Michelle Adams: Young writer and winner of the 2010 Victor Villaseñor First Sentence Contest

Michelle Adams, our contest winner, was out of the country studying judicial law and film in Japan when the winning sentence was announced last week.  She is back and agreed to a short interview.  Michelle is 20 years old and lives on the southern west coast of California.

TSB:  Michelle, tell us a little about the story:

Michelle:  The story the line comes from is called “Straws.” The basic premise is that Paul, a regular at Flannigan’s Pub, is dragging a drunken Uncle Winn back home when he encounters the leopard on the roof. Terrified, Paul runs for help at the local Sally Eats, a small family-owned diner. Unfortunately, he leaves the unconscious Uncle Winn in the doorway of the cabin. When Paul returns with help, the men have to draw straws to see who will go near the cabin to get him.

TSB:  One of the conditions of submission was that the story is set in a past time.  When does Straws take place?

Michelle:  The time is about 10 years ago.  I didn’t want time to be a major factor in the story.  The story is set in northern Louisiana.  I wanted the story to be about the dilemma of the leopard on the roof and the way that southern men interact with animals.

TSB:    People often ask writers how they come up with ideas.  How did you get the idea for the story?

Michelle:  I call it a random idea.  The story just came to me as an idea to entertain.

TSB:  Graham Greene considered his stories entertainments.  You are certainly following a great tradition. Congratulations, Michelle.  Keep writing!

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