Interview With Katy Regnery: Fall 2012 Flash Fiction Runner-Up

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Ready to meet another one of our Fall 2012 Flash Fiction winners? Today Katy Regnery joins us to talk about her story The Nanny, and all things writing. Click on the title to check out Katy's wonderful work, then come back to enjoy our chat.

New author KATY REGNERY, winner of the 2013 NECRWA First Kiss contest and 3rd place finalist in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations contest, has always loved telling a good story, and credits her mother with making funny, heartwarming tales come alive throughout her childhood. A lifelong devotee of all romance writing from Edwardian to present-day, it was just a matter of time before Katy tried her hand at writing a love story of her own.

Katy's debut novel, A Christmas Romance, will be published by Boroughs Publishing Group and available on Amazon in October 2013.

Katy lives in the relative-wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories of all can often be the messy or unexpected ones.

WOW: Katy, huge congratulations for making the runners-up list in our Fall Flash Fiction contest! We’d love to hear a little bit about you.

KATY: Thanks so much! It was very exciting to place, especially since Flash Fiction is—in my opinion—one of the toughest genres to write. I write romance novels, which give you a little higher word count to work with!

WOW: Ha ha! I totally agree. Your fantastic submission, The Nanny, offered readers a bit of mystery with a fun twist at the end (I never saw that coming!). Tell us where this story came from.

KATY: My writing teacher (his name is Chris Belden, for anyone in Connecticut looking for a 1st class editor or teacher!) gave us the assignment of writing a short piece wherein the reader figures out a secret unknown to the narrator or main character. He based the exercise on the short piece by Jean Rhys entitled “I Used to Live Here Once” in which the narrator is a woman returning to her childhood home. Little by little, with incredible subtlety, the reader comes to understand that she is dead and is actually visiting her old stomping grounds in the form of a ghost. I started thinking about secrets . . . big secrets that could be potentially devastating . . . and mistaken parentage came to mind. I have to say, it was a lot of fun to write—to reveal the secret to the reader while keeping the narrator in the proverbial dark.

WOW: What a cool assignment! I may try testing out that idea. As you touched on earlier, writing flash fiction can be more difficult than writing novels for some writers, perhaps due to having to create an entire story with a more restricted word maximum. Any more thoughts on this?

KATY: I think Flash is possibly the most challenging genre of writing. Every word has to be exquisitely placed; you can’t waste words, and you can’t extrapolate on a single idea with pages of explanation. Each word must be perfectly chosen for maximum efficiency and punch.

WOW: Exactly. But you've obviously tackled the challenge like a pro. Is writing a ‘job’ for you or more of a hobby? Tell us about your writing routine when you settle down to get those stories out.

KATY: Writing started out as a hobby for me, but when I signed my first contract with Boroughs Publishing Group this past March, it became my job! Well, my job in addition to being a full-time homemaker and at-home mother to two children. My first book, A Christmas Romance, will be available on Amazon this Fall.

As for a routine? I start every morning with two eggs, an apple and a cup of coffee. I spend 45-minutes on e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, then straighten up my house and drive my kids to school. Then I have to knuckle down because I have about three hours while my daughter is at school to write, and it can’t be wasted. I try to churn out 1000 words a day. Hey! That’s like a new flash story every day!

WOW: Thank you for giving us a bit of insight into your writing world. And, by the way, as a fellow writing mom I so 'get' having to cram as much writing as possible into a small time frame. You are doing a great job. Before we let you go, do you have any writing pearls of wisdom for our readers? We’d love to hear them.

KATY: Don’t give up.
Keep Writing.
Keep submitting your work to contests and publishers.
Be grateful for constructive criticism and use it.
Be grateful for mentors and listen to them.
Edit, edit, edit.
Kill your darlings when necessary.
Join a critique group.
Keep writing.
Edit some more.
Remember that the road to publishing is paved with rejection letters.
Cry a little bit.
Develop a thicker skin.
Edit a little more.
Submit a little more.
Polish your work to a high shine.
Seek out other writers.
Edit. Polish. Submit.
And above all…

WOW: Fantastic list of pearls, Katy. We've had a lot of fun today. Thanks for dropping by and congratulations again!

Interview by Chynna Laird


Renee Roberson said...

I didn't see the ending of that story coming, either:) Fantastic job. I know how tough flash fiction is to write, so congratulations! Great pearls of wisdom!

Marcia Peterson said...

Just read the story, well done! I enjoyed the interview, and like the idea of 45 minutes of computer stuff before diving into writing work. Your pearls of wisdom/list is great too!

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