|Our winner - Nyree!|
After much deliberation, NJ_Wade's, Professor Moore, was picked by the WEbook elves as our Christmas Challenge winner - and we're sure you'll all join us in congratulating Nyree on her fantastic entry. It really captured the Christmas, fireside spirit and played on a timeless classic.
WEbook: Hi Nyree, congratulations on winning the Christmas challenge with your brilliant entry, Professor Moore!
Nyree Wade: Hello and thank you! To be honest, I’m still quite shocked, but incredibly happy to have produced a story readers have connected with.
The only sounds are those of the occasional pop and crack of the fire. It almost sets the mood for someone to tell a good story. I really enjoy the mystery and intrigue that surround all myths, and sometimes wonder if there’s a kernel of truth hidden beneath every story.
WB: The challenge brief asked for 'an alternative Christmas story', you really kept the reader guessing as to what your inspiration was - we were geared up for Marlowe's ghost to jump out at any moment! Do you enjoy leading the reader in a false direction and then creating a surprise for them at the end, or was this unintentional?
NW: It was unintentional, although it would have been clever to have planned it that way! Sometimes when you write, the story creates itself, and you’re just as surprised by how things end, too. I write with a general idea—and then let the story unfold from there. My intention was to retell the story, ‘The night before Christmas’, and bring the author Clement Clarke Moore, to life as well. I knew at some point I’d have to reveal his identity, the end just seemed the best time for it.
NW: Besides the use of non-fictional character Clement Clarke Moore, all others were created by me, and haven’t been used in any other work I’ve written. Professor Moore is the first historical fiction piece I’ve written, and once the scene was set, the characters took on a life of their own.
NW: That sometimes the best stories are the ones that we create around us. Finding that delicate balance can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. I really wanted to create a character that people could relate to, and sympathize with (especially writers). For me, I know that if I’m not careful I’ll find myself locked in my cave that is my ‘office’, pouring myself into whatever project I’m working on. It helps that my family keeps me in check, when the scale tips a little off balance.
NW: My favourite genre is YA contemporary fiction. It’s hard to pick just one genre, as I like so many. Anywhere from Science fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction, they’re all great! As for the story Professor Moore, I really drew inspiration from Luisa May Alcott’s ‘Little Women’, when recreating that old-world feel. At the moment I’m really inspired by the work of YA novelists Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han and Tammara Webber. Other favorites are historical fiction authors, Steven Saylor, Diana Gabaldon, and Jane Austen.
NW: Back in 2012 a friend of mine, Bu Domingez, had introduced me to WEbook. We both submitted stories for the Valentine’s Day challenge and had a blast. But, it really wasn’t until last year that I’d become an active member of the website. The people here are amazing, and are really what keeps me coming back. They’re hilarious, yet honest and make an effort to help each other out, which is something I really like. They genuinely care and want to see everyone succeed!
NW: I’ve been writing since I was about eight years old. I remember my first story was titled, Dr. Friend, and my mom still has it in a box somewhere, with a bunch of terrible kid art. I think my mom really nurtured my imagination as a child. We’d read a lot of stories together, and it inspired me to write my own. I’d make book jackets out of construction paper, and weave yarn through the spine to hold the pages together. When I started getting into British literature I remembered sitting in my bedroom paraphrasing Shakespearian sonnets for fun, and my brother peeking in on me, wondering when I’d get a life! But, that was my life. Literature and writing will always be a big part of who I am.