Frances Gapper, 1stQuarter-2018 Highly Recommended Writer
- Can you please tell us about you? Where do you live and how is your daily life?
I live in the West Midlands, UK, with my married partner Deryn (I’m her wife though she isn’t mine) and her grown-up son. It’s very (sub)urban and we talk constantly of moving to a more rural sort of place. Probably we will. Maybe even this year!
- When did you start writing? How often do you write?
I’ve been writing since childhood, on and off. My third story collection, In the Wild Wood, was published in 2017 by Cultured Llama Press. Another exciting thing that happened last year: my mixed-up mini collection Married to a Carrot was a finalist for the Calvino Prize. I used to write in the very early mornings before going to work, but since I ‘retired’ I’ve lost that discipline.
- How did you feel when you learned that you were longlisted for The London Independent Story Prize?
I was very happy and it feels great!
- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Flash-Fiction?
The best thing is that it’s (sometimes) easy, the hardest that it’s (often) hard.
- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 300-word flash-fiction story?
Be prepared to let go of treasured phrases/paragraphs. As Samuel Johnson advised, ‘Read over your compositions, and where ever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.’
Write from the heart and don’t fear your own strangeness.
Let animals stray into your fiction.
Food is good too.
- What's the best thing about writing competitions?
‘The chance of winning’ comes pretty high on my list! One can always dream… However, I find competitions useful mainly as a way to get stuff out there. I particularly like the anonymity of the competition process, which helps me to cope with rejection (feels less personal).
-Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on flash fiction story and LISP?