Interview with Alana Agerbo, Fall 2013 Flash Fiction Contest Runner-Up

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Today we are very happy to welcome back Alana Agerbo. Alana placed in our Summer 2013 contest with What Matters, and now in our Fall 2013 contest with Magic. Please take a moment to enjoy her flash fiction story of a young girl with magic Band-Aids. You might also want to read her previous interview, but be sure to come back and learn more about Alana!

Despite being married for many years, Alana has found a new love. She continues to live in her Vancouver, Canada home with her husband, three children and her very pretty little kitty, but suspects they may be aware of her developing relationship, though so far, they haven’t put up a fuss.

Lucky thing too, because she doesn’t think she could end it. Even if given an ultimatum, she’d just have to tell her clan that being able to continue with this new liaison is a definite deal breaker.

And so it should be. Writing Flash Fiction really doesn’t have to be a threat to anyone. It can be done in the quiet hours of solitude, (in fact, Alana believes this to be her version of heaven) and of course, it’s an injury-free activity, provided everyone behaves and she’s not forced to write offending, real-life characters into her stories. (This is a great way to keep people on their toes, by the way.)

So yes, long may this new love interest live. After all, if you’re fortunate enough to find something rewardable, achievable and unbelievable, it’s worth fighting for. Passion always is.

Visit Alana at:

WOW: Welcome back, Alana! In your previous interview with us you mentioned one of your goals for 2014 was to enter and win more contest…and here you are! This time we have a delightful tale of magical Band-Aids. How did Evie first enter your mind and where did you get the idea for magic Band-Aids?

Alana: She came to me on one of those nights where the universe drapes my entire being and presses down. I couldn’t sleep and a clear image of this little girl bunching her skirt up with nervous fists appeared. She insisted I write for her.

I’m not sure why, but I gravitate towards homeless people, troubled teens and (seemingly) helpless children. I have a lot of “Evies” meandering my mind and I’d like to give all of them a story.

The Band-Aid idea happened fairly effortlessly in the midst of writing--a gift from my muse. If I didn’t think I’d get caught, I’d take the credit!

WOW: No, definitely do not mess with the muse!

When writing short stories, how much effort goes into developing your characters?

Alana: It’s challenging. I work hard to do the less is more thing and I really try to show, not tell my character’s quintessence through emotion. But, if you’re asking how much thought goes into them before starting my story, almost none. I begin with the stick figure in my head and let them add the flesh as I write. They tell me who they want to be. They make demands.

WOW: You write emotionally-based stories; how much tinkering takes place to get just the right gut-punch?

Alana: It depends on many things, I guess – my focus, how easily the story is flowing, if I’ve fed the cat and whether or not I have whip on my latte. Some stories rush through me like a racing river and some make me dig a deep, deep well only to reach a little pool.

When I wrote Magic several endings appeared before I settled on the final edit but the next one I wrote ended painlessly on the first take. (Hopefully WOW’s audience will get to read that one too!)

WOW: Ooh, I hope we do too! Check-in time… We are entering the second quarter of the year. You’ve just celebrated your second year of blogging (congratulations!). Do you find that your blog posts and contest entries have fed your energy to accomplish your larger writing goals or have they taken time away from that goal?

Alana: That’s a really tough question for me to answer definitively. In a way, I owe the writing I do do to blogging and contests, but at the same time, I have neither managed to revamp my existing novel or embark on a new one. However, I know I can only hold myself accountable. Blogging and contests have inspired me and been nothing but positive, educational experiences. I’d love to do it all. I’ve put in an Amazon order for an extra twenty-four hours per day. It’s pending.

WOW: (Laughing) Can I have the item number for that?

Alana, what words of wisdom would you like to share with our readers?

Alana: I don’t know how wise I am (insert a very doubtful face here) but I do feel there’s one piece that embodies all other advice--if you’re writing, you’re believing and if you believe, you just never know who you might be one word ahead of. Write.

WOW: Thank you, Alana. It’s been fun chatting with you again.

Alana: Thank you so much for having me once again. My congratulations extend to all of the contest participants and I thank WOW for supporting women writers with endless information, opportunity, resource and exposure.


Margo Dill said...

Congratulations on placing in the contest twice! :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Robyn--Thanks for sharing this interview.

Alana--I loved your advice. I think that as writers, we too often look over our shoulder to wonder who is overtaking us. Who is getting more articles/stories published? Who is getting more of their books sold? Who is making more progress on their manuscript than us?

All we need to do is write. Great advice. Thanks, Alana, and good luck with future contests.

Hazy Shades of Me said...

Thank you, Margo!

Hazy Shades of Me said...

I once read that the only writer you need to better than is the one you were yesterday. Dedication is the key!

Thank you for your comment, Sioux! Happy writing!

P.C. Zick said...

I love the interview! Alana is such an interesting person and author.

Hazy Shades of Me said...

Patrcia...I have just now seen your comment! Thank you so very much. <3

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