Behind Hot Flashes: A Month of Mini Fiction
HOW THIS BOOK CAME INTO BEING
Writer's Digest has been a resource I have relied on for nearly 50 years. Back in the day when I wrote human interest stories on life in the Air Force (when they were my employer), I used the thick Writer's Market book to find magazines that were likely to publish my articles. No better resource existed.
In the digital age, many additional resources are online from the folks at Writer's Digest. Two of those that I have particularly enjoyed recently have been the Poem a Day and Flash Fiction a Day challenges. In both activities, writers are given a prompt to inspire the day's writing, AND -- and here's the key for me -- a small online community of writers post their results, and give encouraging comments to others. This works so much better than a list or email of prompts where no interaction and no daily deadline is offered.
So this book is the result of the first Flash Fiction Challenge I participated in.
Prompts are posted shortly after midnight, so I'd stay up to see what the new one would be. Some nights a story came to me immediately and I'd work until it was finished, often posting my day's effort around 3 in the morning. Other prompts needed me to sleep on them.
A few prompts -- including the first one appearing in Hot Flashes -- demanded the same characters, and one of those evolved into a subsequent novel I published as titled Unforeseen. Some prompts inspired memoir vignettes, slightly fictionalized. All pieces in this ebook are well under 1000 words.
WHY I DIDN'T USE A PEN NAME THIS TIME
The short answer is it was an intuitive decision. With a couple of exceptions, the stories don't reflect poorly on anyone in my family so the Raziel Bearn name wasn't needed.
Maybe one or two stories alluded to sensuality, but not enough to warranted using BlackMoon Lillith.
A third reason is that some part of me may be thinking about writing cozy mysteries and sweet romances with some underlying psychological elements, two genres I feel more aligned with given my background in the field of psychology. Books like that would be a better fit with my non-fiction publications.
WHAT MOTIVATED ME TO TRY FLASH FICTION
To be honest, I was sick of journaling about my emotions. Writing something that's not so raw and direct always shifts my mood. When the challenge came along, I was ready.
Plus, we were still in the Covid caution period, and my plans to drive across country visiting friends and family had been squashed. I needed something to do with my mind that crocheting and browsing and binging through YouTube all day just wasn't providing the intellectual stimulation I wanted. Trying random stories was the perfect solution.
Your copy of Hot Flashes: A Month of Mini Fiction is available exclusively at Smashwords. I'd love a review there if you like the stories and want to help others find this ebook. Thanks!