Meet the Author: P.C. Vandall

Where did you get the inspiration for your story “Flirty, Dirty, and over Thirty” from?
“Flirty, Dirty, and over Thirty,” was written as a much longer story which was then edited and compressed down into flash fiction. I think at the time, I wanted to see if I could capture the moment in as few words as possible without losing the essence of the story. I find the act of writing to be cathartic as it helps me express my emotions and thoughts without the confrontation of reality. Seeing things from a place that does not exist can help make existence a reality.

I believe everything I write comes from a place of truth and then slowly evolves into being. The DNA of each story comes from me but is then given its own life to grow and make decisions. I like that every poem and story I have written corresponds to a place and time in my memory. It’s like keeping a secret diary in my own secret language. I can look back at a piece I have written and say, “I wrote that because at the time I felt, saw, heard, smelled or touched something that made an impact on me. “Flirty, Dirty, and over Thirty,” was inspired by a moment in my life that made an impact on me. Of course, the final version no longer resembles the actual story but that’s what I like about it.

At an early age I was taught to write what I know and to show and not tell. Both of these tips have served me well. I have written many characters based on people I know and find that most people do not recognize themselves in the written context. I am not sure if this is because I have developed their character badly or if they do not see themselves as I do, but in the end, I find it to be a win-win situation. I get great characters and no one gets hurt in the process.

I knew language had power at an early age. I know this because I wanted to read and write long before I could. When my grandfather read books his face would change continually. I would see him smile, laugh, pout, and even cry while looking intently at a page. I couldn’t understand how a simple object that made no noise, did not move or even talk could change the expressions on his face. It was like magic. Before I could read, I’d hold my grandfathers’ books in my hands and let pages fan tufts of breath over my face. I would try to imagine the whispers bound inside. When I wasn’t pretending to read, I was drawing fancy loops across a page pretending to write in my own imaginary language. Language then was a mystery that I have been unraveling ever since.

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