It’s release week! From Now On: The Last Words anthology will be unleashed on the world this Saturday, June 10th! Woo! Still more interviews to enjoy.
Confused? This anthology is a set of awesome dystopian stories all taking place in different worlds and characters. You can preorder the anthology here and it will arrive on your Kindle June 10th! All proceeds go to help JDRF and kids with diabetes. Check out the interviews from last week too!
Please welcome Nealy Gihan to the blog today!
How did you become a writer? Any people, books, or movies inspire you to fulfill your dream?

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I am the daughter of a communications exec and reading specialist. Reading and writing have always been part of life. But I knew I was going to be a writer after meeting Anne Shirley in “Anne of Green Gables” and Jo March in “Little Women.”

How did you become involved in The Last Words anthology?

The amazing Katy Webb was my roommate at Utopia Con last summer, when she first mentioned the project. I was game from Day 1.

What is your story about? How did you come up with this idea?

My story is about Hope, a seventeen-year-old who is about to get married and move away from her village to live in the big city. On the day of her bridal shower, and a stranger shows up and has her questioning her future. This story is inspired by John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The world of “Something Old” is one without religion and race.

What do you feel draws people to reading dystopian stories?

I think it’s that there’s always hope even in the darkest, bleakest worlds.

If you could choose any book world to live in for one week, which would you choose and why?

This is tricky. The worlds of my favorite books are pretty bad until the hero or heroine has made it better. But has a kid, I always wanted to be friends with the brother and sister in “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.” I’d still do anything to be locked up in a museum for a week.

What else are you working on? Any hints?

So, I’d never written dystopian before. As I started plotting and creating this world, I fell in love and had trouble condensing to just this short story. I will be writing more of Hope’s story. In the meantime, however, I am working on nonfiction: On the Verge of Spinsterhood. It’s the good, bad, and funny stories of my single life.

Are you a plotter or a panster? Or a hybrid of the two?

I am a reformed pantser. All of my life I’ve been a pantser or hybrid, and it’s taken me forever to write. This past summer, I started plotting, and I’ve really seen a difference in my writing.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Is there life outside of writing? Haha. I stay busy. I read, work as a marketing and communications specialist for a nonprofit, run my own copyediting/copywriting business, am active in my church, dream of getting back into aerial arts, and spend time with friends.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Write, write, and write! Write all of the words—the good, the bad, the horrible. And eventually, you will have gems.


Nealy Gihan’s writing career began with The Man Who Fell in Love With Kimberly, a three-page story loosely based on a comic book she’d read and her best friend’s crush. She may have only been in third grade when she wrote it, but Nealy gained a following even at the middle school with her story and has continued to write ever since. She holds a degree in journalism from Hampton University and a master’s in literary writing from DePaul University. Professionally, she has published several articles in the Lincoln Journal Star and The Virginian-Pilot newspapers. She’s received awards for journalism, screenwriting, and short fiction. Nealy is the author of “Drive” in the anthology Perception, a short story collection titled Shorts of Fiction, and “Something Old” in the From Now On anthology. When she’s not writing, Nealy can be found at home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, running her business Purple Inked or training to one day join the circus.

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