How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?
When I was little, I would sit completely still and allow my mother to read to me for hours. Of her five children, I was the only one who would submit to this. At school I was always very good at reading and writing, but I didn’t compose anything “creative” until college. I won some awards at Penn State, then went out to Loyola Marymount to study under one of my favorite writers, Chuck Rosenthal. His novels (The Loop Trilogy) about my hometown, Erie, PA, were a major inspiration to me.
What inspired you to write flash fiction?
My short pieces often emerge from longer projects. If I write something that seems funny or interesting, but is too digressive for what I’m working on, I’ll set it aside and try to mold it into a flash later.
Describe your writing process
As a freelance writer, I’m usually doing journalism of some variety during the day. I like to work on creative projects after dinner. It seems to burn calories and aid digestion. I never outline. I just write until I figure out what I’m writing about. This results in a lot of stuff getting tossed, but who cares? Chuck Rosenthal gave me a great piece of writing advice: “Your words aren’t precious.”
What was the inspiration behind what was published on FewerThan500.com?
I was working on a travel memoir, writing about Venice, Italy. In Venice, I had become convinced that a murderer in a white suit was following me. This was a paranoid delusion, brought on by too many martinis at Harry’s Bar and a recent viewing of The Comfort of Strangers, which stars Christopher Walken as a white-suited Venetian killer. So I’m writing about my imagined imminent demise in Venice, Italy, when I start to think about this time I really did almost croak in Venice, California. I knew this flashback didn’t belong in the travel memoir, but I wrote it anyway, and it eventually became “Death in Venice.”
What are you working on now?
I’m still working on the aforementioned travel memoir. I’ve published a number of excerpts recently, and you can read them at danmorey.weebly.com.
Read Dan’s story.