Interview With M.T. Solomon, Runner Up in the Winter WOW! Winter Flash Fiction Contest

Tuesday, July 11, 2023


Today I'm excited to interview M.T. Solomon, runner up in the Winter 2023 WOW! Flash Fiction Contest. Before we get to our interview, make sure you check out her story, Luminous Trees, first. Then come on back!

But first, here's a bit about M.T. Solomon:

M.T. Solomon is a freelance writer, born in the American south but raised in the remote wilderness of Alaska. She wrote her first book at the age of six. At eleven, she wrote and hand-bound several children's books, most of which were riffs of Calvin & Hobbes with a female protagonist. She graduated from Portland State University in 2012 with a B.S. in Liberal Studies and a minor in Writing. Her work has appeared on the cover of Gotham Writers class schedule and has been featured on The Spinning Pen and Reedsy. Besides writing, she also coaches high school volleyball and is a passionate supporter of equal opportunity for female athletes. She lives in Alaska with her husband, three sons, a poodle, and her beloved labradoodle Drogon-Francis.

Her debut Adult Romantasy, All the Fragile Hearts, releases October 10th, 2023. Visit her website,, for updates, where to preorder, and to sign up for her newsletter!

--- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: First of all, congratulations on winning runner up! This was the type of story that I wanted to reread to really comprehend the vivid details you wrote. How did your story transform from first draft to final draft?

M.T. The story began as a lot of my work does: I just get this idea for a first sentence. Just randomly. So I'll write it down on my phone in notes. And if those lines are lucky they'll stick with me and gnaw at me until I feel compelled to add to them.  The first sentence of Luminous Trees stuck with me and I just kept wondering who this woman was that was so affluent yet isolated? And why would someone be sent to visit her?

WOW: That's an awesome way to approach a story! You have some pretty amazing successes under your belt. What advice do you have for writers struggling to get their work published?

M.T.: I suggest figuring out what success and failure means to you personally and what that looks like in actuality. And control what you can. I wish I had done this earlier in my writing career, but it took having children and eventually having this discussion with them to support their academic and athletic endeavors that I realized I never took the time to sort this out myself. When I worked out that failure-- to me-- meant not trying, then the act of merely submitting my work was a success. Sure, winning all the contests/awards/grants/recognition would be amazing, but what is within my control is the writing and submission of my work. Everything else is out of my hands. So try. Work on your craft. And try some more. Learn from your failures. Try again. 

WOW: Excellent advice. I love that you wrote at such a young age and even did a spin-off on Calvin and Hobbes! How did those early writing years shape where you are today?

M.T.: I think overall it taught me what a lot of writers end up learning too: write what you like to read. Write what you want. Don't focus or tailor your story towards trends. But I had to take the long road there, so starting off I emulated a lot of writers I loved. Bill Watterson really knew how to tell a story in short form. He knew how to add depth without being too verbose about it. And the adventures and troubles of Calvin and Hobbes were hilarious. It was only later I learned that Watterson didn't want to write a kid strip initially and really fought against it despite knowing it could be great. He didn't want to fall in Peanuts' shadow. And as an adult engaged in a creative pursuit, that just struck me hard. And I decided I wouldn't allow fear of failure to stop me. I'd write what I want and not worry about the shadows cast by others. 

WOW: I love that! What do you hope readers take away from reading your story?

M.T. Luminous Trees, for me, is really about surviving. I know the title is about the trees, but I don't want that to take away from the woman's victory when she descends from her palace at the end. She did it. She outlived the man who cast her aside. She overcame isolation and humiliation. She alone descended those stairs and the trees were the only ones to bear witness. I just can't stop thinking about her. She haunts me. 

WOW: How beautiful! What are you currently working on that you can tell us a bit about?

M.T.: I'm currently working on my debut novel, All the Fragile Hearts, set to launch sometime in October. It's an Adult Fantasy with dual POV's that follows Cecelia - heir to a throne she feels like a stranger in, and Viktor - a man so used to worrying about himself that the feelings he has for Cecelia scares him. I fell short of labeling it Romantasy because it doesn't revolve around their physical intimacy. Instead it's a novel about imperfect people trying to find themselves beyond old paths. Trying to grow and stretch. Trying to allow themselves to be loved despite their brokenness. But they're also doing this amidst a military coup and the assination of a monarch Viktor swore to protect. There's Fair Folk-- my alternative to elves. There's a religion built around the planet's two moons. There's magic and history. There's something for everyone, really. I'm self-publishing for various reasons that both excite and terrify me. Updates about the book can be found on my instagram @m.t.solomonwrites

WOW: Best of luck on your book! Thank you for your insights!


Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top