Ran Walker’s three 100 word microfiction stories, “Tears in the Fabric of Us”, “The Comedian”, and “Absolution”, will appear in the third issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2021). Ran graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the stories “Tears in the Fabric of Us”, “The Comedian”, and “Absolution”?
With “Tears in the Fabric of Us,” I was deeply inspired by Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.” I also like the way the word “tears” can be read homographically and apply both ways.
“The Comedian” was inspired by situations in which artists are trying to evolve in their crafts, but their audiences won’t allow them to grow. While there are numerous stories/films that touch on this, Chris Rock’s Top Five comes to mind immediately.
Finally, the idea of “Absolution” came about when I thought about kids who have to code switch just to survive in their neighborhoods. I wanted to show what goes on behind closed doors when a young man is trying to navigate his environment, while still trying to be true to himself.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
I am inspired by other writers and by other artists. I can draw inspiration from Henry Dumas one minute and MF DOOM the next. Everything is a story. I find it fun to try to figure out the best way to get into those stories that interest me the most.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
I am fortunate to have family and friends who believe in me and support me. Still, like most writers, I wrestle with despair sometimes. I have to remind myself that I can’t chase after what other writers have. I have to stay in my lane and do my own thing, be the best “me” I can be.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
Read as much microfiction and prose poetry as you can, including writers of all backgrounds, and try to create something new every chance you get. Above all, though, keep faith in the value of the form. New people are discovering it everyday.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
My first collection of 100-word stories, Keep It 100, will be coming out on May 4th. I view this book as the tip of the iceberg for where I plan to head with this form in the future.
Ran Walker is the author of twenty-four books. He is the winner of the 2019 Indie Author of the Year and 2019 BCALA Fiction Ebook Awards. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University and lives with his wife and daughter in Virginia. He can be reached via his website, ranwalker.com. Twitter: @ranwalker.