Author Profile: Angel Zapata

AngelZapata

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I was assigned a poetry writing assignment in high school. Reading Wordsworth, Blake, and Shakespeare ignited my spirit. I saw the beauty they created and wanted to create something beautiful of my own. I began submitting my work to journals— via snail mail in those days— and publication credits quickly followed. Poetry felt like the tip of an iceberg for me and, through gradual exploration, I slowly slipped into writing fiction, specifically genre fiction, which I wholeheartedly love.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

I was writing flash fiction before I knew what it was. While my writer friends kept me informed on the number of pages they completed daily, I was penning these really short, 100-word stories. The concise nature of them just felt perfect to me. I love knowing there’s the potential for twelve flawlessly-strung words to shine brighter than five hundred indiscriminately placed.

Describe your writing process.

I usually write during the day, rarely in the evening. Most of the time I’m on the go, so my writing is squeezed into every free moment I get. Some writers have daily word count goals that far exceed my weekly goals, but I’m okay with spending the day writing one sentence and tweaking it to perfection. I also spend a lot of time reading and researching a myriad of topics. It’s made me a stronger and more confident writer.

What was the inspiration behind what was published on FewerThan500.com?

This is the type of question I get asked a lot, and it never gets any easier for me to answer. More often than not, I don’t know the exact moment a story sparks to life in my brain, don’t always recognize the trigger. As it so happens, The Boy Who Plays with Knives sprung from a playful exercise I like to participate in from time to time. I was thinking about the novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I wanted to create my own Larsson-esque tale in as few sentences as possible. Four hundred words seemed just right.

What are you working on now?

Lately, I’ve been quietly working on a new chapbook of literary poems and fleshing out the next installment of my crime thriller series, featuring my character, Roddy Sanchez. I took several months off from sending out my work to e-zines and printed journals. I was absolutely enjoying the movement of my pen on the page and didn’t want to break my stride. But now I’m more than ready to leap into the fray again.

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