Furthest Right

Author Interview with David J. Wing

Since conducting this interview, we have now partnered with David J. Wing’s Flash Fiction Contest Zeroflash. Visit to learn more about the contest.

  1. Tell us a little about you and where you come from. What is your background? Your story No Man’s Land is our first piece of historical fiction. Are you a historian or amateur historian?

I’m from Sheffield, originally and via Brazil have settled in Cambridge, UK. I always liked to write but was a slow reader (still not particularly fast now) and have distinct memories of a six-year-old David, banging away on a dated typewriter and drafting poetry. This is my first piece of historical fiction. I actually thought it was more horror with a tint of history, but its dealer’s choice. I am neither a historian nor an amateur historian.

  1. Do you find yourself reading more history than fiction these days? I trained as a historian and find that I generally prefer reading history to most fiction I see at Barnes and Noble. The history seems more entertaining and better written. Do you find the same?

The older I get, the more I find myself curious about history, possibly because I’m fast becoming part of it. I still predominantly read fiction, but historical accounts are slowly seeping in there.

  1. Your story is about war. Are you a veteran, and is war something you’ve studied? I absolutely think you did a great job with the story and the vets I know would love it if they read it.

I’m not a veteran and until a few months ago (Shotgun – clay pigeon shooting) had never held a firearm shy of a water-pistol. I’m overjoyed that you enjoyed the story and if it would appeal to the Veterans, that’s a massive compliment. Tackling a subject when the sum total of your knowledge is primarily films and the occasional sci-fi war story (Forever War/Free/Peace) is a challenge, but it’s important to at least try to get some authenticity in there.

  1. This brings us to a question we often tackle at Uprising Review, that of “how do you know.” So how do you know when you’ve got the history, the feel, the characters, and the truth of the moment right?

The words just crawl out of your ear and fall on the page. I generally have an idea and draft. Then I edit. I’m inspired and the more passionate I feel on a subject, the better the story ultimately becomes.

  1. How much research did you do for your story and how did you know when to stop and just write?

I’m ashamed to say, little to none. See answer 3.

  1. What themes stand out to you when picking a story to write? Most creative people know they have far more ideas than they can ever execute. What makes you want to work on a particular project?

I generally have anywhere between two and twenty stories on the go. Either the intro is written or the theme/idea is written-down. It’s odd, but I think what makes me gravitate one way or another is often related to my mood. Sometimes I’m feeling witty (no comments please) and other times I’m trying to write something lyrical and literary. Every now and then I scribble a horror story or a fantasy or a sci-fi, or what-have-you.

  1. What comes first for you, setting, character, theme, plot? Something else?

The plot tends to appear first, somewhere in the back of my mind and if it’s on worth, it keeps bugging me until the last key is pressed.

  1. Tell me about Carl from No Man’s Land. Where did Carl come from and how did you go about writing him? Are you inspired by writers like Hemingway who kind of pioneered psychological war short stories with the Nick Adams stories?

I love Hemingway, or rather, I did for a long time. I still do, it’s just his inspiration has waned a little in later life. There are simply too many tales to read. Carl, hmmm, Carl, like most of my characters is placed in a situation I realty wouldn’t want to be and also confronted with a situation that while physically horrific, it’s also psychologically traumatic. Brotherhood is the theme, I think. I always had such huge respect and emotion for those men and women that went off to war and only had their friendship to rely on and keep them relatively safe. I think Carl and his decisions really speak to me.

  1. Tell us about your site Zeroflash. What is it about? Where did it come from, what do you want to do with it?

Zeroflash is a flash fiction site. Flash fiction is generally any story between 300-1,000 depending on who you ask. Zeroflash is themed each month and asks for 300 words on a subject. The winner receives £10 and their work illustrated by one of our two artist-in-residence. Flash fiction kick-started me into writing with any real determination a few years ago and I decided that if it had inspired me, then maybe it could do the same for others. We have a real community now and I invite everyone to join and take part.

  1. We’ve recently talked about whether getting an MFA is a good idea. You have a graduate degree in creative writing. Would you do it again? If so what would you do differently?

I decided that to really get into writing, I need a kick up the backside (pardon my French), so I stumped-up what money I had and started a course. It helped, it did, but if you have the determination, you can learn everything I did on my course for the cost of a few late fees at the public library (to paraphrase ‘Good Will Hunting’).

  1. What inspires you?

Damn near everything. Ideas come from everywhere you care to look, you simply need to open your mind to something different and often rather odd.

Tags: , , , , ,

Share on FacebookShare on RedditTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn