Meet the Writer: Nikki Stern

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I want to thank Nikki for taking the time to answer my questions! You can read more about her on her website, and you can contact her on Twitter or Facebook!

What kinds of writing do you do? What kinds of writing do you wish you did more of?
I’ve generally written non-fiction for the past dozen years or so. I’ve authored two books: Because I Say So: Moral Authority’s Dangerous Appeal and Hope in Small Doses (both are still available in ebook form on Amazon; the latter may also be available in print). Essays I’ve written have landed in NY Times, USA Today, CBS Online, Humanist Press, and elsewhere. Recently I’ve gravitated to fiction. I began by writing short stories a couple of years ago and have amassed enough for a collection. Many have already been published but seeing them all together will be fun. I am so ready for fiction. More fun.

In what ways has academia shaped your writing?
I’m a curious person and a fairly disciplined one. Academia has addressed both without restricting either. learning within a structured environment has helped me to practice the craft associated with writing. My curiosity enlivens my writing because I’m always looking for new subjects, new words, original phrases to describe a sunset or a friendship and original approaches to storytelling.

In what ways has life outside academia shaped your writing?
Life is life. Larger and more diverse than academia with its own lessons to offer.

What was the first piece of writing you wrote that you remember being happy with?
Back in the days when I was a working musician, I wrote a series of lyrics for a country song.

What happens when you’re not happy with your writing?
Oh-ho, you don’t want to know! Seriously, I sulk for about a minute. Then I either take apart what I’ve written and rework it or I put all my ideas in a folder and start something new. that’s the beauty of focusing on short stories for now; there’s always a new tale to tell.

How do your friends and family respond to your writing?
They are incredibly supportive, for which I am eternally grateful.

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About Grab the Lapels

I'm a graduate of the MFA fiction writing program at the University of Notre Dame. I also have a MA and BS from Central Michigan University. I teach composition, creative writing, and literature, which has inspired me to follow along with trends in teaching, publishing, and reviewing.

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