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 (Team One Dragon Captain!) Joidianne4eva. This is her third fantastic win; read her first interviews here (Nov 2013) and here (Jun 2014). Read her winning story here, then take one minute to get to know her even better!
1) What about the prompts inspired your story? The tree was what first caught my attention; it had this ominous aura about it, and then I focused on the two people… the story grew from there.
2) How long have you been writing flash? What do you like about this format as opposed to writing longer stories? I’ve been writing flash fiction for a couple years now (at least I think it’s been a couple of years; my memory’s not all that reliable). I really enjoy having to limit the amount of words I’m using. I tend to go over the top with word counts, and this really helps me to focus on what matters.
3) How has your flash fiction changed since you started? I’ve stopped trying to force it. At first I tried to utilize every prompt but I ended up less than pleased with results, so now I let the prompt inspire me. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
4) What advice would you give writers who are new to flash? What encouragement might you give to seasoned flash writers who struggle with winning? New writers, just jump in. Seriously, it might seem daunting at first, but once you hit a rhythm and learn how to use your own voice it’s a brilliant experience. For more seasoned writers, like I was saying above, sometimes we’re trying to force the story and that doesn’t work all the time; so I’d say take your time and really let the prompts inspire you, rather than rushing things.
5) Who is a writer we should follow, and why? Oh, MT Decker, no doubt. Seriously, she’s a world-building queen and I literally envy her skill.
6) What are your favorite books of this past year? I’m currently in awe of Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman and Still Life by Louise Penny. Both are psychological thrillers that keep you guessing until the very end.
7) What are you working on now? Just a few pieces here and there, nothing concrete at the moment, mostly I’m cleaning up a few first drafts (weep for me).
8) Tell us something about your writing life. I’ve got this thing where if I have an idea, I have to get it down, as in, if I don’t, I won’t be able to concentrate on anything else and it will usually ruin my entire day.
9) Tell us about your writing process. I’ve mellowed a lot. I tend to let a plot grow before I attempt it now, so that’s the main change. It depends on the project, but I usually start with my characters; I build back stories, family trees, traumas and triumphs from the start, because then it feels like I’m working with someone I know.
10) Any hobbies? I sketch a lot that’s been kicking up a bit these days because I’ve started sketching my characters as well; but that’s pretty much it.