Annie On Writing

September 11, 2015

Keith Gillison – Author in the Spotlight for Twisted Tales 2015

Filed under: Interview with Author — Annie Evett @ 6:00 am
Tags: ,

Please welcome Keith Gillison as our latest author to be interviewed for the upcoming Twisted Tales Anthology.

Keith is a writer based in Dorset, England. He has recently published his first novel, The Boss Killers – a dark crime humour story featuring socially inept detectives, greasy-pole climbing executives, feuding gangsters, downtrodden employees, unusual restaurants, a man with the world’s hardest head and very bad coffee.  He also writes short stories and flash fiction and has been published online, in magazines, anthologies and broadcast on radio. His writing covers a range of genres including humour, crime, horror and children’s. Married with two young children, Keith is a marketer by trade, with a degree from Aston University.

 Keith Gillison

The title of your flash fiction.  Dave

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

This was one of the very first flash stories I wrote, it was for a competition a few years ago. I wanted to write something really different, darker than I normally write and Dave was the result.

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

No, Dave is a one-off character.

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

Surprise at the twist in the story, and empathy for the main character Dave. Hopefully also mild irritation from the reader at being hoodwinked. I’ll be impressed if anyone spots the twist coming, nobody has so far. (Editors note – I certainly didn’t! I had to read it three times!)

What sorts of challenges or insights have you had writing this?

I gave up on the story after writing it and left it alone for a few years because I didn’t think it really worked but I resurrected it recently and, with feedback from my writing group colleagues, managed to get it to a better standard. I’m glad I came back to it because I always thought it had a strong twist, it was just the rest of the story that needed work.

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

None, I tend to go with a gut feeling for a story and then do research if I feel it needs it.

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 like to try most story lengths and genres, I’ve written short stories, flash and a novel but in terms of genre I tend to write mostly humour and dark stories, sometimes combining the two.

Why is that?

Humour is my natural style for writing, I like to write stories that have an element of the absurd and ridiculous about them and with dark stories you can be really creative and let your imagination run wild and I enjoy that.

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?

I like to try most genres but I tend to write mostly humour and dark stories, sometimes combining the two. I like flash because they are quick to write and it’s a good exercise for word count control, to see what you can achieve with a limited word count.

What projects or new story lines do you have coming up in the near future? My first novel – The Boss Killers – has just been published. It’s a dark crime humour novel so I’m working on promoting that, as well as writing short stories for magazine submissions and competitions, flash stories for competitions and I’ll soon get back to working on my second novel.

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

Yes, quite often. It’s good to enter competitions to test your work and put it out there. Winning a competition or having a story placed or published can help you to gain recognition as a writer and get your name known. I like themed competitions as it forces you to write a story on a theme that you might not have otherwise tried.

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

Yes, local writing group that meets most weeks.

Do you think these groups help or hinder a writers journey?

They are a big help


I get feedback on my stories from experienced writers. It’s good to get different points of view and ideas – things that you hadn’t thought of to help improve the story and make it stronger. Sometimes you can read your own story a dozen times and not see something really obvious that another person will spot straight away.

What encouragement or advice do you have for emerging writers?

Join a writing group. Take advice from other writers who have had success. Read quality fiction to see how it should be done. Keep writing and develop your own style. Most importantly believe in your writing, because you will get a lot of rejections and setbacks so keep going.

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

Get feedback on your story if you are stuck on it, other writers may have ideas you wouldn’t have thought of. Also – if you are stuck on one part of a story or novel then leave it, write something else and come back to it. I find a walk or a swim is a good way to clear your head so you can come back with a fresh mind. Don’t continually think about it, do something else and come back to it when you feel refreshed mentally.

How can others follow your journey?  

My website, facebook and twitter are best. I post updates on my writing there, as well as competitions, reviews of my novel and video excerpts of me reading my novel.

Twitter     @keithgillison







Keith’s story Dave 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.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Say something constructive... or nice at least.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: