Meet the Author: Amy L. Bethke

What was the inspiration for your piece, ‘Fold and Hang’?
This character came to me while I was doing laundry. I was interested in how regular, routine moments carry the weight of our inner thoughts, our past, our state of mind. “Fold and Hang” started out a bit longer and I whittled it down and down.

Are you a plotter or a pantser when it comes to writing, or somewhere in between?
I am currently somewhere in between. In the past, I was a pantser but I find that for longer projects, I like to have an outline. Invariably, the muse takes over as I’m writing, taking the story to places I hadn’t planned, which is, by turns, exhilarating and frustrating. In the end, I like to have a plan that is open to change.

How did you celebrate your first story acceptance/publication?
I cried and yelled and hugged my husband. It’s an amazing, validating moment for a new writer.

Do you find writing is energising or exhausting?
What a great question! Writing is entering a special room in my mind and heart. Once I’m there, it’s energizing. Or maybe that’s the coffee.

Do you think someone has to feel emotions strongly or be highly empathic to be a writer?
Hmmm. Yes, I do. It helps to get inside of a character’s mind and heart, which requires loads of empathy.

How many unfinished stories do you have?
I have two unfinished novels in drawers, one novel in progress, about ten flash fiction pieces in progress and countless ideas that I try and sometimes fail to write down every day.

Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes. I also believe it can be overcome.

Which book(s) inspired you to begin writing?
I love this question because books are important for so many reasons, not the least of which is inspiration. The Little House on the Prairie series was my first immersive, solitary reading experience that made me truly understand the magic of the written word. Later, as a teen, I read Velocity by Kristin McCloy. That book made me sit in my room with my notebook for hours, trying to do what Kristin did, which was draw a scene so clearly that the reader forgets where she is for a while. And later, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss made me realize the power of character. I still want to have coffee with Leo Gursky, and give him a hug.

Are there any books that you are currently reading and why?
I’m reading all the time. Currently, Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow and Vacationland by Sarah Stonich are on my nightstand.

‘Fold and Hang’ by Amy L. Bethke features in Tall Tales & Short Stories Volume One.

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