Interview questions by editor of Twisted Tales, Annie Evett. Read original blog and other writers’ interviews here Twisted Tales will be available from Amazon from 11th October.
The Title of your Flash.
A Gibbous Moon
What was your initial motivation or prompt to write this story?
I was inspired by a visit to the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall. It’s the second story inspired by the visit to the museum so it was a very fruitful afternoon!
Is the character in your story a reoccurring character in your writing?
No, not yet at least. It’s my first attempt at writing about teenagers and although I’m not a parent, my friends who are parents of teenagers tell me I’ve captured adolescent grumpiness well.
What sort of message or feeling are you hoping you leave your audience with?
It’s a slightly tongue-in-cheek story with some magic realism elements but there is an underlying seriousness about how we treat people who are different from the norm. It’s also about the onset of menstruation which, however liberal we like to think we are, remains a taboo subject.
What sort of stories do you normally write? (Is this story a break from your norm?)
The characters are new for me in that I usually write about adults. There is almost always a brush with the supernatural in my stories so in that sense this piece is in keeping with other writing.
Why is that?
Because I also write non-fiction, longer fiction and poetry, I dislike pigeon-holing myself. I have always been fascinated by the idea of an afterlife, or a life beyond this one so the supernatural has always had a strong pull. This has resulted in magic realism being the most reoccurring element in my work.
What projects or new story lines do you have coming up in the near future?
I’m planning to take part in NaNoWrimo, 2014 after having a break from it in 2013. I’m researching the characters, settings and plot right now. I did a wonderful workshop recently with New Zealand writer, Trish Nicholson about creating deep character. Two characters came out of that which I want to use in NaNoWrimo.
Do you enter many competitions for flash fiction?
I’ve entered a few and had some successes here and there. I was shortlisted in the Fish Publishing flash competition and have been featured on National Flash Flood Fiction Day and 1000 words.
Are you a member of a writing group – either online or a physical one?
Both! I’m a member of Writers Abroad which is an online writers’ group aimed at expats. We bring out an anthology every year and this year have launched a magazine. It’s possible to post work-in-progress on the site for critiquing or write to a prompt from our Monday Muse forum. I’m also a member of a small but very committed face-to-face group here in Amsterdam.
Do you think these groups help or hinder a writers journey? Why?
I think they help immensely. Writing is a lonely profession and it’s great to get informed and reliable critiquing. Ideas for stories often arise through interacting with other writers; whether it’s through writing prompts, workshops or competition deadlines. This helps me stop procrastinating and makes me sit down and write!
What encouragement or advice do you have for emerging writers of flash fiction?
Read plenty of flash fiction and don’t be afraid to innovate and experiment. Flash fiction is a literary form that’s still developing. When you’ve finished a piece go back through it and get rid of superfluous words. A lot of adjectives and adverbs can be shed and often the story improves this way. Less or fewer, is definitely more!
How can others follow your journey?
Here at my blog!
Twisted Tales by RagingAardvark publishing, coming out 11th Oct. Click on cover for more info.