LISP 22 Flash Fiction LISP Finalist, 'The Day After the War Started' by Mathieu Cailler
- Can you please tell us about you and your daily life?
I am an author of children's literature, poetry, fiction, essays, and screenplays. Six of my books have been published (two children's titles, two collections of poetry, one short story collection, and my most recent, a novel). I try to write every day. Presently, I am working on a YA novel. I always feel most alive while working in different genres.
- When and how did you get into writing?
I became interested in writing through stand-up comedy. I must have been around 13 or so when I realized how amazing it was for someone to stand up there in front of an audience and tell stories. What made something funny? How did word choice and delivery factor into making a person laugh? It was not long before I, too, began crafting jokes. In time, though, I wanted to tell all sorts of stories, not just comedic ones, and for that, I needed the blank page.
- How often do you write? Do you have a writing routine? And what inspires you to write?
I write most days. My routine is pretty simple. I find a quiet place and get to work. I try to always leave off in a place where it will be easy to reenter and re-manifest the dream state from the day prior. Inspiration is a tricky thing. I think it comes mostly from the idea that I have a story worth telling. From there, I must do the character(s) justice and do my best to voice their narrative. In terms of who inspires me, I just look at other artists. I love thinking about canvases, essays, columns, books, songs, all forms of art coming to life with daily work.
- How does it feel to have your work recognised?
It is always a great feeling, but awards for art are truly subjective. Something can totally connect with someone and be rejected by another publisher in the very same hour. So, I try to just write to the best of my ability. Tell the story I wish to tell, and then submit, and so on. That said, receiving recognition from LISP made my week.
- What's the best thing and the most challenging thing about writing a Screenplay/Story?
All forms of writing are challenging. Screenplays and stories possess different obstacles, but it's always about plot and scene, and how one can develop a character in an authentic way. For my LISP entry, a flash piece, I wanted to grab the reader as quickly as a could and take them through a lot in a compressed time.
- How did you develop 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 been reading a lot about the war in Ukraine and thought to myself about the beauty that still exists, of course, during wartime. The idea led to me thinking more directly about a group of people that wish to focus on that, edit life in a way as much as possible, even if just for a second or two.
- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a Story?
Don't talk about what you're writing, just go write it. No matter how rough, you will have something. Having something rough is so much better than talking about something great.
- Lastly, do you recommend the writers submit their stories/screenplays to LISP?