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 (two-time!) winner is Whitney Healy. Read her winning story here, then take one minute to get to know her better. (Note: since it’s her second win, we’re giving her a few extra words.)
1) What about the prompt inspired you to write your winning piece? I could tell I’d have to think about it more than others. I didn’t know where my writing would take me, and that was appealing.
2) Do you outline, or are you more of a discovery writer? Usually I’m a discovery writer. I like to see how a piece develops with little planning. With larger projects, though, I web.
3) How would you describe your writing style? Stream-of-consciousness and fragmented, which allows for extreme character development. My process is like a juke box: I’m never sure what’s going to occur next.
4) When did you begin writing fiction? I wrote my first story in 3rd or 4th grade; it was about my family pets (a dog and two cats) going to space. I even illustrated it!
5) Introduce us to a favorite character in one of your stories. Goldstein: a hot-headed, arrogant, early-twenties male who is challenging the current government and government officials (important character in current dystopian work).
6) What books have influenced your life the most? Oh, so many. I’ll choose five: 1) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce); 2) House of Night series (PC & Kristin Cast); 3) 1984 (Orwell); 4) Brave New World (Huxley); 5) Where the Red Fern Grows (Rawls).
7) What are you currently reading? Lord of the Flies. I haven’t read it since high school, and I wanted to see how my perspective had changed since reaching adulthood.
8) How do you combat writer’s block? Since my style is normally discovery-based, I’ll sometimes make a web or make lists to come up with ideas. Other times, a hot shower has worked.
9) What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? I had a college instructor named Professor Lumpkin. She gave us the assignment to “turn off your computer screen and just write.” It’s amazing how much this lifted inhibition: it also generated one of my most powerful works of nonfiction.
10) What do you admire most about dragons? Most can fly. I’d like that. What a method of getting away from it all!