The ending of a short story, particularly when I’m answering a call for submissions, usually makes itself known soon after I begin writing. Then I stretch out on the bed and observe where the characters go and what they do, often with surprising results; sometimes they even introduce new players! Doug Harrison
Leodegraunce: Doug, what can you tell us about your background?
Doug Harrison: I’m the father of two children, a daughter and a son, and have a granddaughter, with a grandson on the way (ain’t modern technology great!). I’m proud to have a gregarious but firm leather partner. Finally, I’m the slave of two delightfully entertaining tomcats.
I was active in San Francisco’s leather scene and the Modern Primitives movement, and appear in videos, photo shoots, and an AIDS Emergency Fund’s Bare Chest Calendar.
I’ve authored or coauthored technical articles and patents. My erotic ruminations, which complement my opera fairydom and offset my PhD in optical engineering, appear in zines and approximately twenty anthologies of dubious propriety.
I’m a certified scuba diver and a non-certified long-distance hiker and marathon runner.
Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?
Doug Harrison: I’ve written flash fiction for three months. Dare I say I was drawn to the genre "because it was there?" It presents a tremendous challenge. I feel that my Teutonic PhD thesis advisor, who wouldn’t tolerate an unnecessary word, was a terrific lead-in to succinctness, not my strong point. However, I don’t take three pages to describe a door knob, as does a very well known author.
Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?
Doug Harrison: My most recent work was a carefully worded letter to various officials at the bank holding my home mortgage, and to highly placed government officials. My initial request to have my mortgage rate reduced was ignored and prompted my spending a week on this document.
Unfortunately, I have practice in this venue. It took me several years of letter writing to Medicare to obtain prescribed medical supplies—I won two cases, and, so I’m told, "Set a Federal precedent." Not my intent, but I did want to stay alive. So, persistence in the face of bureaucracy does pay.
A short story, Lonely Boy, appeared in Best Gay Romance 2010.
I have a short story in press, and finally found venues to which I’ve submitted two lengthy stories.
Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2011?
- Finish a collection of my selected short stories.
- Flash Fiction
- A short story or two, if a call entices me.
- Dare I say to continue work on the proverbial first novel? It’s about half done, methinks.
Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?
Doug Harrison: I can only report what works for me. The ending of a short story, particularly when I’m answering a call for submissions, usually makes itself known soon after I begin writing. Then I stretch out on the bed and observe where the characters go and what they do, often with surprising results; sometimes they even introduce new players!