Interview with Lew Gibb: 2017 Winter Flash Fiction Contest Runner Up

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Lew’s Bio:

Lew lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and two dogs and has been reading anything he could get his hands on from the time he discovered the Dick and Jane Readers. He devoured the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries, often by flashlight under the covers, as a child and has always dreamed of writing his own stories. It took until 2014 and National Novel Writing Month for him to act on that dream. In an uncharacteristic show of diligence, he completed a 100,000-word novel, Zombies For Breakfast and a new obsession. He’s been learning about writing and editing ever since. He’s now working on a thriller, Cufflink Conspiracy, as a student of The Book Project at The Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop in Denver. His flash fiction story, A Woman Alone was published online.

If you haven't done so already, check out Lew's award-winning story "Letting Go" and then return here for a chat with the author.

WOW: Congratulations on placing in the Winter 2017 Flash Fiction Contest! What was the inspiration for your short story, or what prompted you to write it?

Lew: My inspiration for “Letting Go” was a story that just sort of came to me while free writing one morning. I do that sometimes to try and invite the creative muse into my brain. I started with a woman hiking and just sort of wondered what she was doing there and who was with her. Her brother appeared and of course siblings are going to argue so they started arguing about their different experiences growing up. This was originally a 1,500 word story that I condensed for the contest. It was a great exercise and the revision process made the story so much better. I was forced to cut everything that isn't directly advancing the story.

WOW: That’s so interesting to know how far you cut it down for this contest. What a great writing exercise! What do you enjoy the most and/or the least about writing?

Lew: I love writing and being able to watch the story unfold as I go. I love when I'm really into a story and it's like I'm reading along while being able to affect the direction things take. So much fun.

WOW: And it sounds like that’s how “Letting Go” came to be: you put characters into motion and watched it unfold. I agree; I love that, too. What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it?

Lew: I'm reading the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown right now. It was recommended by a classmate in my Writing Apocalyptic Fiction class at The Lighthouse Writer's Workshop.

WOW: Can you tell us more about your novel Cufflink Conspiracy and your experience as a student of The Book Project at The Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop?

Lew: I just completed the first draft of my novel Cufflink Conspiracy. My current elevator speech: Professional poker player Jessica Banks arrives for a training session at her Krav Maga studio and discovers David Mizrahi, her teacher and best friend, dying amongst a pile of dead bodies.

One of the bodies is a colleague of David’s from his days in Israeli intelligence; a computer security expert who’s wearing a pair of cufflinks concealing a computer program that could change the world. Before she has a chance to think, Jessica finds herself fighting for her life and on the run from the Mossad, a vicious billionaire, and a ruthless crooked cop with a bad attitude. Jessica must evade her pursuers and uncover the mystery of the cufflinks before she ends up dead too. For fans of Robert Ludlum and Neil Stephenson, Cufflink Conspiracy is a nonstop, techno-thriller with a strong female protagonist (a mix between Sarah Connor and Ronda Rousey) that explores the themes of sentient AI, trust, friendship, and what it means to be a person.

I have learned so much at the Lighthouse. The teachers are fantastic and I can't say enough about all the really creative writers who are participating in the Book Project program. It's a two year program, during which students take classes and work with a mentor to produce a full-length book. Along the way our mentors guide us through the process and help with the mechanics of getting started, keeping it going, revising, and ultimately publishing.

WOW: First of all, congratulations on completing the first draft of you novel! And second, thanks for sharing that information about the Lighthouse. It sounds like an exciting experience. If you could give other creative writers one piece of advice, what would it be and why?

Lew: My advice to other creative writers is to write every day and never stop trying to improve your writing.  And, finally, read every day. Read a lot.

WOW: Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses. Congratulations again, and happy writing!

Interviewed by Anne Greenawalt, who keeps a blog of journal entries, memoir snippets, interviews, training logs, and profiles of writers and competitive female athletes.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Anne--Thanks for doing the interview.

Lew--Congrats on being chosen as a runner-up, and good luck with revising your manuscript. It IS a lot of fun, isn't it! There's something quite satisfying in taking something that's mediocre (or good) and making it better.

Evelyn Krieger said...

Congratulations, Lew. I really enjoyed reading your story and learning about the process behind it.

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