AFOW Interview #7 – Jacob Maichel

Today, I am featuring author Jacob Maichel whose story “The Case” 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?
I would have given him a partner. Originally, I wanted some dialogue moving up to the ending with the worm however it never played out how I wanted it. If I rewrote it I would attempt that angle again.

What was the inspiration for your story?
My inspiration is the reality that we judge other people and their lives without understanding. In this case we start thinking that we are following a normal detective fallen from grace to see it end up a whole different world.

Was there a time when writing where you had to sit back stunned at what just happened? If so, what was it?
My writing is organic, the outline only giving minimal direction. In The Case it started out as a crime story so yeah when I felt or decided to go with …. Well fish I was a little stunned.

What do you think is the key to writing a compelling flash?
Characters, characters, characters. A story is only interesting to me if I can relate or care about the character or characters. And of coarse more cow bell.

Do you write every day?
I try to. Unfortunately, I do fall short on some days.

Does your sexual orientation play a roll in the development of your character?
No, I envisioned a black and white detective movie. You know a Humphrey Bogart, here’s looking at you kid kind of story.

Was this the first time you wrote a flash fiction story?
No, first time published though.

What was your favorite story in the book besides your own?
I enjoyed all of them, pressed though and I would have to say that The Chrome Dream was one that would be a top pick.

Apart from writing, what do you do for fun?
Wood working and bread making. I enjoy things that involve creating and using my hands. There is something centering when your writing, working in wood or making bread that allows your mind to wander into areas that broaden ideas and experience.

Which author(s) influenced your writing the most?
Neil Gaiman, there is in my opinion no one better at marrying the story to the character and bringing them to life.

Can you relate to any of the characters in your flash fiction story?
Yes, some days I feel like the worm wriggling to stay alive and other days I feel like Jim old tired and just moving through the days. Thankfully those days are not everyday and at least up to the point of this I have not been eaten or caught by the hooks.

What is your writing space like?
Full of objects that remind me of likes, life and trains of thought. Mementos from the military, guitars and most important the ol guard cat Daisy who always seems to know when it is break time.

Did your story turn out the way you planned, or were there some surprises along the way?
With flash I only had a brief outline so I would say some surprises.

How long did it take to write your story? 
Initially I only took an hour or two however the fine tuning took a little longer.

Do you think writing flash fiction is a challenge with the word restriction?
Yes, but a fun one. And if the story can’t be told in that space then it is probably worthy of more.

If you were on death row, what would you want your last meal to be?
Okay… well let’s hope that never happens however I would say either burritos, or Totinos pizza you know the cheap dollar ones from my childhood. Don’t judge they’re still a favorite.

What is a quote that you find inspirational/motivates you to write?
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss. Embrace the experience and use life to tell your story.

Pick up a copy of “A Flash of Words” in paperback or eBook at any book retailer worldwide, including Amazon. If purchased directly from Scout Media, you will receive a FREE companion soundtrack CD!! #ScoutMedia#AFOW

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