C. Cimmone is a North American writer specializing in short fiction and narrative nonfiction. Her prose was featured in The Penmen Review and recognized as the Judge’s Choice in Heart and Mind Zine literary magazine. Print publications showcasing her narrative nonfiction include the 2015 Story Shelter anthology and Jokes Review inaugural issue, both currently available on Amazon.
Upcoming publications include Embodied Effigies literary magazine and Belle Reve Literary Journal.
Cimmone’s most recent chapbook publication, “When I Was Alive,” was released in August 2016 via Underground Voices and is available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Her poetry chapbook, “Midnight Schizophrenia,” is currently seeking publication rights.
What inspires you to write?
Because most of my stories are rooted in the truth of my childhood, my inspiration to write comes from the unrelenting need to "get it out." We all have thousands of interesting stories, which usually fade away with time and age, and my goal is to extract these meaningful experiences from my mind and put them out into the universe for others to read. I love to tell stories – whether it be by keystroke or voice – similar to someone who enjoys running or cooking.
Tell us about your writing process.
I recently explained my process to a friend and his reaction was unforgettable. He was truly amazed and intrigued and I found some humor in that, as to me, the process is so elementary – mostly because it is how I have always done things. Basically, I will throw around a few topics in my mind for a week or so. I am a list person (with a purse filled with scribbles on bits of paper and sticky notes) and tend to jot a few ideas down. I let the story call to me. In a few days, one of the stories will really speak to me and I will think more about the connections I want to make. Most of my stories connect a significant physical event with a psychological awakening so this connection is critical. Once I make the connection (which may take 20 minutes…or three YEARS as I recently experienced), I write the story in my head – I place smells, light, voices, and even wind in every place, much like a movie production. Once the story is written in mind, I find the time to sit down and write the story. I typically write late in the evening hours and am able to write the entire story in one sitting – about 1-3 hours. Once the story is "out" I read through it and call it a night. The next day, I will take a fresh look and make minimal edits. I have really lucked out with not requiring drastic edits, so I am able to move on to the next story.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My main character is usually myself (as a child or young adult) and I will walk through a "scene" in my mind. I may close my eyes or mumble things I see or smell as I walk through the scene I am writing about. If I struggle with a transition in a story, I may do this as I am doing other things in my day to day life. I try to step back and not place too much stress on a difficult paragraph or transition I am trying to make. Easier said than done – and a few times I have become quite concerned that I may not be able to come out of the dilemma, but I always surprise myself and make that AHA moment quite phenomenal.
Who are your favorite authors?
I am a classics gal and really enjoy Mark Twain, Harper Lee and Pearl S. Buck. I also love John Dunne and have been known to cite "The Flea" in conversation.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I began submitting my short stories to literary journals, I was quite intimidated. I thought "no one is ever going to publish my stories about dirt and frogs and my father…" But they did, and as I received acceptance of one story, I was putting another story out there. Eventually, I honed in on multiple chapbook publications several authors listed in their bios on the lit journals we were both published in. I researched chapbooks and realized this was a great vehicle to get my story collections out in to the public. I put one together and went on the mad hunt for independent publishers who accepted chapbook submissions for short fiction. I only accepted the chapbook to three, possibly four, publishing houses and within several weeks, I received an acceptance with Underground Voices.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
For a lot of people, like myself, we love the paper publication, and as things migrate more to electronic, there is a little piece of your heart that sighs. Electronic is easily accessible and affordable and I appreciate that.
What genres do you write?
fiction, narrative non-fiction, humor, short story, short fiction
What formats are your books in?
Author’s Social Media Links
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.