Author Profile: Robert Lackey

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

I have said it so often, it has become a cliché, but I honestly did begin with verbal short stories at age four (aka Whoppers).  I have been writing stories since I was 12, but primarily for my own internal amusement. Rather than having a milestone when I became aware of wanting to write, I have no recollection of a time when I didn’t. Additionally I have always been among the heard in creative writing classes and at writers conferences. I am currently a member of the South Carolina Writers Workshop and the Surfside Beach Writers Group.

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What inspired you to write flash fiction?

I knew it was out there. The challenge to wedge the emotion, action and core story into 500 words was exciting – actually scary. Now that I am investing significant time in writing, to paraphrase the adage, I have enough time to write shorter pieces.

Describe your writing process.

I am most creative in the morning, so that is my time for working on first drafts. By mid-day I have exercised my writing enough to devote time to editing. My years as a technical writer taught me great respect for the editing process. I do spreadsheet outlines of my longer work, and use it for my character bio synopses. I invest serious time researching my historical fiction (19th Century America), but my humor writing may be a little too free form.

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

“One Word” was originally over 5,000 words. So, in addition to facing the task to lift out the essential heart of the story, I also wanted to retain Poe in his emerging phase. I wanted to use “The Raven” to capture that creative struggle common to all writers: finding that perfect word.

What are you working on now?

I am a bit of a coward, and use self-publishing to quickly get the projects out of my head so I can go on to the next. The 2-3 year cycle for traditional publishing is daunting, and my collection of rejections is growing. I just finished my 4th book length manuscript (“On The Way To Alice” under Pug Greenwood), a sequel to one of my short stories in “Tooey’s Crossroads”. I am currently nearing the end of my 5th, an historical fiction book “Blood On The Chesapeake” under my own name, which is a sequel to “Pulaski’s Canal.”

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