Let’s get the logistics out of the way – what is your name, where are you from and what is the title of your short story in the upcoming Running Wild Press Anthology?
I’m Jasmine Wade. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and my story is titled “Blurred Lines.”
What started you on the path to writing?
I started writing when I was a kid. I was always making up stories in my head to keep myself occupied. At some point, I decided to write these stories down. I wrote my first fully fleshed out story in the 8th grade. I think fiction has always been an escape for me, a way to handle stress. Now, of course, it’s an integral part of my career.
How did you come up with the title of your short story? Where did the idea come from?
The title of my story comes from a line in the story itself where my character says she knows a hallucination is a hallucination because it is just a little blurry around the edges. I wrote the story in part because so often our exposure to people with severe mental illness is through crime shows or, perhaps worse, horror movies. This only hurts people with mental illness and deepens the stigma. I wanted to show a view of mental illness that lots of people may not be aware of: the person who is dealing with it on a daily basis without everyone knowing.
If you could give a quick log line for your story in Running Wild Press Anthology – what would it be?
High-functioning person with schizoaffective disorder trying to live her best life
What has been one of the most rewarding experiences of your writing career? One of the biggest challenges?
One of the most rewarding experiences of my writing career happened recently when someone who read “Blurred Lines” told me that they wanted to share it with someone they knew because they thought it would help them better understand a loved one who has mental illness. One of the biggest challenges is prioritizing my writing. When I’m in it, I love it and it’s one of the best things in my life. But with everything else going on (in my life and in the world), sometimes it can be hard to find the space and mindset I need to really write.
If someone was new to your work, what work should they start with? Why? OR Do you have a preferred medium or genre that you like to write in? Short Story, blogs, flash fiction, novel writing, freelance writing? Is your writing comedic, dramatic, thriller etc.
If someone was new to my writing, I would recommend starting with “Shadow of Death,” a short story that appeared in Drunken Boat. It’s a kind of Afrofuturism, which is the direction my writing is taking at the moment. Most of my published work is in the form of short stories, and I am working on a novel. I like short stories. They are contained, fun, and satisfying to write. The novel is harder, more unruly, but I do enjoy that process as well.
What are you reading right now?
I am currently finishing up the Broken Earth trilogy by NK Jemisin.
What is your writing process – are you a pantser or a plotter?
I am a plotter. I don’t start writing until I can at least see whole scenes and understand the core of the story as much as I can. That said, sometimes when I’m writing, things come up and sometimes I find that the core of the story is different than what I originally thought. I follow the story where it takes me. So, I guess I would say I’m a flexible plotter.
What are you working on next and what is the best way for people to connect with you?
I am working on a novel that is historical fantasy in addition to a couple short stories that will hopefully come out later this year. The best way for people to connect with me is through Facebook or Instagram.
More About Jasmine Wade
Jasmine Wade is obsessed with the ridiculous, and oftentimes traumatic, trials of growing up. Her short stories have appeared in Drunken Boat, TAYO Literary Magazine, Lunch Ticket, The Copperfield Review and others. Her work is also included or forthcoming in the anthologies Little Letters on the Skin and Running Wild Anthology of Stories, Volume 2. She is an alumna of VONA/Voices and Mills College’s MFA program. She has won the 2016 Edward P. Jones Short Story Contest and was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Founding Members Award for College Writers and the Tu Books New Visions Award. When she’s not writing, she’s usually buying or reading more used books than she has space. She is currently a PhD student in Cultural Studies at the University of California, Davis.