AFOW Interview #10 – JM Ames

Today, I am featuring, well, myself! My story “The Californian” is included in the anthology “A Flash of Words,” alongside 48 other wonderful tales! Here are the answers I provided for this blog tour:

What was the inspiration for your story?
The Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles was the main inspiration. The Eagles’ song ‘Hotel California’ helped shape it.

Was there a time when writing where you had to sit back stunned at what just happened? If so, what was it?
Yes, twice. My first published short story ‘The Last Ride’ is a creative nonfiction about my boyhood best friend. I had no intention of writing it, but I sat down and it just poured out of me – the entire story in about 90 minutes time. It went through a couple edits after but the story itself didn’t change at all. The second time was with a still unfinished work called ‘The Cleansing.’ I had just a basic story in mind involving the atrocities committed in war, and how the people involved have to somehow come back to society and pretend they are the same. What came out was much, much darker, and is the goriest, most violent thing I’ve ever written. Made myself physically ill with that one.

What do you think is the key to writing a compelling flash story?
You can’t be a lazy river, meandering through the plains. You must be a roaring rapid, and get straight to the point quickly, and with a lot of action.

Do you write every day?
I try to , but I’ve been working so much that hasn’t been possible lately. New position is weaning my hours down though, so more writing time for me! 

Was this the first time you wrote a flash fiction story?
Nope. Flashes and shorts seem to be my bread and butter, but only because of my work hours. Once that dies down, time to get back to my planned longer works.

Apart from writing, what do you do for fun?
Not work. Spend time with my kids, read, go hiking or to the beach.

Which author(s) influenced your writing the most?
Stephen King, HG Wells, JRR Tolkein, GRR Martin, William Shakespeare.

Can you relate to any of the characters in your flash fiction story?
Only in that I know the frustration of flight delay layovers, and the difficulty of LAX.

What is your writing space like?
It is also the home office from which I work my main job at. An L-Shaped desk with 4 monitors (2 each for work and home), a nice chair, multiple fans, and a door I can close to keep children and pets from disturbing my work.

Did your story turn out the way you planned, or were there some surprises along the way?
Overall as planned, but as usual minor details flesh out or develop as I write.

How long did it take to write your story?
Tough one. First version was different and quite sparse, probably a couple hours total then, but then I picked it back up and heavily revised for this anthology.

Do you think writing flash fiction is a challenge with the word restriction?
It was at first, but at this point it is usually not a problem for me. I think I will have a problem when I go back to longer works.

If you were on death row, what would you want your last meal to be?
Lamb chops with lemon pepper, roasted brussels sprouts with hazelnuts, with a nice dark stout and three fingers of a good strong bourbon.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.