Steampunk Granny Interviews Co-Editor of Reading Glasses, Jessica A. Walsh
I’m so happy to interview this
next guest. Jessica is a friend and a member of our writers’ group, The South
Jersey Writers’ Group. She is also the co-editor of Reading Glasses, the
Hypothetical Press Anthology. Jessica has a story in this anthology called Unquiet
When Jessica is not editing, she
is an avid reader and writer of creative non-fiction. She is a Communications
Manager for a non-profit in Philadelphia, PA. She lives in Southern New Jersey
and escapes to the beach with her surfboard whenever possible. She has been a
member of the South Jersey Writers’ Group since 2011. This is her first
Gilbert: I’m so happy to chat with you. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A. Walsh: I love learning and growing, in
every way possible. I am a very passionate person and need to be working toward
a goal at all times, whether it’s finishing a story, losing weight or learning
how to surf. I don’t do well being stagnant. Besides reading and writing, I
enjoy cooking and keeping active; jogging, practicing yoga, anything that keeps
me moving. I love to tell jokes that people say are pretty bad, even though I
find them hysterical. I have a child’s sense of humor when it comes to jokes.
Gilbert: What inspired you to be a writer?
Walsh: I have loved reading as long as I
can remember. I know not everyone who loves to read wants to write, but love of
the word just came natural to me. Once I started writing in 3rd or 4th grade, I
was praised for my ability and creativity. From then on, all of my teachers
throughout the rest of my public education saw that in me and encouraged it,
even giving me special writing assignments. I suppose that's what really
inspired me to keep doing it. I had wonderful teachers. My oldest brother is
also a very talented writer and he inspires and encourages me as well.
Gilbert: What genre do you enjoy writing the most?
Walsh: I enjoy writing creative
non-fiction most. After all, I, and the people closest to me, am the character
I know best. I am naturally introspective and like to use writing to capture my
life experiences and stories, while simultaneously reflecting to better
understand and learn from them. It's not until you try to write down and
capture all the elements of an event that you can really begin to understand
and interpret them, while preserving those memories at the same time.
Gilbert: Where did the inspiration for this story come from?
Walsh: Reading Glasses being a
speculative fiction collection, Unquiet Mind was out of my element. I
started by creating a character, Reven, whose loneliness, anger and overactive
mind was familiar to me and then gave her an unreal characteristic to oblige
the spec element. Everything else came from there. That made it easier for me
because I was writing about realistic people and scenarios, just with an unreal
disorder in an unreal setting.
Gilbert: What are you working on now?
Walsh: I am very excited to be launching
a new blog soon called Cracking the Nut (crackingnut.blogspot.com).
I am working on content and design. I'm currently in almost a constant state of
introspection while some new and exciting things are happening in my life. I
want to capture those revelations and thoughts, successes and failures, and
hopefully even inspire some people at the same time - all with a strong dose of
humility. The name is a play on words since I am attempting to crack the nut on
my suffering, while I can also be a little bit of a self-proclaimed nutcase at
Marie Gilbert: What was it like to be the
co-editor of the Reading Glasses Anthology? Was it harder than you expected?
Jessica A. Walsh It was certainly an experience,
that's for sure. I don't think I knew what to expect so every part of it was a
surprise. I think we strongly underestimated the amount of time it would all
take - scoring all of the submissions, some stories taking upward of ten hours
to edit, not to mention waiting for author responses - but I also realized how
much I enjoy editing. Almost every single author was pleased and appreciative
with the edits to their story, which was really lovely. I was also working
full-time and wrapping up my last year at Saint Joseph's University throughout
almost all of this so that didn't help matters. But I am very proud of the work
Amy Holiday and I did. I'm ready to work on my own writing and projects now
though, with the exception of the occasional editing assignment. (I'm
Marie Gilbert: Thank you so much Jessica for
appearing on my blog and I’m sure everyone will want to read Reading Glasses
and Unquiet Mind. Also, on October 24th, our writers' group held a book launch for Reading Glasses and it was a big success.