Lenox Grayson is a fantastic up and coming writer! She is the winner of the spring flash fiction contest, as she has a lot of talent and passion for what she does. Lenox talks about her writing journey, her style and process of writing, and she shares some great advice for fellow young writers. I hope you enjoy!
Could you introduce yourself?
Hello there! My pen name is Lenox Grayson, and I’m an 18 year old writer from Michigan. I’ve always been writing stories since I was a kid, and became a passion that I decided to pursue as a hobby. I’m a Taurus and my favorite hobby other than writing is playing video games.
How long have you been writing?
I distinctly remember in 2nd grade, our English teacher had these cute little books you could write in. While my artistic skills never developed past stick figures, I fell in love with creating characters and stories all within my own imagination. I remember going on the family computer, and opening up a Word document, and just start writing away. I’d fill journals, the notes app on my phone, my school Macbook… it became a part of me. A small little voice that demanded to be heard.
If you could talk to any living writer, who would it be?
Oh, this one is great. I would love to meet Stephen King. I’ve been to his house in Maine, and I’m a big fan of his horror books. His descriptions are masterfully written, especially in the horror universe. My most favorite work of his would be It. I feel he would have wisdom to share with me, or inspire me to do better.
What are some stories that have influenced you?
My first book series was The Magic Treehouse, which began my love for reading. Influence-wise would most likely be Percy Jackson and The Olympians. I loved Rick Riordan’s style and found myself wanting to create my own fantastical world of monsters and men. His books made me want to be an author too, and write something entirely my own.
What are you currently working on?
My mind is like a ping-pong machine, and I have ideas bouncing around endlessly. My main project has been a fantasy novel. It deals with magic and spirits and monsters, with a dark tone yet lightened with hopefulness. I put the project on hold as I may or may not have plummeted back into my dystopian roots. Perhaps influenced by the current events in America, I feel a calling to write about taking down governments and starting rebellions.
What is your process for worldbuilding?
I focus on terrain first, develop the biome and mold a civilization based on that. For instance, a dry desert may have people with clothing that protects sand from getting in your eyes. I like to start from the bottom and go up, create characters based on where they were born. A character who grew up in a village on a beach may be tan from the sun and wear lighter clothing.
What are some unique features about your story?
My characters are all very diverse with in-depth backgrounds. I love creating characters, and having them influenced by past events which may impact future decisions. I tend to write with a darker tone and I’m not afraid to hold back when writing something that matters to me.
What is your favorite part of writing fantasy?
I love the variety of character options. There are so many fantasy races to choose from, and go from there. Are they a bard, a mage, a knight? It’s so much fun to play around with who your characters are and what they allow to define themselves.
What are your writing goals?
To complete another story better than my last. I have a book on Wattpad which was written for the April Nanowrimo bootcamp. It’s not my proudest work and I feel I can do so much better with harder work and thought. My goal as a writer is to just keep creating and sharing my stories. I would hate to have my characters locked inside my head with no one to share them with.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Find your inspiration and let it ignite your flame. Whether it be nature, media or real-life experiences, take whatever gives you passion and turn it into art. I wrestle a lot with self-doubt, but the most important advice I can give is to stay inspired. Don’t let that spark die. If you have an idea, you hold onto it and build it into something that makes you proud. Share your work. Reach out. The writing community is a very warm and welcoming place to be, and I am so happy to be a part of it.
Anything else to add?
Follow your passions. Never be afraid to seek out what makes you feel alive. That dopamine that floods your system when you think of a new story idea, you embrace that and let it engulf you. Writers are amazing, beautiful people. We can create entire worlds with nothing but an imagination. Let that inner-child loose. Be relentless. Words hold so much power. Words can change minds, change hearts, and maybe even change the world. Never forget that power. Never forget that your writing has a purpose. Keep writing, my fellow friends.
Follow Lenox on Instagram: @the_lost_narnian