Stacey Guill

Ms. Guill writes of our past: Idaho’s history. Her work includes:

  • The House in the Cañon: Mary Hallock Foote and A Vision of Home in the West
  • Numerous articles in the scholarly journal, “The Hemingway Reader”
  • Contributed a chapter to Ernest Hemingway in Context (Literature in Context)

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I write best at my office at my desk. This is where I can get into my “work/concentration mode.”  I like to start early (by 8 a.m.) and stop around 2 or 3 p.m.

Do you have any patterns or rituals associated with your writing time?

I try to focus on one project at a time which takes discipline because I usually have two or three going at once. I like the Pomodoro Technique—it is a very effective time management approach that seems to work for me.

What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?

This usually happens in the afternoon. I find the best thing to do is print out what I have done to that point, read it over, and then put it away and go do something active.

The eternal question: Are you a “pantser”, a “plotter”, or something else entirely?

I would have to say neither. I find something I am very curious about and that I want to share and then go about researching and writing about it.

What’s the last book you read that made you go “wow!”?

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.  A wonderful memoir of his days in Paris as a young writer.

What book or author do you often find yourself recommending and why?

In my opinion, Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest American writers of the 20th Century. I would recommend reading The Sun Also Rises or A Farewell to Arms.

What’s on your To Be Read pile?

I have been reading some articles written by Jerry Seinfeld on how he has been successful in his craft.

What author, past or present, would you wish to have a long conversation with?

Mark Twain

What’s the first book you can remember reading on your own?

I loved to read biographies.

What books and/or authors have most influenced you as an author?

I am most influenced by a renowned Hemingway scholar Susan Beegel who once said of Ernest Hemingway: “He was an author who wrote with the clarity of a trout stream and the smash of a 6.5 Mannlicher.”

This concept inspires me to express myself simply but with a deep knowledge of my subject. 

What do you most enjoy about being a writer?

I feel like when I am writing I am my best self in terms of self-awareness, honesty, clarity, and dedication to what I do best.

What do you least enjoy about being a writer?

Dealing with criticism and rejection.

What would you tell a new writer?

Keep writing! And read as many of the works of authors you admire as you can.

What might people be surprised to know about you?

I didn’t start my graduate studies until I was in my 50s, and later moved to Pennsylvania to earn my PhD in Literature.

Thanks to author Stacey Guill for participating in our Idaho Author Interview series. If you’re interested, or would like to recommend someone, please contact the IWU website editor.

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