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Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Interview with Anne Brandt: Winter 2015 Flash Fiction Contest Runner Up

Anne’s Bio: Anne Brandt has been in love with writing since second grade when her poem about cats appeared in the school newsletter. Her contemporary essays have appeared in such publications as the now-defunct Chicago Tribune Magazine and still published Denver Post. She has co-authored two non-fiction books, and won first place in a Chicago agent’s Great Books Contest for her novel, The Personals Chronicles. Anne is also the author of The Square Root of Someone, a collection of personal essays that is available in hard cover, paperback, and e-book from Kindle at Amazon. Last year, her short story “Alumnae Tea” was anthologized in Write Michigan, and her ten-minute play “20/20 Hindsight” was produced as a finalist in a local competition where she lives. Additionally, 2014 marked her tenth anniversary as an active blogger at When not involved in creative writing, Anne has been a “ghost,” the term she uses to describe her freelance work in both the corporate and non-profit worlds. Her work on annual reports, brochures, and speeches for such clients as Motorola and the University of Illinois at Chicago has won several awards. Anne and her husband moved from Chicago to southwestern Michigan a dozen years ago and never looked back. She no longer freelances and looks forward to spending more time on her creative writing and platform building.

If you haven’t done so already, check out Anne’s award-winning story “The Truth,” and then return here for a chat with the author.

WOW!: Congratulations on placing in the Winter 2015 Flash Fiction Contest! What was the inspiration for your short story, or what prompted you to write this particular story?

Anne: Originally, I submitted this story to a contest where the contestants were to parody Ernest Hemingway (jungle hunter, macho man), but I thought they were to imitate him. Obviously, I didn’t win. That aside, the story is based on how I actually met my father.

WOW!: Thank you for sharing that. I love to hear about the origins of writer’s stories. What do you enjoy the most and/or the least about writing?

Anne: What I enjoy least is sitting down and starting a writing session. My second least enjoyable factor is that I cannot stop tinkering with a story, adding an adjective here, deleting an adverb there, etc. The most enjoyable part is when someone connects with something I’ve written.

WOW!: This story has made an impression on our staff and contest judge, which why it is one of our winners! According to your bio, you have written across multiple genres. What have you learned from writing freelance or business writing that has helped to inform your creative writing? Or vice versa?

Anne: My creative writing has informed my freelance more than the other way around. When you are a hired pen, you must make sure to meet the client’s objective – say, promoting the grand opening of a new car dealership – for the particular piece of writing. Still, to make it stand out it has to be creative – which means taking an unusual approach to why this dealership is different. Perhaps it’s because there are homemade cookies for those who are waiting. Or perhaps it’s because of the waiting room itself. Regardless, it’s important to use those distinctions to introduce the dealership in the first place, even though skilled mechanics are what you really want at a dealership.

WOW!: Excellent connection. Thank you for sharing that with us. If you could have dinner with one author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Anne: Laura Ingalls Wilder. She’s not on anybody’s interview list, as far as I know; but since I’ve written an historical novel about an eight-year-old in the mid-twentieth century, I’d like her perspective.

WOW!: Great choice! What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it?

Anne: I’m reading The Rosie Project. It’s keeping me up nights and is hilarious. I especially like that the author can keep the protagonist in character. A friend loaned me her copy, and I shall be grateful forever.

WOW!: Anything else you’d like to add?

Anne: I want to acknowledge WOW for its efforts to support female writers and authors.

WOW!: Thank you for the acknowledgement! And thank you for your thoughtful responses. Happy writing!

Interviewed by Anne Greenawalt: follow me on Twitter for a fusion of creative writing and competitive sports with a twist of feminist intent.

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