7QT: An Interview with M. R. Zapp

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It’s Friday, and that means Seven Quick Takes with Jennifer over at ConversionDiary!  Go join the linka-dinka-do!

Today I have the pleasure of having someone else write my 7QT interviewing fellow Catholic author M. R. Zapp, who brought us Southern Trio:  Three Short Stories of the South.


It’s a delightful read and only $.99.  Read on and find out more about this up and coming author!


Tell us about your most recent work.  How did the idea come to you?  How long did it take you from start to publication?

 My most recent work – my only published book so far – is a short trio of stories with a southern feel to them.  For some reason my short stories tend to be character centered contemporary stories – literary fiction, I think.  I hate to say that I’m a doom and gloom person, but certainly my shorts tend revolve around people dealing with issues and and struggling to find that silver lining. Your wonderful review (post link?) gives a perfect description of them. Thank you for that!
My pleasure!
The stories were sent out to publishers, but I expect they just weren’t happy enough stories (or good enough for publication) and when I wanted to discover how difficult it was to indie pub I used these three since I loved them so much.  I thought they deserved to see the “light of day.”  That being said, excepting the amount of time where they lay fallow on my pc archive, it took about three months to publication.
Idea, research, editing, design…What was your favorite part of working on this project? What was your least favorite?
My favorite part was, of course, the story creation part.  But what I love about short story writing is that so much of it, at least for me, is a fly by the seat of your pants type of writing.  I let my characters choose how the story is going to go.  Least favorite part was going back and editing, cutting prose that I loved.  Doesn’t every writer hate that though?  I remember reading a quote somewhere that writers want to write, not establish a collection of random beautiful prose pieces.  That’s helped me a lot in my struggle to know when to let something go.
Tell us about how this work came to reach us:  did you go the self-publishing route or did you contract with a publisher?  What was that like?
As mentioned, I went the indie pub route.  It was surprisingly easy through Amazon Kindle.  After I had downloaded and read the manual that goes with it (typical me did after the fact), I realized I could have saved myself a lot of time and trouble with the formatting.  But it was so much fun coming up with the cover.  Nevertheless, in the future I might have my covers designed, just because I find a nice cover makes such a huge difference in my own personal purchasing experience.
What other things in your life do you juggle in order to keep at your writing?  How’s that working out for you?
Well, I’m a mom first and it keeps me busy during the day.  My writing and editing has to come second to that, but I do make it a point to write or work on something having to do with writing everyday (no, facebook does not count! :P).  Since I have multiple works in progress, a vlog, a magazine, and my articles and short fiction going all at once, I wouldn’t say my progress is very fast.  Very snail’s pace.  I’m lucky if I get in 3,000 words in one of the novels in a given week. 
Setting, characters, plot, mood, tone… What would you describe as your greatest strength as a writer?
Tough question!  Just like with our writing, I find it difficult to judge myself on something like that because I’m too close.  Hm… strengths…I have a lot of weaknesses! lol  Can I say my strength is coming up with story scenarios?  That’s the easiest thing for me to do.  For example, I’m an avid regency fan, so I often have regency ideas that come up like, what if a Catholic gentleman was shunned out of society for some outrageous faux pas, rusticates and connects back up with a girl from his childhood…but then she gives him a rejection because he doesn’t take his faith seriously enough?  Sounds good, right?  But when it comes to all the plot turns, action stuff…that’s my weakness!
Conversely, if you could change one thing about your writing style, what would it be and why?
Aw, just one?  There’s my heavy tone (despite the fact that I’m a happy person), my stoic emotional detachment (not very empathic), my 19th c. sentence structure – the list could go on!  But since you are narrowing me down to just one I guess I would have to say I wish I had my own voice in my novel writing.  I definitely feel it more in my short stories, but discovering my own unique, original writing style is a struggle for me.  My plan is just to keep writing and expect that the more I write, the better I will become at writing.
Lastly, where can we find your work, a. k. a. give you our hard earned cash? 
Southern Trio is available on Amazon kindle for the low, low price of $.99.  if you happen to pick up a copy, I sure would appreciate a review!
Thank you for your time and for your lovely book!

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