Sunday, December 14, 2008

Author Margaret Fieland Drops by to Visit with Dwight Rounds

Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has been around art and music all her life. Daughter of a painter, she is the mother of three grown sons and an accomplished flute and piccolo player. She is an avid science fiction fan, and selected Robert A. Heinlein's "Farmer in the Sky" for her tenth birthday, now long past. She lives in the suburbs west of Boston, MA with her partner and seven dogs. Her poems, articles and  stories have appeared in journals and anthologies such as  Main Channel Voices, Echolocation, and Twisted Tongue. In spite of making her living as a computer software engineer, she turned to one of her sons to format the initial version of her website, a clear illustration of the computer generation gap. You may visit her website,

So, Margaret, tell us about what you write:

A: I'm a professional Computer Software engineer – BA in mathematics, MS in computer science, and it never even occurred to me to be a writer. That said, I've written poetry as far back as I can remember – somehow that didn't "count" -- but not with publication in mind and not with any level  of dedication. At present, I'm writing nonfiction ( a monthly column for an ezine, FemmeVip – poetry and stories, especially children's stories.

I sort of fell into writing for publication. I'm far from the best organized person going, so though I wrote tons of poetry, I didn't keep it organized in any way. Finally, I wrote a poem I wanted to keep – and wanted to, and did, see published – so I looked around for a way to organize that I could cope with.

Since I'm a computer professional, I used more than one computer – and also I'm paranoid about backup – so I put the online. At first I had them in my Yahoo briefcase. Later I switched to Google documents, which I like much better.

Q: Do you have a favorite thing that you've ever written?
A: I have a couple of poems that hold a special place in my heart. One is "Booze," the poem that got me started getting organized. I also have an unpublished story, "Sherwood," that's making the rounds that I'm very fond of, and my chapter book, "The Ugly Little Boy."

Q:Do you have a favorite character that you write about? If so, who is it, what
makes it your favorite and tell us about the character.

A:My current favorite character is a little girl, Heather. I originally wrote a silly piece about my kids and some of the stuff they'd done – sort of flash fiction/prose poetry, and the characters were Which, Why, and Whether. The focus was on Why. The characters were modeled after my sons, now grown. Then I decided I needed to expand the thing and wanted real names, so the first two ended up as "Mitch" and "Wyatt." I tried to come up with a boy's version of "Whether," but I kept coming back to "Heather." I've written some stories about the characters, and plan to do more, perhaps a chapter book, and, well, Heather took over {grin} and she ended up being the focus of the stories. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with  Heather and her brothers, but she's on my list of things to do in 2009

Q: Almost every writer is inspired by someone else. Does anyone inspire you?
A: Lewis Carroll. My all time favorite book is "Alice in Wonderland," which I reread every exam time when I was in college, as I made it a habit to avoid the library during exams

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