This is the fourth in a series of #InterviewWithAFlashDog
FlashDogs are an international community of talented and supportive flash fiction writers.
I’m now in editing mode for my first novel, Metropolitan Dreams and I thought it would be a good time to catch up with as many FlashDogs as I could.
No word limits. No need to win a comp. Just a chance to get to know the writer.
The questions follow a format: First, Next and Last.
Today I’m spending time with Liz Hedgecock. Liz is one of the first writers I got to meet. I met Liz before FlashDogs, even before I had a Twitter account. Liz is a very caring and highly supportive member of the community. Liz is a versatile weaver of flash fiction, a great blogger and she is also a freelance writer. Liz is a frequent finalist in big competitions. She’s also person who holds the secrets of the world’s greatest detective.
Please tell us the…
MK: First person that inspired you to be a writer
LH: I hadn’t thought about this before, but now I have – Leon Garfield. Our local library had some of his historical novels for children. I’d always read a lot, but those books – Jack Holborn, Smith, Devil-in-the-Fog and particularly Black Jack – were full of rogues and chancers and grim stuff. They were rattling good stories you wouldn’t want to read just before going to sleep. I hadn’t realised before that you could do that sort of thing in books. While I didn’t consciously think ‘Ooh, I want to be a writer’, I think that ‘woah, look what he did!’ feeling stayed with me.
MK: Next project you want to tackle
LH: This is a bit of a cheat because it isn’t a writing project as such, but I’d like to publish a short-story collection. Like most Flashdogs, I have folders full of flash tales, and it would be fun to see if I can herd them into some sort of order. In terms of writing projects, I have an outline for a spin-off story from The Secret Notebook of Sherlock Holmes, and I’m itching to get going on that.
MK: Last time you did something that scared you
LH: 16 February, when I sent the manuscript of Secret Notebook out to beta readers. I know the point of beta readers is to improve the book, but it’s the thought of people reading it and thinking stuff about it. What if they all hate it? What if this was a complete waste of time? (Spoiler – they didn’t all hate the book, otherwise I would have buried it in a virtual pit with virtual snakes on top).
This was my first time doing a proper round of beta readers, but I have a feeling that I’ll get the fear with every book. Remind me why I do this again…
MK: First piece of advice you’d give to a visiting alien
LH: Look both ways before crossing the road.
MK: Next thing you want to tackle on your bucket list (if you have one)
LH: I don’t have a bucket list but I would love to go back to New England for a holiday one day. We spent our honeymoon there and it was wonderful. Now we have 2 kids, paying for plane tickets in school holidays is definitely something to work towards!
MK: Last time something made you cry with happiness
LH: Hmmm…I don’t cry often in real life, but it’s rare that I can make it through a film without sniffling (my family think this is very funny). So it was when Nemo and his dad are reunited in Finding Nemo, which was on TV a few weeks ago. I was in bits.
MK: First thing you want people to think of when they think of you
LH: I have no idea! Moonbeams. Biscuits. Rainbows. Sunny days. Well-written stories (hey, I can dream).
MK: Nextunusual place you would like to visit
LH: It isn’t anywhere far-flung; as I haven’t written a new story for a while, I’d like to spend some time inside my own head. The next story project is set in the past, in a slightly different world, so I’d like to go there, please.
MK: Last time you wished you had a superpower
LH: This morning, while wrestling with paperback formatting for the first time, I wished I could embed fonts with the power of my mind. OK, it’s not a great superpower, but it would save a LOT of time.
A big thank you to Liz, who took precious time out from her print book CreateSpace adventures to take part.
I wish Liz all the success she deserves with Secret Notebook.
Get in touch if you want to take part, I’m always happy to think of devious questions to ask.