I have been writing my whole life. I was raised in Appalachia by educator parents and my father is a published author. My sister is a very skilled writer and my brother is a wonderful poet. Writing is in our genes. Being the “wildly off the beaten path” thinker of the family I developed my own style of immediate immersion stories that I only recently discovered has its own genre. Under 1000 words and one or two pages is pretty standard for me. I also write prose or a combination of story and prose. I don’t let the usual or even the accepted standard define how I write. My readers have remarked how easy my books are to read and they love that new characters and adventures; good and bad, begin every couple of pages.
When and why did you start writing?
I started writing seriously in September, 2015. After posting my ultra-short stories on social media my friends encouraged me to put them in a book. It seemed like just my kind of challenge even if daunting and the overwhelming feeling after chapter 20 that I had jumped off a cliff! Once finished the book had a definite feel: short glimpses or scenes from a character’s experience; imagined scenes from imagined lives. Since then I have written four more in various genres and offer them as a collectible series.
What inspires your writing?
Anything. Everything. I mean that literally. A young girl riding her Big Wheels toy down the street inspired a story of domestic abuse. Heathrow Airport passport control inspired a space odyssey. I see the strange angles to a scene that would never occur to other people.
What has been your worst moment as a writer?
Writer’s block. Looking at the screen and knowing your brain just isn’t going to cooperate no matter how many times you bang it against the keyboard. When that happens you need to go out and do things. Feel the rain on your face or stomp in a mud puddle. Do something completely new.
Do you have any writing rituals to get you in the mood for writing?
Definitely. I have a day job so as soon as I get home I take care of my little corgi and her needs then set the stage. I light candles and smear my piles of post-it notes with chapter outlines across the table until one of them sparks forward motion in my head….then I’m off.
If you could, what would you go back and tell yourself as a writer starting out?
What the heck are you waiting on? Start writing!
What do you believe makes for great writing?
If other people enjoy reading it as much as you enjoyed writing it then it’s great writing. No need to be too pompous about it. If other people are drawn in and entertained who cares how you do it or if your style is unconventional?
How do you measure success as a writer?
Having someone tell me how much they loved a character or a story. It’s a special kind of thrill.
What’s your biggest fear as a writer?
Waking up one morning to hundreds of one-star reviews on Amazon.
Describe your latest book to our readers
The latest volume of The Glimpse Series is a fun little tome called Creature. Twenty glimpses into the lives of animals and yes, even insects. There’s a squirrel obsessed with selfies; an insect support group to name a couple of scenarios. It’s full of humor and very sweet.
What would you like readers to take away from your writing?
My goal with each “glimpse” is to make you feel one emotion, good or bad. I aim to make you emote. Cry, scream, pound the table in anger or smile; I’m not particular. I just want a reaction.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Stop aspiring and just start writing. Procrastination is a dream killer.
What’s next for you?
I am currently writing volume 6, Christian fiction and prose. It was a challenge from my father that I couldn’t refuse and something demanding deep reflection. Like my other books, it’s something unique to the genre and that’s what I set out to do. It launches just in time for Dad’s birthday in April.
By Lisa Mathisen
Forty imagined scenes from forty imagined lives. Glimpse is a different kind of short story collection, highlighting scenes or short “glimpses” into the lives of the characters. Cry with a Goth rocker in London in one scene, then blink and travel to heaven with an angel in another.
Laugh with a middle aged woman on a crowded bus, then flip to another scene and soar with a seagull in search of Cheetos. Some scenes are poignant; some hilarious, some sad, some ironic.
Just like life.