Interview with Anaïs Godard: Summer 2023 Flash Fiction Contest 3rd Place Winner

Tuesday, January 02, 2024
Anaïs’s Bio: 

Anaïs is a Franco-American writer who loves weaving difficult stories with wonder. Holding a Master’s degree in Linguistics and Semiotics from La Sorbonne, she is currently finishing her debut novel. During her time in the TV industry, she co-founded @nastywomenLA to champion women in the arts and underrepresented voices. When she’s not writing, you can find her chasing her twin toddlers through LA’s libraries and other fantastical realms. For more of her work visit her Instagram @anaismoods and website:

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

WOW: Congratulations on placing third in the Summer 2023 Flash Fiction Contest! What excited you most about writing this story? 

Anaïs: So, the idea for this story basically popped into my head while chuckling over the nickname "pumpkin" we toss around for kids. With my experience as a mom to a small child with Cerebral Palsy, blending the surreal and personal on a potentially heavy topic felt just right for this little fable. It made me smile. Sometimes you've got to approach things from a different angle. 

WOW: Absolutely. It can be so beneficial to get that new or different perspective by looking at a topic differently. What did you learn about yourself or your writing while crafting this piece? 

Anaïs: If anything, this piece reinforced something I already knew—I firmly believe that there's no topic, no matter how profound or weighty, that can't be approached in a way that's relatable. Life can be tough, but injecting elements of humor, surrealism, and fantasy can serve as a powerful coping mechanism for both the writer and the reader. 

WOW: That sounds like great life advice. Can you tell us more about your debut novel? 

Anaïs: Sure thing! Thanks for asking. My debut novel plunges into the realm of YA fantasy, introducing Sam, a 17-year-old harboring latent powers and a challenging past. It's an adventurous and romantic tale as she unravels mysteries surrounding her missing mom and her true identity. The narrative explores the tension between destiny and personal identity, the courage to challenge oppressive systems, and the delicate dance of love and desire—all set against the backdrop of childhood trauma and the vibrant tapestry of magic. It's dark, fun, and a bit spicy. Just like with my short story, I tried to infuse profound themes with a touch of levity through the lens of fantasy. I'm excited to share that I've reached a point where I believe it's ready for querying. 

WOW: That is very exciting! Best of luck in the querying world. What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it? 

Anaïs: Currently reading Yarros' Fourth Wing for my YA Fantasy scene research, alongside Celeste Ng's Our Missing Hearts. Ng wrote one of my all-time favorite short stories, “Girls, at play”, and so far, I really enjoy her novel. Next on my list is Neil Gaiman's Stardust—because, honestly, I love his work and never got to read this one. 

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

Anaïs: Keep writing! Despite what some might claim about it not being a "real" job, don't let anyone convince you to put down the pen. You'll always find your way back to it anyway, so just keep writing. 

WOW: That’s so true! Writers will find a way to write. Anything else you’d like to add? 

Anaïs: Thanks again for the opportunity to share my thoughts! Your support means a lot. Big thanks for all you do for emerging writers—it's truly awesome. 

WOW: Thank you for sharing your story and your inspiring 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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