Faye Rapoport DesPres’s two microfiction stories, “The Place”, and “Generations”, will appear in the fifth issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 3, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2022). Faye graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the stories “The Place” and “Generations”?
Some time ago I started writing 100-word stories every morning. I’d read some microfiction that focused on the shocking or disturbing, but I noticed my stories seemed to lean towards hope and reconciliation. Each morning I search my mind for moments, memories, thoughts, things I’ve heard, or ideas that might prompt a story. “The Place” was prompted by my own history; I am the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. I’ve never returned to the country where my father was born, as he asked me to never go there. So, I can only imagine [what] that would be like. I purposefully left out any details, however, because I think there are readers from other cultures who will be able to relate to the sentiment. “Generations” simply came to me, perhaps based loosely on things I have witnessed in the families of friends or acquaintances.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
I am inspired by emotion, feeling, and the natural world. The concept of innocence, or innocence lost, has always haunted me. I am driven somewhat by the desire to both record life and reflect on it, and perhaps to do some good somehow.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
I have experienced my share of both, and somehow I have always found ways to recover and move forward. Someone once told me that I am “resilient.” I’d never really thought about it before then. Perhaps I gained that trait partly from my father. He lived with terrible memories, and he definitely had moments of despair. Yet he found a way to start over and create a new and very successful life, and even to experience joyful moments.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
Read microfiction, and write, write, write. Become a grammar geek. Fill your bag with tricks.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
I’ve published a memoir-in-essays (longer essays) called Message From a Blue Jay, as well as three children’s books. I’m currently working on a collection of microfiction. A lifetime advocate for animals and wildlife, I donate a portion of the proceeds from my children’s books to non-profit animal rescue organizations. Readers can find me on Twitter at @FayeRapoDesPres.
Faye Rapoport DesPres is the author of the memoir-in-essays Message From a Blue Jay and the Stray Cat Stories children’s book series. She is a graduate of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing program and has taught literature and writing at Lasell University. Her creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry have appeared in a variety of literary journals, including Ascent, Bending Genres, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Hamilton Stone Review, and Superstition Review. A life-long animal and wildlife advocate, Faye donates a portion of the proceeds from her children’s books to non-profit animal rescue organizations. Website: fayerapoportdespres.com. Twitter: @FayeRapoDesPres.