What We Talk About When We Talk About Writers: An Interview With MFA Student Sadie Hickman

Welcome to another weekly installment of  WWTA. Over the course of the semester, I’m going to be interviewing the writers who make up the first class of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. This week I corresponded with Sadie Hickman over email.

Sadie is a Southern Minnesota native. As a kid she dreamed of being an FBI agent and an astronaut(She even attended Space Camp).She received her Batchelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Waldorf College, in Forest City, Iowa. Sadie suffers from phobia of dark, wide open spaces.  She prefers Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over Shakespeare.

What drew you to the MFA program?

After a swift kick in the reality, I figured out that being a gas station attendent was not what I want to do for the rest of my life. Rather than let my undergrad go to waste, I applied to St. Rose for the English MA program. Even after starting classes, there was still an urge to look for something that was a little more fitting to what I desired out of life. Luckily, Dr. Ungar tentatively announced the birth of the MFA program, and I was on board immediately.

What or who inspires you to write?

Everything, and I wish that was a joke. Short stories have been inspired by things I’ve read or seen. Poems have been inspired by trends on the internet or text messages from my mother. I’ve got a pool of “things” that I draw inspiration from, recurring themes and images, but nothing specific that works magic.

Who is your favorite author?

J.R.R. Tolkien has always been at the top of my list. Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon were my first beloved icons when I was young, when I’d get Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books as payment for my chores instead of an allowance. Nowadays, I read a lot of pieces by a lot of authors, but I keep coming back to Kathy Reichs and Clive Cussler (oh, the sinful decadence of formulaic action-adventures!).

What do you hope to accomplish by the time you graduate?

I hope to build a portfolio that I can slam down on someone’s desk and say, “I wrote this,” as well as a strong network of people that love writing as much as (or more than) I do. As part of a personal project, I’ve been novelizing a 1999 computer game called Septerra Core. I’d love to finally get copyright permission to publish the final product.

What are your long-term goals for writing?

I’d love to get on a roll writing a series, something that people love to read and can’t wait to get their hands on the next one. While I work on that in my spare time, I want to work for a game development company writing for video games: overarching storyline development, dialogue and blocking, or even just quest and flavor text. Interactive media and storytelling is an avenue I’m very interested in traveling.

What was the last good book you’ve read?

Ghosts of Ascalon by Matt Forbeck and Jeff Grubb was a very enjoyable novel, written by two big names in the game writing realm. At the same time, I finished King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard and The King in Yellow, a collection of tales by Robert W. Chambers. A lot of speculative fiction, it seems! Right now, I’m working through a few different Japanese horror textbooks and the new Kathy Reichs novel.


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