- Can you please tell us about you? Where do you live and how is your daily life?
I am French and moved to the UK 15 years ago.
I live in Surrey with my husband and two (soon three!) children. I work as a digital manager and I am lucky enough to work from home and manage my own hours, which means I can spend some time with the kids and attend a creative writing class. I suffer from insomnia so I generally write first thing in the morning before everyone else is up. I find this is the time I am most inspired, and when I am not, I let my foggy state guide my thoughts and am sometimes surprised by the results. This, however, isn’t the best time to produce the best grammar and spelling, so I generally write it in the mornings and edit it in the evenings.
- When did you start writing? How often do you write? We want to learn all about your writing life!
I started writing 4-5 years ago, mainly stories I haven’t shared with anyone yet aside from 3 short stories which are published on the Storgy website. I also submitted a terrible entry to the Bridport Prize a few years ago and probably gave the jury a good laugh.
Last October, I entered my local council writing competition and was happily surprised when my story was commended and published on the RC Sherriff Trust website. The following month I entered the 1,000-word challenge and was longlisted. This gave me lots of confidence and motivation and I then made my new year resolution to write more (though it still isn’t very much!) and also started a creative writing class.
- How did you feel when you learned that you were Longlisted for The London Independent Story Prize?
I was delighted to be longlisted and commended, especially since I generally write slightly longer pieces (800-2,500 words) and this was my first attempt at writing a sub-300-word Flash-Fiction.
- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Flash-Fiction?
I just love how you have to make every word count, and the challenge of having to choose every word wisely. Being quite often labelled “a chatterbox” it is definitely the hardest thing as well!
- 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?
For a very long time I thought you needed to have tons of imagination (which I don’t have) in order to produce a story. I realised recently, after finding inspiration from the expired products in my kitchen cupboard, that the potential for a good story is all around us, even in the most mundane of events, and it’s up to the writer to bring this to life. 'The Acrid Smell of Revenge' was a first draft inspired by my evil neighbours and written on the competition closing date. I definitely didn’t spend long enough on it - it would have benefitted from being slept on and reworked.
- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 300-word Flash-Fiction story?
I’m fairly new to the genre but I would say edit a lot so that there is nothing superfluous or risking to break the rhythm of the story; also since it is such a short amount of words, you need a strong start to draw the reader in as early as possible.
- 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?
I definitely find the deadline aspect to competitions quite motivating, I also find it a good way to put myself out there, which I don’t always find easy, not being the most confident of writers. I also love reading other writers’ pieces - it’s amazing how much talent there is out there!
- Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on Flash-Fiction story and LISP?
Absolutely, it was a great competition to enter. I really loved the 300-word limit and will definitely be entering again!