Shelley Kirton’s two microfiction stories, “A Concentration on Numbers” and “The Ruler of the Army”, will appear in the fourth issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2021). Shelley graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the stories “A Concentration on Numbers” and “The Ruler of the Army”?
I was inspired by the two people who feature in these stories, Carla and Walter, and I wanted to honour them, having known them at entirely separate times in my life. They were each in their own way important to me, and The Centifictionist is the perfect home for these tributes.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
Wonderful writing inspires me. I am also inspired by daily life and the minor tweaks of reality required to produce fiction. The general domestic landscape is an endless source of inspiration and opportunity!
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
I find writing to be the perfect antidote to sad and challenging times. I lose myself in words and concentrate my thoughts to produce something to make the difficulties worthy.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
I have recently come to this challenging genre and find it absorbing and a new love interest! I am not qualified to offer advice other than to read and research, and then jump in with both feet, keep the theme quite simple, characters to a minimum – and enjoy the process.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
I am almost entirely deaf (neither hearing aids nor implants can assist) and find dialogue somewhat taxing to write. Life is an everyday challenge, and writing is the best way I know to keep me involved in the world. I have for several years studied with the New Zealand Writers College and now enjoy some modest publishing success.
Shelley Kirton has a Master of Management degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has been published in MindFood magazine New Zealand, 2018, the Atlantis Short Story Award Anthology 2018, (nom de plume) and in 2020 received an Honourable Mention in the NZ Writers College Short Story Competition. She enters short story competitions and particularly enjoys flash fiction, and her work can be found in Flash Fiction Friday and Free Flash Fiction.