journal or write a diary yourself?
Moomin98: Diaries and Journals are harder than quantum physics and I have a HUGE amount of respect for people who manage to keep them. The longest I have kept a diary is for about 4 months and it can be tedious writing about the same thing all the time. However, I do write in a small journal called the "Five lines a day" diary. It's useful because I can record snippets of events and thoughts each day without spending too much time writing about what colour socks I wore that day or that fact that we'd run out of butter.
Q: When did you start writing?
Moomin98: The first time I remeber writing a story that made any kind of sense was at the age of about 5 (I wrote about robots on the moon and Christmas pudding... hmm). Since then, I've written short stories and poems but my first real stories came at about the age of 13 when I joined movellas. Hopefully, they are a little better than stories about lunar robots and festive pudding.
Q: How often do you write?
Moomin98: I try to write everyday, whether it's finishing a chapter of a movella or creating a poem. If I don't have time for that, I usually do a 15 minute piece of creative writing about random house-hold objects whilst trying to cram as much description into the piece as possible. Yep, even spoons and table-cloths can work if there is a thesaurus near by.
Q: What is your favourite genre? Your favourite book?
Moomin98: Oh, so many books to choose from! Some of my favourites are Pride and Prejudice (Irma evolved from Lizzie Bennet) because Jane Austen is a wonderful font of inspiration. I love the classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights, 1984 and Catch 22. My favourite genres have to be Sci-fi and Historical-based fantasies (ie: War horse and The Book thief). And, yes, Hunger Games fans, I share your affinity for Distopian fiction.
Q: What kind of stories do you read on Movellas?
Moomin98: I try to read as many different movellas as possible, but I particuarly go for the Thrillers and poetry because these are often the most challenging to write. It's always good to read the movellas similar to your's, just to get a flavour of what else is out there. Horror is pretty interesting too as is some of the Realism and Fantasy.
Q: Is it your dream to become an author?
Moomin98: If "authoring" was a word, then yes, I would like to do it. But, at my age, one day you want to be a heart surgeon, the next you want to be civil engineer and the next day you just hold your head in sheer confusion. However, I keep on coming back to writing- There's logic in doing what you love, so yes, it would be an outstanding acheivement for me if I saw my best-seller on a shelf in duty-free one day.
Q: How did you hear about Movellas?
Moomin98: I heard about Movellas in Feburary of this year. I'd been searching for AGES for writing competitions online that actually let under 18s compete. My school librarian told me about the Valentine's competition on Movellas so I took a look, published a couple of movellas and just thought: "Finally." And I'm pretty glad that I listened to my Librarian, because Movellas have provided me with A LOT of help.
Q: Why have you decided to publish your stories on Movellas?
Moomin98: Publishing your stories on movellas can confirm many things: It can prove whether your work is better than you thought or not as good. I suppose I published them because I wanted to know what people actually thought of my work and, although I love it when my parents tell me what they think, to have someone who I do not know to tell me EXACTLY what they think (including all the nitty-gritty details) without having them finish off their sentence with "darling". It is also just useful to get your work out there and show what you're made of! It's a nice thing that you can just do and, when someone does comment and like, you can think: "So, yeah. I wrote that".
Thank you so much for putting up with all my questions and for publishing your wonderful stories on Movellas!