The single most important job – an interview with Deanna Mascle

Introduction

Deanna provided me with some fabulous articles to add to the database. As such I thought it only fair to find out who this person behind each article is. I wrote to her and sought an interview and she gave an unreserved yes. I have great pleasure in introducing to you, Deanna Mascle …


Aneeta: Deanna, thank you for participating in this interview.

Deanna: Thanks so much for the opportunity. I love to talk about writing with other writers!

Aneeta: Please, let’s start with a little about you – where were you born and raised. Where do you live now and a little bit about your family.

Deanna: I was born and raised inWilliamson,New York, a small town in Upstate New York. My husband is from the same small town but 12 years ago we moved toKentucky. We live inMt. Sterling,Kentucky, which is a small community outside of Lexington,Kentucky. My husband Tod and I have been married for 16 years and we have a 5-year-old son, Noah, who just started Kindergarten.

Aneeta: In understand that by profession, you’re a teacher. Did you always want to be a teacher?

Deanna: Yes, I always wanted to be a teacher and I always wanted to be a writer. Now that I’m a writing teacher and a professional writer I get to spend a lot of time hanging out with other writers and talking about writing.

Aneeta: Do tell me, how did you get into writing?

Deanna: I think I have been writing ever since I learned how to hold a pencil. I have always loved reading and always dreamed of being a writer. My first publication, a humorous piece in the local newspaper, was when I was 10 and I never looked back. I have worked professionally as a newspaper reporter and editor, magazine writer and editor, and internet writer. I have published three novels and continue to publish four ezines, three newsletters, and more blogs than I care to admit.

Aneeta: What kind of writing do you do? Literary? Non-fiction? Fiction?

Deanna: Much of my professional writing career has been in nonfiction for newspapers and magazines. As I mentioned earlier, I have also published three novels. In recent years I have most concentrated on nonfiction articles and essays for the Internet. I love writing for the Internet because I can write what pleases and/or interests me and still easily find a receptive audience

Aneeta: I am curious – it says on your website, that you are a Renaissance Woman Online. What does this mean?

Deanna: Most people are familiar with the term, Renaissance Man, which means a man with broad-ranging interests and knowledge and I thought that really applied to me except of course I’m a Renaissance Woman.  My ezines, newsletters, blogs, and web sites cover nine different subject areas that really interest me. While my level of expertise varies with the different subject areas, each area interests me enough to want to learn more and share what I learn with others. And online because of course that is so much of what I do. I write online and in fact much of my teaching is done online as well.

Aneeta: You publish 4 ezines, 3 newsletters and more blogs and websites than you’d like to admit. Deanna, I work so hard at this one ezine and one newsletter. How on earth do you find the time for all this?

Deanna: Working in the newspaper field really gives you great time management and multi-tasking skills. Also, my years of experience have made me a very fast writer – at least in certain, familiar formats. Believe it or not, I once published 8 ezines and 3 newsletters and did have to cut back as that was just too much to manage. However, the real secret is simply careful resource management. For example, two of my ezines and several of my blogs feature trivia. I have been publishing trivia on the Internet since 1999 with my first ezine, The QuizQueen, which means I have a vast archive of trivia quizzes and questions. I’m always generating new quizzes and questions to mix in as well but it really helps during a busy week to know I can just pull something out of the vault. It also helps that I mainly write about topics that I know a lot about. For example, it takes me little time to write many of my writing articles because I don’t need to do any research, I simply pull my from my own experience and knowledge. Plus, many of the topics are ones I have lectured on numerous times to writing groups or my own writing classes so I have an organizational pattern already existing in my head. As an experienced writer and teacher, I know the questions that writers ask so it easy to spin an article in answer.

Aneeta: Let’s analyze these Ezines and Newsletters of yours. Please tell me a little about each one of them.

Deanna:

Daily Quote is just that – an inspirational, motivational, or thought-provoking quote delivered every day. I also include a brief author bio. I love quotes and find them fascinating and it turns out a lot of other people feel the same. Many times a quote will inspire an essay or article for another publication.

Fun Trivia Online is a weekly ezine that includes two trivia features in each issue. These can include themed trivia quizzes, trivial topics (which are trivia questions inspired by readers), birthday trivia (for subscribers), and a trivia break (which is random trivia). I mix it up so you get all different kinds of trivia in each issue.

Daily Trivia Tidbit is one trivia question and answer delivered every day. Just quick fun entertainment.

Words of Inspiration Online is a weekly ezine that offers an inspirational, motivational or thought-provoking essay, article, or interview each week. Sometimes I do research for these articles but often they are inspired by something I encounter in my daily life. You know that writers find inspiration everywhere!

Aneeta: Now on to your Newsletters:

Deanna:

Epresence does not have a formal publication schedule. I publish anywhere from 1 to 4 issues a month depending on my time. It started out primarily focusing on Internet marketing but has gradually evolved to include other topics of interest to Internet entrepreneurs. Essentially I see its goal as helping people establish their epresence or electronic niche.

Preschoolers Learn More also does not have a formal publication schedule. I publish anywhere from 1 to 4 issues a month depending on my time. When I became a mother I became very interested in the topic of early childhood education especially emergent literacy. I have put a lot of time and energy into learning about how young children learn and grow and love to share what I’ve learned with other parents and caregivers.

Word Craft Online also does not have a formal publication schedule. I publish anywhere from 1 to 4 issues a month depending on my time. I share my writing expertise and tips with writers of all ages, experience and interests. I think every writer, whether writing for fun or profit, has something to share and learn from other writers. I learn from my students all the time.

Aneeta: Deanna, as you know, my website is catered for storytellers. What advice would you give storytellers?

Deanna: Open your heart and your mind and your eyes. We are surrounded by a wealth of wonderful, interesting and challenging stories – more stories than we can tell in ten lifetimes.

Aneeta: I have come to the end of the questions I have to ask you. Is there anything you’d like to add, Deanna?

Deanna: Yes, I just want to share the message that I give all my writing students. Writing is not easy, but it can be tremendously rewarding. I think writers have the single most important job there is for without the information, inspiration, and entertainment we share with the world nothing else would matter. One of my peers at the university where I teach despaired that after World War III his family would starve to death in the post-technological world. His point was that there would be no place for literature professors. I replied that I thought the opposite would be true. That the storytellers and knowledge-keepers would become one of the most important elements of that society. You have only to look at older cultures than ours to see this is true. Words are power and that makes us word crafters very powerful people indeed.

Aneeta: Deanna, thank you, once again.

Deanna: Thanks for the opportunity I enjoyed it.


This piece may NOT be freely reprinted. Please contact editor @ howtotellagreatstory.com for reprint rights.

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