How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?
I don’t remember. I know I was writing poetry in grade school – I had a poem published in the newspaper when I was in first or second grade (it was a blatant rip-off of a poem we had read it class, but my teacher evidently thought highly of it). I also remember narrating my own activities in the third person when I played outside as a kid. I think I started telling stories before I realized that that’s what I was doing. I got a lot of encouragement from various teachers along the way, most notably my 9th grade English teacher who routinely gave up a chunk of his lunch break to critique my first attempt at a novel (also a blatant rip-off, of Star Wars in this case, which is mercifully lost and gone forever. I may have burned it; I don’t recall).
What inspired you to write flash fiction?
The challenge. I have always struggled with writing short, and in the past I’ve always dismissed super short work as impossible for me without even thinking about trying it. Recently, I decided to stop dismissing it out of hand and see if I could actually work within that limit.
Describe your writing process.
Highly disorganized. Lack of discipline is my greatest weakness as a writer. I don’t have a schedule or any rituals. I write when I have time and can successfully talk myself out of any of the other myriad possible activities. I don’t, as a general rule, outline, although I have started rudimentary outlines for a couple of stories just to see if I could do it. Research? Only if the need arises during the process.
What was the inspiration behind what was published on FewerThan500.com?
I wanted an image that would grab the attention quickly, and the first thing that came to mind was a pool of fresh blood on the floor.
What are you working on now?
I have stories in Fox Tales 4 and Familiar Spirits, both of which just came out. The next project is a collection of stories written by members of the Fox Valley Writers to the same prompt – my contribution is a story inspired by Poe and Lovecraft. I’ve been trying off and on to find an agent for my first novel (not the same one, thank God) and I’m considering publishing it as an e-book. I have several short stories of a fantasy/soft science fiction nature that I am peddling at the moment.
Read Dolores’ story: Farewell Gesture