Writers on Writing Double Author Interview

The Emperor's New Clothes Issue is out and this week, 
Writers on Writing is featuring the first two authors in the issue: 
Kiyomi Appleton Gaines and 
Deborah L.E. Beauchamp

First up, we have
Kiyomi Appleton Gaines
"The experiment in vulnerability was not considered a success. He wanted to convey that these rumors were not true, were unfounded, yet only prevailed in terrorizing his entire kingdom. He was only a man like any other, he wanted to say. But no, his wise sister insisted, he was not like any other man. He was a ruler, and thus, he must rule."

Kiyomi's story, Re-Covered, explores a different side to the classic Emperor's New Clothes fairy tale that is worth the read. In this interview, she gives some insight into her creative process.

1.  What is the first fairy tale that left a big impression on you? 
Kaguya-hime changed how I thought about stories. There were other fairy tales I loved as a kid, many introduced to me through the Disney versions, and when I was a child, I had the impression that Disney was definitive, and that those stories were locked up and final, as drawn. But Disney never had Kaguya-hime, and I remember my mom telling me, “this is one version, but it’s a very old story,” and it just opened up this whole world of possibility for me that there could be many tellings, and that no one owned these old stories – so they could be mine too. Beyond that, the themes in the story of belonging and outsider status, duty and destiny, family and home, rang true for me then in a package I could wrap my mind around as a young child, and that I continue to unpack and find relevant today.
The beautiful Kaguya-hime
2.  What do you think makes a good story? 
A good story gives you the feeling of magic, of possibility beyond what's in front of you, and has unexpected twists that make you think, "ah, of course, it couldn't be any other way," but at the same time not what you would have guessed or predicted. For me a good story, even a tragic one, is about surprise and joy, a joy of discovery and of hope for what comes next, beyond "the end." Stories, at their best, should get inside you because you’re able to recognize yourself there, and change you, because they are connected to bigger themes and different perspectives.

3.  How do you promote yourself as a writer, and what advice would you give new writers on this subject
I’ve only recently started sharing my writing publically, so I’m learning, reading all the things other people recommend and deciding what makes sense for me along the way. I finally gave myself the title, “Writer,” so I think that helps!  I recently launched a blog, which has been fun and is keeping me writing in a different way, and I share a lot on Twitter that I find interesting, or related to themes I like to explore in my writing. I’m finding my community, and that’s what I would tell anyone else, too: Write stories you love, and share them in places where there are a lot of other stories you also love.

a story by Kiyomi that appeared in
The Steadfast Tin Soldier Issue of EC.

Kiyomi loves folklore and fairy tales for what they teach us about what it means to be human. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and pet fish.
and follow her on
TWITTER @ThatKiyomi

Next up:
Deborah L.E. Beauchamp
"She had everything that they sought-after,
so they copied every move, even her laughter."

Deborah's poem, An Illusion, is a timely metaphor for our modern pop-culture and is an example of how classic fairy tale themes still resonate today. Check out her Q&A:  

1.  What is your favorite fairy tale film and why? 
I have very happy memories of watching Cinderella when I was a young girl. It was magical; I dreamt about being her, dressed in a beautiful ball gown and finding my own Prince Charmng. Oh, and who wouldn't want a fairy godmother?

2.  When did you start writing and what was the first thing you sent out?
I started writing when I was in my teens. The first thing I sent out was a poem. If I remember correctly, the title was, "Lonely." It was about feeling all alone and yet somehow liking it. It was not accepted, but I kept writing and sent out more poetry until I was published.

3.  What's a lesson you've learned as an author that you'd pass along to a new writer? 
Don't be afraid to put your writing out there. Be proud of what you do.

Deborah is well past the age of a ‘new’ writer but her experience plays an integral role in her work, shaping her thoughts that she paints on the paper. Deborah writes poetry, children’s books and is a photographer.

Interviews by: Amanda Bergloff