Annie On Writing

October 1, 2014

Alex Tomlin – Author Spotlight Interview – Twisted Tales 2014

Filed under: Interview with Author — Annie Evett @ 12:01 am

Alex Tomlin pic

Alex works for a teachers’ union and lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. He has  two young children and believes he  looks better in black and white than in colour. Alex sometimes dreams of becoming Humphrey Bogart.

Alex’s flash fiction, A Train to Catch , is one of the 13 chosen by a panel of judges to be included in the upcoming Twisted Tales Anthology, Published by Raging Aardvark Publishing.

The Title of your Flash. A Train to Catch

 What was your initial motivation or prompt to write this story?

Exactly the way the story starts I was sat in a toilet cubicle in Leeds train station and I read the quote from Camus that someone had written quite neatly on the wall. It struck a chord with me so I took a photo of it and several months later the idea for the story struck me. I don’t usually go round taking photos in public toilets though. Only for creative purposes.

Is the character in your story a reoccurring character in your writing?

Not so far, although a few people have suggested the story could be part of a longer piece.

What sort of message or feeling are you hoping you leave your audience with?

There’s no message in this or any of my stories. I just hope people enjoy my stories, and maybe get a laugh out of them.

What sort of stories do you normally write? (Is this story a break from your norm?)

This is relatively typical. I try to write stories with a twist, although the content varies from very dark to quite lighthearted and silly. There’s often a slightly supernatural twist to them. I have tried my hand at various genres – noir, horror, comedy, kitchen-sink drama, surreal, children’s stories… I like lots of different types of writing so I don’t think I have one particular kind I want to do.

Why is that?

I think my imagination often stumbles across fairly random ideas. What if someone turned into a penguin after reading penguin jokes out of Christmas cracker? What if someone died and went to heaven but heaven was like a superstore with automatic checkouts?  What if we introduced an honesty day at work?

What projects or new story lines do you have coming up in the near future?

I’m in a bit of a lull at the moment but I feel it’s time to try and write something longer than the flash fiction. Just to see if I can.

Do you enter many competitions for flash fiction?

I have only entered two or three. I get easily put off when I don’t win. Which is always, until now. Thank you!

Are you a member of a writing group – either online or a physical one?

Not at the moment. I was part of an online one on an Open University course but most of the other people didn’t really get that involved. I think it’s hard to get the right mix of honesty and support in a writing group.

Do you think these groups help or hinder a writer’s journey? Why?

It entirely depends on the people.

What encouragement or advice do you have for emerging writers of flash fiction?

Not sure I’m qualified but I’d say one thing is to make sure every word is adding something to the story. There’s no space for indulgence or showing off how wordy you can be.

How can others follow your journey?  Twitter  and  Website


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