Author Profile: Kat Howard

IMG_4188 - CopyHow and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I discovered writing in first grade. From the moment my teacher taught me how to put words on paper, I was in love with writing. I immediately began to write and illustrate stories mostly about my pets and various other animal-related tales. By the end of the school year, my teacher pulled my mother aside and said, “keep that girl writing, she WILL be a writer someday.” From first grade-on, there has never been a time when I wasn’t writing something.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

I discovered flash fiction in one of my college writing courses. I love it! Its perfect for those days where I have such a strong urge to write, but have very limited time to do so. I also like to use flash fiction to help me battle writer’s block. It can be very overwhelming trying to tackle  a 10,000 word or so piece when I’m feeling uninspired. A few hundred words is A LOT more manageable and helps get my creativity flowing.

My favorite part about flash fiction is that it forces you to consider every word and how it will contribute to your essay as a whole. After countless years spent writing pieces for school that were of little interest to me, I catch myself trying to throw in too many filler words. Flash fiction is a perfect exercise to break me out of that habit.

Describe your writing process.

As a writer, I usually think up my best works while driving in my car. I have ‘written’ entire essays in my head while driving, then raced home to my computer to get it all down.  In more urgent cases, I’ve even grabbed the nearest piece of paper and spent an hour in my driveway writing it all down.

When I’m not thinking up new ideas in the car, I typically like to write in the early morning. Probably because it’s the quietest time of day in my neighborhood. The problem is, I work nights. Therefore, I hate waking up in the early morning. Luckily, there is one genre of writing that I prefer to write at night. Lyrical composition. It’s actually the genre I’m most prolific in. I play piano and guitar, which allows me to compose music along with my lyrics. I find it very relaxing and at times, therapeutic.

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

While “Pizza and Trapped Souls” is a fictional piece, the deaths described throughout are based on real deaths which occurred on or near my parent’s property. Based on it’s morbid history, my family home makes a perfect foundation for a ghost story. Luckily, I never actually experienced any ghostly activity growing up at my family’s home. Unfortunately, I was still terrified of the dark as a child, with or without the ghosts!

What are you working on now?

I am currently piecing together a short comic titled, “A Home in the Woods,” which recounts childhood days spent exploring with my sister. I am also working on an article based on a trip I took to California recently.

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