Sixty Seconds with: Jacki Donnellan

Ten answers to ten questions in 20 words or fewer. That’s less time than it takes to burn a match*.

(*Depending on the length of the match and your tolerance for burned fingers, obviously)


Our newest Flash! Friday winner is Jacki Donnellan.  This is her first Flash! Friday win–but she was also the winner of the 2013 Flashversary contest (interviews here: Part I and Part II). Read this week’s winning story here, then take one minute to get to know her still better.

1) What about the prompt inspired your winning piece? The leaning car looked to me like a woman who’d lost a shoe, and I got from there to Cinderella!

2) What made you choose the story’s tone? I found that using a prim schoolmistress was the clearest and most entertaining way of spelling out what went wrong.

3) How do you usually name characters? How did you come up with the characters’ names for this story? ‘Marrygold’ and ‘Philowisha’ just popped into my head, but I picked ‘Angelica’ from a list of girls’ names online!

4) How do you approach writing a story when you’re only given 150 words? How does your approach differ from when you write longer pieces? Every word has to justify its existence in a smaller piece. I usually start a bit longer, and then pare back.

5) What writing updates can you give us since your Flashversary win in December?  I’ve been working on a sci-fi-ish short story, and been having more fun with flash online. I can recommend the new weekly contest hosted by fellow Flash! Friday writer Rebecca Allred, The Angry Hourglass. A great place for a weekend flash fix!

Mid-Feb will be my family’s annual ski holiday and will mark my one year anniversary as a writer. While everyone’s on the slopes I shall be writing, and this year I know I’ll have something fun to do, in good company, come Friday!

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