Skylar J Wynter
Skylar J Wynter is an aspiring author living in the Perth Hills. Winner of the Katharine Susannah Pritchard Writers Centre Unpublished Writer Fellowship 2020, she writes poetry, short stories, flash fiction and is working on her second book. Skylar occasionally performs her poetry at open mic events around Perth.
Skylar's first book,
Pieces of Humanity,
will be released in October 2020 in acknowledgement of World Mental Health Month.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I would say my quirk is that I never really know ‘who’ is going to be writing when I sit down to write. I write in many different genres and for each one a different personality takes the reins. Skylar, who wrote Pieces of Humanity, has access to very raw emotions and writes from a perspective of not really ‘getting’ the world or feeling connected to it. She is searching for that connection and wants to bring clarity, hope and connectedness to her readers in an effort to find her way back to wholeness.
Where does Skylar get her ideas for her books?
At any given moment, something Skylar reads, sees or dreams, triggers a furious and intense period of writing that maybe twenty minutes or hours. Skylar tends to be intense, narky, blunt and is always questioning subjects from various perspectives. Topics of injustice, social dilemma’s that create separation between groups and conundrums that she needs to make sense of invariably make their way into her stories or poems. Essentially, she is looking for answers which will seed and feed hope, for herself and her readers that no matter what, we are not alone in our individual experiencing of being human.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story, for me, is one that engages me deeply, either because I can relate to what characters are experiencing or because I can’t relate and that then gives me insights or makes me question pre-conceived or inherited beliefs. The human mind is inquisitive and argumentative so any story that engages those instincts and instigates some kind of intellectual or emotional fluctuation is fantastic.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
A lot of what Skylar puts down on paper scares the hell out of me. Her feelings are very intense, not always politically correct and can at first appear obsessively dark. I’ve had moments of wanting to bin whole projects of hers, but when I tentatively began to share some of her pieces with a writing group the feedback was very positive, and the listeners always heard the message within. So, the most surprising thing I learned is that there are many layers to what constitutes any single idea or opinion being right or wrong and it is there, in that place of in-between that the story for each of us lies. I’ve learned to ask questions, be okay with the fact that answers can change at any time and things are rarely, if ever, what they seem. This makes judgement or sticking to one’s opinion about a topic rigidly, null and void. Being open to seeing many perspectives as Skylar does and then believing that there are probably even more perspectives, she hasn’t explored, opens pathways for experiencing life on otherwise unknown levels.
How many books has Skylar written?
So far Skylar has written one book – Pieces of Humanity – but she is currently working on a sequel. I get the feeling that with each piece she writes she is undergoing a metamorphosis and in the second book readers will see her moving towards celebration of the many facets of humanity.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Skylar only writes what is real for her. Each piece is fiction but the emotion that drives the writing is derived from experience. Pieces of Humanity was written in just under a year but because there is never a plan, and she writes pieces as they are triggered by something in her external environment, one can never be sure just how long the process will take.
Do you plan writing sessions, or do you write when the muse strikes?
I do plan writing session in my week, but there are many occasions where Skylar gets a flash of inspiration and everything else has to be put aside until she is done. I don’t get to write every day, and the planned sessions often involve editing work already written or working on Social Media posts or editing work for members of my writing group, but I set the intention to write on my two work-free days of the week.
Do you have advice for novice writers?
From what I have witnessed and from all the writing events/classes/groups I have had the opportunity to be involved in, one truth leaps out at me and that is, all writers write because they must. There is no option for us. We love to write, and we need to write. In saying that the other truth that becomes apparent is that when we decide we are going to ‘get serious’ about our writing, we begin searching for the ‘proper’ way to do it. We are told things like ‘write every day’, or, ‘enter as many competitions as you can’, or, ‘read as much as you can’, and many other sage words of advice. All of which are true and play a part but one has to be careful not to find oneself in the situation that they are so busy reading and going to courses and trying to write to enter competitions that the joy is lost or there is no time left to write that thing that is their burning desire. It’s a balancing act – learn to balance.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
At this point in time, Skylar does not have a published book, but she belongs to a writer’s group and a writing mentor group where she receives excellent constructive feedback on her work. She also performs at open mic events and relies on feedback from audiences to guide future writing. The general feedback is that people enjoy her poetry, that the topics are relevant, they can relate to what she writes and that it moves them deeply.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I enjoy a wide range of different activities. When I am not writing or working or dealing with life I love to bushwalk, garden, paint, create garden sculptures from odd bits and pieces of iron, make jewellery, catch up with girlfriends and of course, read.
Where is your preferred workspace?
I work at the library or my dining table. I have to have a nice view to write it’s just my thing.
Where else can we find Skylar?
Insta – skylarjwynter.darkpoet
Linkedin: Skylar J Wynter