Friday, June 28, 2013

Fresh Voice Jamie Righetti!

What is your ultimate writing goal?
Sustainability. I think as a writer you constantly examine the world in terms of stories to be told. But even still, my biggest fear is that one day I'm going to run out of ideas and have nothing to write about. This keeps me reading, pushes me to learn more and in turn, helps me continue writing.

Why do you write?
As a kid, I would pencil my name into my Nancy Drew books and pretend I had written them. Glaring plagiarism aside, I felt there was sense of pride in being an author. The more I read, the more I yearned to create. When I was 12, I stumbled onto my dad's old H.P. Lovecraft books and I was done. I started writing; I haven't looked back since. I think I write in part because I've always felt the pull, but also because I can't turn off my mind. I see my world as a something ready to be described, a story itching to be told, voices waiting to be heard.

Have you worked to achieve your voice or is it just a natural style for you?
Writing has always come so naturally to me so I've never had to consciously craft a voice, but I have learned how to adjust the tone of my writing simply through practice. Although I do believe that great writers have a gift, writing is also something that gets better with persistence. The more you write, the better you become.

Who are your favorite authors and why do you like them?
I'm a huge fan of Russian literature, specifically Dostoyevsky. For me, no other writer has truly mastered such complex, dark, psychologically tormented characters. There are scenes in each of his novels that still haunt me, even when I've read them numerous times. I take my lessons from between his pages and do my best to apply them in my own work.

What most attracts you to the life of a writer?
I think it's twofold: first, the love of books has been with me since I was a child. And I think the more you read, the more you yearn to create. And so you do.
But writing can be a very lonely pursuit. There are times when you stare at the computer screen and reach an impasse. What keeps me coming back are those magical days where your hands can barely keep up with your creativity, when you sit back and know you've just written the best sentence of your life and yearn to write another.

If you couldn't be a writer but knew you were guaranteed success at a different career, what would you choose?
I think writers, much like actors, have a visceral need to crawl into someone else's skin and find out what makes them tick. Before I start to write, I sit down and think about who my characters really are because for me creating a character is becoming that character. So even though a life without writing seems impossible to me, I think acting would be the closest thing to it and something that I might have gravitated towards. Then again, I do have a degree in human evolutionary biology, so who knows?

If you had to describe your writing in one word, what would that word be?
This is such a tough one but 'honest.' I hope that when people read my novel they are able to relate and commiserate with my characters. I hope this story breaks their heart. To me, that's achievable if honesty pervades the work. If you can sense how much I love these characters and how much I poured into each of them, then to me I've achieved something special.

What's the best writing advice you've ever gotten?
I had a writing professor at Columbia who once told me that no matter what I pursued in life, I would always be a writer. There was a beautiful duality in that for me. I think all too often writers are dissuaded from pursuing their passion because of money. But the soul of a writer isn't something that can be easily deleted from the equation. No matter what your day job, a writer will always be a writer.

Jamie Righetti is a writer, journalist and musician from New York City. After graduating from Columbia University in 2009, she spent two years as a freelance journalist with CNN. Jamie is currently completing her first novel, a female adaptation of Cain and Abel set in 1960's New York City.

Follow Jamie on Twitter: @JamieRighetti
To read some of Jamie's work, please visit:

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