Microinterview: Nicola Ashbrook

Nicola Ashbrook’s 100 word microfiction, “The Walrus”, will appear in the third issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2021). Nicola graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.

Nicola Ashbrook

1. What inspired the story “The Walrus”?

I originally wrote this piece in response to a photo prompt of the sea. I like to play around with voice and it happened to be a walrus that popped into my head on this occasion. I also wanted to play with form, creating something between a flash and a poem.

2. What inspires you and your writing?

I find inspiration everywhere – in nature, in events, in interactions. Sometimes even an interesting word can inspire a story.

3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?

Writing. And tea.

2020 was a particularly difficult year for me – not only a global pandemic but nursing and ultimately losing my mum. I wrote throughout – taking all those painful and difficult things I couldn’t verbalize and spilling them onto paper. Writing was an escape, a balm, a survival mechanism.

4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?

Be ruthless with editing – if it doesn’t add, it has to go. And have fun – it isn’t about rules – it’s about telling the stories you want to tell.

5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?

Good stationery improves everything. Noise-cancelling headphones have changed my life. Writing outdoors is the best.

Nicola Ashbrook has been writing for a couple of years, having previously worked in the NHS. Her poetry, micro and flash fiction can be found in a range of journals online and in print, including with Bath, Reflex, Cabinet of Heed, Sidereal, and Truffle. She is querying her first novel. When she isn’t writing, she’s wrangling children and pets. Twitter: @NicolaAWrites. Website: nicolalostinnarration.weebly.com.

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