I'm excited to interview Liz Blewett, runner-up in the Fall 2021 Flash Fiction contest. Make sure you read her story Hay Fires, then come on back and read our interview together.
But first, here's a bit about Liz:
An amateur wordsmith, Liz has spent the better part of two decades writing many an unfinished story. The skeletons of her stories past litter journals, composition notebooks, and long-forgotten computer folders on antiquated hard drives. Liz holds both history and nursing degrees, as well as her board certification in holistic nursing. She is always looking and listening for stories, both of past and present.
Liz lives in rural Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee, with her husband, three young daughters, two dogs, and two cats. When she’s not chasing sticky-handed tiny humans, Liz is rereading Edith Wharton novels, scribbling story ideas, and planning a homestead.
--- Interview by Nicole Pyles
WOW: First of all, congratulations on winning runner-up! You had such vivid descriptions and powerful scenes in the story. What inspired this?
Liz: Truthfully, most of my favorite stories are works that incorporate detailed imagery that I can lose myself in. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ambrose Bierce, and C.S. Lewis (to name a few) are masters of this technique. I love rich descriptions that engage all of the senses, drawing the reader in. I think it helps them invest in the characters and their journey.
WOW: I love how you were inspired by the great! I loved your character Ruth and her quiet strength. When you first started this story, did you know how it would end?
Liz: Yes. This was a story about karmic retribution.
WOW: I couldn't help but relate about how you have many unfinished stories. I'm the same way! What inspires you to finish them?
Liz: The majority of my stories stay unfinished, but I rarely part with them. I often go back to them, sometimes years later, for inspiration. I pick and choose themes and characters from old, unfinished stories and meld them into what I’m currently working on. The few stories I do end up finishing are typically, “tapestries”, full of little tidbits from my old works.
WOW: Like a written quilt! How do you know when a story is done?
Liz: I typically know how I want a story to end, but I never write the ending first—just in case. Writing is a fluid process, and my emotions often dictate the mood of my pieces. With that being said, it’s really just a feeling I get. And because I finish so few stories, the feeling is very exhilarating!
WOW: So true! What do you hope readers take away from reading your story?
Liz: I hope they read this story and know that there are writers who are out there and use their words to write the stories that need to be told. Writers have an opportunity to address issues, challenge norms, and enthuse the jaded.
WOW: That's beautiful! Thank you so much for your time and I can't wait to see what you come out with next.