Interview with a Writer: Nicole Vane

Updated: Sep 8


Today we have an interview with the winner of our DNA challenge, Nicole Vane! Check out how she got the idea for her story, what her writing process is like, and what she's working on next.



WW: What is your writing process like?


NV: Most of my story ideas come to me almost like a scene from a movie, not fully formed like Harlan Thrombey from Knives Out, unfortunately. It might be a beginning, end, or rarely a middle bit, but it usually gives me somewhere to start. From that point, I sometimes attempt to outline, ball it up, throw it out, and just start writing. As much as I try to plot, I am very much a pantser. The characters run the circus; I just write down their exploits. Once I've gotten quite a bit down, I reread and start editing, especially if the story is beginning to take a different direction than my original thought. I like to edit as I write instead of waiting to do it all at the end (the unedited version of this paragraph would be hilarious) 


WW: How do you make time to write? Any strategies?


NV: Oh, it can be so hard to find time! My toddler is walking now, and my days can get pretty full with him and therapy. I try to write in small chunks, like 10-15 minutes at a time, and write after he goes down for a nap and bed. The big thing is not procrastinating just because I'm home all day. I think of my writing time as small job slots that I have to accomplish with a little flexibility, depending on how my son is doing that day. 


WW: How did you come up with the idea for this story? What was the first spark?


NV: Two real-life DNA events. I knew someone who gained a family member around Thanksgiving thanks to taking one of the Ancestory.com tests where she matched with her half brother and father. I had seen it happen online a handful of times but not from someone I knew, and then we discovered that my stepbrother had a son (now seven months old) that we didn't know existed. Those gave me a glimpse of how it would feel to find out what you thought was true wasn't. I started with what I wanted the test to say and let the story evolve from there.


WW: When did you start writing?


NV: I remember started writing in 6th grade with a handful of stories, but I stopped after high school when I lost my muse and my circle of Harry Potter fanfic writers. I didn't pick up the pen again until my son was in and out of hospitals as an infant two years ago. That was when I started to take writing seriously and more than just a passing hobby. 


WW: What genres do you tend to gravitate towards?