Although our correspondence took place entirely over email, it was still a pleasure getting to interview Em Platt and learn about their unique take on the craft of writing!
Below is a transcript of our conversation:
- Amy: “How long have you been writing? How did you get started?”
- Em: “I like to say that I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. My first piece of writing that I remember is a “review”/retelling of the first Kung Fu Panda movies that must have been from when I was seven or eight. I also was very into Lord of the Rings (oh, Viggo Mortenson and Liv Tyler, my first loves) from a young age, and wrote a lot of fantasy based on that.”
(Starting from writing reviews and branching to original work gives an author a critical eye!).
- Amy: “What is your preferred genre/style of writing? (Ex. Screenplays/Historical Fiction, etc). And why?”
- Em: “My preferred genre is definitely fantasy/sci-fi fiction set on Earth. It’s a way to explore how humans act in even the weirdest situations, and a way to explore emotions with a degree of separation from reality that (to be honest) makes it feel a little safer.”
(I completely agree with how the degree of separation provides safety. It provides distance from the author themselves, and in doing so allows space to convey emotions more accurately without being overwhelmed. I’ve been in their shoes many times).
- Amy: “How often do you find time to write in between classes and other responsibilities/hobbies?”
- Em: “I try to write everyday. I mostly write when I want to procrastinate doing homework, but I also find time in the morning before class or after I’m done for the day. A lot of the time, I just want to conk out and binge watch a braind-dead cartoon after the day is over, but it’s worth it to even jot down a sentence or two to whatever project I’m working on.”
(I feel a lot of writers can relate to this, only being able to jot down a sentence or two in intervals. What do y’all think?).
- Amy: “Have you connected with other writers on and off campus? How so?”
- Em: “I’m a creative writing major (shocker), so I’ve met quite a few writers on campus. Sometimes I meet writers by accident, by saying that I write, and then they tell me they write. I’ve also been involved with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) since I was 15, and have recently met some really cool people through a regional discord channel.”
- Amy: “What has been your experience with the Creative Writing Department on campus?”
- Em: “The classes I’ve been in have been really awesome and have helped me develop my skills as a writer quite a bit, and have gotten me familiarized with workshopping. The professors we have are full of knowledge and the program does a really good job teaching us how to talk to one another as writers and critique in constructive ways.”
- Amy: “Are there magazines, newspapers/journals, online or otherwise, that you read regularly? Which ones?”
- Em: “I don’t read any regularly, but usually if I think I want to submit to one, I’ll look at an issue or two that they published. I’ll pick up a National Geographic or Time magazine if it looks interesting enough…sometimes just to look at the pictures.”
- Amy: “ What is Writing Creatively to you, and do you think UMF
supports your vision?”
- Em: “Writing creatively to me is putting words on a page that make me excited, that get me into a story, that engage me. It’s also learning what other people get excited about, too. I think UMF does support that vision, and encourages not only exciting, fun writing but writing that engages the mind and makes people connect with work in a way that’s hard to figure out how to do without some guidance.”
- Amy: “When you begin a project, what process do you go through, if you
have an established routine?”
- Em: “Sometimes, I start writing without a plan and it takes off. Usually, I’ll be trying to get to sleep and telling myself a story, and then I’ll get so into that I have to turn my light on and write it down. Then it sits in my idea box for a while, then I write some more background, world building, character work, and after a while, I’ll start writing something that may or may not ever get finished. There’s not a particular process, just the effort to finish something then revise it.”
(Most of my ideas come to me at one, two, three in the morning as well!)
- Amy: “ Is there anything you’re working on that you’d like to preview for our readers?”
- Em: “I’m working on the second draft of my novel, so far titled “The Witch.” It’s about a witch who loses her family to witch hunters and is forced to rebuild her life. Along the way, she finds a new family who helps her grow. It’s a young adult novel that still needs a lot of work!”
Thank you for your time, Em. I cannot wait to see this future novel in print!