Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Washington, DC-based BV Lawson’s stories have won the Dillydoun Flash Fiction Prize, SMFS Derringer, Noir Nation Golden Fedora, and Gemini Awards. She’s also been longlisted for the New Writers Flash Competition and Fish Short Story Prize; shortlisted for Flash 500 Quarterly and Anthology Magazine short story awards; and chosen as a finalist for the Pulpfictional Flash Contest and Tucson Festival of Books Literary Competition. BV’s Scott Drayco novels have been a featured Library Journal pick and finalists for Shamus, Silver Falchion, Daphne, and Foreword Book Reviews Awards, with her eighth Drayco novel to be published this spring. 

She enjoys flying with her husband above the Chesapeake Bay in a little Cessna. 

Visit her website at - no ticket required. 

If you haven't read her story, "Chrysalis," take moment to this piece of flash before coming back her to learn more about her writing.

-------interview by Sue Bradford Edwards-------

WOW: What was your inspiration for “Chrysalis?” 

BV: It’s hard to say where ideas originate sometimes, but with “Chrysalis,” the first line just popped into my head one day, unbidden. I’d been reading a lot beforehand on young women and body image disorders, and somehow that first line morphed into this little tale of a mother and daughter’s fraught relationship over their perceptions of what “beauty” really is. 

WOW: Your narrator in “Chrysalis” knows the names of so many butterflies but we never learn her name. How did you decide what to reveal and what to conceal? 

BV: That, too, can be a bit mystical, since with some stories—like this one—I’m able to sit down and write without pause or much editing. But I do subconsciously create backstories for characters, and I like to think in this case that the narrator is a closet science geek, one of many reasons she and her mother don’t see eye-to-eye. In many cases, the characters seem to write themselves. 

WOW: You have so much experience writing flash. What advice do you have for our readers who aren’t sure how to start writing flash? I adore flash fiction! 

BV: It seems so simple, and yet every single word counts. There are many writing prompts all over the internet, and it can be helpful to grab one that interests you and write a paragraph about it. Then you spin that paragraph into another, and before long, you have a tight little story. It also helps to read a lot of flash fiction in various genres. 

WOW:  It's always interesting the way different genres can feed what you are creating. In addition to writing flash, you write a crime fiction series. How do these two types of writing play off each other? 

BV: With novels, I have a lot more room to “play” with words, although I always wanted my crime fiction series to have poetry underlying it. My earliest writings (and publications) were actually in poetry, a genre my mother loved and shared with me. I hope that no matter how short or long my works may be, those hints of poetry will always shine through. 

WOW: A background in poetry?  That makes sense given the figurative language in your story. “Chrysalis” features details about butterflies. Music features prominently in the Drayco series. How do you use these topics to enrich the stories in which they appear? 

BV: The butterflies in “Chrysalis” were integral to the daughter’s character and life experience, and music is integral to the character of Scott Drayco, since he began his life as a concert pianist before tragedy ended that dream. In a sense, butterflies represent how the narrator in “Chrysalis” views herself and her life, just as music represents a lens through which Drayco sees his world. Butterflies are also usually quite colorful, too, and Drayco has a form of synesthesia, where he experiences all music and sounds as colors, shapes, textures, and even tastes. Art = life = art.

WOW:  Thank you for giving our readers so much to think about!  Thank you for taking the time out of your writing schedule to be here with us.


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