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V'yonne Interview

Posted on 25 August 2009. © Copyright 2004-2020 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to Oonah V Joslin, aka WW member V'yonne

Where did it all begin?

In bed like most things. My sisters gave me a subject, and I'd come up with a story. I loved English homework: Write a story or poem about. My teacher put my poem, The Scarecrow, on the wall when I was 11 and that got me hooked. I've already told how I got started in EDF's blog if anybody wants to read that:

I joined Writewords to find out whether anybody would want to read anything I wrote. I had no ambitions beyond that. Now I've over 150 stories and poems on line or in print. Colour me amazed!

Writers I like?

Asimov had the temerity to write Mars say yes. He can make you laugh and horrify you at the same time, be so tongue in cheek and so human. Everything he wrote lives.
Arthur C Clarke
Ray Bradbury
Robert Pirsig: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila - un-put-downable. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings and Leaf by Niggle.
Oscar Wilde: De Profundis in particular. The Happy Prince makes me cry.
C.S. Lewis - fellow Ulsterman. A Sunday school teacher gave me Prince Caspian and I read everything Lewis. I love his portrayal of the state of grace (or lack of it) in The Great Divorce and the thought that the whole of Hell can fit down within a crack of Heaven. I love his sense of the divine and the smallness of the human spirit without that.
Virginia Woolf: The Waves especially.
Jeannette Winterson: Art and Lies

Biography and non fiction.
Lytton Srachey: Eminent Victorians - try reading about Florence Nightingale without seeing Margaret Thatcher.
Vita by Victoria Glendinning
Wilfred Owen by Dominic Hibberd
Gilbert & Sullivan by Michael Ainger
Bill Bryson; Notes on a Small Island is perfect.
Michael Bywaters: Lost Worlds should be on everybodys coffee table. It's stuffed full of things that should not have been forgotten Baby's Bottom, Five Boys Chocolate. The Mumbles Train.
A.C. Grayling

Ben Johnson
Wilfred Owen
Gerard Manley Hopkins
T.S. Eliot,
quite a few people on this site I won't embarrass them but most are in EDP somewhere already

What's your biggest influence?

My biggest influence has been Writewords.
Having people respond to what you write is crucial. I'd be the first to admit I don't like to be criticised but when I put up my first effort and got a Wow! It made a difference. And when someone told me my dialogue for, A Trip to Tangier sucked, I didníŽt like it but I rewrote it - and rewrote it - and rewrote it and now it's one of my favourite pieces. I've learned to listen - I might cry a bit, suck my thumb and pout - but I listen. And, when I get depressed and want to pack in, I hear Prospero's (John Ritchie's) voice in my head saying: Don't Diss Yourself Girl. I'd say, the most valuable lessons you can learn are to listen and keep trying. Never forget that child who wanted to be a poet/novelist/writer or what it took to get to where you are.

Breakthrough moments?

They are all breakthrough moments!
I had a most read story at EDF.
The Micro Horror Competition in 2007 - I'd never written a horror story before. Then I won! Then last year I won again! (Two wonderful prizes, by the way.)
I was incredibly honoured to be a judge in the 2008 Shine Journal Poetry Contest.
I've had work chosen by the editors of Bewildering Stories for their Reviews.
I'm in 3 anthologies and just got commissioned for a horror one.
One of my poems just got honoree at The Binnacle Ultra Shorts competition. Every time I get one of those e-mails
BwS has agreed to publish my Genie in Jam series (face aches)

A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Comments by other Members

optimist at 11:41 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
Great interview Oonah - you are an inspiration!


V`yonne at 12:01 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
The poems Sarah - send the poems!

Prospero at 12:12 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
I'm not going to say I told you so, (G'wan, g'wan) all right then. I TOLD YOU SO!

But apart from you and yours, I can't believe anybody is happier about your sucess.

Very well done.



V`yonne at 12:33 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
Thank you Sean

crowspark at 12:57 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
Excellent interview, Oonah! Yes, you are an inspiration.


Beanie Baby at 14:26 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
Brilliant Oonah. I love reading these interviews because they seem to bring us more together as real people rather than just names on a screen. You really ARE an inspiration and I wish you all the luck in the world.

V`yonne at 14:31 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
Bill and Jillian, thank you both. Moat kind.

Findy at 16:51 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
Oonah great going

Agree with the others, you are an inspiration.


Bunbry at 17:58 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
Hi Oonah, what a nice thing to say about Write Words being an influence. I agree it's tough hearing less than fulsome praise for your work, but it's how we grow and get better!

Great interview - keep up the good work.


tiger_bright at 18:48 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
Excellent interview, Oonah!


V`yonne at 20:32 on 26 August 2009  Report this post
Thank you Findy, Nick, Sarah. I only said it like it is, Nick.

Indira at 06:27 on 27 August 2009  Report this post
Congratulations Oonah. Well done!
Sorry you aren't doing short stories anymore - at least not on the WW-SS group.

V`yonne at 10:01 on 27 August 2009  Report this post
Thanks Indira,
I still do flash fiction but I never got those women's fiction taken by anybody so thay can't be that good. Never mind!

Nella at 12:32 on 27 August 2009  Report this post
Excellent, Oonah. I so much agree with what you say about WriteWords. I was happy to hear that your Jam Genie stories will be in BWS. Good luck with the publishing! I'm looking forward to seeing your collection of poems in a bookstore one of these days.

V`yonne at 16:02 on 27 August 2009  Report this post
Me too Robin - let's not hold our breath eh?

joanie at 15:59 on 29 August 2009  Report this post
Great interview, Oonah!


V`yonne at 17:15 on 29 August 2009  Report this post
Thanks Joanie.

titania177 at 09:21 on 01 September 2009  Report this post
Wonderful interview, Oonah, wishing you enormous success with EDP and looking forward to seeing your collection in print soon!

Tania x

V`yonne at 14:24 on 01 September 2009  Report this post
I have to send it somewhere first tnen, I suppose Tania. Congrats on your best seller status in Salt and 1st birthday of the book.

purpletandem at 13:14 on 22 September 2009  Report this post
I too am a fan of The Great Divorce. I didn't know anyone else had read it!!

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