Winning Short Story: MR “NAUGHTY” BECOMES MR “NICE” by Laura Anne Ewald

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

MR  “NAUGHTY” BECOMES MR  “NICE” by Laura Anne Ewald – http://www.LauraAnneEwald.com

Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know writer Laura Anne Ewald

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

While on the surface “Mr. Naughty Becomes Mr. Nice” is about a kid in school—who appears to be the protagonist—the last paragraph really makes this Mr. Laughty’s story, doesn’t it? So it’s really about a teacher who acts uptight and strict all the time, but we learn he has a very soft spot inside.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

This started as a children’s story about a “book nerd” kid—based on an experience I once had back in seventh grade when, yes, I made the mistake of reading Lad: A Dog on a Friday afternoon during reading hour in Mr. Swanson’s Social Studies class. The story is looking more and more like a romance the more I think about it, though. I may leave it in the children’s age group, but I think kids can learn a lot about human nature, nurturing, and love by watching the way grownups behave toward one another.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Never assume…

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

As someone who has over 100 DVDs and VHS tapes, this is a tough one, but I’m betting The Sound of Music is still up there for number of times watched. It’s a classic musical romance, which wraps my two favorite genres up into one satisfying package.

5. How long have you been working on this story?

I wrote this particular story in one afternoon almost a year ago. Since then, I’ve been wrestling with turning it into a book.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Probably Anne McCaffrey’s The Lady. (This is another grownup romance, much of it told through a child’s point of view.) I have a ton of “favorite” books, but I’ve been reading this one at least once a year since it was published back in the late ’80s.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I have always written for grownups, and wanted to try my hand at writing for a young audience.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Sue Coleman, Canadian Artist and Author. She does absolutely stunning watercolor paintings, which she calls “Interpretive” Northwest Coast First Nations images, which juxtapose Northwest Coast Native formline designs with natural painting. I’ve collected several prints of her work over the years, and they hang in my dining room. I’m now living in the Deep South, but looking at Ms. Coleman’s work can take me back to the cool, soggy green of the Pacific Northwest, where I lived for thirty years.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Puppets and Puppet Theater! I love puppetry and the story-telling that can be done with the art.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

I was very much interested in hearing my work read. I’ve done a lot of work in theater—both real-life and puppetry—and I know how terrific it feels to hear someone else interpretively read what I have written.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Never stop writing, and never let anyone tell you it’s just a hobby. If you’re a writer—published or not—it’s in your heart and soul. Don’t let anyone diminish the adventure or the pleasure you experience putting your imagination into the written word.

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