Annie On Writing

September 7, 2015

Vesna McMaster – Author in the Spotlight for Twisted Tales 2015

Filed under: Interview with Author,Twisted Tales — Annie Evett @ 9:54 pm
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Today, we hear from Vesna McMaster, one of the authors whose flash fiction will be included into Twisted Tales 2015.


Vesna’s ‘grew up, did this, went there’ details are complex and multinational. An Earthling who likes writing stories. Her novels are Mystery with a sprinkle of Supernatural and she likes to serve them complex and hot. Her short stories these days tend more towards spec-fic and action, but they could be anything, depending on the weather. She likes variety and the element of surprise, and lives in Australia with five children, a dog and a long-suffering husband.

The title of your flash fiction. 


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

I belong to an excellent online writing group called Writers Abroad, and every Monday we have a ‘muse’ for a flash piece. I was given one in May 2014, asking us to write about the consequences of leaving something behind on a photocopier. It’s a particularly poignant prompt for me because it was given by fellow-member Jany Gräf, who passed away suddenly in June 2015. Thank you for being such an excellent writing buddy, Jany, and helping me along even from the other side. This one’s for you. X

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

Nope. Besides, they’re all dead now.

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

Unease. Shock. That particular weirdness that’s entirely Japanese.

What sort of research did you do before you began writing it? 

The prompt didn’t spur any immediate ideas, so I googled ‘items left on copier’ and found the picture above. It was actually a note left on a photocopier in real life. The story, thankfully, is complete fiction. What I couldn’t translate was that you can tell from the vocab that it’s a male writing it, in an informal style – equivalent of using ‘thou’. Very odd. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

What sort of stories do you normally write? (Is this story a break from your norm?) What sorts of lengths (short story, flash, micro, novellas, novels?) 

I write both short stories and mystery novels. In both categories the stories are off-beat so I’d say Elevation is fairly representative.

Why is that? 

Why off-beat? Why 500 words or 120,000? Why the same or why not something different? The world is full of Why. That’s why we’re writers.

Are you focusing on one particular genre or story length style (i.e Flash Fiction, Short Story, Novella, Novel)? What is yours? Why/ Why not? 

This much consideration into possible reasoning behind writing choice may send me into an existential crisis. I guess I enjoy the yin and yang: the sharp tang of the short story juxtaposed with the complex carbohydrate of a fiendishly woven novel.

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

The novel in progress has the working title of ‘Project X’. I like it a lot. Wish I had more time to dig it out of my brain and slap it onto the screen. It looks better on the outside.

Do you enter many writing competitions? Why/ Why not? 

I try to enter ‘some’. Between one or two a month. Truth is I’m terrified of looking ‘out-of-action’ on my website so I keep the competitions section as updated as possible. Look, you guys are on there.

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

In addition to the gorgeous online Writers Abroad where Elevation’s prompt came from, I’m also a member of the Hunter Writer’s Centre which acts as a nexus for several groups. I also go to a novel writing group through Meetup.

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

The right group will certainly help you write. If it’s at the right time. With the right people. Word-wrights writing the right things right wrongs. But then there are lots of groups that are a waste of time. I guess you have choose wisely.

What encouragement or advice do you have for emerging writers? 


2.  Avoid word echo and repetition.

What advice or tips do you have for writers who feel they are stuck or have “writers block”? 

1.See above. (Write). 

2.Look up ‘procrastination’.  

3. In extremis, get a deadline.

How can others follow your journey? 

My writer’s site with links to everything.  My novels site Moosey’s Mysteries. Be my bestie on FB… Or just keep in touch. Or follow my FB alter-ego Moosey’s Mysteries if you find me personally too intimidating. It’s Ok.

Vesnas story, Elevation will appear in this years Twisted Tales. It is an annual flash fiction competition celebrating (Inter)National Flash Fiction Day, published by Raging Aardvark Publications. Judged by a panel of experienced short story writers and editors, submissions over the last four years have been extremely high quality; making the job of the judge a difficult one. Authors are drawn from around the globe and stories ranging from lighthearted tales of childhood memories, to gruesome stories to make the reader shiver.


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