Eileen Granfors, Runner Up in Fall 2010 Flash Fiction Contest

Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Congratulations to Eileen Granfors for placing as a runner-up in the Fall 2010 Flash Fiction contest with her story, "Shave and a Haircut." If you haven't had a chance to read the winning story, you can check it out here.
Eileen lives in Santa Clarita, California. A former army brat who was born in New Orleans and lived in Germany, she and her family settled in Imperial Beach, California, where her mother’s love of body surfing turned her into an avid surfer girl. Eileen is a proud UCLA alumna. She has published her first novel, Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead, a coming-of-age multicultural look at the Hispanic tradition of the Day of the Dead. She is working on its sequel, So You, Solimar. Come on out to meet her at the Los Angeles Festival of Books. Follow Eileen on her blogs: www.eileengranfors.blogspot.com (book reviews, poems, and word etymology), and www.marisolsomeriversend.blogspot.com (news and events pertaining to my published novel, Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead).
WOW: Welcome, Eileen, and congratulations on your winning story. What themes are you exploring in "Shave and a Haircut?"

Eileen: One main idea in this story is the idea of unconditional love Grandpa Joe has for his granddaughter,who has so many issues.  He loves her and enjoys her company and together they can just be themselves. He doesn't judge her.

The second idea is a grace-under-pressure hero.  Here's Grandpa Joe, dying of emphysema, and yet finding things to laugh about and taking each day he has to live, to teach, and to learn.  He wants to share with Susan the idea that every day is truly precious, and we should not take a single day for granted.  There's no use in fixating on the past.
WOW: Where did you get your idea for this flash fiction piece?

Eileen: This piece started as an exercise in setting for a class. I wanted the setting to reflect the character of Grandpa Joe.  After that, I added in the conflict by bringing Susan to visit.
WOW: That's awesome that this winning story started in a class. It goes to show that we should always take writing exercises seriously, as we never know where they will lead. You have written and published a novel also. What's different about writing a long piece rather than a short piece?

Eileen: I know a novel is a series of scenes.  I have no problem in writing a particular scene. But piecing the scenes together into an interesting and unfolding story, the layering, is much harder for me. My first novel, Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead went smoothly from beginning to end because it had a clear time frame and a clear goal for Marisol. But the sequel, So You, Solimar, is stuck at the moment.  I'm deciding (again) on the narrative voice and what Marisol's role will be. I am also setting the sequel in 2016, so thinking about the future and bringing that into the setting is difficult.
WOW: Both works sound really interesting! What do you find similar about the two forms of writing?

Eileen: The similarity is the best advice to writers, BIC--butt in chair.  You cannot simply dream your writing into being. You have to sit at the keyboard and write!
WOW: That is the best advice. You also have a blog. What types of things do you write about on your blog?

Eileen: On my blog, I share a book review, a linked poem (usually one of mine, but sometimes my husband's or another writer's), and also a piece of etymology.  The history of words has always fascinated me. I try to update my blog twice per week.  I read a lot, and I like to help people find books to enjoy.
WOW: Sounds interesting!  What is your writing routine like?

Eileen: I am fairly organized about writing.  I walk my dogs at 8 a.m.; and as I walk, I think about the goals I have for a particular day's writing. If I can't make the writing happen as I have visualized it, I may take some time out to write a flash fiction story, a six-word memoir, or I get out my coloring book to make ideas flow. I write from 8:30-11:30 or 12 noon, Monday through Friday.  Sometimes I will proofread in the afternoon but not always.
WOW: What a great routine. It's also helpful to see what different writers do when they are stuck. Coloring in a coloring book? Great idea! Why do you suggest entering contests even when you have publication success like you do?

Eileen: Contests are a way for me to sharpen writing.  Flash fiction especially requires that I look for extraneous information.  I have to make the conflict clear from the beginning.  I also like the anticipation of waiting for results.  And if a story doesn't go anywhere, I know I need to work on it more fully. I'm putting together an anthology of flash fiction right now, pieces not entered into contests, for all the people who tell me they don't have time to read.  It's called Flash Warden and Other Stories.

WOW: Thank you, Eileen, for your time today. We wish you much success in your future projects! 

interview conducted by Margo L. Dill; http://margodill.com/blog/  


Eileen said...

Thank you, Margo and WOW, for the terrific interview. "Flash Warden and Other Stories" should be out in two weeks. Stories plus writing prompts and special ideas for secondary teachers of Englsih.

Margo Dill said...

Let us know, Eileen!

Jarvis said...

Congrats on the award!

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top