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Interview with Paul Beckman, LISP 3rd Quarter 2018, Highly Recommended Writer.

- Can you please tell us about you? Where do you live and how is your daily life?

I live in Connecticut, New England USA

- When did you start writing? How often do you write? We want to learn all about your writing life!

I started writing about 40 years ago. My first book, " Come! Meet My Family and other stories" was published 23 years ago and since then I've had over 400 stories published, a Novella "Lovers and Other Mean People" and two Flash collections, "Peek" 2015 and "Kiss Kiss" 2018. I've was one of the winners in The Best Small Fictions of 2016, had a story selected as the editor's choice for 2016 from Fiction Southeast, and had a story selected for the Norton New Micro Anthology 2018.

- How did you feel when you learned that you are on the Highly Recommended List of The London Independent Story Prize? How does it feel to have your work recognised?

It felt great, especially since I moved up a notch from 2017. Recognition lets you know you're doing something right.

- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Flash-Fiction?

The best thing about writing Flash is the acceptance it's gained in the publishing world. The hardest thing is to cut some of your favorite phrases, sentences, or words to deliver a tight story.

- How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected story? Is there a story behind your story? And how long have you been working on it?

I had remembered a friend growing up whose mother was very much like the mother in my story. In my mind I'd been working on the story for many years but when I sat down to write it I did the first draft in under an hour. Then the subsequent drafts took another month or so.

- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 300-word flash-fiction story?

There is a story about how Michaelangelo created his iconic sculpture of David. According to the story he chipped away all of the stone that was not David until David appeared.

There is a similarity with writing a 300 word story, (sculpting with words). Write. Read aloud. Cut. Repeat and keep repeating until you have a 300 word story that you're satisfied with.

- What's the best thing about writing competitions? Having a deadline, a motivation to finish the story, the chance of winning, getting recognised by a professional organisation, communicating with other writers or a networking opportunity to meet with like-minded people?

The best thing about writing competitions is all of the above.

-Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on flash fiction story and LISP?

Absolutely! Anything that advances your writing is a positive experience.

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