Edward Barnfield’s 99 word microfiction, “In the Ruins”, will appear in the fourth issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2021). Edward graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “In the Ruins”?
I was watching the news coverage of Afghanistan, stricken, and it triggered the memory of a visit to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. There were friezes riddled with old bullet holes. I suppose I was thinking of the layers of history and tragedy that so many places hold, and the comparative privilege of being a visitor.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
Random sparks. Almost everything I write is scribbled on car journeys and lunch breaks, kick-started by something in the corner of my eye.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
I have a young daughter who teaches me the value of joy and optimism every day. I also have pedagogic dogs, who are genuinely happy whatever life throws at them.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
Keep writing. Write more, fail better. Your next best story is out there and the only way to find it is a word at a time. Try to find a way to combine ruthlessness and kindness in the same edit.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
I think of writing as conversation, with people I’ve known and people yet to know, things I wanted to say that can only really be expressed through fiction. You hope that someone out there is receiving your transmission.
Edward Barnfield is a writer and researcher living in the Middle East. His stories have appeared in Ellipsis Zine, Lunate, Strands Publishing, Leicester Writes, Cranked Anvil, London Independent Story Prize, The Short Story, Reflex Press, Communicate.ae, and Grindstone Literary. He is currently working on a novel and a collection of short stories. He’s on Twitter at @edbarnfield.