An Interview with WEbook's October Challenge Winner - ZanneP


In October we set our WEbook members a writing challenge to celebrate Hallowe'en.  This was the first challenge where we offered an iPad mini to our winning author... unsurprisingly, the submission response was overwhelming! 

We had such a diverse variety of brilliant entires, which made it incredibly difficult to choose a winner - not to mention the fact that our judges were suffering with such vivid nightmares from reading all your spooky tales, that it was hard to get them to recount the best to us without falling into a gibbering heap! - But, after much deliberation it was clear to everyone that one entry stood above the rest. 

Not only did it fill the challenge brief perfectly, but it wowed us with it's unique and transfixing style of prose - this month's winner was:

Our winner - ZanneP

Zanne was kind enough to have a chat with us about the story, her inspiration behind it and the process she goes through as a writer...

WEbook: Congratulations on being selected as the winner of our October challenge Zanne! Could you tell us about what inspired you to write your winning submission, Luna's Reaper?

Zanne: First of all, a huge thank you for choosing my story to be the winning submission. There were many other fabulous entries and it’s amazing – not to mention a great honour – to have been considered up there amongst them. So having still not quite got over the shock of winning, I can tell you I have absolutely no idea at all where it came from. It just kind of evolved.  That image of the moon reflected in the water was the starting point, the same as in the story. I love how light has this utterly magical effect on even the most hideous pile, but it was only on reaching the end that the fracturing of the souls part stared me in the face and was a bit of a eureka moment. Keeping the writing in the style of the opening, or at least close enough for it not to be too jarring for the reader also got me in the groove.

WB: Do you think that this is part of a story that you would like to continue writing into a full-length book?

ZP: Not really, because I think what differentiates a short story from a scene from something longer is that it is complete in itself. My intention was to tell a ‘complete’ story.

WB: Luna's Reaper is told from the point of view of the Reaper's victim - could you give us more of an insight into the background of the characters?

ZP: That’s an interesting question. The characters are deliberately nameless and by the same token almost without individuality. It’s more about the taking of something important by someone who is all-powerful from someone who has no power to prevent it. The relationship between them is vague and ambiguous, and also turns the tables by having a woman overpowering a man to take something valuable from him.

WB: The way in which you describe and set the scene for Luna's Reaper is absolutely stunning and encapsulating for the reader. How do you approach the construction of your scenes when sitting down to write? Do you take inspiration from things you see around you or is it constructed from images within your mind?

ZP: Both I think – the images in my mind are basically things I’ve seen because my background is in Fine Art so I’m always looking at stuff. When starting to write something, the scene is vividly clear in my head, but my aim is to suggest a scene rather than describe it absolutely. The interpretation by the reader plays the most important part.

WB: How long have you been writing for?

ZP: a child, my sister owned a book written and illustrated by a 10 year old. We would rubbish the thing, although I was secretly rather impressed. Anyway, my sister pronounced that even I – meaning my six-year-old self – would be able to do better. That was a challenge not to be ignored so I’ve been trying on and off ever since to emulate the success of that particular 10 year old by getting something what-I-wrote published. And I continue to try...

WB: What is your favourite genre to write in?

ZP: Normally teen fiction, but so far, I’ve not submitted any for the challenges as they're meant to be a challenge, aren't they?

WB: How long have you been a member of WEbook and what is your favourite aspect of the site?

ZP: I joined WEbook way back in 2008 when it was a completely different place. My favourite aspect has to be the people. Not everyone will agree with my entry winning but people have been unbelievably gracious to me since and I’m very grateful for that, as there can be a tendency to forget that there’s a real person behind the avatar sometimes. Having said that, I value honest crit. There’s a special relationship between a writer and his or her inner editor. In my case, I’ve learned to respect my inner editor, but it hasn’t always been so as the former used to definitely overpower the latter. It’s only because reviewers have had the courage and the insight to offer honest crit, effectively helping me understand what my inner editor is.

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us Zanne - and congratulations again on being our October Challenge winner! 

If you think you could be our next winner, submit your Challenge entry into our November Challenge - this month it's in honour of NaNoWriMo and it's up to you to wow us with your best beginning or ending chapter.... If you are good enough to become our November winner, not only could you win an iPad Mini, but you could also have the opportunity to become our next WEbook Author! 

The WEbook Team

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