Author Profile: Rebecca Dempsey

RebeccaDempsey

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

When I was nine I learned to read. When I was ten, I read a story my mother wrote and I plagiarised it (oops). My teacher liked it, although my mother was a little annoyed. From that moment I realised that while reading is useful, it’s writing that gets you the attention. Then I had a high school English teacher who was particularly encouraging (hello Marg Muller). Eventually, years later, I resigned myself to the fact I was indeed a writer when studying the craft of short stories under the talented and inspiring John Holton.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

Flash and short stories are my natural habitat. It’s what I wrote as a child, and much of what I read as a teen. I gravitated towards studying short stories when I had a choice, rather than novels. I like the sense of completeness they provide, because some can take minutes to flesh out. Having said that, it’s remarkable how some flash fiction can take years to draft and set in stone, as it were.

Describe your writing process.

I write after work, in the afternoons and early evening. On weekends I sometimes write most of the day or all night. At other times, whenever I need to. I can write every day, but often won’t. There are no rituals; it’s just me in front of a screen, or occasionally a note book. While I don’t outline for flash fiction I do tend to have an entire concept in my head. Once it’s down, it’s revised many times, from tiny tweaks to major overhauls, sometimes as I go. Research could include months of reading (as with my novella), or just a quick check to ensure factual accuracy if indeed a story uses facts. So research is like string, really useful, and can be any length (of time), but is not always needed.

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

I’m fascinated by myth, so even when it’s not a direct part of my writing, it’s there, so Thoth seemed like a good fit. In part, this story was inspired by aspects of where I grew up in rural South Australia: the wetlands, the plants and animals. However, I am not the character; she was just there, waiting.

What are you working on now?

As for what I’m doing now, I’m editing my novella inspired by the first named writer in the world Enheduanna of Ur. I am attempting to complete the NaNoWriMo manuscript I started last November, while resisting starting something new. In other moments I tend my blog at writingbec.wordpress.com where links to my published stories can be found. It’s where I write about writing, and art, and review Doctor Who episodes in terms of the writing (because why not).

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