Phil Temples, LISP 2nd Half 2019 Longlisted Writer
-Can you please tell us about you? Where do you live and how is your daily life?
I’m a liberal-minded baby boomer born and raised in the US state of Indiana; however I’ve lived,
worked, and played for the past fifty years in Boston, Massachusetts. I’m married, with no kids.
Professionally, I’m a software engineer-turned-computer systems administrator. At present I’m
employed in a computer science department at a local university. For fun, I’m an avid ham radio
operator. I also dabble as a singer in a garage band. And of course, there’s my writing.
- When did you start writing? How often do you write? We want to learn all
about your writing life!
I started dabbling in writing in the early 1990s. Most of my works were funny, little O. Henry-
type tales written to entertain my spouse. Later, I became friends with another short story writer
at work. He encouraged me to seek markets in which to publish my pieces. I currently have over 140 stories published in online journals and ‘zines.
In 2014, I turned to writing full-length manuscripts. I currently have a novella, four novels and a short story anthology on the market, including my Carrie Bloomfield scientific-mystery series:
The Winship Affair and The Allston Variant. The third in the series, Uncontacted Frontier, is
slated for publication in April, 2020 by Moonshine Cove Publishing. I blog about my
writing—and my friends’ writings—at <https://temples.com>.
- How did you feel when you learned that you won The London Independent Story Prize? How
does it feel to have your work recognised?
When I spotted the ad for the LISP competition I was intrigued. I think it is the first time I’ve
entered a writing contest. I figured, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I was pleasantly
surprised to learn I was one of the finalists!
- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Flash-Fiction?
Flash and nano-fiction require word economy—something not every writer can readily master. I tend to be more of a who, what, where, when, and why type-of-guy; it doesn’t bother me in the least to go sparingly on the literary and flowery language with extreme prejudice! Flash and nano are my preferred genres. Nearly all of my stories tend to be on the sparse side. On the other hand, I revel in writing lengthy dialog.
- 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’ve often wondered what it would be like to achieve literary fame such that people would pirate
my books or even plagiarize my words. The Sincerely Form of Flattery was inspired by a true
incident I read about—granted, I added a lot of embellishment.
I wrote it in the course of a few hours.
- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 300-word flash-fiction story?
I would encourage folks to not be too focused on the word limit when they write. Just tell an
Pretend you are engaging a group of people at a party with a tale. Of course, you want to make your story as interesting and captivating as possible. What will you say to hold their attentions for a few minutes, before they start excusing themselves to drift away for another drink or appetizer?
- What's the best thing about writing competitions?
Since this is my first writing competition, it’s not easy for me say. Perhaps being recognized by a professional organization such as LISP. I suppose having the bragging rights is a nice thing!
-Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on flash fiction story and LISP?
Flash fiction is a wonderful medium in which to express oneself. In this day and age where we
all lead busy lives and our attention spans grow shorter and shorter, it’s satisfying to digest a
good micro before something interrupts our thoughts. Everyone—poets, memoirists,
novelists—should give the genre a go at some point in their writing careers.
Of course, I’ll certainly keep LISP in mind for future submissions!