Tamara McRill is a freelance journalist based in central Illinois. She is currently putting the finishing touches on her first novel and developing a local newspaper platform online.

Don't just study humanity, pay particular attention to the motives and actions of individuals. Do it without judgment, towards a goal of understanding. Tamara McRill

Leodegraunce:Tamara, what drew you to flash fiction?

Tamara McRill: I've been writing flash fiction, to some degree, since grade school--with intent since college. Strangely enough, I was inspired by reading a Hunter S. Thompson piece in Rolling Stone. There was something special, exciting, about the way he held my attention when the story within the story happened. I had a compulsive sense of urgency to finish, to have it in my head to mull over. As a writer, I translated this into shorter pieces that relied on the implicit, rather than the explicit.

Leodegraunce: What have you written when it comes to fiction?

Tamara McRill: Other than a few poetry anthologies, Leodegraunce is home to my first published fiction piece. I've always been enamored with the thought that the pieces of my writing should total the whole of who I am--even the non-fiction. But I've neglected the creative writer within and that felt dishonest. So I when I came upon the call for March submissions I immediately wrote and submitted. And it felt right.

Leodegraunce: I'm pleased that Leodegraunce is the first place where a number of our authors have been published.  What are some of your writing plans for 2011?

Tamara McRill: I have almost finished my first novel, which has the working title Angelous vs. Daemon. Perhaps too similarly titled to Dan Brown's work for comfort, so I may change that. The concept for the book actually stems from a flash fiction piece I wrote in 2009. I'm also in the beginning stages of developing an online media company that will provide individual daily newspapers for certain small towns--locations that do not already have free news outlets.

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

Tamara McRill: Don't just study humanity, pay particular attention to the motives and actions of individuals. Do it without judgment, towards a goal of understanding. That will get you beyond the cliche and into a realm of complex 'realness' that is far more interesting.