I Didn’t Break the Lamp: Interview with Veronica Brush

Today’s interview features Veronica Brush, who has a story forthcoming in I Didn’t Break the Lamp!

DV: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Veronica Brush: I don’t take rejection well, so this whole writing thing was a wise career choice. I’m mildly allergic to nickel, so sometimes the metal buttons on jeans will make my belly-button turn pink. I’m not great at thinking of things to say about myself. Also, I like colorful socks.

DV: What inspired you to write “When I Helped” for I Didn’t Break the Lamp?

VB: I actually wanted to write a different story, but these are the characters that presented themselves and told me their story, so that’s what I did–after several hours of arguing with the characters. I’ve learned you just can’t argue with your characters. I still do it a lot. I just never win.

DV: Your story is so brief, but packs so much wonderful storytelling into it. Do you find yourself drawn to the flash fiction length regularly, or is this story unusual for you? Do you have any tips for readers who might want to also write flash fiction?

VB: There is a certain sense of instant gratification with shorter stories in that you can have a rough draft done in a matter of days or even hours (as opposed to novels, which seem to stretch out into eternity before you finally finish a draft). But again, the characters want to do what they want to do, and sometimes they don’t want to do it in the same amount of pages as I was hoping for. My advice is to write the story in whatever size it feels it needs to be, rather than trying to artificially shorten or lengthen it. That’s how you end up with stories that are uncomfortably rushed or watered down. If that means your story ends up the wrong size for the market you originally intended it for, there’s plenty of other markets out there.

DV: What rituals or routines do you have around your writing process?

VB: I have to have background noise or else my inner critic won’t let me get so much as the first word written without laying into me about my impending failure. But put on an epic movie soundtrack and even my inner critic gets swept up the excitement of the story … or at least I can’t hear him complaining anymore.

DV: What’s on the horizon for you?

VB: I just had a short story published in the Do Not Go Quietly anthology and I have another story coming up in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine. I’ve got so many projects going on right now, I really need to pick one to focus on. I don’t know if it’s going to be a short story or novel. Only time will tell.

DV: If you had an imaginary friend growing up, what was their name, and what were they like?

VB: I had a whole ensemble of imaginary friends. This was great because, even back in the days before I could write the letters of the alphabet, my head was still filled with incredible adventures. So my imaginary friends would all take roles in the dramatic reenactments I would play out to entertain myself. We have a lot of fond memories! Sometimes we still get together and reminisce about … I mean … next question.

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