A Writer’s Habits: Angela Allan

What type of writing do you do?
I write silly poems, and limericks. I really like rhyming. I also write short stories, and song lyrics, and nonsense.

Where is your favorite place to write?
I’m always inspired to write in airports. There are always interesting characters in airports, a whole crazy conglomeration of people who are trying to get to this place or that. Most of them are willing to talk to you since they’ve got nothing better to do. I meet the quirkiest people in airports, and then I turn them into characters for stories.

What’s the first thing you wrote that you can remember?
I wrote a poem called “Ow, said the Cow.” It was about a cow who gets abused by all these other farm animals and then gets his revenge. It had a very dark sense of humor to it. I think I was five.

How early did you begin writing?
I was a wee little thing. Kindergarten, the age of ideas. I wrote lots of story books that I illustrated and bound with staples or ribbons. I tried very hard to make my books look professional, despite my limited fine motor skills. I also wrote plays, which I would act out with my friends. I think elementary school was my most prolific period.

What’s your favorite thing that you have written?
There once was a young Mrs. Chow
Who gave birth to a fully-grown cow
She said, “I don’t mind
That it’s not of my kind
But who does the breastfeeding now?”

What’s the best thing you’ve read recently?
1984. The rats that are about to eat out Winston’s cheeks! Terrifying.

What writers have influenced you?
Ogden Nash, Roald Dahl, Karen Tei Yamashita and Dr. Seuss.

When you start writing, do you start with a complete story in mind or do you pursue an idea and see where it takes you?
I never start with a complete story in mind. I just follow a yellow brick road and see what happens.

How do you know when you’ve reached the end of a piece?
When I would rather get thrown into a cauldron of newt slime than keep working on it.

How much do you consider the reader when you write?
Bah. Readers schmeaders.

What has your favorite writing class at Wes been?
Techniques of Fiction with Douglas Martin. Everyone was really laid-back and class felt like a party.

Are you writing a thesis? What is it about?
Yes, I am writing a thesis. It’s about how people get revenge in subtle ways.

Angela Allan is a senior English major. A Writer’s Habits is a series of interviews with student writers on campus.

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