A nurse writer is naturally close to my heart. Thus, I’m always happy to have a chat with Lorna Pominville whenever we meet at gatherings of Lambton Writers’ Association or elsewhere.
Writer of non-fiction, poetry, short stories and children’s stories, perhaps she’ll someday entertain us with her playwriting skills.
L: I really don’t think of myself as a writer per se at all. I just tell stories. Of course, during university years I had many papers to write but most were technical since I was in a science program. However, a few courses were in the arts program and I had fun trying to make the papers humorous as well as interesting. Once, for a political science assignment I wrote my paper as a play. The professor loved it and wanted me to have it published.
The first real writing I did was for a friend who published an on-line magazine. I wrote travel articles for her. I was actually paid too. That gave me the “bug.”
G: How do your previous work and/or life experiences influence your writing?
L: I am a nurse and worked in several aspects of nursing – Bedside, Public Health, Community, Occupational, Management and Cruise Ships. Many occurrences over those years would make great stories. My ten years on cruise ships provided fodder for a book of short stories.
G: What are the genres in which you write? Do you have a preferred one?
L: I write mainly non-fiction because I find it easier to write about something I know. Even the children’s stories I write are mainly based on something I have seen happen, although they are classed as fiction.
I write short stories but would love to be able to write a novel. I am just unable to keep the story going, it’s over and done after a couple of pages!
I also write a bit of poetry.
I really don’t have a preferred genre, I just write what and when my muse tells me.
G: Are you working on a project currently?
L: At present I am reworking my children’s stories and editing some of my poetry. I started a novel about a year ago but got bogged down. I think that in the fall I will get at it again.
G: Do you have a favourite location for writing?
L: I have no particular place that I like to do my writing. However, I don’t like interruptions and I like to have music playing. I seem to do a lot of it at my kitchen table, even though I have an office.
I take notes everywhere, though. I always carry a notepad in my purse and have a pad beside my bed. I often wake up in the night with an idea and if I don’t write it down at the time I forget it by morning.
G: What kinds of books do you read?
L: I read mainly novels but I like non-fiction as well. I especially like spy stories and whodunits. In general though, I will read almost anything.
G: Do you wish to share anything about your personal life?
L: Not really. I don’t think that I am a particularly interesting person
G: To the contrary, Lorna. Perhaps a private one as are most writers?
Have you participated in writing contests?
L: Yes. I have entered poems and children’s stories as well as short stories from time to time, and in 2012, at the Shining Stars Gala in London, ON, my poem was selected to be read at the event.
G: What works have you published to date?
L: I self published my book of short stories titled: Alpha! Alpha! Alpha! Tales of a Cruise Ship Nurse in November, 2011. It has done fairly well and a few copies are still available at the Book Keeper as well as directly from me. I have had several poems in the Halcyon Magazine over the last two years and a couple in Twisted Endings. As well, two of my short stories are included in the anthology that Writers in Transition (WIT) published in October 2013 in honour of Sarnia’s 2014 Centennial.
G: What are your thoughts on traditional vs indie publishing?
L: I think it depends on whether you have a lot of patience or not. Traditional publishing offers prestige but it is a very lengthy and difficult route. Indie publishing can be expensive but may offer a promotional aspect which might be appealing to some. I went the self-publishing route – negotiated a price with a local printer and provided him the script, photos, etc on a memory stick. I had someone design the cover and obtained the ISBN number myself and did my own promoting. The latter is a lot of work. I think it boils down to preference.
G: Anything else you wish to elaborate on?
L: For those who are interested in writing, I suggest that you attend a writing group, of which there are several in the Sarnia area. Classes in creative writing are offered on-line through Lambton College as well. Also, expose yourself to readings, book launches, etc. In other words, hob nob with other writers and learn what is available.
I’ve always been curious about life behind the scenes on a cruise ship, and I really enjoyed reading Alpha! Alpha! Alpha! Tales of a Cruise Ship Nurse.