To just get the words down on paper (or the computer screen.)  Michelle Mccall

Leodegraunce: Please tell Leodegraunce readers a bit about your background.

Michelle Mccall: I was born and raised in Hawaii.  My main working background is in retail, though I also spent some time in the tourist industry as a photographer.  I'm self-employed, selling my arts and crafts online.

Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?

Michelle Mccall: I started writing flash fiction this summer as a challenge to myself.  After years of focusing on novels, I wanted to see if I could write short again.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?

Michelle Mccall: "Invisible" is my first published work.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for the remainder of 2012?

Michelle Mccall: I have a novel manuscript that I am currently revising, and plan to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

Michelle Mccall: To just get the words down on paper (or the computer screen.)  That's the first step, the most important step, but one that is so easy to ignore.  No one will ever know about the stories in your head if you don't write them down.
 
 

One writing tip would be to never pay to submit your work anywhere for any reason. Basil Rosa

Leodegraunce: Basil, please tell us about your background.

Basil Rosa: I published my first short story in 1980 under my birth name, John Flynn, and have been publishing stories and poems ever since. My web site is www.basilrosa.com. I began using the Basil Rosa pen name in 2010 when I realized yet another crisis of identity. I had become someone else, and was writing out of the experience of a person I no longer recognized. I know this may sound pretentious, but I wanted to get to know this new person. I took solace from the Portugese poet, Fernando Pessoa, who believed we are many people in our lifetimes, that the nature of our personalities is a fractured one. Pessoa wrote under three names, I believe. I connect with him and his work in a way that brings comfort and daily renewal. For me, writing is discovery. It is not therapy. It is not a career. My hope is always that my work entertains and inspires.

Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction?
 
Basil Rosa: Flash fiction is relatively new as a form. And so am I. I've always written flash pieces, but it's only during the last three years that I have identified and tried to publish them as such. Sometimes, what was once a poem gets elongated into a flash piece. Sometimes a traditional short story gets boiled down to fit within flash parameters. I enjoy writing in all forms, love the different challenges and disciplines involved. I try to flow with them, so to speak. Life is a fluid experience, is it not?
 
Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?

Basil Rosa: I have a new traditional short story due out in the fall of 2012 from Vermont Literary Review. I've a jazz poem written for a sax-playing friend due out this summer from Ibbetson Street Press. I've also a trio of poems soon to appear in Umbrella on-line, www.umbrella.com. Each of these poems is named after a sea shell, but in the Latin name. Lastly, my first novel will be coming out some time in 2012 from Cervena Barva Press, www.cervenabarvapress.com. It's titled Heaven Is A City Where Your Language Isn't Spoken. I encourage your readers to check out Cervena Barva. Gloria Mindock is following through on her mission to publish and promote excellent voices from all corners of the globe.
 
Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2012?

Basil Rosa: My first few poetry books, and my first collection of short stories have been out of print for a while, so I plan on bringing them out in E-book format and making them available at my web site, and at all the more well-known outlets -- all for a very low price. I was in an airport not long ago and surprised by the amount of people I saw reading E-tablets. The future of E-publishing is here now. I'm working with an artist from Richmond on the cover of what was my first book of poems back in 1998, Moments Between Cities. That book earned an award from the Peace Corps. The press that published it went out of business. It's up to me now to make it available, so it will be out shortly as an E-book.
 
Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

Basil Rosa: One writing tip would be to never pay to submit your work anywhere for any reason. Use your hard-earned chump change to buy another writer's book, or to subscribe to a magazine. I know it's difficult in our bordello culture, but try to be a writer not a whore. Learn a second language. Do your work quietly, steadily, with patience, and don't expect anything in the way of notoriety, respect, or money.
 
 
Persistence, Persistence, Persistence & perseverance.  I stopped saving my rejection slips last year.  I had 7 1/2 lbs of them. Thomas Michael McDade

Leodegraunce: Thomas, please tell Leodegraunce readers a bit about your background.

Thomas Michael McDade: I've been writing for forty-some years but I'm new to flash fiction unless you count prose poems.  I was drawn to the genre by the challenge of it I guess.  Ferragamos was a reduction of a 1,664 word short story.  I guess under 2,000 is flash in some minds. 

Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2012?

Thomas Michael McDade: I plan to work on more flash fiction as well as some longer stories in the coming year.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

Thomas Michael McDade: Persistence, Persistence, Persistence & perserverence.  I stopped saving my rejection slips last year.  I had 7 1/2 lbs of them.
 
 
Believe in yourself, but never be satisfied with your first draft.
Cath Barton

Leodegraunce: Cath, please tell Leodegraunce readers a bit about your background.

Cath Barton:  I’m a writer, photographer and singer. I’m English, but for the past six and a half years I’ve been living in Abergavenny, a lovely little town in South Wales.  I find it a very friendly and inspiring part of the world.

Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?

Cath Barton: I started writing flash fiction just over two years ago. I was inspired by a friend who’d had a couple of 100-word stories published. I’m a member of a local writing group, and we all gave ourselves the challenge of writing stories of this length.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?

Cath Barton: Recently I’ve had a vignette called “I Want to go to Russia” published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and I recorded myself reading my story “On the Edge of the Sea Ice” for the online audio magazine 4’ 33”

Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2012?

Cath Barton:  To write more and better stories, and to keep challenging myself to step outside my comfort zone.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

Cath Barton: Believe in yourself, but never be satisfied with your first draft.
 
 
Achieving publication is amazing, but the most important thing I've learnt, thus far, is that you have to write for yourself and feel proud in yourself whatever happens. Clarissa Pattern

Leodegraunce: Clarissa, please tell Leodegraunce readers a bit about your background.

Clarissa Pattern: I had a bit of a mad upbringing, but one of the most important moments for my sanity was when I first read Wuthering Heights and realised how beautiful and complex and eternally meaningful the written word could be.

Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?

Clarissa Pattern: I discovered flash fiction online years ago and immediately loved how writers could capture the significance of little moments and mould them into stories. I find the best ones are like short sharp punches to the mind that can leave you reeling.
A lot of my flash fiction (like my poetry!) is better kept for my own eyes only, but occasionally I create something that I really want to share with other people who enjoy the form as much as I do.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?

Clarissa Pattern: I often publish under a pen name, but I have stories included in anthologies for Bridgehouse publishing which are under my own name.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2012?

Clarissa Pattern: Finishing the first draft of my current novel is my main priority, but there are also lots of incomplete ideas floating about in my notebooks which I would love to find the time to work on.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

Clarissa Pattern: Achieving publication is amazing, but the most important thing I've learnt thus far, is that you have to write for yourself and feel proud in yourself whatever happens.
 
 
All I can say is that, if you really want to write, then stop bleating about it and do it. Abigail Wyatt

Leodegraunce: Abigail, please tell Leodegraunce readers a bit about your background.

Abigail Wyatt: I was born into a working class home in Aveley, just outside London, and at the age of eleven I was fortunate enough to win a place at grammar school. This led me into the teaching profession where I worked for twenty years. At my last school in Redruth in Cornwall I became Head of the English Faculty. I enjoyed my work but found it left me little time in which to write. I made the twin decisions to retire from teaching and to concentrate on my writing. This has not always been an easy path and I sometimes struggle financially but, if I had continued in teaching, I know I would never have written even a quarter of the material I have published in the last four or five years.

Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?

Abigail Wyatt: I have  been writing flash fiction, off and on, for about two years.  As a writer who began with poetry and then moved into fiction, I find myself drawn to its strength and conciseness.  In a piece of flash, as in any decent poem, you have to be utterly ruthless.  I tend to revise endlessly and I try to make every word count.  Flash fiction, I think, offers the kind of discipline which, if you submit yourself to it willingly, must make you a better writer than you were before you started out.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?

Abigail Wyatt: As a poet, I have been featured four times this year by Poetry24 which publishes work linked to news and current affairs.  My most recent credit was for To Be or 36B, a Question of Identity which was published on 9th March in celebration of International Women's Day.  Also, I was the featured poet in a recent edition of Word Salad and three of my poems appeared in last month's Welcome to Wherever.  In terms of flash fiction, my stories, Into the Light and A Terrible Hush have appeared in consecutive editions of Word Gumbo while, towards the end of last year, I had pieces in Apocrypha & Abstractions and Long Story Short. My first published flash was An Outline which appeared in Rumble Magazine in October, 2010. I have an anthology of my short fiction, Old Soldiers, Old Bones and Other Stories due out soon with Simon Millon's One Million Stories.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2012?

Abigail Wyatt: Firstly, I am putting the finishing touches to my second poetry collection, Moths and Nightjars, which I am planning to publish for Kindle in the next few weeks. My debut collection, Moths in a Jar (Palores),  appeared in November, 2010 and these poems revisit and expand on some of its themes.  Secondly, I am hoping to produce a collection of short fiction, by which I mean anything between 200 and 2000 words. Finally, over the next six months I plan to collaborate with my partner, David Rowland, over the writing of a thirty minute stage play which will examine some of the issues raised by the problem of 'home care'. This will be a new ground for both of us and  I am certain it will involve a steep learning curve.  There are bound to be other projects, too. I always try to take on too much.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors? 

Abigail Wyatt: I am not sure that I am the right person to ask. At my age, you don't do it for the money or even in the hope of one day 'making it big'. All I can say is that, if you really want to write, then stop bleating about it and do it.  I feel I can say that, though it may sound harsh, because it is a lesson I didn't learn easily. I allowed myself to be 'distracted' by too many other things.  Now I write because it's what I love to do and I am running out of time in which to do it. Nothing focuses the mind quite so well as the prospect of senility and death.
 
 
Don't believe someone just because they're a teacher. Be awesome in your own way and never give up. Micah Joel

Leodegraunce: Micah, please tell Leodegraunce readers a bit about your background.

Micah Joel: I'm a classic high-functioning Silicon Valley geek. I grew up in the Midwest and went to school for electronics, but had my first programming job before even finishing college. I'm also a homebrewer and nationally ranked beer judge. I like cats.
 
Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?

Micah Joel: I'm a bit of a sucker for twist endings, and flash is a great medium for those. I can't really pin down a date when I started writing, flash or otherwise. I was stupid and inexperienced enough in high school to listen to one particular teacher who really put me off writing for longer than I care to admit. It took me a while to realize he was an idiot. Things really kicked into gear after I was accepted into the Viable Paradise workshop for the class of 2010.
 
Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?

Micah Joel: I had a fun flash parody piece in the WTF?! Anthology from Pink Narcissus Press. I put up another flash piece for free on Lulu as an experiment in self-promotion--go check out Large Feline Collider.
 
Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2012?

Micah Joel: It would be nice to finish up this thing I started during NaNoWriMo 2007. That and continuing to plug away on short and flash fiction. I'm quite likely to do some slush reading in 2012 as well.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

Micah Joel: Don't believe someone just because they're a teacher. Be awesome in your own way and never give up.


 
 
Leodegraunce: Bruce, please tell Leodegraunce readers a bit about your background.

Bruce Harris: I have a Ph.D. in Social Psychology.  I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing. I am a big fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and am the author of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: ABout Type.

Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?

Bruce Harris: I’ve been writing flash fiction for the last 3 or 4 years. I work full-time and have a family. Flash fiction is the perfect medium for getting quick hits of fiction without investing a tremendous amount of time.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?

Bruce Harris: Parts Department was published in Leodegraunce (issue 12).

Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2012?

Bruce Harris: Genre fiction, especially mystery and detective fiction, has always appealed to me. I hope to write a good old-fashioned pulp story.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

Bruce Harris: Make time each day to write. It has been said before: edit, edit, and edit again. Once you finish a piece, put it away for at least a week and then reread it. And, of course, never let yourself get discouraged by anything or anyone.



 
 
Give her an idiosyncrasy or a peccadillo and Maggie will write you a story that reveals her quirky, or disturbingly raw sensibility. She hails from beautiful Coffs Harbour, on the north coast of NSW. Her stories have been published in the US, the UK, Canada, NZ, and Australia.

My best tip for aspiring authors is to work extra hard on those opening sentences. Maggie Veness

Leodegraunce: Please tell us a bit about your background.

Maggie Veness: I have a Nursing and Community Welfare background, which has definitely enriched my story-bank. It's widely believed that if you look deeply enough, a grain from the author's real life experience can be found skulking within their fiction. I would have to agree. As far as writing goes, I've had no formal training.  Yet, here I am with work published in five countries, and tutoring fiction-writing at the local College. All you need is the passion and willingness to work hard.

Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?
 
Maggie Veness: I began writing fiction around five years ago, in 2007, after attending a two day writing course at our local college. From there I joined a writers group, and so began my love affair with short fiction. As I began to study the craft, I realized that flash fiction was one of the toughest to write. Squeezing a complete story - with a beginning, middle, and end - into so few words presents a huge challenge. And on top of that, the story has to be interesting! When I read I want a story that reels me in, either by hooking my heart or my guts or my head or any other part of my hungry being. That's what I strive for: to write stories that carry my readers on a journey.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?
 
Maggie Veness: I've enjoyed much success with writing competitions, and have won National awards here in Australia. The majority of my published work is 'short story' length, although I've had 'flash' stories published in the U S, in the 'Static Movement'  Flash Anthology, and the 'Pill Hill Press'  Flashes of Erotica, and in the UK's 'One Page Stories'.

Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2012?

Maggie Veness: My plan for 2012 is to continue sharing my enthusiasm for story writing by tutoring short fiction, and to try to produce stories of a high enough caliber to justify inclusion in a short story collection of my own.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

Maggie Veness: My best tip for aspiring authors is to work extra hard on those opening sentences. If we can manage to hook our reader they'll want to keep reading to find out what happens. Go take a closer look at some of your favorite stories. Study the way the author has written his/her opening lines, then go back to your own work and see if there's room for improvement. It's all about the 'hook'. Most importantly, have fun!

 
 
_Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia, J. Chris Lawrence spent much of his life traveling. With a love for fiction, he fancies himself a writer, and hopes to convince others of the same. His work has appeared in Every Day Fiction magazine and is forthcoming at 50 Word Stories.  Visit his blog at J. Chris Lawrence.

There is always room for improvement, so get out there, join some workshops, read as much as possible, embrace life experiences as fodder for fiction, and always look for that new challenge that will push your boundaries. J. Chris Lawrence

Leodegraunce: Please tell us about your background.  

J. Chris Lawrence: Though born in the Blue Ridge mountains of West Virginia, I spent most of my childhood traveling and living place to place. I had something of an unorthodox youth as a result, experiencing many different facets of American culture. I was raised in a deeply artistic environment, and dabbled with sculpting, music, sketch work, et cetera before finding my true passion with writing. I'm a bit of a late bloomer though, as I have only just started pursuing a professional career this year. I currently live in Georgia with my wife and two sons, and hope to one day be able to live off of my writing alone.

Leodegraunce: How long have you written flash fiction and what drew you to the genre?

J. Chris Lawrence: Not very long to be honest. I started writing flash fiction just under a year ago. What first drew me into the genre was the challenge of it. I have a natural tendency to write larger work, so when I stumbled across some websites that specialized in stories under a thousand words, five hundred words, two hundred words, et cetera, I wondered how it was even possible. I tend to gravitate toward opportunities to improve myself, and I felt that learning flash fiction would do just that. I soon realized that writing stories with such limitations is something of an art form; a unique breed of literature in a class all its own.  

Leodegraunce: What are some of your recent works?

J. Chris Lawrence: I recently had a handful of acceptances for more flash work at Every Day Fiction magazine, which specializes in stories of a thousand words or less. Among these, the best would be "The Widow's Tale" published October 28th, which received some great reviews from the public. I also have a piece forthcoming at 50 Word Stories, which marks my shortest work yet, and another flash piece due in the December issue of Apollo's Lyre that I'm rather proud of, titled "An Exchange of Words."

Leodegraunce: What are some of your writing plans for 2011?

J. Chris Lawrence: I would certainly like to continue working on more flash stories, but my goal for the rest of this year, as well as the next, is to focus on longer projects. I hope to have a completed novel ready for submission in 2012, and a few longer short stories published as well.

Leodegraunce: What is your top writing tip for aspiring authors?

J. Chris Lawrence: I suppose I still consider myself something of an aspiring author, but my top tip for others is actually two which come hand in hand. The first is to never quit trying. Tenacity is what wins this game. Write a novel, if it doesn't sell, put it in the drawer and write another. The second is to never quit learning. Writing is a craft that cannot be mastered. There is always room for improvement, so get out there, join some workshops, read as much as possible, embrace life experiences as fodder for fiction, and always look for that new challenge that will push your boundaries.