An Interview with Fiction Writer Bonnie ZoBell

Every writer needs writer friends who know and understand what it’s like to live the life we’ve chosen, or that has chosen us, and who can share the thrills and chills and ups and downs and magic and mundane right along with us. Bonnie ZoBell is such a friend of mine. I’m crazy about her writing. I hope you are too. And if you don’t know Bonnie or her fiction, let me introduce her via these few interview questions.

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When Wild Voice Speaks, Pay Attention

I’ve been throwing around the term “wild voice” for a long time, at least as long as I’ve been doing the Wild Women writing workshops (these date back to 1997). With my new book Wild Women, Wild Voices, due to be released April 7,  I thought I’d better explain what I mean when I say “wild voice.”

Magellan Penguin flaps its wings, Punta Arenas, ChileAs its name implies, wild voice is untamed and unbounded and holds the possibility of great beauty. It goes deep, like roots; it sings because it can. It is not domesticated or restrained. Wild voice can be dangerous; it can be outrageous. It is passionate, exuberant, and eager for life. It is turbulent and stormy, often arriving as unexpectedly as a summer squall. It can also appear as tranquil as an autumn breeze or a lazy river—but just try to capture either of these in a bottle and put them on a shelf.

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On First Paragraphs

“Call me Ishmael.”

This short sentence is probably the most famous of famous first lines of English language novels. And, maybe how you would expect a post entitled “On First Paragraphs” to begin.

No surprises there. And that’s the problem. The first sentence, the first paragraph of any piece of writing—even a blog—should contain some kind of surprise. At least something fresh, something you weren’t expecting to hear.

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