Since conducting this interview, we have now partnered with David J. Wing’s Flash Fiction Contest Zeroflash. Visit ZeroFlash.org to learn more about the contest.
Iâ€™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 dealerâ€™s choice. I am neither a historian nor an amateur historian.
The older I get, the more I find myself curious about history, possibly because Iâ€™m fast becoming part of it. I still predominantly read fiction, but historical accounts are slowly seeping in there.
Iâ€™m not a veteran and until a few months ago (Shotgun â€“ clay pigeon shooting) had never held a firearm shy of a water-pistol. Iâ€™m overjoyed that you enjoyed the story and if it would appeal to the Veterans, thatâ€™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 itâ€™s important to at least try to get some authenticity in there.
The words just crawl out of your ear and fall on the page. I generally have an idea and draft. Then I edit. Iâ€™m inspired and the more passionate I feel on a subject, the better the story ultimately becomes.
Iâ€™m ashamed to say, little to none. See answer 3.
I generally have anywhere between two and twenty stories on the go. Either the intro is written or the theme/idea is written-down. Itâ€™s odd, but I think what makes me gravitate one way or another is often related to my mood. Sometimes Iâ€™m feeling witty (no comments please) and other times Iâ€™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.
The plot tends to appear first, somewhere in the back of my mind and if itâ€™s on worth, it keeps bugging me until the last key is pressed.
I love Hemingway, or rather, I did for a long time. I still do, itâ€™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 wouldnâ€™t want to be and also confronted with a situation that while physically horrific, itâ€™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.
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 Â£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.
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 â€˜Good Will Huntingâ€™).
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.