Interview with Flash Fiction Runner Up, Allison Walters Luther
When she’s not busy rescuing the children from whatever mess they’ve gotten themselves into, Allison is an avid reader, NSFW cross-stitch enthusiast, and general science and pop-culture geek. With two children on the autism spectrum, she is passionate about autism advocacy, and, if given the chance, will also talk your ear off about women’s rights and English and Scottish history.
Her favorite writing genres include historical fiction, horror, and suspense/thriller. She recently finished the first draft of her first novel, Bad River, set in 1860s Dakota Territory, and is looking forward to working on the revision in the next few months. Currently, she is finishing up a couple of short story projects and, of course, NaNoWriMo is just around the corner!
You can read about her family’s journey with autism on her blog simondoesntsay.com. She is also a frequent retweeter at @AllisonLuther.
* Her husband would like it to be known that he folds laundry better than Allison does.
interview by Marcia Peterson
WOW: Congratulations on placing in the top ten in our Spring 2016 Flash Fiction competition! What inspired you to enter the contest?
Allison: Thank you! The Spring 2016 contest was my third time entering. I first placed in the Top Ten in the Summer 2015 contest with “Swinging” and also received an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2016 contest with “Widow’s Walk”. I love the challenge of writing flash fiction, as it forces me to really consider the impact of every every word, every phrase.
WOW: Can you tell us what encouraged the idea behind your entry, "Best Wishes, Melinda Rissmann?"
Allison: After the end of a relationship, I think a lot of people have fantasies about running into their ex months or years later and you finally have a chance to get that last little bit of closure. Or is that just me? “Best Wishes, Melinda Rissmann” was an exploration of how a scene like that might play out.
WOW: Yes, I think many people imagine running into an ex, so you're not alone! As a busy mom to three young children, how do you find time to write? What works best for you?
Allison: It’s been a hard summer for getting anything done, but now that school has started, I’m hoping it’s going to be easier. I generally can find time to write at night after the kids are in bed. Twice a week, I’m able to sneak off to a coffee shop and work while my youngest son is in his therapy class. I also have a notebook next to my bed, AquaNotes in the shower, and a writing app on my phone, so I can jot down the ideas that come to me when I’m away from my laptop.
WOW: You also recently finished the first draft of your first novel. What did it take to accomplish that big goal? What did you learn along the way?
Allison: I started writing Bad River in December 2014 and I think I started over at least four or five times, once scrapping over 50K words. Yikes! I finally figured out that as much fun as writing backstory is, you need to start your story in the correct place. Also, just get the story down and worry about revising and editing later. Write now, fix later.
WOW: Sounds like you learned a lot from the process! Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Allison. Before you go, can you share your favorite writing tip or advice with our readers?
Allison: If you have to force the story, it isn’t the right story.
Our Fall 2016 Flash Fiction Contest is NOW OPEN!
For information and entry, visit our contest page.