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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Interview with Annie Lindenberg, Runner Up in Winter 2020 Flash Fiction Contest

Annie Lindenberg resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she works daily as a Membership Manager for a non-profit and part time as a freelance writer for travel abroad organizations. When not working, Annie attempts to fill as much of her free time with writing and reading as she can manage. She has been previously published in The Tower Journal and graduated in 2018 from Emerson College with a BFA in Creative Writing.

If you haven't read Annie's story "Turning Tides," yet, click through and the come back for an interview with the author.

------Interview with Sue Bradford Edwards-----

WOW:  What was your inspiration for “Turning Tides”?  

AnnieI was reading Richard Siken's poetry collection Crush, and there was a line that stuck out to me— "because you want to die for love, you always have" — and it made me start thinking about what can sometimes be a fine line between what we perceive as love and what is really obsession. 

I wanted to explore a relationship that balances on that line while also having a clear power dynamic, though one that like many power dynamics in relationships isn't noticeable to the two who exist within it. So those two thoughts were what jumpstarted the piece.

WOW: Although the story is about Beliana she is not the narrator. How did having someone else narrate shape the story?

AnnieFor me it made more sense for this story to be told from an onlooker. We barely know anything about the narrator besides what they think of Beliana, and in the end how they see Beliana says a lot about who they are. By having the narrator tell the story, it leaves an ambiguity about whether Beliana knows she has this power or not. I found that more interesting to play with than what may have happened if we were in Beliana's head.

WOW: How did this story change from idea to finished piece?

AnnieWhile the concept for this story has remained pretty in tact as I wrote it, "Turning Tides" has gone through a lot of revisions. 

It was originally more flowery in language and a lot more metaphorical (though it certainly still has its fair share of metaphors), and I kept cutting it back so it would be more concise. In the end the majority of the language is used to describe Beliana and the scene. 

I wanted to let readers read the scene and take their own conclusions away.

WOW:  In writing flash, we have to carefully choose which details to include. How did you decide what details to use in describing Beliana and their time skating?

AnnieI didn't want to use too many of my words to go into either of their heads.

Instead, I really wanted to focus on the imagery of Beliana skating and how the narrator perceives her. I was attempting to create a really clear image of who Beliana was, and how she maneuvered the space to tell you more about who she was. 

I started by writing this piece with every detail I could possibly want and then would print the story out, cross out lines, print it out again, cross out more lines, etc. etc. until I was happy.

WOW: Can you tell us about your current writing project? Where can our readers look for more of your writing?

AnnieRight now I am working on a novel. It's a new adult horror novel, actually. Similar to this, it has two female main characters. It's still at draft two right now, but I hope that eventually I will be able to connect with a literary agent and get it published. Any updates on my writing can be found on my instagram

WOW:  I'll be heading over there to see what you are working on in the near future.  Good luck with your novel and thank you for sharing your process with our readers. 


  1. Sue--Thanks for doing this interview and for giving us a link to Annie's story. OMG--what a story!

    Annie--What an incredible story. So powerful. Perfect details. Moving imagery. If your piece is a runner-up, I cannot wait for the other pieces to be posted.

    Congratulations. And a book of horror by you? THAT is a book I will be looking for.

  2. Annie,

    Congratulations on placing in this contest with such a beautiful and inspired piece. I believe we have all encountered "Beliana's" in our lives and you described her so perfectly. I also enjoyed reading about how the piece transformed over time. As a fan of thriller/horror/suspense myself, I look forward to learning more about your novel!

  3. I enjoyed reading this interview Sue and learning about her writing process. Congratulations Annie. Your story, "Turning Tides," brought back fond memories about going to the roller rink with my girlfriends when I was a tween.


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