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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Interview with Gayle Beveridge, 2nd Place Winner in the WOW! Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Contest


Gayle Beveridge writes because she loves it. It is her radiant red-sky sunset, her budding spring flowers. It is bird song and a long walk in the bush. It is whatever she wants it to be. Gayle is a past winner of the Boroondara Literary Awards. Her work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing, The Umbrella’s Shade, Vegemite Whiskers and Mosaic. Gayle is passionate about writing, photography, sunsets, dogs, and chocolate and with Victoria’s beautiful Bass Coast, which she now calls home. In a past life Gayle was an accountant, (don’t hold it against her), but now she is free to write. 


----------Interview by Renee Roberson 

WOW: Gayle, congratulations again, and welcome! “Walk with the Woman” explores how power dynamics between couples that can shift over time, sometimes for the worse. What inspired you to explore this topic? 

Gayle: I was keen to experiment with my writing and chose a style that instructs the reader— “Walk with the woman.” “Sit with the man.” I was looking to pair that bold style with a powerful theme, one that would carry the reader forward and excuse my temerity at telling them what to do. At the time, my local writing group’s weekly theme was ‘Green,’ which set me to thinking about what that colour symbolises and to jealousy. I wanted to address how jealousy can disguise itself as love, unrecognisable even to those who pursue it, and how important it is to shake off its shackles. 

WOW: What a great writing prompt! We see so many contest winners that have winning entries inspired by writing prompts or work produced in writing groups--I love that. You’ve been published multiple times in literary journals and anthologies. What themes do you often see appearing in your work? 

Gayle: I’ve dabbled with a variety of genres and themes, but most often return to contemporary fiction and to the emotional reactions of humans to difficult situations. The woman escaping domestic violence. A childhood bully repentant in adulthood. An asylum seeker clinging to the hope of something better. The empty-nester battling loneliness. A young child unable to comprehend his father’s death. An earthquake victim longing for help and the rescuer desperate to find him. 

WOW: When did you first know you were a writer? 

Gayle: Writing was something I enjoyed as a child. The concept of being a writer was an unfilled dream in early adulthood, a passion revisited in my fifties and serious pursuit in retirement. I think the burn to be a writer has always been there and always will be. I have long thought of myself as a writer; my aim now is to become a better writer and a great storyteller. 

WOW: What do you like to read for pleasure? 

Gayle: I read across genres and like the surprise of random choices. Jodi Picoult is a favourite. I admire her capacity to address contemporary societal issues and to integrate them into compelling stories. Australia’s Eliza Henry-Jones is a recent discovery and I can’t wait to read more of her work. Her mastery of pacing is superb. My copy of Tolkien’s "The Lord of the Rings" is a treasured volume. Tell me a good story and you have won me over. 

WOW: Do you have any advice for other writers wanting to explore flash fiction but are intimidated by the limited word count? 

Gayle: Embrace the word count; it requires you to think carefully about your story—what it is, and how you tell it. It will hone your storytelling skills, force you to focus what is important to the story and make careful choices about the words you use to tell it.

WOW: That's such great advice. Thank you again for stopping by today!

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