Mini-Interview with Pat Foran

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Why do you write flash? What makes it different for you?

I like how flash can be a story, a glimpse into one, a hint of one. Or something else. How it can sneak up on you in that anything-but-mannered way it has and say, “here’s this thing I don’t know if it’s flash or a prose poem or a story or what but it’s pretty short and maybe you’d be interested in reading it?” How with flash you can snuggle within a moment, unravel it, wiggle within it or sling-shot out of it and not necessarily finish what you started. Or sort of started. I like how freeing flash (or whatever) can be as a result.

I also like how present flash feels. The now of it. I love the music in it, or the music it can have in it. How flash begs you to play — with language, with structure, with expectations, with everything. How it pushes you to let (coax? force?) readers feel the space between the tones. And to fill in the blanks as they see fit.

What’s your writerly lifejacket: character or plot?

It’s usually voice. Almost never and maybe never plot. The voice or character can take me somewhere, possibly toward a plot or a semblance of one. But not necessarily.
Writing style: Quick and messy or slow and precise?

Usually quick and messy. Sometimes quick and precise. Almost never slow — if something feels like it’s dragging or going to be a drag, I’ll punt. For me, flash can be just as much the experience of writing the thing as it is the thing I end up writing. It’s a moment or a feeling that might represent something MORE, and if I don’t get the whole thing down or at least the melody line relatively quickly, I’ll lose it. Or so I tend to think.
What element or part of your “real life” do you think most influences your writing?

The uncertainty of everyday life and a belief in possibility. For me, they’re linked. Listening to people not listening to people — what that sounds and looks like and feels like — definitely influences my writing. So does love. Love and its lack. Kids who matter-of-factly ask questions (“Why do I have to understand what you’re saying?” … “Why are you always like this in March? … “Is this boring?”), Ho Hos flavored lip balm and the Stax recording “I’ll Run Your Hurt Away” by Ruby Johnson influence it, too.
If you could recommend a few flash stories or writers, who/what would it be?

Cathy Ulrich. Melissa Goode. Kathy Fish. Leesa Cross-Smith. I could wax about their work at length and certainly have in short, Twitter strokes — to their chagrin, I imagine. What they see. The moments they choose to snuggle inside of. What they say and don’t say. What they stir. How they stir. What they’re always always always able to evoke. They’re writing things only they could write, and there’s magic in that. Their work also does something more to me — to my heart, I think. But there are a lot of writers of flash (or whatever) whose work I’d recommend. There are so many who knock me out.

Richard Brautigan, Donald Barthelme, Lydia Davis and a flutter in my brain brought me to this short, sudden, segmented, “otherwise unclassifiable” land. Cathy, Melissa, Kathy, Leesa and others whose work I love make me want to hang around if only to see where and how they push things.
What story of yours do you wish got more recognition?

I’m grateful if people read any of them.

BIO: Pat Foran is a writer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His stories have appeared in WhiskeyPaper, Gravel, Bending Genres, The Disappointed Housewife, formercactus, FIVE:2:ONE #thesideshow and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter at @pdforan

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Mini-Interview with Tyrese L. Coleman

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;0Why do you write flash? What makes it different for you?

I’m drawn to the immediacy, voice, and freedom of the flash form. I think people underestimate flash and what you learn from writing it. It is not easy to draft a complete narrative in under 1000 words. Something about knowing that I am already doing incredibly challenging work is freeing to me. I am then more willing to try anything and see where things go in the piece.

What’s your writerly lifejacket: character or plot?

Character! If I knew how to write a better plot, I would be a millionaire right now.

Writing style: Quick and messy or slow and precise?

Slow and precise. I tend to edit as I go so that a first draft is as close to finished as I can get it. That means that one draft could take me years, but I am constantly going back to the beginning and perfecting and then editing again and again. I generally do not change my stories much after that first draft is done because I’ve already gone through the process of building and scaffolding.

What element or part of your “real life” do you think most influences your writing?

Many of the pieces in my upcoming collection, How to Sit, are based on my childhood. Right now, however, I am trying to focus more on writing that reflects my current life — being an adult, kids, work, marriage. I am interested in examining what it feels like to be me as I am right now and writing for other women who are like me.

If you could recommend a few flash stories or writers, who/what would it be?

Jennifer Fliss is my girl and consistently creates beautiful work. Meghan Giddings is also a favorite. Sequoia Nagamatsu blows my effen mind!

What story of yours do you wish got more recognition?

One of my very first pieces that I published was in Queen’s Mob Teahouse called If the Woodcutter Were a Junkie. I worked so hard on that story and always loved it. It started off as over 8000 words. I chipped away at it over the years and got it under 1000. Flash is amazing.

Bio: Tyrese L. Coleman is a writer, wife, mother, attorney, and writing instructor. She is also an associate editor at SmokeLong Quarterly, an online journal dedicated to flash fiction. An essayist and fiction writer, her prose has appeared in several publications, including Amazon’s Day One, Catapult, Buzzfeed, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, and the Kenyon Review. An alumnus of the Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University, the Tin House, and Virginia Quarterly Review writer’s workshops, and a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow, her chapbook, How To Sit will be published in 2018 with Mason Jar Press. She can be reached at tyresecoleman.com or on twitter @tylachelleco.

Mini-Interview with Kaj Tanaka

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Why do you write flash? What makes it different for you?

I like to be able to complete a story or two in a single writing session, so because of that, my stories almost always end up being very short. It’s my big limitation as a writer, and it’s a preference that has really shaped me. I like that we have a name for it now. Back when I started writing these types of stories, we hadn’t quite agreed on what to call them, even—I still remember not knowing whether to call my stories “quick” fiction or “sudden” fiction or “micro” fiction. There were so many names at one point. Love that flash has become a thing. It has been really cool to see the form take off in the last 10 or so years.

 

What’s your writerly lifejacket: character or plot?

Character. When I’m writing around a particular plot, my stories end up reading like shitty Madlibs. Though I think finding a voice or a tone is even more important than finding a character. For me, the voice of the story needs to be fully realized in the first sentence. If it’s not there in the opening line, the story is doomed.

 

Writing style: Quick and messy or slow and precise?

I’m quick. I try to write 1000-1500 words a day when I’m working on a project—when I do flash stories, for example, it’s always in connection to a larger project. I don’t write every day though. I’m not a day-in-day-out, ride or die kind of writer. That used to bother me about myself—it felt almost like a moral failing—but writing every day is exhausting, at least the way I work. I just get fatigued. I work every day for a month or two and then take a month or two off to read what I’ve written and try to figure out what it means. That’s my process right now, at least.

What element or part of your “real life” do you think most influences your writing?

This is something I try not to think about, lest I end up using my stories as some kind of cheap therapy. I certainly don’t try to bring in elements of my life, but of course, I do. Everyone does. I have no idea how successfully I bury the true elements of my stories, and I’m too embarrassed to ask my friends and family. The idea of someone recognizing a shared, real life experience in a piece of my fiction fills me with shame. It feels like a failing of craft.

 

If you could recommend a few flash stories or writers, who/what would it be?

My favorite flash story is “Crossing the River Zbrucz” by Isaac Babel. My second favorite is “The Cats in the Prison Recreation Hall” by Lydia Davis and my third is any page of Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan. Honorable mention: “A Gentleman’s C” by Padgett Powell.

But here’s the thing…a giant caveat here. I love these first three stories mainly because they are a part of larger works that I love. I think this is something people get wrong about flash. To me, at least, one flash story isn’t much taken on its own. Even a perfect flash story like “A Gentleman’s C” won’t stick with me unless I really study it. In general, I think flash stories are too slight to have much impact by themselves. The real power of flash is the power of a snowball rolling down a mountain. It comes in the aggregate of many flash stories read as a single project. For example, in that giant orange brick of Lydia Davis stories, there are good stories and great stories and some not so good stories, but all of them together present a portrait of a powerful and restless mind at work. For me, that’s what flash can do best. I love reading collections of flash for that reason. I think more than in novels or collections of longer stories, a body of flash work can provide a portrait of a living human mind moving through the world.

What story of yours do you wish got more recognition?

I think my stories get what they deserve. I’m not too precious about them. If I find myself getting annoyed about how my stories are received, I go write something new. You can’t really control reception or likes or shares or awards, but you can keep writing. That’s always the consolation.

 

BIO: Kaj Tanaka is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Houston. His stories have been selected for Best Small Fictions and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is the fiction editor at Gulf Coast. You can read more of his work at kajtanaka.com and tweet to him @kajtanaka

Mini-Interview with Kara Vernor

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Why do you write flash? What makes it different for you?

Flash was just what came out, probably due in part to my natural impatience. Flash also felt most akin to my favorite songs, and music, maybe more than reading, led me to writing. I’ve kept at it because the length is a great frame for experimentation. In longer works, fewer readers tolerate being challenged with less familiar structures, syntax, content, etc. Can you imagine reading a novel by, say, Gary Lutz (in the style of his shorts)? It’s rare that a style so experimental finds an audience for a novel; lucky for us we have flash.

What’s your writerly lifejacket: character or plot?

Plot? What’s plot? I generally walk all the way out to the end of the diving board before I look to see if there’s any water below. I’d say character sometimes, though id would maybe be more accurate. It often feels like I conjure more than I write.

Writing style: Quick and messy or slow and precise?

Unfortunately, mine’s both messy and slow, and then at some point, after I have enough of a slow, messy mess, I steamroll it with whatever precision I can muster.

What element or part of your “real life” do you think most influences your writing?

For a while, I was writing sex ed inspired flash (I sometimes teach sex ed), but then I started writing a novel with a teenage protagonist and I think I over-teenaged. I’ve recently come back to flash after the novel, and I’m writing stranger, more violent pieces. This probably has something to do with having gotten a restraining order against our next-door neighbor, who is a Trump supporter with severe PTSD. I could go on about the creepy stuff he’s done, but suffice it to say, he is *affixed-spikes-along-his-fence-to-impale-our-cats* loony. I’ve gotten clear that having a mental illness doesn’t mean you’re not also an asshole. Living this way, in Trump’s America with a mini version next door, has me writing some angry shit when I’m writing at all. I’m also finding I used to care more about entertaining people, but in this current climate, I care much more about being true.

 

If you could recommend a few flash stories or writers, who/what would it be?

I feel like I’ve shouted my standby faves in one way or another many times, so I’ll mention a few I’ve either never shouted or have been particularly appreciating lately. Kevin Sampsell has been on fire. Check out his recent stories in Paper Darts and X-R-A-Y. I just finished Deb Olin Unferth’s Wait Till You See Me Dance, and it’s as brilliant as you’d anticipate. The flash in Peter Orner’s Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge is full of virtuosic grace.

I consider Etgar Keret to be my flash father—at least I want him to be. I love how frank and creative and funny and real and deceptively plainspoken he is. He’s a defender of complexity, and in this age of social media, that’s sorely needed. Plus, I’ve learned more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through reading his interviews than I have from the (very biased) news. He and a Palestinian writer, Samir El-Youssef, took the revolutionary step of publishing a book together called Gaza Blues. El-Youssef’s novella and Keret’s stories are incredible alone but published together, they’re even more affecting.

What story of yours do you wish got more recognition?

With the phenomenon that is Twitter, that’s hard to say. The writing community is tirelessly supportive, and maybe I have a low bar, but I’m always honored when anyone takes the time to read something I’ve written. This question makes me think of stories that generally don’t get the love they deserve, and I’d have to go with happy ones. Similar to how comedies almost never win the Oscar for best picture, happy stories don’t seem to get their due respect, especially given that they’re more difficult to write, in my opinion. “The Recommendation” is a happy story of mine, so I’ll mention it here. It’s about two nerds negotiating a 69.

 

Bio: Kara Vernor’s fiction has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Green Mountains Review, Fanzine, No Tokens, and elsewhere, and her fiction chapbook, Because I Wanted to Write You a Pop Song, is available from Split Lip Press. She is the recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation scholarship, and her stories have been included in Wigleaf’s Top 50 Very Short Fictions, the Best Small Fictions finalists, and Outpost 19’s Golden State 2017 anthology.

Mini-Interview with Noa Sivian

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Why do you write flash? What makes it different for you?

First of all, thank you for having me here. Your mini-interviews are always enriching thanks to the insightful writers you pick. It’s a huge compliment.

The main reason I found myself in the flash pond was the language barrier. I started writing in English in 2016, and even though I spoke English well enough, I never read or wrote anything but emails and text messages. The flash genre made it possible for me to write about topics I couldn’t explore in Hebrew—too close to home.

In many ways, this difficulty had shaped my style. I try not to complicate things. The most important aspect for me is delivering an image to the reader’s mind before the words even hit.

What’s your writerly lifejacket: character or plot?

Ideally, both. I rarely think of just a character or just a plot. They activate each other. I like to match ordinary characters with unusual circumstances, and vice versa.

I admire writers who can build their story like an impressionist painting; showing us only a dot—the character’s—then gradually making us take a step back, revealing a spectacular landscape. I don’t know how to do that, yet.

Writing style: Quick and messy or slow and precise?

I’m a head writer. I try to sort the story out before I’m actually writing it. Of course, it never works. Once I start, words are in control. They have the power to change my character or plot or structure or all of the above. So, I guess you can say—messy.

Editing is where everything changes again. On average, I end up with 2-3 drafts per micro, and 10-15 per flash.

I like editing better than writing. It teaches me to let go of my ego.

What element or part of your “real life” do you think most influences your writing?

I moved a lot as a kid and as an adult, so I’ve always felt like an outsider. This state of not belonging is constant. It made me curious and observant out of social survival.

If you could recommend a few flash stories or writers, who/what would it be?

That’s the hardest question possible, Tommy. I assume that’s why it’s in your mini-interviews. You’re relentless.

My first flash read was one of Cathy Ulrich’s Japanese stories—“Where the Drowned Ride,” published at Wigleaf. It was a revelation. Everything she writes is a no less than a little miracle.

Lori Sambol Brody knows all the secrets of the human psyche. Just read the masterpiece “The Sky Is Just Another Neighborhood,” published at SmokeLong.

Christopher James is a busy editor at Jellyfish Review (full disclosure: he’s the first to publish and encourage me to keep writing), but when he has a story out, I’m the happiest person around. “Siobhan Vs. Her Baby Brother”, published at Atticus, is pure joy.

Yael van der Wouden—I can’t crack her writing enigma, and I hope I never will. “I Don’t Know What to Tell You,” published at Cheap Pop, and all her other stories, have that spell on me.

Melissa Goode writes brutal emotions with such lightness it makes your jaw drop. “I Will Not Show My Love In Turquoise,” published on FRiGG, is one of her many beautiful stories.

Kathy Fish, the Reina of flash and micro, just had five tiny micros published at Pidgeonholes. The pieces are layered with different degrees of pain and humanity. If anyone wants to know what microfiction is all about, they should start there.

I have the privilege of reading Etgar Keret in his mother tongue. He’s an innovative writer who opened up the old-fashioned Hebrew lit world to new styles. His translated piece in the New York Times “To The Moon And Back” is unforgettable. I tried.

K.C. Mead-Brewer is a phenomenal writer. She made me laugh in despair in her Paper Darts piece “Late at Night, After He’s Fallen Asleep.” That story never left my mind.

Tara Isabel Zambrano writes colors, smells, and intimacies like no other. I’m overjoyed when I see there’s a new story of hers.

Jad Josey teaches me about boyhood, brotherhood, manhood—hell, all the hood’s—with great sensitivity and meticulous writing.

Jennifer Fliss is one of a kind. She’s more than a writer: she’s a deep tissue massage to where it hurts the most.

Jacqueline Doyle crushes me in less than a 100 words. She’s an absolute ace.

M. Stone is a poet, not a prose writer per se, but I hope she will be soon. She’s out of this world. Her poems are a hug, slap and kick to the gut, all wrapped in delicious wording.

There are many other writers and stories that I love with all my heart. It was almost impossible choosing just these people and their work.

What story of yours do you wish got more recognition?

The Chinese Box, published at Jellyfish Review. It’s a love story starring a flaccid dildo.

BIO: 

Noa Sivan was born and raised in Israel and is currently living in Granada, Spain. She’s a graphic designer, writer and assistant editor for Cheap Pop. You can find her small fiction on Monkeybicycle, Jellyfish Review, Wigleaf, Lost Balloon, FRiGG and more.

Twitter handle: @migdalorr.

Website: www.noasivan.com

Mini-Interview with Ingrid Jendrzejewski

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Why do you write flash? What makes it different for you?

I love the way flash provides the opportunity to explore many different ideas and forms without the commitment a longer work requires.  The stakes are low.  If you try something and it’s a disaster, you’ve only spent hours or days on something that will never see the light of day – not months, years or even decades of your life.  However, if you try something that works, you can have it drafted, edited, polished and sent out within a reasonably short timeframe.

I also love the way flash lends itself to experiment and play.  It’s an exuberant form.  You can dally with ideas and techniques that might become tiresome, stale or tedious to read if incorporated into a longer piece.  Flash readers tend to be generous.  They’re often happy to follow a flash down some pretty crazy rabbit holes.

All this makes me feel brave and free when writing flash.

What’s your writerly lifejacket: character or plot?

May I be vexing and choose structure instead?  If I’m at sea and don’t know what to do with something I’m writing, I often seek out some sort of structure, constraint, or organisational principle to cling on to until I can get my bearings.

This especially true when I’m facing a blank page.  I’m more likely to think, “Hmm, I’d like to write a something in the form of a calculus syllabus today” or “what kind of story could I weave into a framework of proverbs about the weather?” than I am to have any sort of idea about what plot or characters I want to write about.

Even when writing more traditional pieces, I’m often guided by a prompt, constraint or personal challenge that I’ve set myself.  I’ve always liked puzzles and games and maths, so I suppose I take an element of all that into my writing.

Writing style: Quick and messy or slow and precise?

Depending on my mood and what I’m writing, I oscillate between both extremes.  In general, I’m more likely to be quick and messy with the first draft or three, then gradually slow down to a methodical plod as I rewrite.  Unfortunately, however, I end up writing slow and messy more often than I’d like…

What element or part of your “real life” do you think most influences your writing?

Lack of time.  Before I became a mother, I had much more control over my sleep schedule and free time, and I hardly got anything accomplished.  Oh sure, I wrote stuff – mostly slow, bloated drafts of boring novels – but I published nothing.

Once my daughter was born, the long-form writing went out the window.  I couldn’t keep whole novels in my head and there wasn’t an infinite amount of time to sit around dawdling over things.

I decided I’d just write some little exercise pieces so that when I did get time to go back to novel writing, I’d be primed and ready.  I wrote character sketches, scenes, fragments, unclassifiables.  The more I wrote, the more I loved writing in those short, intense bursts, and I loved what could happen on the page when the compression of poetry combined with the narrative heft of prose.  My daughter didn’t sleep much in those days, and once I figured out that I could type one-handed on the iPad whilst breastfeeding through the night, I became rather prolific.  Once I discovered that there were markets for what I thought of at the time as ‘short shorts’, I was off and running.

As my daughter gets older, my average word-counts are getting longer.  I’m still writing flash (and have no plans to stop anytime soon), but I’ve also been working on some long-form projects as well – only now my writing is much, much tighter and I am much, much more disciplined about how I use my time.

If you could recommend a few flash stories or writers, who/what would it be?

Oh, gracious, there are legions of writers that I would love to acknowledge!  It feels terrible leaving people out, so I’m just going to tweak this into recommended flash stories or writers that I’ve read in the past couple days.

Leesa Cross-Smith’s ‘Knock Out the Heart Lights So We Can Glow’

I pretty much joined Twitter so I could follow Leesa Cross-Smith’s work.  I believe this was one of the first pieces of hers that I read, and I recently revisited it to see if it was the piece that used the phrase “baptism-wet” in a perfect way.  (It was.)

Lynda Sexson’s “Pigs with Wings”.

Although most of what I’ve read of Sexson’s work are short stories, some of them slip into flash-like territory.  “Pigs with Wings” appears in her collection Hamlet’s Planets: Parables and is a beautiful example.  How can one resist a piece that begins, “A hardrock man came into this town of butter and cheese people.”

This Line is Not For Turning, edited by Jane Monson

Although this collection is billed as a collection of British prose poetry, many of these pieces could moonlight as flash.  I highly recommend the whole collection.

Sei Shōnagon’s The Pillow Book

I’ve just started reading Meredith Mckinney’s translation of The Pillow Book, a collection of lists, poems, descriptions, and things we might now call prose poems, flash or lyric essays, that was written over 1000 years ago during the Heian Period in Japan.   I particularly like the lists.

What story of yours do you wish got more recognition?

This is such an interesting question!  For me, writing is a pretty solitary act…I do it, then put it out there.  I get really excited when something is accepted for publication, and then I move on to the next thing.  I rarely revisit work unless I have a chance to edit it, because as soon as I reread something, I have the urge to rip it apart and rebuild.

I suppose there are a few pieces in print that I sometimes wish were easier to share digitally.  One of them is ‘We Were Curious About Boys’ which appeared in the Bath Short Story Anthology in 2016.  I’ll be reading it at Rattle Tales as part of the Brighton Fringe on the 16th of May.

Details are available here: https://www.brightonfringe.org/whats-on/rattle-tales-124844/

As for something online, here’s a quiet little story that was published at Flash Flood in 2016.   I still have a soft spot for it.  What can I say?  I like bookcases.

http://flashfloodjournal.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/measurements-by-ingrid-jendrzejewski.html

BIO:  Ingrid Jendrzejewski studied creative writing at the University of Evansville, then physics at the University of Cambridge.  Her work has been published in places like Passages North, The Los Angeles Review, The Conium Review, Jellyfish Review, and Flash Frontier, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Vestal Review’s VERA Award, and multiple times for Best Small Fictions.  She serves as editor in chief of FlashBack Fiction and a flash editor at JMWW.  Links to Ingrid’s work can be found at http://www.ingridj.com and she tweets @LunchOnTuesday.

Mini-Interview with Santino Prinzi

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Why do you write flash? What makes it different for you?

There are many reasons why I like writing flash, and they’re likely similar to other flash writers. I love the brevity of flash, but also how nothing is sacrificed to achieve this brevity. There are flashes that are easily more powerful and have had a greater impact on me than novels I’ve read. I love what is unsaid, and I love that readers of flash sometimes need to see the unseen in order to really see what’s going on.

What I also enjoy about flash is how well it lends itself to reading aloud. You can go to a flash reading as a reader or a listener and read aloud or listen to many fully-formed, complete stories in a single evening. There’s nothing I enjoy more than reading some of my funnier flashes to a room full of people and making them laugh and smile (though I make sure they’ve had a drink or two first…).

Also, I have the strange inability to write anything much longer. I’d love to write a novel, but every time I’ve had an idea I’ve (accidentally!) turned it into a flash fiction.

What’s your writerly lifejacket: character or plot?

I think both are important.

As an editor for National Flash Fiction Day and New Flash Fiction Review, I read a lot of stories and I always ask myself the same question: “Do I care about this character and their situation?” This may sound harsher than I intend, but every reader wants to care about what they’re reading, right? If nothing happens, or the character is flat and stereotypical, then it’s difficult for me to keep reading, even if the story is a few hundred words, because I’m not invested in this character or their fate.

Writing-wise, the core of my stories often come to me either as a character or as a situation. Perhaps the plot comes to me first more often than the character. I really love it when an odd situation comes to mind and I can explore this absurd and surreal world, but I also love it when a distinctive character comes along and demands that I listen to what they have to say. Whichever it is, that usually drives the writing of the first draft for me, and I have to be conscious of not neglecting the other while redrafting. I think I’m better at spotting this in other peoples’ writing than in my own, but that’s why I love reading submissions because you learn so much doing so.

What is great about flash is we don’t need to read it and be able to list off a number of traits a character has or be able to plot out the entire narrative arc. So much of this detail can be implied, but it still needs to be there for the reader, and I think the best flash achieves this balance.

Writing style: Quick and messy or slow and precise?

Write fast, edit slow. Sometimes. It all depends. Sometimes an idea comes along and I need to get it down right away, whereas other times I will keep it in my head and let it grow. I wouldn’t say I write in my head, but certain sentences or images or dialogue may formulate as a part of the initial spark (that character or that situation/plot) and then I can get to it.

What element or part of your “real life” do you think most influences your writing?

I’m fascinated by different perceptions. My first collection of flashes was called Dots and other flashes of perception purely because I felt these flashes explored a lot of different perspectives. I find it intriguing how other people think, how they view the world, and how our perception of reality may not always match up to what really is. How many times have we misinterpreted a situation and then realised we were completely wrong or thought we’d misinterpreted a situation but ended up being completely right? It’s a part of what makes us all human, this relationship each individual has with the world, and I believe this makes for interesting stories. It’s something I think occupies all of my writing, especially in my forthcoming V-Press flash pamphlet, There’s Something Macrocosmic About All of This.

If you could recommend a few flash stories or writers, who/what would it be?

There are so many fantastic writers who consistently publish such stellar writing that any attempt at a list on my part is going to omit incredible work by incredible human beings.

There are also many brilliant flash magazines that publish a stunning flash fiction. Again, making a list would immediately mean accidentally overlooking some, but I think you can’t go wrong by reading everything SmokeLong Quarterly, Wigleaf, matchbook, and Jellyfish Review publish. I’d also add New Flash Fiction Review, but I’m slightly biased (that said, I do objectively believe we publish killer flashes).

I will say that having just finished reading submissions for the next National Flash Fiction Day annual anthology, there are some really amazing flashes in response to the theme of food. ‘Thirteen’ by Jen Harvey moved me to tears when I first read it. Last year’s title story by Helen Rye in Sleep is a Beautiful Colour: 2017 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology is both hilarious and heart-stirring.

Charmaine Wilkerson’s flash novella, How to Make a Window Snake, is also essential reading. I’m currently looking forward to reading New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro (due in August), as well as Christopher Allen’s Other Household Toxins, which is out now.

Kathy Fish, Tania Hershman, Ingrid Jendrzrjewski… I could go on and on and on…

What story of yours do you wish got more recognition?

This feels like a weird question to answer. I’m happy for any recognition for any of my work, but what I wish my stories do most is connect with a reader in some way.

If I had to choose one, I think I would choose my story called ‘Plastic,’ which is about a father whose wife gives birth to a living, alcoholic baby-doll, who changes as she grows based on love.

I had so much fun writing this story, but what means the most to me is that this story was published in a fantastic anthology called Stories for Homes Volume 2, where all profits from the sale of the anthology are donated to Shelter, a UK homelessness charity. You can find out more by visiting their website: https://storiesforhomes.wordpress.com

BIO: Santino Prinzi is the Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day in the UK and the Senior Editor for New Flash Fiction Review. His debut flash fiction collection, Dots and other flashes of perception, was published by The Nottingham Review Press, and his flash pamphlet, There’s Something Macrocosmic About All of This, is forthcoming from V-Press. His short stories, flash fiction, and prose poetry have been published or are forthcoming in various magazines and anthologies, such as Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, Jellyfish Review, Litro Online, (b)OINK! zine, Bath Flash Fiction Award Vol.2, Stories for Homes Anthology Vol.2, Ink Sweat & Tears, and The Airgonaut. To find out more follow him on Twitter (@tinoprinzi) or visit his website: https://tinoprinzi.wordpress.com