Tim Stiles’s 100 word microfiction, “Western Appliance TV & Stereo”, will appear in the fifth issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 3, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2022). Tim graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “Western Appliance TV & Stereo”?
I worked at that appliance store in the late 80’s. It was the time right before computer systems started keeping track of inventory—it was all done by hand. I wanted to write a piece that features loyalty and friendship between two friends, and this lo-tech backdrop seemed like a crisp criminal canvas for that type of story.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
Reading another writer and being so excited by the piece that I KNOW I’m gonna turn around and read it again right away. I’m hella happy when somebody writes something both brand new and relatable.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
James Baldwin. Edith Wharton. Prince. Toni Morrison. Cooking. The NY Review of Books.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
Just that nothing adds intensity to your line, in all your writing, like trying perfect the distillation microfiction requires.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
I hate adverbs. Yes, I know they are sometimes necessary.
Tim Stiles lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. His poems, stories and lyrics have been published/recorded throughout the USA and Great Britain. His poetry-photography collaboration with photographer Jay Tyrrell, entitled Botmerica: Repeat After Me, was published in 2016. He won the Seven Hills Review 2020 Creative Nonfiction Award for his story, “Bizzy Bone’s Cousin,” is the recipient of LitFest Pasadena’s 2021 Jonathan Gold Award, and won the 2021 Thirty West Publishing Broadside Pt. 2 competition. Twitter: @timstiles185.