Author Profile: Gay Degani

degani

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

I loved to read and with the Whitman adapted versions of Five Little Peppers and How They Grew and Little Women rolling around in my fourth grade imagination, I knew I wanted to write books just like them. By fifth grade, I was penning a book about the Twellington triplets who loved to ice skate (the skating from Hans Brinker).

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

Flash Fiction has been my writing savior. I struggled with structure and story for a long time, writing stories that were 10,000-15,000 words long, so after reading a flash piece online written by Kate Thornton, I thought “Short stories can be this short?” What a blessing!  I learned how to focus on the “moments” in a story, how to build toward it and give it meaning.  It seemed to me to be so much easier to learn tension and emotional shift in a short piece than a long one.   With that lesson, I realized that a 10,000 word piece is made up of several moments of tension and release one after another.

Describe your writing process.

I’m writing one way or another all the time.  I send emails to myself when I get an idea.  I snatch fifteen minutes here and there to write a paragraph or a page.  I carve out an hour in the morning and during the day to reread and research. I don’t worry about the first draft being good.  The key is to get the words on the page, the  words being the “clay” to work with must exist before I can begin shaping it into something that entertains or provokes thought.

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

“Fury” came to me during a week when there were several shootings around the country.  I was thinking about how having a gun around the house makes it so much easier to do real harm when a person “sees red” and wants to lash out .  The character leapt into my head, with all his rage and need for vengeance.

What are you working on now?

I’m trying to put together another collection of stories, mostly flash, this time focused on different genres.  I’ve published science fiction, mystery, and dabbled a little in horror and suspense, but I need to get more stories written. I’m working on that.

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