How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?
If I recall rightly (?writely?), I was diagnosed when I was twelve. Several poems appeared under my skin, and needed an outlet. Years of intensive therapy failed to find a cure, and now the writing affliction is incurable. I blame my aunt. She said I ought to be a writer because I share a birth date with William Shakespeare.
What inspired you to write flash fiction?
In 2012, I began a creative writing course at Hagley Writers’ Institute in Christchurch, New Zealand. My tutor, Frankie McMillan, is an excellent flash fiction writer. She infected half the class.
Describe your writing process.
Writing can happen at any time, though the four a.m. ones are not appreciated by my partner. I usually write perched on a beanbag at home. Rituals involve granting myself a break every half hour to look at rubbish on the Internet. My secret shame is the “oddly satisfying” video series on “YouTube”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSoaTuiPsTQ
There are wonderful resources for story ideas on the net, such as the abandoned buildings series on “Pinterest”. Also, who can resist writing stories inspired by headlines like “When People go Full Retard” or “He found a frozen dead cat on his porch”? The net can prove a great resource for odd character names, like Basil, Perdo or Melania.
Although I’ve recently focused on polishing existing pieces, I treat myself to doing some new writing about once a week. Outlines are often mulled over when I walk in the Port Hills where I live, or when jotting notes down after waking up during dream sleep.
I do a lot of research. If I can’t find what I want on-line, I’ll go to the library or museum, or interview someone who works in the field I’m writing about. I have a regular critique partner, Eileen Merriman, who acts like an editor and checks facts for me too. If I’ve missed something, she’s very good at picking discrepancies up. When writing novels I’ll research to ridiculous levels, like checking the weather in the city the story was set in on a particular date.
What was the inspiration behind what was published on FewerThan500.com?
A flash fiction prompt, “bite.” I think there was a cheesy adaptation of “The Company of Wolves” running through my head when I wrote it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARC93pDUGbQ
What are you working on now?
I’ve recently resurrected some dead short stories and flash pieces. When I started my creative writing course, I had an awful lot of enthusiasm, but lacked a corresponding complement of skills. Recently I looked through my folder and found several lemons from the last few years. So I added sugar, cinnamon, meringue and a few sharp knives and am sending them out again. There is a novella/flash novella about a non-able-bodied woman in the oven waiting to rise too.
If you are interested in seeing any more of my stories, check my website: http://www.nodghosh.com/about/