Four Questions: PNW Blog Tour

Thank you Samantha Claire Updegrave for tagging me on the Four Questions: PNW Blog Tour!


  • What am I working on?

I always seem to have one big and a few minor writing projects going on at the same time. The big project is my Young Adult novel about an orphaned girl who was born without her selkie skin and the journey she takes to find her clan. I’m in my third revision of this draft and it is my thesis project for my MFA at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. The smaller project, which will eventually end up a big project. It is a collection of personal essays where nature is the muse for making sense of life’s struggles and hardships, like divorce, loneliness, aging and love. For these essays I use my encounters with creatures in the natural world as a sounding board to reflect on the complexity of human relationships.


  • How does my work differ from others of its genre?


My work thus far hasn’t been much of a genre bender. In my personal essays I like to experiment with different formats like collage and hermit crab. I find that for certain stories a different format often enhances the piece in a fresh way.


  • Why do I write what I do?


I think both my fiction and nonfiction writing comes from my need to explore how we all fit into this big world, the journey there and how we resolve within ourselves who and what we want to be and become.


  • How does my writing process work?


I’m freshest in the morning and try to balance out a few hours of writing time with my own writing and my MFA class work. If I’m up for it after work then I hit the keyboard again, but it’s usually slower going. I’ve started using Scrivner for my Young Adult novel and editing is now a much faster process. It bookmarks pages and I can add notes, so all the information is right there when I need it and my desk is less cluttered with notes.


I’m tagging two wonderful writers to continue the PNW Blog Tour. Check out their blogs next week (9/15) to see their answers.

Haley Isleib is a writer and filmmaker in Portland, Oregon. She received a Fellowship from the Literary Arts of Oregon and her short films have screened in festivals in the US and Europe. Her short script won the 2012 FiLMLaB Script-to-Screen competition and the resulting short film won Best Comedic Short at the 2013 Oregon Independent Film Festival. She studied filmmaking at the Northwest Film Center and is currently enrolled in the MFA program at the Northwest Institute of LiteraryArts, for which her thesis project is a young adult novel with absolutely no paranormality. She’s a member of SCBWI,Willamette Writers, and serves on the staff of the awesome Cascade Writers Workshop, which you should totally check out. Seriously.


Nicole Persun started her professional writing career at the age of sixteen with her young adult novel, A Kingdom’s Possession, which later became an Amazon Bestseller. Her second novel, Dead of Knight, was recently awarded Gold in Foreword Magazine’s 2013 Indiefab Book of the Year Award competition, and has also seen Amazon’s Bestseller rankings. Aside from novels, Nicole has had short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and essays published in a handful of literary journals. She often speaks at libraries, writer’s groups, and writer’s conferences across the country. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College. For more information, visit Nicole’s website at or visit her publisher’s website at





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