Writer Laura Grow-Nyberg’s story “Forsan miseros meliora sequentur” was featured in Issue #5 of Newtown Literary. We interviewed her about her writing, and her answers are below. You can read more from Laura on her blog, or follow her on Twitter @LauraGrowNyberg.
What is your relationship to Queens?
My husband and I moved to Queens in 2009, not long after we got married. We lived in Astoria until last year, when we bought a house in Rego Park
How would you describe the writing you do?
It’s all “genre”, all the time. I’ll try to write about romance or family dynamics or a coming-of-age, but then aliens attack or a ghost shows up or somehow time travel gets involved. If people want to read metaphors into that, I’m all for it, but really it’s more like, “You know what would make this story a lot more fun? Nanites!”
How did you come to writing?
I honestly don’t remember. I was one of those kids who was always making up stories and devouring books, and I never saw any reason why I shouldn’t.
What inspires you?
Other people’s stories. More than a few of my story ideas have seeds in what, if I’m being honest, I’ll call fanfiction, but as I play with characters and settings, they get so far away from the original properties that I think the fandoms would be more angry with me posting them on Archive of Our Own – “X doesn’t act like that!” Well, no. She’s “Y” now.
Dreams can also have an influence, but I’m not going to bore you by talking about last night’s dreams.
What does it mean to be a writer in Queens?
Any time you deal with a multicultural community, you get a window into not just all the cultures that comprise it, but also any multicultural situation in your head: vampires in Philadelphia, an alternate-history Roman Empire, time-traveling to Tenochtitlan, settling in on a space station, or examining the different myths of Santa Claus that exist worldwide. And it’s pretty hard to get more multicultural than Queens.
What writing project(s) are you currently working on?
My book club’s annual holiday party always involves a murder mystery game, and this year I decided I’d write one instead of purchasing it. My premise is that a supervillain has been murdered, and his henchmen have to figure out which of them did it. The party will also be a play-test.
And, finally, my favorite question: What should I be asking you that I didn’t?
You should probably ask me who the killer is, but if I told you that, you wouldn’t want to play!
Readers, mark your calendars:
- On October 13 at 8:00 p.m., the LIC Reading Series presents Victor LaValle, Jim Shepard, and a special guest, plus books and drinks for sale. This free event will be held at 45-58 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, New York 11101.
- The Oh, Bernice! reading series kicks off its season on October 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Astoria Bookshop. John Reid Currie, Roberto Montes, Claire Van Winkle, and Emily Wallis Hughes will be featured.
- Come to Astoria Coffee on October 20 at 7:30 p.m. for the Risk of Discovery Reading Series. A half hour workshop kicks off the event, followed by an open mic and concluded by readings from Thomas Fucaloro, Christina M. Rau, Jane LeCroy, and Raven Jackson.
- You’ve heard us talk about the Heightening Stories workshops; now come check out what they’ve produced! On October 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Astoria Bookshop, hear stories of social change by Malcolm Chang, Jackie Giurato, Harry Koumrouyan, and Generose Lambert, hosted by Heightening Stories founder/instructor Nancy Agabian.
- Want to give your writing a kick in the pants? Heightening Stories presents the Jumpstart Your Writing online workshop with a session starting starting November 1. Sign up by October 22 to save $25.
- On October 24 at 4:00 p.m., come celebrate the book launch of Ophelia: A Botanist’s Guide by Emily Hockaday, featuring guest poet Jackie Sherbow, at Keats Bar, 42 2nd Ave, New York, New York 10017.
- Come one, come all to Newtown Literary’s second Book Trivia Night! On November 2 at Break Bar and Billiards, doors open at 7:00 p.m. Fun trivia, great prizes, and a chance to support the printing of the next issue, due out in December! Register your team now for a free “mulligan”.
- Delve deep into your personal writing as Heightening Stories presents the Creative Nonfiction/Autobiographical Fiction workshop. Enrollment is open until November 4.
- Work on your development and revision skills! Heightening Stories presents the Community Writing Exercise Workshop. Enrollment is open until November 10.
- Boundless Tales is accepting submissions for its current reading series! Submissions are considered on a rolling basis; the next reading will be November 12.