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 Aria Glazki, who joins a small (but growing!) handful of others who’ve won THREE TIMES since December 2012. Read her winning story here. Read her previous interviews here (May 2013) and here (Oct 2013). I hope you have as much a blast reading this interview as I did. And a little Note: as a third-time winner, she’s not bound by the “twenty words” rule. But ohh, is this worth the extra words. And now:
1) What about the prompt inspired your winning piece? The absolute lack of resources for survival caught me. There isn’t even enough shade to hide from the sun! Out there, you’d be genuinely at the mercy of the elements, and if you can’t leave, at the mercy of something or someone else.
2) Tell us about your upcoming book Mending Heartstrings. Mending Heartstrings was actually my NaNoWriMo project in 2012. It was the story that wouldn’t let go and which drew me back into writing. It’s about two people who both know “better” than to believe in love stories, but who just can’t give up on the possibility once they’ve met each other.
3) Tell us about what the publishing process was like for you. The most useful thing I could tell other writers is to remember that traditional publishing works at a snail’s pace, until right before a release when things (I’m told) go crazy. Really, even once the paperwork is signed, and all you want is to see the work published already, things move quite slowly. I suggest keeping yourself sane by focusing on a new project.
4) What other projects are you currently working on? I’ve written a novel about a secondary character from Mending Heartstrings, and I have another fun book completed about a writer and his muse, so I’m considering next steps with both. Plus, I’m actually just about to start book #4, as soon as I pick which idea to follow.
5) What’s your biggest writerly pet peeve? I cannot stand mistakes in grammar and word choice (misusing words), but besides that what really gets me is characters doing something because the author needs it for the plot. Lack of motivation just kills a story for me. Personally, I tend to focus on the characters and forget to set the scene, which I still struggle with. Flash! Friday has actually helped with that!
6) What are your writing goals this year? Really just continuing on. I am hoping to have the guts to start (better yet, finish) writing a story whose intensity has held me at bay for a long time now, but don’t hold me to it!
7) Which books were your favorite reads this year? You know, because you asked, I’m sitting here thinking about the books I’ve read lately, and I don’t want to call any of them out, but sadly none have really grabbed me or wowed me. So now I’m looking for suggestions!
8) Would you say your flash writing has changed/grown this past year? Last year you advised writers to “Know your medium – don’t try to write a novel-length plot within the limits of a flash fiction word count.” What advice would you give now? Of course! Flash used to be a barely familiar medium for me, whereas now I feel much more comfortable, and sometimes that much more intimidated. I’ve learned that one inspired line can make the entire story really coalesce, and then force you to raise the bar on the rest of the story supporting it. My advice now would probably be to make each word pull its own weight, so you don’t belabor the same point within your limited word count.
9) Final thoughts? Well first, thank you so much, Rebekah, for devoting all that time and energy into creating and maintaining Flash! Friday for us!! Of course, I’m also grateful to the volunteer judges. This community as a whole is wonderful in allowing people to explore their writing, and learn from others’ writing, without any demands, and that’s very special. It’s important to remember the strength of writers as a community.