Which author is your biggest inspiration?
I have had three mentors who inspired me at different times across the years, and all three have passed on. In college, poet and Nuclear Veteran Leonard “Red” Bird took me under his wing and nurtured my early writing. In later years, Ed Bryant and Melanie Tem both supported, encouraged, and helped me hone my craft. If I had to pick only one of those writers, I would have to say that Ed had the most influence on my writing.
What’s your favorite science fiction short story, book, movie?
This is always a hard question for me, as it seems to shift. Perennial favorites, though, are as follows.
Short story: “Paladin of the Lost Hour” by Harlan Ellison
Book: R is for Rocket by Ray Bradbury
Movie: All of them. (Really, just one? Okay, I have to go with The Road Warrior.)
What advantages do you think flash fiction has to offer you as a writer?
As a poet, I’ve always loved economy of language, and most of what I write tends to be relatively short, so flash fiction feels like a natural form for me. My favorite part of writing is revision, where I can trim a piece down to the essentials.
Do you think science fiction lends itself well to flash compared to other speculative genres?
I was first introduced to flash fiction in the work of Golden Age SF writer Frederic Brown, so I’ve always associated SF with flash. It does seem to me that SF lends itself well to flash fiction, probably because there are so many established tropes that it’s easy to set a scene in a few words. Horror works well, too, especially with whiplash endings. I would like to see more fantasy short-shorts. Maybe they exist and I’ve just been looking in the wrong places.
What are your greatest challenges with writing flash and micro fiction?
My greatest challenge with writing in general is overcoming inertia and actually putting words on the page. To that end, flash fiction is actually easier for me; it’s less intimidating to know that there is an attainable limit, even if I wind up spending hours honing it in revision.
Is your favorite genre to write in sci-fi?
I tend to write in whatever genre lends itself to the work, actually. I prefer reading science fiction, but I’ve written literary fiction, poetry, SF, horror, steampunk, slipstream, urban fantasy, and I used to publish quite a bit of non-fiction.
Where can readers find your other work and which story are you the most proud of?
My favorite story publication to date is in the anthology Edward Bryant’s Sphere of Influence, published by Mad Cow Press. It’s a historical fiction story called “Chesterfield Gray”, loosely inspired by my uncle’s experiences in WWII, so it’s a bit of an outlier among the horror and SF stories in the book. I released an old story called “Sphere of Falling” on Inkitt.com a couple of years ago, and people seem to like it. I have also published a number of poems in recent years, including winning a poetry contest hosted by Apex Magazine. A list of my publications to date is at http://www.lytspeedconsulting.com/publications/.
Are there any links you’d like to share where readers can follow you?
Personal website: http://www.lytspeed.com/ (lots of original poetry there)
Facebook Writer and Musician Page: http://www.facebook.com/wrytspeed