Today, I am slightly late in featuring the usually unusual pirate author William Thatch whose story “Barely a Story” 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?
Well, Johnny–may I call you Johnny? Great! I don’t think I’d do anything differently. It came out as I wanted. Maybe I would make sure it was exactly 1500 words like the first draft was.
What was the inspiration for your story?
“Maybe It’s Because” by Trevor Moore. It is the first story I’ve written that, from the word ‘go,’ I meant for it to be an interpretation of the song. I always loved the twist.
Was there a time when writing where you had to sit back stunned at what just happened? If so, what was it?
The whole thing, really, Johnny. I wrote the entire thing in two sittings, and, aside from one joke that got cut, it is exactly as I wrote it in the first draft. Sometimes things just click the first time when you’re as good as I am.
What do you think is the key to writing a compelling flash story?
It’s difficult to say. This is the only flash fiction story I’ve ever written. For me, it was diving into the scene as soon as possible, but not leaving it too isolated and in a vacuum. There has to be context, but you can’t get too pinned down trying to get the whole context across.
Do you write every day?
I don’t. I should. I want to, but Johnny, it’s just so hard. There are a lot of things to be done in a day, and some days it’s not a day to write. Sometimes, it’s just a day to daydream and write down whatever you bring in from the aether.
Does your sexual orientation play a role in the development of your character?
What? No. Johnny, no. Basil is a bear. How does my sexuality play a role in Basil’s development? You’re just being weird, Johnny. I’m seriously considering walking away from this interview if you get weird again.
Was this the first time you wrote a flash fiction story?
I already answered this, Johnny! Jesus, are you not even listening to me? Put your phone down, that is completely unprofessional!
What was your favorite story in the book besides your own?
Why are you trying to make this interview about someone else, Johnny? I’m the one here. I haven’t even had a chance to read the other stories, I’m none-too-thrilled about your conduct here, mister. Make this about me, the greatest writer in the history of ever, or we are done, Johnny, done!
Apart from writing, what do you do for fun?
I watch an inordinate amount of pornography. Just, like, an unhealthy amount. Priests come by once a week to bless the property. And I find it really rude you ask, Johnny. That dirty laundry shouldn’t be aired publicly but look what you made me do!
Which author(s) influenced your writing the most?
Probably J.K. Rowling, but again, you’re making it about other people. What’s your game, Johnny?
Can you relate to any of the characters in your flash fiction story?
Oh, definitely Basil. I’m always breaking into people’s house looking for honey, and then eating people’s heads. It’s the best way to spend a Saturday, I feel. A little sweet honey and then a little sweet blood of the innocent.
What is your writing space like?
A big corner desk that is organized chaos. Cluttered, but in a way that I understand it. I have a two-monitor set-up for my computer so that I can write on one screen and watch all of the porn on the other. Like all the greats. I’m, like, 93% sure that’s how Rowling wrote all of Harry Potter.
Did your story turn out the way you planned, or were there some surprises along the way?
The only surprise was that I was pleased with it, given that it was my first flash fiction. I was expecting to go over the word count. So, the only true surprise, Johnny, was just how amazing I was on the first try. I’m pretty great.
How long did it take to write your story?
A couple of hours over a couple of days. The story came quick. I hear you have that problem, Johnny. Hey-o!
Do you think writing flash fiction is a challenge with the word restriction?
I was expecting it to be, and I still expect it to be. I might have just gotten lucky with this one.
If you were on death row, what would you want your last meal to be?
The blood of my executioner. If the executioner is dead from exsanguination, then he can’t execute me. It’s an ingenious ploy to avoid ever being executed. You see, Johnny, you gotta think. If you don’t think, that executioner will get you.
What is a quote that you find inspirational/motivates you to write?
“I’m the greatest ever.” You know who said that, Johnny? Me. I said that. That’s why I’m saying it. So, I can quote me. It’s my interview, Johnny, stop making it about someone else. It’s really a dick move on your part, and I’m tired of your shit. I’m leaving this interview, and you have no one to blame but yourself!
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