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  • Keely Oshaughnessy

Interview with Laura Besley

Laura's writing can be found in a huge cross section of online journals (including Reflex Press, Pop Shot Quarterly and Ellipsis Zine to name a few) or housed in her three, yes three, flash fiction collections. She has been listed by TSS Publishing as one of the top 50 British and Irish Flash Fiction writers to boot!

Laura is an author who possess a rare talent for capturing a character's entire world, a life, in a 100 words. She's a powerhouse of the micro. Her stories are clever, funny, sharp and honest. In her collection 100neHundred, her 100, 100 word tales move deftly through lives lived, months and seasons where we meet a host of characters and experience a raft of emotions.

Something Laura always gets just right is the truth and complexity of human relationships. Her story Like Swans Gliding in Fictive Dream is the perfect example. It chronicles a couple's relationship, from the "start of something" to their pallid and lonely marital bed years later. The images are ones you could step in to and the feelings at stake are raw and real.

Meet the author:

Laura Besley is the author of micro fiction collection, (Un)Natural Elements (Beir Bua Press, 2021), 100neHundred (Arachne Press, 2021), and flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers (Dahlia Books, 2020).


Having lived in the Netherlands, Germany and Hong Kong, she now lives in landlocked central England and misses the sea.


Laura's picks were: 2-16-17-20-21-22-34-37-38-41-46



When did you start writing?


LB: About fifteen years ago. I was living and working in Germany, then in Hong Kong, and I started out writing travel pieces for my blog and after a while moved onto fiction.


What do you normally eat for breakfast?


LB: Granola and plain yoghurt.


Which genre or style of writing are you most comfortable writing?


LB: Short literary fiction.


Would you rather: a day at the water park or at the cinema?



LB: Definitely cinema. I absolutely love going to the cinema. Most recently I saw ‘Belfast’ (dir. Kenneth Branagh) and I can’t stop thinking about it.


How do you really feel about form rejections?


LB: I understand that editors are very busy people. There’s not time to write personal rejections in reply to every submission.


What is the album you could listen to on repeat?


LB: Graceland by Paul Simon.




Are you part of a writer’s circle?


LB: Yes. I’m very lucky to be part of an online writing group called Betas & Bludgers. It’s a hugely supportive group of great writers who offer excellent feedback.


What’s your go to snack?


LB: Chocolate


When making a cup of tea do you pour the milk in first?


LB: Never.


Honestly, how many times a day do you check Submittable/refresh your email?


LB: None. Honestly. But it took me a little time to be able to forget about submissions.


What TV show have you just binge watched?


LB: I very rarely watch TV these days, but recently I started ‘The Responder’ with Martin Freeman which is harrowing and excellent.



What are the recurring themes in your writing?


LB: I write a lot about belonging and the idea of home. I also write a lot about adoption because my maternal grandmother was adopted.


How many house plants do you own?


LB: None – for a very good reason!



Do you keep track of your rejections and what’s this year’s tally?


LB: I keep a tab of all my submissions, acceptances and rejections. I don’t know how else I’d manage to know what’s where. Eight rejections so far this year.

Laura's micro collection 100neHundred hanging out on her piano


Can you listen to music while you write?


LB: Strangely, not if I’m at home, but if I’m in a café, it’s no problem.


Where is your ultimate getaway?


LB: A deserted beach on a cold and sunny day.


What do your first drafts look like?


LB: Handwritten, often on a scrap of paper, but otherwise in a notebook.



What is the shortest piece you’ve ever written?


LB: Three words.


What foods are a must in your refrigerator?


LB: Cheese! All the cheese!


Do you have a hidden talent the world needs to know about?


LB: Unfortunately not.



What keeps you writing?


LB: I love it.


 


Laura's first collection, The Almost Mothers (Dahlia Books, 2020)

If you enjoyed chatting with Laura as much as I did then luckily she has a multitude of unique and varied flash and micro collections available that you can dive into.


She's also written a brilliant craft essay for Ellipsis Zine on Writing Micro Fiction that is not to be missed.


To keep up to date with all her latest writing news then you can follow her on Twitter: @laurabesley

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