Today, I am featuring author Sarah Kaminski whose story “First Thanksgiving” is included in the anthology A Flash of Words, alongside my own brand-new story, “The Californian.”
If you had to do one thing differently with your story, what would it be?
• The opening could have been stronger, and I probably shouldn’t have bashed Brian’s favorite football team. But in my defense… they are the Patriots.
What was the inspiration for your story?
• I wrote this story based on a prompt. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something along the lines of, “an unappetizing Thanksgiving meal.” I initially thought of my mother-in-law’s excessively salty food, and, well, I expanded on that idea.
Was there a time when writing where you had to sit back stunned at what just happened? If so, what was it?
• In writing this story, no. In other works, occasionally, most often when I find myself making a particularly amusing metaphor.
What do you think is the key to writing a compelling flash story?
• I have no idea. I suppose to limit yourself to one scene, but use a scene that illustrates a much larger dynamic at play. Many of the writers in AFOW did this brilliantly, but I especially think of Laurie Gardener’s story and the way my feelings of pity and sympathy toward the narrator were quickly turned to disgust.
Do you write every day?
• Well, I have small children. So, sadly no. But I think about writing every day.
Does your sexual orientation play a roll in the development of your character?
• It’s easiest to write the stories we know, right?
Was this the first time you wrote a flash fiction story?
What was your favorite story in the book besides your own?
• That’s a difficult question to answer. There were so many excellent stories. I’ve already mentioned Laurie’s story. Pyra Kane’s was as beautiful metaphor for mental illness as I’ve ever read. Eldred Bird’s story made me snort with laughter, which is a little embarrassing to admit, Marlon S. Haye’s made me nostalgic for an experience I’ve never even had, and I loved the surprise ending of Mika Spruill’s.
Apart from writing, what do you do for fun?
• Repeatedly tell my children not to jump on me, various yarn crafts, and sleep. Sometimes I think about painting, but that rarely comes to fruition. I live an exciting life.
Which author(s) influenced your writing the most?
• Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, John Green, Stephen King, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, it’s really difficult to narrow this list down. I love practically everything I read, and you can learn style or character development or plot development from anything you read if you’re observant enough.
Can you relate to any of the characters in your flash fiction story?
What is your writing space like?
Did your story turn out the way you planned, or were there some surprises along the way?
• I didn’t plan it, so, yes.
How long did it take to write your story?
• Not long to write it, four or five weeks to edit it.
Do you think writing flash fiction is a challenge with the word restriction?
If you were on death row, what would you want your last meal to be?
• Macaroni and cheese, and brownies, and I suppose I should throw something healthy in there – strawberries.
What is a quote that you find inspirational/motivates you to write?
• I don’t have a specific quote that keeps me going, but I do keep a document of various kind things that people have said about my writing over the past year, and when the feelings of inadequacy start creeping in, I open it up and read through them.
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