Interview with gracepoore: Fall 2022 Flash Fiction Contest Runner Up

Tuesday, May 09, 2023
gracepoore’s Bio:
Grace Poore is from Malaysia. She works for an international LGBTIQ human rights organization and recently returned to writing fiction after a long hiatus. Her short stories, published in her own name and under the pseudonym, V.K. Aruna, have appeared in Our Feet Walk The Sky: Women Of The South Asian Diaspora (Aunt Lute Books, 1993), The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writing by Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian and Bisexual Women (Sister Vision, 1994), Pearls Of Passion: A Treasury of Lesbian Erotica (Sister Vision, 1994), Women Images & Realities: A Multicultural Anthology (McGraw Hill, 2003), and various journals, including Conditions Thirteen International Focus 1 (1986). Her creative non-fiction and personal essays published in her own name and under the V.K. Aruna pseudonym appear in Sinister Wisdom 94 (Fall 2014), Sinister Wisdom 47 (Summer/Fall 1992), and in Sing, Whisper, Shout, Pray: Feminist Visions for a Just World (Edgework Press, 2003). 

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

WOW: Congratulations on placing in the Fall 2022 Flash Fiction Contest! What excited you most about writing this story? 

Grace: This particular story, “The Dare”, wrote itself. I woke one morning and just typed it up. It was like coming upon a bird's nest with an intact lovely egg inside. 

WOW: Sounds like a wonderful surprise. What did you learn about yourself or your writing while crafting this piece? 

Grace: I spend a lot time crafting my other stories but since this one laid itself out start to finish, I guess what I learned was that I like flash fiction writing. With this particular piece, I visualized the arc, heard the background sounds, felt transported while typing the narrative. Flash fiction seems to allow all this, while a longer form (short story for instance) can pose distractions, with so much going on in the middle while trying to keep the pacing of the story. "The Dare" was a hundred-meter dash. I've never had a story present itself that way before. Flash fiction lends itself to this kind of storytelling. 

WOW: What prompted you to return to fiction writing after a long hiatus? 

Grace: The quick answer is, to save my soul. 

WOW: Yes, writing can be so powerful in so many different ways. What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it? 

Grace: I'm reading reports on LGBTI human rights violations and struggles for dignity and safety. This is for work. For escape, I read crime fiction by women usually from outside the US, like Val McDermid, Tana French, Jane Harper, Ann Cleeves, Karin Fossum. At the moment, I'm reading Val McDermid's 1979. 

WOW: If you could give your younger self one piece of writing advice, what would it be and why? 

Grace: Actually, my 67-year-old self needs to hear from my 11-year-old self when I first began writing fiction. The writing advice from my young me would be, surrender to the story. I take that to mean, stories are there already, waiting. I should not postpone the trip(s) to go out and meet them, embrace them. 

WOW: I love how you flipped the question! That gives such important insight into your writing process and journey as a writer. Anything else you’d like to add? 

Grace: Thank you, WOW for giving me a place to share "The Dare" and providing writing resources. 

WOW: You are very welcome. Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughtful responses with us. Happy writing! 

Interviewed by Anne Greenawalt, founder and editor-in-chief of Sport Stories Press, which publishes sports books by, for, and about sportswomen and amateur athletes and offers developmental editing and ghostwriting services to partially fund the press. Connect on Twitter @greenmachine459.


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