Why do you write flash? What makes it different for you?
I’ve never been a big traveler in the physical world but with flash, I can go anywhere and do anything. I wrote much of a novel some years ago when I did an MA in Creative Writing but I began to plod through it after a while. Which wasn’t fun. Someday soon, I’ll get it out, strip it down and turn into flash. Then it will have something to say.
What’s your writerly lifejacket: character or plot?
I’m in a boat with this question as you have mentioned a life jacket. To follow the metaphor, I would be okay floating around for a bit as long as the currents don’t take me too far off course, but I need those characters. They are there in the boat, arguing, helping, eating all the food or sharing it – basically doing what humans do. I am interested in what humans do first and foremost.
Writing style: Quick and messy or slow and precise?
I am a messy person. I’ve even braved a photo of today’s desk for you to see. So I’d have to say that I am either quick or messy as a writer too. Or slow and messy as a writer. Either way, you can dwell as long as you want to on the word ‘messy’.
What element or part of your “real life” do you think most influences your writing?
It’s all the ins and outs of relationships, current and past. In the picture of my desk and shelves, there’s a young photo of me on the first shelf together with a portrait of an ancestor of mine. I do draw on past events and fictionalise them but I’m interested in the present stuff too. I’d throw in walks down the lanes and looking at the flowers and plants around here in mid-Somerset. Not that nature necessarily appears in my fictions, but it often does, because I was brought up in the country and I have always done this sort of wandering about – what the writer Brenda Ueland calls ‘moodling’.
If you could recommend a few flash stories or writers, who/what would it be?
I would recommend all the anthologies produced by Ad Hoc Fiction available at www.bookshop.adhocfiction.com.
I’m proud to have had a hand in selecting these stories as one of the initial readers for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and the Bath Novella in Flash Award. There are some amazingly good micros in the anthologies of single flash – ‘To Carry Her Home’ and ‘The Lobsters Run Free’ and the authors represent around 45 different countries. The collections of novellas, ‘How to Make a Window Snake’ and forthcoming ‘In the Debris Field’ are equally good and represent different styles and takes on the genre.
What story of yours do you wish got more recognition?
There’s a tiny micro I drafted in one of Kathy Fish’s fast flash workshop last year which I am fond of. The group liked it and I’ve sent it out to various submission opportunities and contests, but nobody seems fond of it like me. I shall keep sending it out though. Just in case.
BIO: Jude Higgins is a writing and writing tutor. Her flash fictions have won or been placed in many contests and are published in the New Flash Fiction Review, Flash Frontier, FlashBack Fiction,The Nottingham Review, Bending Genres, The Word Factory, the Blue Fifth Review and National Flash Fiction Day anthologies, among other places. Her flashfiction chapbook, ‘The Chemist’s House’ was published by V. Press in 2017. She organises the Bath Flash Fiction Award and directs Flash Fiction Festivals UK. judehiggins.com @judehwriter