Author Spotlight: Karen Yun-Lutz

Which author is your biggest inspiration?

Until about a year ago, I might have said Dean Koontz, or Stephen King. I’ve been a hard core fan of both of them and their stories since I started reading them back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Recently I met a new author who self-published his first book and managed to sell enough books on his own, without a large press publisher. I met up with him during his reading at a small Pittsburgh bookstore and listened to him tell the story of his indie to traditional publishing journey. His self-publishing to traditional publishing journey is one that is truly inspiring. The author is JD Barker. He isn’t very well known–yet. I imagine his name will become much more of a household name after the release of Dracul in October.

What’s your favorite science fiction short story, book or movie?

There are so many I love. If I had to choose a classic novel (that was later adapted into a movie) it would be “Enders Game” by Orson Scott Card. I got hooked on the novels in the Ender series, after watching the movie.

What advantages do you think flash fiction has to offer you as a writer?
Enough time to create a satisfying story, without it taking months or years to complete. Flash stories can be a quick dose of accomplishment.

Do you think science fiction lends itself well to flash compared to other speculative genres?

It can. The part of sci-fi that I find particularly intriguing is the worlds that are built by the authors. Flash (in any genre) supposes that the reader already has a firm grasp of the genre and the worlds, without explicitly telling them about the world where the story is set. I enjoy reading flash stories, but miss the richness and texture of the world building that comes with a longer story or novel.

What are your greatest challenges with writing flash and micro fiction?
As with any of my writing, it’s making the time to write. I keep myself busy with numerous projects and don’t leave myself enough time to write. I work well under pressure, so once I have a firm deadline, I’m usually good to go. I found out about the Martian Magazine Drabble submissions the night before they closed. My story, “Final Freedom,” was written, submitted and accepted, all in less than 24 hours.

Is your favorite genre to write in sci-fi?
I tend to read thrillers and psychological horror, however, when I sit down to write a story, sci-fi comes out. I just go with it.

Where can readers find your other work and which story are you the most proud of?
I’ve only had a few published stories so far so there really isn’t a lot of my work available online. I’m part of a wonderful writing and critique group called Write or Die (WorD), that meets at Rickert and Beagle books in Pittsburgh, PA, every-other Tuesday evening. Right now I’m working on a first anthology for the group. The anthology is titled, “Knee Deep in Little Devils” and came about from our annual Halloween reading event. The anthology is being released on Oct 20th, during our 5th annual Reading Event.

Are there any links you’d like to share where readers can follow you?

Information on Write or Die (where I spend a lot of my free time) can be found here:
WorD publishing information can be found here:
WorD Halloween reading event information can be found here: