J. Verostka

Recollection of Merit, fiction, Issue 42, March 15, 2018

J. Verostka was born in the Mid-west and grew up a little bit of everywhere, even some time overseas but mostly on the West Coast. She attended college in Richmond, Virginia, stayed,  married, pursued a career as a tapestry weaver and set that aside to mother full time. Somewhere along the way, mothering led to writing and now she does both. She still owns two looms and four spinning wheels - along with thousands of books - but her dearest things are her husband, her daughter and sometimes her cats.  


November 6, somewhere mid-20th-century.

 When did you start writing?

As the oldest of four siblings -- and designated entertainer/babysitter -- in a household which moved almost constantly, storytelling was a large part of my life. When I wasn't creating adventures with whatever happened to be at hand for the little ones, I was alleviating my own boredom with a pretty fantastic stream of imaginary worlds in which I was some kind of hero. I never thought of it as a talent though, it was more like a survival skill. I moved on (skip a couple of decades here) and then, when I had a child of my own, I finally wrote a story -- for her. And found that the storyteller in me was still there. Waiting. And she'd been taking notes.  

When and what and where did you first get published?  

Recollection Of Merit. NewMyths.

What themes do you like to write about?

I don't choose to start from themes and yet, everything I've written seems to ultimately revolve around that thing that gives - or comes to give - the protagonist's life its purpose.     

What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work?                

I cut my teeth on traditional fairy tales and myths; those are the bedrock of my imagination. There are other influences. I hit my teens just as a cultural landslide of fantasy hit the bookshelves and classic sf was sitting around in heaps in second-hand book stores. The truth is, I'll read anything. Dictionaries. Reader's Digest.  History and art history and "how people lived" books. Since the story I wrote for my daughter turned out to be a YA, I am researching that market with unbridled enthusiasm.  But I always go back to stories with ancient bones underneath, however modern the clothes I may dress them in.

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