Interview with Skywalker Payne

GE DIGITAL CAMERA1.  First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have lived and traveled throughout many of the major cities of the USA. I began my work as a nurse just a little over six years ago working in the Navajo nation and also worked in the Hopi and Navajo Indian nation before moving here to work in Homer, Alaska, the “cosmic hamlet by the sea. I am a professional oral storyteller and a practicing Buddhist. My husband, Brian Payne, draws Zinc Comics.
2. Just by reading your about page, I get a sense that you’ve done it all (or almost) and seen it all. Do you think that life experience, travel, and all sorts of adventures are important when it comes to writing?
Christian, I guess from your youthful perspective, my life may seem as if I’ve “done it all” but from mine there’s so much I would still like to do – travel to Africa and Asia, spend my days writing and storytelling without worry about paying bills, and to live in a world at peace. But to answer your question, I think imagination, time, and development of craft are what are most important when it comes to writing. While travel and adventures can contribute subject matter for writing, they are not essential. Think of Emily Dickinson, who never left home.
3. What inspires you? 
It’s difficult to answer this question because I get ideas all of the time, and most of them remain in my idea file. But, most are based in something I have seen or experienced or feel. For instance, my Kindle Single, Illimitable Beauty, developed from a story idea that came to me many years ago when I was attempting to play an electric keyboard and wrote a couple of songs. The original idea for what became my e-book, The Ultimate Wonder, World Stories Illuminating Death, was my work with a hospice organization and seeking stories to tell to engage the community in hospice. Now, living across the street with a beach view, I’m writing haikus based on photos of waves. And this is an interesting project, because often the photos evoke images and ideas that are of an internal or spiritual nature.
4. When did you begin to consider yourself a writer?
I began considering myself a writer when I was in third grade and wrote and illustrated my first crude construction paper book. Thus, writing has been part of who I am all of my life, as I stepped in and out of other art forms and jobs. But, recently I acknowledged that above all else, I am a writer.
5. Would you say writing is a craft or an art?
Writing is both craft and art as all art forms are. The craft part is the tools we use – language, grammar, sentence structure, poetic styles, plot structure, etc. The art is our imagination. The writers who are remembered are those who combine the best of both.
6. What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Just keep writing and don’t worry about anything else.
7. What do you think aspiring writers should focus on?
Aspiring writers should focus on craft – learning as much as they can, depending on their personality and resources, either through classes, workshops, online resources or just reading. Secondly, write as much as possible and seek good feedback from writers and readers they respect.
8. Quality or quantity?
I believe quality is the most important issue. As there are many people who can write a lot – but what is remembered are the great works.
I’d like to end by thanking you for introducing me to your followers. My work can be seen at my website  and my blog  And my e-book, The Ultimate Wonder, World Stories Illuminating Death, is available on all e-book retailers. My Kindle Single, Illimitable Beauty, of course is available on Amazon.
I’d like to announce a special offer for those of you wish to be interviewed (or have me review one of your books): if you contribute at least $50 to my campaign, besides any perk you might select, you’ll also be entitled to an interview/review.
This offer ends Monday morning.
You can purchase it here

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