Author Profile: Harvey Steinberg

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

Let me say what caused me not  to write, before I picked it up again. In my mid-twenties, married with two infant daughters, I quit my job, desperate to write a play — the first half of which I accomplished before running out of money. Scared, to say the least, I swore off creative writing until many years went by. So now I’m at it again, my grandsons in their late twenties.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

Sometimes I write tersely as an experiment in the powers of language.

Describe your writing process.

I often get fragments of ideas while lunching at fast food eateries with noise about me. The hum seems to help; it’s been like that since I was a youngster reading Freud, Hardy, Shelly in Brooklyn cafeterias while my friends clamored about batting averages, physics, and spoke offhand about girls. In fact, possibly my best poem was entirely written on the proverbial napkin a few years ago at a New Jersey Turnpike rest stop, without my even realizing what I was doing.

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

The initial inspiration for the story you’re publishing came from out of the blue while I was at my safe deposit box. The story line, implied but recognizable, is a reflection of my reflections.

What are you working on now?

At age 83 I’ve finally decided I need a steady career, so I’m into unremunerated creative writing. (Is this a career?) I write in whatever genres I feel like — recently journalism with my wife Marcia (also 83) and a heavily-researched book with her about the heretofore unknown origins of IBM (after its publication, endorsed by the giant company). From here on in, all genres of poetry, fiction, and  creative nonfiction. Keeps me happy, so why not? And when people ask me what I’m doing lately, I say, “What lately? I’m a careerist without pay.”

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