Author Profile: Tamara Linden

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

I started writing stories almost as soon as I learned to hold a pencil, but I started writing “seriously” about two years ago when I started tutoring for a living. The flexibility of my job allows me to focus a lot more on writing, which we all know takes quite a lot of time and energy. 

What inspired you to write flash fiction? 

I like the sense of immediacy–you have to capture both a story and a mood very efficiently and bring the reader into a character’s head in that moment.

Describe your writing process.

I tend to need big chunks of time to kind of circle the drain into a creative place in my head. Once there, whatever I need usually flows pretty easily but getting there is sometimes a bit tricky. I don’t have any specific rituals but I have found that I can only work with specific kinds of music (the boring alpha wave sleepy kind). I’m also a musician, so anything with a good tune tends to distract rather than focus my attention.

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

It’s actually a vignette from my novel, Under the Willow Root. My MC, Sasha, suffers from hallucinations of another world. Her hallucinations are essentially flash fiction pieces in themselves. For the first few chapters of the book I’m trying to tell two stories simultaneously, but one we don’t see all of one of the stories. Consequently, each scene needs to be concise but also packed with emotional and contextual information.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m eagerly awaiting feedback from the first round of beta readers for Under the Willow Root. Reviews so far have been largely positive but of course some issues have come to my attention. As frustrating as editing can be, I’m excited to have my hands on Willow again and make it as good as it can be.

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