How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?
I was an only child of a widowed mother, so I spent a good portion of my childhood keeping myself company. Telling stories evolved out of setting up elaborate scenarios with my toys – G.I. Joe would often partner with the Muppet Babies to save Strawberry Shortcake from the clutches of Skeletor, or something like that. I always enjoyed that “setting up” phase more than the actual execution, so I guess you could say I was a plotter from the beginning! Later on, in my teens, I discovered Stephen King, Michael Crichton, and other pop-fiction-type authors. I distinctly remember thinking, “I could write stories like this.” From there, it was off to the races!
What inspired you to write flash fiction?
Joining a writers’ group, actually. I’m a long-winded writer at heart; I love crafting long stories and novels more than anything else. When I was exposed to authors who could tell an entertaining and impactful story in just a page or two, I found myself craving the challenge of the very short form.
Describe your writing process.
I prefer to write in the morning, before the distractions of the day get in the way. However, I’m a father of two young boys and I work a full-time job, so the best answer (for now) is that I write as often as I can. My only real rule is, “Write every day.” My first drafts are often scribbled in longhand, in a journal, then typed and revised four or five times, depending on the needs of the work.
What was the inspiration behind what was published on FewerThan500.com?
FT500 is interesting to me because of its limitations. 500 words is roughly 2 typed, double-spaced pages. That’s not a lot of space, so each word has to contribute to a finite whole, and hopefully that whole leaves a lasting impression on the reader. It’s not an easy thing to do, which is why I think it’s worth learning.
What are you working on now?
Hoo-boy! I keep a lot of projects going simultaneously, but the most important is a fantasy novel entitled Trollbooth. I’m also developing a serialized story about anti-mystery-shoppers in big box retail stores, to be published in flash-sized installments on my writers’ group’s blog. I’m also hoping to collaborate this year with my cousin on a children’s story inspired by a story my older son told me a few weeks back.
Read Nik’s story: The Point