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From a Newtown Literary contributor: Nicole Zelniker

Writer Nicole Zelniker’s work was featured in issue #14 of Newtown Literary. We interviewed her about her writing and her answers are below. Nicole is the author of Mixed (Nasiona Books), a non-fiction book about race and mixed-race families. For more, check out her website.

When you think of Queens, what first comes to mind?

Queens is so big! I live in Long Island City, but I've also spent a lot of time in Astoria, Flushing and Jackson Heights. Each place is so different it's hard to pick just one thing.

How does Queens influence your writing?

I find when I write places, I tend to write about what I know. Not that all of my stories take place in New York or North Carolina or somewhere else I've spent a lot of time, but I'll take little quirks of those places and put them in my stories to make the places seem more real.

What is the last piece of writing you read that made you laugh or cry (or just especially moved you)?

I just finished Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta. No spoilers, so you'll have to read it yourself!

What inspires you?

The people in my life. It's okay if something is cliché if it's true, I think.

What does your writing process/routine look like?

For short stories, my writing process is a mess. Sometimes I'll write for a few hours every day for weeks, and then I won't write at all for a few more weeks.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

I work full time, so that. On weekends, I love going to museums or shows and just taking full advantage of living in New York. I also have a lot of friends and family here, so I've been really lucky to be able to spend more time with them.

What writing project(s) are you currently working on?

More stories, more poems, more journalism.

What should I have asked you that I didn't?

My Hogwarts house. I'm a Gryffindor, by the way.

Thanks, Nicole!

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