Meet Sally Hogue, Spring 2015 Flash Fiction Runner Up
While attending college, Sally developed a passion for writing. Her short story entitled, “Headed East,” won the fiction prize her senior year at Southern Methodist University, and another of her stories entitled, “Remembering Grandpa Jones,” placed second in a short story contest her sophomore year at Eastfield College. Both stories were published in the colleges’ magazines. She has written a novella which she continues to polish from time to time. However, her latest venture into the literary world involves writing children’s stories about a cat named Snow.
Today we are delighted to share Sally’s winning story, The Water Nymph’s Metamorphosis, and a brief interview with this rising children’s author.
WOW: Hello Sally, congratulations on your honorable mention in WOW’s Spring 2015 Flash Fiction contest! Where did you find the inspiration for The Water Nymph’s Metamorphosis?
Sally: When I was a child, I loved reading the fairytales. I often fantasized about being a fairy tale princess and running bare foot through an enchanted forest. Although it has been many years since I aspired to be such a creature, I still have an overactive imagination, and I enjoy writing imaginative, descriptive detail.
WOW: What was your process like in writing this piece?
Sally: I started with the idea of a woman who comes of age when she is in her forties—of all things. This woman suffers from unrequited love throughout her adulthood. She changes gradually over the years until she is finally able to let go of the unpleasant memories and move on with her life.
WOW: I enjoyed the symbolism and dream language you used to show the mental and emotional anguish she feels at carrying around all that history and baggage; tell us a little more about these images.
Sally: My favorite literary devices are imagery and symbolism. And, as one knows, vivid dreams are loaded with both of these elements. I dream a great deal myself, and I remember most of my dreams in color! Sometimes I feel my subconscious mind writes the script, and I just go along for the ride.
WOW: That does make for fun writing sessions! The way we followed Ann through the changes in her life spoke to me of the reflective viewpoint that comes with turning forty-five or fifty years of age (maybe because I’m on the downhill slope-“smile”). I’m not convinced a twenty-year-old could pull off the same tone. In what ways do you feel your writing or focus has changed over the years?
Sally: Indeed, the focus of my writing has evolved a great deal as I have matured as a writer. I used to write poetry and stories about ordinary things I observed in my world. Now, I have slipped into other genres: fantasy and children’s stories to name a few. These genres lend themselves to imagery and imagination. Still, I believe they address the human condition—at least as it involves sub consciousness and dreams.
WOW: Would you like to introduce us to Snow? We’d love to hear more about these children’s tales!
Sally: I have written three, going on four, stories about this sweet little cat named Snow. The first one begins as follows: “Snow was a cool cat.” And that she is. In the first story, she saves her master’s life; in the second one, she plays the mouser in the Christmas pageant and in the third one, she uses her super cat powers to evade a coyote attack when she and her family go to the desert. I plan to write twelve in all for each month of the year and illustrate all of them. I haven’t determined whether I want to make separate books of each or compile them into one larger book. In any case, I am in love with this little critter and enjoy letting my imagination go wild when writing about her.
WOW: How wonderful! We absolutely adore cat tales (pun intended). Please keep us posted on Snow and her many adventures (I can hardly wait to read them).