Interview with Renee Carter Hall, runner-up in WOW’s Summer 2012 Flash Fiction Contest

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Today we welcome Renee Carter Hall, runner up in our Summer 2012 Flash Fiction Contest. Renee is a master of letting fun lead the way as evidenced by her prolific publishing credits, numerous anthromorphic characters, and whimsical artwork (I love the lounging dragon picture on her website). Her contest submission, Nativity, is a sweet story of a little girl who longs to belong to a flock—and gets her wish! Please take a moment to enjoy Nativity by Renee Carter Hall and then return here for a short interview.

Renee Carter Hall works as a medical transcriptionist by day and as a writer, poet, and artist all the time, writing fantasy and science fiction for adults who never quite grew up. Her short fiction has appeared in a variety of publications over the years, including Strange Horizons, Black Static, and the anthology Bewere the Night, and her first novel, By Sword and Star, was published earlier this year by Anthropomorphic Dreams Publishing. She lives in the mountains of West Virginia with her husband, their cat, and a ridiculous number of creative works-in-progress. Readers can find more about her and her work at her website,, and her short story sampler Six Impossible Things is available free at Smashwords and Amazon.

WOW: How do your stories develop—is there a method to your madness?

Renee: More madness than method, I think! Every story is slightly different, of course, but most of the time I just start with a situation or a character, jump in, and see what happens. Once I get characters talking, things usually start to develop pretty quickly. As you might guess from all that, I'm not much of an outliner, but longer works usually do need some minimal notes and brainstorming along the way to get to a finished draft.

WOW: What was your inspiration for Nativity?

Renee: "Nativity" was one of those stories where the concept and characters showed up all at once, so I don't really remember a particular spark other than the holiday season. Elements of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and memories of my own school days probably influenced it, though.

WOW: Some writers get their ideas in the shower, others while driving--when do you get most of your ideas?

Renee: Whenever and wherever, really. The one writing problem I've never had--probably the only writing problem I've never had--is a lack of story ideas.

WOW: That’s a great one not to have! I’ll bet you have some writing tips to share; what are your top three?

Renee: Keep writing, keep reading, and keep learning. Do those three things, and it's impossible not to improve.

WOW: What are your writing goals for 2013?

Renee: Finish the first draft of my second novel (working title The Second Life of Bartholomew T. Lion), and keep chasing the third pro-level short story sale that will qualify me for active SFWA membership (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America).

WOW: Great goals! Keep us posted on Bartholomew T. Lion (love that name).

Interview by Robyn Chausse


Anonymous said...

I just downloaded Six Impossible Things and I can't wait to read it! You have a great imagination.

Anonymous said...

I'm in awe of writers who constantly have a list of stories in their head. My mind doesn't quite work that way, which is OK for what I do, but I greatly admire authors who operate this way.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth: Thanks! Hope you enjoy "Six." :)

Julie: Well, admittedly the list of stories is also in the form of Post-It notes stuck to a big whiteboard by my desk, which keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by having so much stuff mostly-in-progress at any given time.

Margo Dill said...

I love how you said the only writing problem you've never had is a lack of ideas. NO DOUBT! I can relate to that. Now, to find the time. . .Congrats on your success!

Angela Mackintosh said...

I loved your story, Nativity, Renee! I'm so impressed how you managed to include many of the senses in such a short piece. I just downloaded Six Impossible Things from Amazon and I look forward to reading it! :)

Anonymous said...

Margo: I've found that having lots of ideas for stories seems to lead directly to trouble finishing those stories. :)

Angela: Thanks! Hope you like Six. (And of course, to everyone checking it out, Amazon reviews from readers are always very much appreciated!)

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