Write On Interviews: Writer Kathryn Aldridge-Morris
Write On! interviews writer Kathryn Aldridge-Morris.
Kathryn is an award-winning flash fiction writer living in Bristol. Her work has been published in many online and print literary journals and anthologies, including New Flash Fiction Review, Pithead Chapel, Flash Frog, Bending Genres, and Ellipsis Zine. Her story, Speech And Language Milestones, published by Janus Literary, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2021. She was a finalist in Flash Frog’s international Blue Frog Award and New Flash Fiction Review’s annual Flash Fiction contest. She has been shortlisted and highly commended in the prestigious Bath Flash Fiction Award, shortlisted and received a special mention in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award (2020), longlisted for Reflex Fiction, and won the flash fiction contest organised by Welsh publisher, Lucent Dreaming.
WO: How would you describe your writing/work to someone new to it?
KAM: My writing style is pared back and urgent. I write about moments that encapsulate or hint at the bigger picture and let the reader fill in the gaps.
WO: Can you tell us a bit about your Highly Commended story, Riptide, in the forthcoming Bath Flash Fiction Anthology?
KAM: Riptide is a breathless, one-sentence story that seeks to capture the trauma and discombobulation of a woman whose son drowned and now finds herself drowning in the mental healthcare system. All in three hundred words!
WO: What inspired you to write in the first place, and what inspires you now?
KAM: Everyone has an innate impulse to create and I’ve always felt a pull to write. It’s simply harder for women to give themselves permission to do so, I think, so I’ve only recently started writing full-time. I’m inspired by anything that evokes a strong emotional response in me! And I’m inspired by other writers. Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m reading: a word or image might set off a whole chain reaction of memories.
WO: The current issue of Write On! explores the theme of ‘Home’. With that in mind, how important is a sense of belonging to your writing process? Do you find your ideal of home working its way into your creativity? Is there a feeling or place that you continually find yourself coming back to?
KAM: To me, home is family. My writing often engages with the dissonance and dysfunction in families. I’m interested in that moment a person recognises for the first time that the family is not how it seems, their flash of recognition that they don’t belong, or are in danger in a space that should be safe.
WO: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?
KAM: Find your tribe. Whether you’re a poet, novelist or flash fiction writer, find your people, workshop their words and find beta readers you trust to workshop yours. Read the kind of writing you want to write.
WO: Question from Twitter user: @Grasshopper2407 What kind of scenes do you find the most difficult to write?
KAM: Each flash narrative tends to be a self-contained scene. I think what most flash fiction writers struggle with is coming up with a title that works hard for their story. Flash titles need to do so much more than titles of longer prose pieces. They need to set the tone, pull the reader in, and add another layer.
WO: Can you tell us anything about future projects?
KAM: I’m writing a novella in flash about my son’s aphasia. In fact, my story Unvoiced, which longlisted/shortlisted/won the 2022 Quiet Man Dave prize for non-fiction, will be included.
WO: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional animal/creature to be a pet or companion, who would it be and why?
KAM: Baloo! Like the flash fiction writer, he understands it’s all about the bare necessities! And, let’s face it, who hasn’t needed a Baloo in their life at some point?
You can find out more about Kathryn Aldridge-Morris here: kamwords.com and connect with her on Twitter: @kazbarwrites. The Bath Flash Fiction Anthology is available to buy from Ad Hoc Fiction at adhocfiction.com.
Issue 14 of Write On! magazine is available now. You can find it here.
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Find your tribe. Whether you’re a poet, novelist or flash fiction writer, find your people, workshop their words and find beta readers you trust to workshop yours.