Meet Allison Luther, Summer 2015 Flash Fiction Runner-Up

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Here at WOW, we get all kinds of stories submitted for our flash fiction contests; some are funny, some are sad, some have twists…(keep ‘em comin’ ‘cause we love ‘em). Allison Luther’s Swinging will make you want to grab your kids and give them a big hug!

After living in such varied places as Southern Indiana, England, Southwest Florida, and Southern California, Allison currently wakes up each day in the Seattle area. With three children ages five and under, she spends her days doing laundry, pretending not to see the crackers all over the floor, and writing stories in her head.

When she’s not busy rescuing the children from whatever mess they’ve gotten themselves into, Allison is an avid reader, snarky cross-stitch enthusiast, and general science and pop-culture geek. With one child on the autism spectrum (and waiting for evaluations on the little one), 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 genres are historical fiction, horror, and suspense/thriller. She is currently working on her novel Bad River, set during the Civil War.

You can read about her family’s journey with autism on her blog She is also a frequent retweeter at @AllisonLuther.

WOW: Hi Allison, congratulations and thank you for visiting with us today. What prompted you to enter WOW’s Summer 2015 fiction contest?

Allison: A friend of mine sent me a link to the contest in mid-August and thought I might like to enter. I often joke that I can’t introduce myself with less than a thousand words, so writing a flash fiction piece seemed like a fun challenge.

WOW: Could you share with us the inspiration behind Swinging

Allison: The song from Swinging (“Addy is swinging, swinging, swinging! Addy is swinging and having so much fun!”) is one that I sing when I’m pushing my kids on the swings. I was brainstorming for ideas and the rhythm of that song kept breaking into my thoughts. I pictured a mom sitting on a swing in an empty playground and singing to herself and the rest of it just came to me. I ugly-cried the whole time I was writing it.

WOW: It is an emotional story; giving Addy the final line makes an impact! You say you “write stories in your head,” how did you come to have such a love of story making?

Allison: When I was 6 or 7, I wrote my first story; it was about my dog. I continued to write stories and poetry until I was around 12 when I received some criticism that pretty much destroyed any confidence I had in my work. That’s such a delicate age, you know? So I stopped writing. Over the years I’d try to get back into it. People would keep telling me I was too dark, too depressing, so I’d stop again. I always had stories in my head, though, even during those dark years. I’d hear or see something and BAM! A story would be right there, waiting. It took me nearly 25 years to find my way back and I mourn all those lost stories that I was too scared to share with the world.

WOW: With three children, one with special needs, how do you get any writing done?

Allison: I don’t! *laughing* No, I mostly work after they’re in bed at night. My two oldest (ages 5 and 3) are in school during the week and my little guy still naps, so I have an hour or so a few days a week, too, when I can actually get some time to breathe.

WOW: Tell us about your WIP, Bad River.

Allison: In Bad River, we meet Ada Stanton, a young woman from a poor family in rural Virginia, and Lewis Bartell, a happily-married shopkeeper in upstate New York. Then personal tragedy and the Civil War rip through their lives, leaving one fleeing from justice and the other fighting to survive.

After responding to an ad looking for a wife, Ada finds herself in the town of Bad River in the Dakota Territory and married to Louis Calvert, who refuses to talk about his life before the war. The past does not always stay hidden, however, and as the truth comes to light, Ada once again finds herself fighting for her very survival.

WOW: It sounds like a real page-turner! Be sure to keep us updated. Meanwhile, we hope to see you here again with another flash piece.


Renee Roberson said...

I definitely did an ugly cry after reading your story, too! Great job, Allison!

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