Broken Asides with Stef Nunez


When did you first feel like a writer?

I’ve been making up silly stories since I was a kid, but I really felt like a writer when I joined the newspaper staff my junior year of high school. I had a very inspiring teacher and it opened this gateway to my creativity that I’m forever blessed for.

What’s the most interesting thing that has inspired your writing and what was the result?

Honestly, Fanfics. I had a troubled childhood and I would bury myself in books to cope. The idea that I could twist a story I love and insert myself into that universe was cathartic.

Paint us a picture: what does your writing process look like? Do you write in coffee shops at night or only on an old type-writer?

It’s funny, I’ve always wanted an old typewriter and convinced myself that if I had one it would be the key to me cranking out a bestselling banger. For now, though, my writing process is messy. If I’m inspired by something I heard at work, or something I saw while running errands I’ll make a quick voice memo in my phone so I don’t forget. If I can’t find my phone immediately, I’ll pull out a receipt or random scrap paper and jot it down. Sitting down to write is mostly me piecing all of those random bits together, re-listening to that song I heard in a passing car. Whatever it takes to bring me back to that place where my imagination woke up. They all go into the notes app on my Mac, likely never to be seen by the public. But it’s still mine and I kind of love it all.

Describe your ideal reader: who would your work speak to?

I think my work speaks to neurodivergent people and people who like the dark.

Who’s an author you’ve changed your mind about and why?

J.K. Rowling. Like a lot of people my age, Harry Potter was a big piece of my childhood. That was one of the first, and longest, fanfics I wrote growing up. As an editor, I don’t believe in separating the artist from the art and only support what I believe is loving and inclusive. That has to apply here.

If you could interview any other writer/artist, who would it be and why?

Stephen King, and please don’t judge me as cliche! It’s true I am a horror nerd, but what I want to hear straight from his mouth is where he goes when he’s world building. The intricate way he details his characters, even side characters, has always left me in awe.

What motivates you to keep writing?

I just love it. Even though I don’t submit much to be published, I feel like I’d explode if I didn’t let go of what I had to say in some capacity.

How do you deal with writer’s block or being overwhelmed by the writing process?

I talk to my team at Sage Cigarettes Magazine! They remind me that it’s okay to have an unproductive moment but never let me give up on myself.

Where would you like to see yourself in a decade? A creative writing teacher? As a best-seller?

In 10 years I hope I have at least a handful of chapbooks under my belt and maybe a novel. With all my heart I hope I’m still an EIC and that I can still give other writers a place to call home.

What has your work taught you about yourself?

My work has taught me that I’m resilient. It’s not about falling down, it’s about making sure you get back up and keep going.

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