LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection, Flash Fiction, 'Nuthatch' by Cath Staincliffe
Can you please tell us about your daily life?
My day consists of writing (longhand) or typing and editing work in progress, as well as doing admin, emails and keeping up with social media. Every day I walk for an hour or so – and that’s often when I think about any problems I’m trying to solve in my writing. It might sound dull but in my imagination I’m having the best of adventures.
When did you start writing? How often do you write?
I’ve been writing all my life and publishing crime fiction for over twenty-five years. When I started out I only had time to write one morning a week (childcare and a part-time job took up all the rest of my days) but as soon as I could I started writing every day. I treat it like a job. It is my job. I’ve also written for TV and radio drama. I’ve been short-listed for several Crime Writers’ Association awards and was lucky enough to win the Short Story Dagger in 2012. And in 2019 I was a winner of the Writers Guild of Great Britain’s Best Radio Drama Award.
How does it feel to have your work recognised?
What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Flash-Fiction?
The best thing is how spare and focussed flash fiction is. And for me it’s a chance to experiment and try out new ideas that I’d never do in a novel. The hardest is probably making every word, every phrase count.
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 wrote it fairly quickly in November last year. It was inspired by seeing a Nuthatch in a tree in my local park. Other images and the story itself sprang from that, almost fully formed.
Can you please give us a few tips about writing a flash-fiction story?
I’m not sure where to start. For me it’s about capturing a moment. It’s a photo, a sketch, a fragment of life caught and examined. It’s a close up. No idea if that helps…
What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing competitions?
They’re great as a deadline for completing work and as somewhere to submit work. My first book Looking For Trouble was published as a result of winning a competition so I’m a big fan.
Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on LISP?