What with my having two new jobs and this writing thing to keep me busy, a week has already passed since the lovely Jen Harvey posted an interview with me over on MASHstories. Our Skype chat focused on my Carve Esoteric Award winning story Storm in a Teacup, as well as a few general musings on writing short stories, and my particular writing process.

The questions went like this:

What inspired you to take an idiom and use it literally?

Do you use images a lot, as a source of inspiration?

Would you recommend note taking?

The café in your story is called the Tea Cosy, not the kind of place where you expect emotional turmoil or supernatural events. That clash of ideas – the familiar and cosy with this fantastical event really helped me imagine the setting. Was it difficult to create?

So how many drafts of “Storm In A Teacup” did you write before you achieved what you set out to achieve?

The storm is very well described; it’s very technical and I loved how this fantastical thing is described in such a matter-of-fact way. How did you write that? Did you have to do a lot of research?

What I found interesting about “Storm In A Teacup” is that sometimes when you read slightly fantastical stories the plot lines and the ideas can dominate to the extent that you don’t get a feel for the characters. But this story has both – this supernatural event and fantastical idea and these interesting characters. Do you think the other types of stories you write have helped you accomplish that?

Do you think fantastical and little surreal ideas are better suited to short stories?

Having read your short story collection I would say your stories are very character-driven as well as ideas-driven. Do you have any tips for writers on how to approach character development?

How important has it been to write short stories first in order to tackle the novel?

You just completed your MA. Would you recommend that for writers?

Do you have any top tips for writers to help them improve their craft?

If you want to know what I answered, head over to MASHstories and read the full interview.